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Third Trimester is Here!

Posted Sep 14 2009 9:50am
I've officially been in the third trimester of pregnancy for one week. Today I'm 28 weeks and thought that maybe it would be nice to reflect on my pregnancy.

Chapter One: Big Fat Positive

I miscarried my first pregnancy three years ago (tomorrow, actually) and really struggled with recovering from it. My husband and I tried to conceive for a year after that, but nothing happened. We decided to forget about it and enjoy being a young couple without children.

After we stopped trying, I really began mourning the loss of my baby. I know that miscarriages happen to 25% of pregnancies, but that doesn't mean it isn't hard to live with. I didn't really want a baby after that for fear of losing another pregnancy.

The entire month of March this year we were visiting family in Utah. I was so sick to my stomach the whole time, and I didn't understand why. Two weeks into March, my breasts began throbbing in pain and I skipped my period. My belly got hairy and I was more sick than before. Pregnancy wasn't the first thing that popped into my mind, I just assumed it was due to travelling.

One Sunday morning when our families were at church, we decided we better take a pregnancy test just to be sure that wasn't what was going on. We drove to Wal-Mart and ran into some old friends on the way in. I was feeling awful, wanted to get this over with, and I am afraid I may have been rude to them. But you can imagine I was pretty anxious to find out.

I ran to the pregnancy tests and chose out the kind that detects earliest. We checked out and I ran to the bathroom in Wal-Mart (we didn't want to drive all the way back to his parents house because it was over 20 miles away and I just couldn't wait that long). I frantically ripped open the package and began pissing wildly onto the little stick. I put the cap back on and before I could even get my pants up, there it was: two pink lines. The pregnant line was about three times darker than the control line, there was no hiding the fact that I was knocked up.

I planned to pee on the stick, go outside to the car and look at it together, but it showed up too quickly. I honestly feel bad that Derek wasn't there to see the result with me, but this is how it happened.

I walked out of the bathroom and told him "It's positive" and he laughed. He seemed to have suspected it a lot more than I did. I guess I was in denial because it had been so difficult before and this time around we weren't even trying. I was surprised, but we were both thrilled about it.

Chapter 2: First Trimester

Once we got home and started getting used to the fact that we were going to have a baby, things were better. I was no longer in shock and getting settled into my routine of being sick and sleepy all day. Thankfully I never threw up.

One morning I woke up because the felt liquid running down my legs. I went to the bathroom and bright red blood was everywhere. We went to the emergency room as quickly as possible. I hadn't been to my OB yet and the Dr. in the emergency room didn't believe that I was pregnant but just having a period. After and invasive pelvic exam he discovered that I was pregnant but "probably miscarrying". I was instructed to visit my OB as soon as possible.

Two VERY LONG days later, I went to my appointment. The staff there were so nice and concerned. They agreed with the ER Dr. that I had probably miscarried, but they would do an ultrasound exam to see exactly what was going on.

The mood in the ultrasound room was very somber. They even had a nurse practitioner in there to tell me if I had lost the baby. As soon as the image showed up, the ultrasound tech said "There's a baby..." and immediately after "WITH A HEARTBEAT!!" Everyone was surprised and thrilled. They were commenting on the perfect amniotic sac around the baby and he even measured 5 days ahead of my original due date.

Hearing that my baby was alive and thriving is the best news I have ever received. I would have to say that at that moment, I had never been more happy and relieved.

The bleeding was called a sub chorionic bleed. Blood had collected behind my uterus, but wasn't inside it so there was no threat to the pregnancy. It quickly resolved itself but I had to be on bed rest for most of the first trimester.

Chapter 3: Second Trimester

My first OB appointment of the second trimester we had another scare. I finally met the Dr. that I was assigned to. We had already heard the heartbeat on the doppler at 9 weeks, so we knew that at 14 weeks we would hear it again. However, the Dr. couldn't find it. She began digging the doppler into my stomach so hard it hurt. I was so upset. She wheeled an ultrasound machine into the exam room. She put it on my belly, and there was the baby, heartbeat and all. The reason she couldn't find it was because the baby was wiggling around all over the place. It just wouldn't sit still long enough to pick up anything. It was a minor scare, but still scary just the same. I was happy to see my baby again though.

