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The third trimester – bigger and bigger while building my nest

Third Trimester

You know you are in the third trimester of pregnancy when you need a five minute break after you get out the shower. The smallest of tasks can leave you breathless and your feet start taking strain as every day your little one seems to be having a growth spurt in your tummy. Long gone is the comfort of the second trimester as I start moving through my 36th week of pregnancy. Every day I am a little bigger, a little heavier, a little more breathless and my anticipation for meeting my little one grows to the point where I feel I cannot wait one more day to meet him.

The first sign that I had entered the third trimester was the overwhelming need to nest. Suddenly, I needed everything to be ready! My little one is due in the height of summer so my entire 3rd trimester is spent sweating it out in Cape Town. I knew instinctively (and from experience from my first, also a summer baby) that the longer I waited to get things sorted the hotter and harder it would become. My husband Carl will tell you that me nesting largely consists of me making lists of what I need him to do. Luckily, he is very willing and understands that I just can’t relax until everything is done. Essentially, that means that he can’t relax, so he works through the lists as quickly as he can.

For me things that were important to have done before the arrival of my baby bump are:

  • Sorting where baby will sleep during the day and during the night (when not on me)
    • Rocker
    • Cot
    • Co-sleeper
    • We also had to design and manufacture a new bed for Kai our boy. He had been asking for a bed with a ladder so, we made him a bunk bed which our cot fits underneath. Although our baby will be in our room at night, during the day, he will do some naps in his cot to help him get used to different rooms and surfaces to sleep on. This worked very well for Kai.
  • Bringing down everything we had stored from our first that would be needed for our new little bundle so it could all be washed and set up:
    • Pram
    • Car Seat
    • Newborn and 0-3 month clothes
    • Receiving blankets
    • Breast Pump (I have a double electric and manual)
    • 0-3 month toys, play gym & floor mats
    • Carriers. We have a few for the newborn stage – Ring Sling (my favourite), stretchy Wrap, Ubuntu Baby Stage 1 carrier. For later stages we use an Ergo Performance for longer walks.
    • Cloth nappies
    • Bedding
  • Compactum packed with all the baby necessities I may need.
  • Hospital bag packed (packed at 32 weeks food/drink items to be packed at 37 weeks)
  • Every room and cupboard in the house had to be repacked.
  • Authorisations from medical aid approved and sorted, given to doctor.
  • Visit with my doula for finalisation of birth plan – LOTS of copies included in my hospital bag.

The more I have ready the less anxious I feel. There are some days that I just wish I could slow my brain down. If it is not thinking about what is still left to do, then it is thinking about the birth. I need to remind myself to have a lie down, just breathe and connect to the little one growing inside.

Exercise for me in the third trimester is not easy so I try to go for walks as often as I can. This is also a great way for me to connect to Kai, my almost 3 year old. There are only a few weeks left for us to have this precious time together so I am trying to soak it up as much as I can. After walking I am extremely uncomfortable and feel quite a bit of pelvic discomfort from the stretching. It seems to be keeping him in the right birthing position which is great and there is nothing nicer than spending some time in nature.

There are of course days where all I want is to just have some me time so I can process everything that is going on. Kai’s daddy taking him out for an hour or so for a swim can make all the difference. It is an important time to work as a team while also giving each other some space to just be.

My nest is ready and so am I to meet this little one. What has your experience been in the third trimester? What do you think is important for other mommy’s to know to help them along? We would love to hear!

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