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My Pregnancy ~ Third Trimester

Here is the final installment of my journey through pregnancy. A summary, really. This is my experience, I am in no way an expert on pregnancy, this being my first. I also want to mention that every woman has a different experience, and even each pregnancy is unique. Hopefully you have enjoyed reading along through my first time as a mommy to be!

Ahhh, the home stretch, the final months, the end of the “honeymoon-period.” What was it like for me? Well, it’s been a roller coaster. As of now I am a week  from my due date and I am having mixed feelings. On the one hand, the last couple weeks have been the hardest, and I look forward to meeting my baby girl, holding her, and starting the next journey. On the other, this has been such an incredible experience, so indescribable, do I want it to end? If we have another in the future I get to do it again, but there’s something special about your first time, with anything. I am sure it’s the same with pregnancy.

The Third Trimester

Weeks 28-42

I felt so amazing in my second trimester. I felt good about my body and I had a decent amount of energy overall. The third trimester was all about keeping moving. I battled a little bit with the rapid weight gain. It comes on QUICK once  you hit week 29 or so, at least for me it did. I was OK with what was happening for the baby. I still kept a healthy mentality given my history with ED. However,  I would be lying if I said I didn’t look in the mirror a few times a agonize over the loss of muscle in my arms, the sudden cellulite on my knees (EEK), and how my limbs seemed to double in size so quickly once the end hit, despite regular exercise and healthy eating. My child-bearing hips are definitely wider. That’s what happens though. I am telling you this because it’s NORMAL for your body to change during this time. I am not bashing myself, just telling it how it is.  I struggled with it a little the third trimester, but overall had a positive outlook. The baby is most important and if you take care of your body it’s going to do what it needs to do anyway. Overall, I am happy about how pregnancy looked on me throughout this journey. I don’t know if anyone feels good about their body in the very end, so I think I was entitled to have my weak moments of body anxiety.

 

Where’s ALL the weight gain coming from?

How much you do and should gain varies, depending on where you started. I was technically slightly underweight for my height, even though I was very healthy and strong, so I was telling myself that (and my doc telling me) as I crept closer to the 35 mark, my body needed the weight! A LOT of it is fluids at this point in pregnancy too. At my last appointment I gained 3 pounds of fluid in 1 week!  Yes, it freaked me out, but I know how the scale works. I try not to let it get to me. It’s also because I am impossible about staying off my feet for long periods of time. I can’t JUST sit still and do nothing. My ankles and legs morphing together proved it.

 

Eating:

Throughout this pregnancy, I have had to eat small meals often. In my first trimester if I didn’t eat SOMETHING every 3 hours (even though most food disgusted me) I got nauseous. Doing that kept me from getting really sick. In my second trimester I was really hungry every few hours, and HAD to eat something or I got cranky, dizzy or worse. At this point it’s probably habit? I find I am not extremely famished like I felt at other points in my pregnancy. As my stomach has grown, I can not eat as much at once. When I do, it’s trouble. As your uterus grows, it presses on all your organs. If you eat too much in one sitting, you’re not going to feel too great! I have done it, it’s not  a fun feeling after. This is why I am constantly eating 😉

 

I didn’t really get too many weird cravings. Well, I had a couple weeks where  I ate a thousand pineapples (doesn’t every pregnant woman?); then we had my recent mango phase. Oh and earlier on I had my beet juice phase. I didn’t eat perfectly though. My attitude BEFORE pregnancy was to treat yourself when you wanted, not to over do it but if you never deprive, you would never binge or look at food as “good” or “bad” setting you up for disaster. My letting myself indulge was maybe a little more than pre-pregnancy, but I never sat and ate a carton of Ben n’ Jerrys in one sitting either.  I tried to make the best choices overall for me and the baby. That was always on my mind…Ella is eating this too, or would I want Ella to eat this? There were definitely treats I didn’t worry about…but overall I tried to make conscious decisions! As the end approaches I am lucky it’s getting nicer out. All I want are fresh salads and fruit anymore. In the winter months I craved more comfort foods. So, I am happy that as I make my transition from being pregnant, to not, I will already be in the mode of eating lighter, overall.

38 weeks and still moving…even if it looks like I’m birthing an 8lb dumbbell 😉

 

Workouts:

There were actually times in my third trimester that I felt better in the gym than my second. I remember a few occasions in my second trimester at the gym where I barely did anything (maybe 20-30 minutes low impact cardio) and got dizzy, out of breath, had to sit down and sip cold water. This made me slow down a lot overall. This was when the baby was pressing right up on my lungs. In my third trimester I recall having a few really great workouts where I got a few miles in on the elliptical and followed that with a decent strength training workout (for being pregnant). It may have had something to do with the baby dropping  and freeing up some space for my lungs to breath. I am not sure though, because I am not quite sure the moment that she “dropped.” Many women can recall suddenly being able to breath (“lightening”)…I never remembered the moment, but maybe I can measure it by how I felt in the gym.

