The third trimester is essentially the first trimester on steroids—at least that’s what all the books, apps, and websites say. From our experiences though, the third trimester’s day-to-day (so far) has been easier than the first trimester. Don’t get me wrong, the third trimester has been challenging (mostly physical), but that’s much easier to cope with compared to the emotional sledgehammer that was the first trimester.
Maybe pregnancy was intelligently designed to be that way? As you go through it, you learn to adapt and assimilate to the new challenges and you come up with your own repertoire of pregnancy hacks.
I’m a gigantic blue whale right now at 39 weeks. But Squishy is a happy camper and I’m a happy tent, so I really shouldn’t complain so much. There’s one thing that’s been extra challenging, though: sleep. Specifically, sleep at night.
When I sleep on my back, I feel like I’m drowning and I lose my breath. The most optimal sleeping position is on my side. But now that I’m so huge, my bulging belly acts like an anchor and any shift makes it feel like my belly could fall off like a backpack. And it doesn’t help that Squishy has recently taken a liking to my ribs. I wake up in the middle of the night to try to prod him to a different position because it feels like he’s going to crack them. Oh, and let’s not forget the neverending need to urinate. I often wake up feeling tired and bruised. But there are some tricks that have helped me sleep better at night!
- Pillow Taco—When I finally find a position that’s comfortable, I use pillows of various sizes to help keep me in that position. Normally, I end up looking like a taco with several pillows stuffed along my sides.
- Light dinner + chores—Heading to bed stuffed makes me feel sleepy but makes it more difficult for me to find a good sleeping position. If I have a particularly heavy dinner, I try to get in some light chores before heading to bed to work away some of the heaviness.
- Don’t force it—At first, I would get frustrated and exert so much energy in trying to fall asleep after waking up in the middle of the night which would then wind me up some more. When I finally stopped fighting it, I would just read or play games on my iPad until I fell asleep again. Ultimately this became more productive and restful.
I think it also really helped when I adjusted my expectations. In the third trimester, I realized that rest doesn’t always come in the form of sleep, and 3-4 hours of uninterrupted sleep is heaven sent! I try to compensate by finding other restful activities I can do throughout the day. And I’m really grateful that I can take it easy and take power naps whenever I need to.
As I write this, Mikey is sound asleep next to me and Squishy is partying in my belly (or maybe he’s also finding a good position to sleep in? I hear it’s getting tight in there for him as well). We’re still waiting for any labor signs and for Squishy to make his grand debut. Once we hit 40 weeks though (in about 4 days), the doctor is going to have to do something to help him come out. In the meantime, we’ve been trying to help gravity by walking and dancing. 👯