It took a while for the "honeymoon" stage of pregnancy to set in. Until I reached 20 weeks, I wasn't enjoying being pregnant. I still had no energy just like in the first trimester and was frustrated because I wanted to hurry and get things done before I was too big to do anything.

I felt the baby move for the first time at close to 13 weeks (on my 23rd birthday). I was lying down and trying really hard to feel it. It was on a day when I was doubting that everything was still going alright. After a long time, I felt a tiny flutter and I swear I felt it a little from the outside too. When I told my OB about it, she said it was impossible and that wasn't what I felt. I don't care what she says, I know what I felt and mostly I felt comforted and reassured that the baby was still doing fine.

I started feeling the baby everyday during my 15th week. I began feeling little flutters after swimming laps or doing yoga. I have felt the baby every day since then. This has been my favorite part of pregnancy. I enjoy knowing that everything's fine in there even though I can't see anything.

I thought I began showing at around 12 weeks, but now looking back on pictures I really wasn't at all. People didn't start commenting on my pregnancy until I hit 18 weeks, and even then it wasn't obvious. I think at 20 weeks it was pretty obvious that I was pregnant and not fat, lol.

Chapter 4: 20 weeks, the Halfway point!

I was so excited to reach this milestone of pregnancy. 20 weeks marks the halfway point and it was thrilling to make it that far. Time had gone by fairly quickly at that point, but after it began flying out of control. I can't believe that it's been 8 weeks since I hit this milestone, it feels like it was only yesterday.

After 20 weeks I became euphoric. I had a good amount of energy, not one single complaint, and a constant feeling of well being. I am happy to say this state of pure bliss has lasted 8 weeks. Hopefully I can ride it out a little longer.

At 21 weeks we had our big ultrasound. I was soooooo excited to find out the gender. I couldn't sleep the entire week before hand. When we got to the ultrasound room, the technician said "We're going to check everything we need to first before looking for the gender. A lot of times the babies don't cooperate and we may not be able to see anything."

As soon as she squirted the liquid on me and began the exam, there it was in the first picture, a little pee pee. We laughed and said "It's a boy!" Our little guy was so active and squirmy that they weren't able to see everything they needed to. I went in for a follow up ultrasound 4 weeks later. I loved seeing him again and he had grown so much in 4 weeks. He was still a boy and this time we got some great 4D shots of his face and got to see what he looks like. These ultrasounds were so special to me. He's just perfect.

Chapter 5: Third Trimester Milestone

Last week I reached the third trimester. I don't have much to report on, I'm feeling wonderful. A little awkward with this big belly sometimes though. I can't get into the small places I used to and bump into things with the belly. I've only gained 15 pounds as of my appointment last week. It's on the light side, but still right on track.

Weight gain has been something I was concerned with having previously struggled with my weight. However, everyday I feel gratitude for last summer when I was able to lose 45 pounds and keep it off before getting pregnant. I am so happy I learned how to eat healthy, to listen to my body, and work out a plan to be in control of it.

I am not dreading the last part of pregnancy or even childbirth. I am planning to go natural and we've decided to use a doula to help me handle the laboring sensations. I'm not afraid, I trust that my body can do it. So far I've had a wonderful pregnancy, and all the scares in the beginning turned out to be nothing. My body has grown the way it should, the baby is perfect with no problems. I truly believe that I can handle it without toxic anaesthetics. I am really excited about meeting our little boy and don't want to be drowsy when he arrives.

Well, I think that about covers it. I've had a wonderful pregnancy. I love being pregnant right now and constantly feeling him move inside me.

Here are some pictures of my growing belly.

Pre-Pregnancy:

14 weeks:

20 Weeks, Halfway Point:

24 weeks, Reached Viability (baby has a chance of survival if born prematurely):

And today at 28 weeks:
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