I was definitely not a super woman. Although I kept moving, I still listened to my body and did only what I could. Sometimes less. I see other pregnant women that are there every single day, whereas I would make it in about 3-4 days a week, doing prenatal yoga another day. If you workout even less than that, don’t feel bad. You need to listen to your body and do whatever feels right.  We are ALL so different and each pregnancy is different. Just moving in general is good, even if it’s a light walk around the block a few times a week!

Motivation:

From the beginning my main motivation was the fact that I knew it was the healthiest thing for me and for the baby. It was business as usual, the thought never crossed my mind to stop working out. Early in my second trimester I had my cousins wedding (and a size 2 A-line dress that was pre-ordered) so I knew I had to keep up with my strength routine. As time went on and it got tougher, I knew it ALWAYS felt better once I exercised. When I stayed active regularly, I felt great. If I skipped the gym two days in a row, I didn’t. That was a good motivator. At this point in my pregnancy, it’s the same thing but mostly the fact that I know it will be 3-6 weeks before I can really workout post-Ella. That and endurance for labor and delivery. Then, I know staying active will help move things along as far as Ella arriving, or at least I would like to think so 😉

 


 

Symptoms I experienced the  end:

 

The third trimester is a roller coaster, it varies so much in symptoms and how you feel. In the beginning, I still felt great. Not too many complaints. As time went on I found myself getting more and more tired again. Each day is different. I will be exhausted one day, and have  burst of energy the next (bouts of nesting, perhaps?) Have terrible cramps and hip pain one day, and get through a great workout in the gym the next. It’s so unpredictable.

 

Heartburn–During pregnancy, the placenta produces the hormone progesterone, which relaxes the smooth muscles of the uterus. This hormone also relaxes the valve that separates the esophagus from the stomach, allowing gastric acids to seep back up, which causes that unpleasant burning sensation.

Hip Pain: During pregnancy, progesterone act like a relaxing agent on the joints, muscles and ligaments of the body. This helps in preparing your body for childbirth. During this process, joints and muscle tissues which give support to the body get stretched and relaxed and lead to hip pain. My hips would often feel as though they are giving out. You have to be careful at this time to not overstretch them when you exercise. You may feel you can go a little further, but don’t!

Stomach Cramping: I have had the luxury of NOT having to deal with my period for over 9 months. However, I am now experiencing “menstrual-like cramps” again. This is your body “warming-up” for labor. From what I hear labor contractions are  like really, really bad menstrual cramps. My doctor told me this cramping was a good sign. My last appointment I was about 80% effaced (my cervix was 80% thinned out, needs to be at 100% for birth), she said the cramping that was happening was responsible for helping things move along! My best relief method was sitting and rocking on my exercise ball, I highly recommend first time moms (all moms) to have one in your house towards the end! A lot of the birthing books recommend them and provide exercises you can do to help with labor.

Sciatic Pain: Ella just started resting on my sciatic nerve. I am lucky it’s not constant…but now I know what it feels like when I have new clients come to me with sciatica. I have a whole new appreciation for it! Ouch!

Pregnancy Brain: This is my WORST symptom. I seriously never felt more dumb in my life. It’s scary. I almost get upset thinking “will my brain ever come back?” I can’t think of words, names, finish sentences, my train of thought. I can not comprehend certain things. I used to be pretty sharp. A combo of that and ADD is really bad. This is the main reason I am stopping working this week, otherwise I would go until my water breaks. I have had many of my clients for YEARS, so it’s been fine, and I have been doing this for so long it’s like second nature. However,  when I suddenly can’t remember what set you are on, it’s time to go. I also feel less than creative, and creativity is a HUGE part of my training (switching up workouts, keeping things fresh) and my blog. It’s gotten it’s worse in these last couple weeks. At least when I blog I have time to write, check my work, go over things and take time. If you saw me in real life though, it would be like talking to a pregnant Kelly Bundy (for those of you 90’s kids out there). I hear it only turns into “mommy brain” after so I am possibly doomed 😉

 

All the above complains are NOTHING compared to what some women go through the whole nine months. I feel my symptoms were mild and would go through this exact pregnancy again. I am now in my 39th week, and can not speak for the VERY end up until birth, but I figured this was close enough to give you my experience- from what I remember given the whole pregnancy brain thing 😉 If I wait any longer she might be here…and by then I will want to share my birth story with anyone who’s willing to listen.

 

Michael asks me every night, in an enthusiastic voice: “Laury, when do you just think you’re going to GO!!???”

