During weeks 29 to 35 of pregnancy (third trimester of pregnancy), your little baby is roughly the size of a cabbage (give or take). And you’ll likely notice another growth spurt as your baby puts on layers of fat and gets a tad chunkier.
Lots went on for me during weeks 29 to 35 of my pregnancy, including having low iron levels, being told the baby was breech, going on maternity leave and extra fluid being found around the baby. All was well, but here’s what happened…
Third Trimester of Pregnancy
Around week 31 I felt a little listless and low in energy. And needless to say, at my 31 week antenatal appointment, they took some blood and it came back low in iron. Apparently totally normal for this stage of pregnancy, as the baby really is draining your resources by this point, but important to get it back up to normal. For reference, my iron count was 122 when I first fell pregnant and was down to 108 (which is apparently borderline). So I needed to get it back up! So the following 3 weeks was full of iron-rich foods and supplements. I packed in meat where possible, spinach and lots of green veg. I also bought some Floradix Iron Vitamin Formula Liquid (herbal liquid iron) and continued taking my Pregnacare supplements. I definitely felt like my energy levels were increasing.
Then, during my 34 week antenatal appointment, I had the usual pee test and measurements taken. They also took my bloods again (which I found out the next day, were back up to the normal level of 117 – woohoo!). The midwife then had a feel around for the position of the baby and said she thought it might be breech (ie its head was up near my ribs and legs down). This was the first “blip” of the pregnancy for us, so I was immediately a little anxious. She assured me that there was still plenty of time for the baby to move, but if it remained breech, that’s when we’d discuss alternative birthing options (ie c-section).
So I left that appointment feeling a little deflated, but hubby quickly snapped me out of it and I thought I’d do everything I could do to turn this baby naturally (which involved a course of moxibustion, acupuncture and a few visits to the chiropractor). We’d see again at our next appointment in a fortnight’s time.
So at my 36 week antenatal appointment, the midwife had another feel of my bump and said she thought it still felt like the head was up and the feet were down, but it was hard to be sure. So she’d send me off for a scan the following week, so we could determine the actual position and discuss my options (External Cephalic Version and/or a c-section). (Warning: don’t watch videos of ECV’s if you’re squeamish, it really made me dread that option and I knew I’d actively avoid it!)
This meant I had one week to do everything I could (naturally) to turn this baby so I could try and have the natural birth I wanted. So I found this fantastic website called Spinning Babies, which have lots of techniques that you could do around weeks 36 and 37 to turn your baby. And off I went.
So when it came time for the scan (which we had at the maternity unit in the hospital), I was full of hope that the baby would be in the correct position and head down. Which is was! Well pretty much anyway. It’s head was definitely down, but off to the left slightly, so not engaged and it’s bum was up at the top of my tummy and legs off to the right under my ribs. Woohoo! It worked (or the baby was just always going to turn of its own accord…we’ll never really know). Utter sense of relief and my natural, midwife-led, water birth was back in reality.
Until…they mentioned the scan had shown that there was extra fluid around the baby, in the amniotic sac, which was slightly more than “normal”. I’ll write more about this in a separate post, as there’s lots to go into, but it meant I was monitored and would be back the following week for tests and then another scan. This was the first point in my pregnancy where I’d started to feel anxious and that I wasn’t totally in control.
Aside from the back and forth to the maternity unit, my third trimester of pregnancy were eventful for me, as at 36 weeks, I started my maternity leave (woohoo!), which was strange at first, but utter bliss. I could finally sleep and get the rest I needed whenever I wanted. I could also nest! Which is what I did for the first 7 days of maternity leave (in fact I barely rested at all) and got the house and nursery sorted, packed my hospital bag and took lots of pics of my bump.
This was also the time where I started to feel like I’d been pregnant forever! It was still a lovely feeling, but I was definitely starting to get impatient and eager to meet our little bubba.
How was the start of the third trimester for you? Did you need any additional checks or monitoring?
Have a look at the first and second trimester of my pregnancy too, if you’re interested.