I am excited and groggy at the same time. This is a big milestone as my baby is no longer considered premature even if she decided to be born today. True, the due date should be around August 2017, but not many babies are born exactly on their due date. I feel more comfortable by opening wider possibilities, ranging from 1 week prior and 1 week overdue. Yep, "cooking" our baby a little bit longer is better even though we are now considered full term.
Anyway, this post is gonna be a long one, packed with comprehensive report on the latest updates of my pregnancy. I really hope that whatever I've shared might come handy for any new momma-to-be out there.
There are no significant difference to be honest. I can consider myself as a quite active preggo, as I still can walk, sit, and even squat easily and normally. Yes, breathing is getting heavier as my belly gets bigger, but it's not very disturbing for me, and mostly happened prior to bed time only.
It's been weeks since my bladder playing games on me, though. I think I spent half of my day at the toilet as I always feel strong urge to pee, all the time! I can go back and forth to the loo three to five times in an hour, and sometimes it's just because of the baby's movement. Digestion system is also working like a dream, too - I wasn't even constipated once for the last 9 months. The nurse at the hospital even said that this is probably the reason why I didn't gain much weight. Today, with a baby weighed almost 3 kg, I've only gained 12 kg in total within the last 9 months. Yay!
Another good news is that my thyroid is under control. Though I still need to consume my medication daily and our baby needs to go through several thyroid test once she's born, it's been almost a year now since I became euthyroid (read: having a normally functioning thyroid gland), and that's what matters.
Body shape and dressing up
Remember when I said that my tummy were quite big at the beginning of my pregnancy? Apparently, it doesn't get that much bigger as the pregnancy goes by, in fact I feel like the growth of my belly is rather slow. However, as baby now weighed over 2,9 kg on her week 37, I guess it doesn't matter if my bump is slightly smaller than average. This means, I don't have to spend much budget on my maternity wear, right?
Now, speaking of maternity wear, I honestly didn't spend much money on specific maternity outfit, as most of my pre-maternity dresses still fit in well. I do understand that dressing our rapidly growing bump can be a challenge. We'll need to buy more clothing that we may not wear for too long, some of the outfit may not look as alluring as you are swelling, and not too mention dressing up doesn't feel as great as it used to be.
However, probably it's the benefit of working from home, what I wore for the whole 9 months are only:
- 1 black legging, bought a new one. I made sure that the legging has a good quality, made from thicker fabric yet very breathable
- 2 jogger pants, bought new, too
- 1 hareem pants, from my old collection
- 4-6 comfortable cotton T-shirts that are long enough to cover my growing belly, and airy enough for humid weather as I'm always sweating
- Tanks and blouses from my old collections. I am someone who loves comfy tops, so this is how I saved money on clothing, too
- Loose and also several figure hugging dresses, from my old collections. Figure hugging dresses are definitely my favorite piece of clothing during this whole pregnancy, probably because I am too proud of my bump HAHA
- Neutral color floaty cardigan and a casual outerwear from my old collections, but this is optional. I always thought having these two on my wardrobe will come handy for mix and match
- Non-wired bras, and probably these are the most important pieces you'll need to buy once you're pregnant
- Flip flop and flatbed sandals are my ultimate favorite when it comes to footwear
- 2 slip on shoes in light and dark color. I have a loafers and flat shoes from my old collection, but if you need to buy, pick the affordable ones, as your feet might swell and you will only be able to wear them for short time
Ideally, you can also invest on maternity jeans, but I really don't want to spend a fortune on this item no matter how flattering they are. Again, this is probably because I work from home and spend most of my time around the neighborhood only. For certain semi-formal occasions, I prefer to go with dresses. I also always tempted to wear my combat boots or platform heels, but my feet will easily get sore whenever I wore them. My point is, if you really need to complete your collection, buy things that you can wear during your pregnancy and also after you give birth.
Skin condition: rash and stretch mark
I developed mild rash on my left upper thigh and rather crazy stretch marks on my belly. The rash was there since the first trimester, they're itchy but decided to come and go for several times. My doctor prescribed me with ointment that is safe for pregnancy to treat this, and so far it's doing OK.
As for stretch mark, I found them around month six, and no matter what I applied on my belly doesn't prevent it from appearing, yet my belly skin is moist enough and not itchy even though it has expanded this big. Some experts say that even though your skin is quite supple, stretch mark are unpreventable, as anti-stretch mark creams can't reach the underlying layers of skin. But, applying concentrated oil (as simple as extra virgin olive oil or virgin coconut oil) or creams does help in making your skin smooth and less itchy, and this also may help you feel good about your pregnant body! I love applying rich oils while talking to my baby, it help us relax and bond better.
Baby movements and Braxton-Hicks contractions
According to my trustee source, Baby Centre, Braxton-Hicks contractions are "intermittent uterine contractions that start in early pregnancy, although you probably won't notice them until sometime after midpregnancy. When you have any kind of contraction, whether Braxton Hicks or true labor, you'll feel your uterus, lower abdominal area, or groin tighten or squeeze, and then relax. Braxton Hicks contractions are irregular and usually don't hurt, though they may be uncomfortable and occasionally are strong and painful."
Just last night I realized that I had so many Braxton-Hicks contractions already, because I thought this false alarms were just my baby movements! After I did further study and discuss it with my husband, we finally understood the symptoms that I often have is actually Braxton-Hicks. True, they're not painful, doesn't last for more than 30 seconds, and usually gone if I change my position. It feels like my baby is pressing her butt against my womb, as if she's curling up, but apparently they were contractions.
Call me crazy, but I kinda enjoy my Braxton-Hicks contractions as they painless, yet help me rehearse for the big day.
I never knew that exercising during pregnancy could feel this great! I've been joining pre-natal exercise class since week 30, and it brings a lot of good impact for my body. We'll see later whether this will be beneficial during birth or not, but for now, I feel so refreshed whenever I practiced the movements. It relaxed my muscles, it reduces back pain and other discomfort, and also help me stay active. I am planning to start my morning brisk walking next week as this is my last working week, and my husband is buying a birth ball for me. Swimming, as I've mentioned in my older post, is great, too.
I am a whore whenever it comes to doing housework. Not that my house is super clean, but I found doing chores (minus the heavy lifting and high climbing) are great to help me stay active. I think I have entered the nesting phase, too, as I am more and more into cleaning and organizing these days. Hopefully, all of this effort will help me and my baby during birth, making everything easier.
My hospital and baby bags are almost ready, too! I might write a post about what I brought along for me, my husband, and our baby, so look out for it (along with other big and small prep we did to welcome the newborn).
Nearing the due date, I am ever so grateful that my third trimester is easy. Many women moaned that their final trimester was the worst due to swollen hands and feet, constipation, back pain, lack of sleep, etc. - but I hardly experience any of it. Yes, my feet became sore whenever I stand too long, but I always propped my legs with pillows when I go to sleep and do some gentle stretching to avoid swelling. It helps a lot and by morning, my feet is back to normal. I sleep easily at night, even I feel the need to nap for 1-2 hours at noon, too. The only thing I worried about is the amount of my vaginal discharge, but the doctor said that it is normal as I am close to giving birth and my amniotic fluid is in very good condition.
Overall, this is a good final trimester. With all of the preparation almost done, now we can busied ourselves by focusing on the baby's birth.
I still can't believe that I am this calm facing a natural delivery, though. Wish us luck!