 

Any day now. I am really hoping it’s before the Royal Wedding. As I mentioned on here before I was born 4 days before Princess Diana was married, my mom watched the wedding with me as an infant. It would be really cool if I could do the same with Ella! Fingers crossed…lots of keeping up with my workouts, squats and pressure point massage/ reflexology to help things move along 😉

 

Don’t forget to follow me on Twitter…

 

@lauryannraik

 

…if you are interested in following along once I go into labor! I will have Michael drop a few tweets at you when it happens!

 

 

Moms, what was your worst symptom during pregnancy?

 

All, what’s the biggest myth you have heard about pregnancy?

 

Thanks so much for following along throughout my journey! I can’t wait to share the next phase with you all 🙂

 

Posts To Read:

My Pregnancy ~ First Trimester

My Pregnancy ~ Second Trimester

Pregnancy Nutrition ~ Iron

Pregnancy Nutrition ~ Folic Acid

 

 

xxoo

 

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46 Comments

  • Reply blackhuff

    You are such an inspiration, reading about how you still kept on eating healthy and exercising right through your pregnancy. How many women can say that? Not me. So well done to you.
    Good luck with the final week.

    April 19, 2011 at 4:22 am
    • Reply laury

      Thank you!!!!

      April 19, 2011 at 12:30 pm
  • Reply Angela @ Eat Spin Run Repeat

    I’ve loved reading along in your pregnancy journey, Laury! Even though I’m nowhere near ready to have kids yet, I like these posts because they help me to know what to expect. I can wait to see Ella!! 🙂

    April 19, 2011 at 8:10 am
  • Reply Ally (oatsandspice)

    Wow – you must be so excited that Ella is due in a week! What a journey this has been for you! I have loved reading all of the updates – probably will be useful one day for me (haha maybe 7 or so years down the road :)) Good luck with everything! I’m excited to see pics of your beautiful daughter!

    April 19, 2011 at 8:44 am
  • Reply Kathleen @ KatsHealthCorner

    You are such an inspiration!!! I want to be just like you when I have kids!!! 😀

    April 19, 2011 at 9:21 am
  • Reply Shanna, like Banana

    I love this post! I’m not pregnant yet, but I yearn for the honest truth of what it is like for a healthy, young, fit woman. I anticipate that it won’t be easy for me, but through your journey, you’ve shown the blessings will outweigh any discomfort!

    April 19, 2011 at 9:29 am
    • Reply laury

      they definitely do….and you will do amazing someday when it’s your time!

      April 19, 2011 at 12:30 pm
  • Reply Holly @ The Runny Egg

    Laury I really liked reading these pregnancy posts!

    And I hope you get to watch the Royal Wedding with Ella — what a wonderful memory to have!

    April 19, 2011 at 9:50 am
  • Reply Katie @ Finding My Om

    Your pregnancy posts have been so much fun to read! I’ve never been preggers but you inspire me to continue being healthy and active if I ever do become pregnant. You are one of the most beautiful pregnant (and non pregnant) women! 🙂 Looking forward to following you in the next chapter of your life. 🙂

    April 19, 2011 at 9:55 am
  • Reply IslandChica

    My worse symptom was sciatic pain. I didn’t even know what it was and I was standing, teaching in front of my class when suddenly the pain ripped through me and I grabbed a tall stool to steady myself. The kids gasped, “Are you okay?!” I remember gritting my teeth and smiling, “Uh huh…”

    April 19, 2011 at 10:05 am
    • Reply laury

      That is rough!! I totally had that happen to me in the middle of training someone!

      April 19, 2011 at 12:31 pm
  • Reply Sandy

    I am so proud of you and the way you have maintained your beauty (and fitness) both inside and out during your pregnancy. You are an inspiring woman who provides hope and confidence to others with your ability to give honest and heartfelt advice to those of us who love you.
    Very soon the fruits of your labor will be right in your arms cooing and feeling the love of her mommy.
    Thank you for being such a wonderful wife to my son, unbelievable mommy to be and the person that you are.
    xo Sandy

    April 19, 2011 at 10:34 am
    • Reply laury

      Thank you so much for being so wonderful! I love you!!!

      April 19, 2011 at 12:29 pm
  • Reply Jess@atasteofconfidence

    Glad you are doing well- and you look great!
    Hope the royal wedding thing works out- that would be so cute!

    April 19, 2011 at 11:30 am
  • Reply Maria@healthydiaries

    I ALWAYS look forward to reading you pregnancy posts. Thanks, for giving me a good idea what to expect one day. You should be darn proud of yourself for maintianing a healthy and fit lifestyle through your whole pregnancy. Not many people can say that. I hope that I wil one day too! Good Luck your ALMOST there! I hope Ela is born before the royal wedding so you can watch it with her!

    April 19, 2011 at 11:59 am
    • Reply laury

      thanks so much, Maria. I tried my best…all we can do is listen to our bodies and do what feels right!

      April 19, 2011 at 12:31 pm
  • Reply Jennifer @ Evolving Well

    How exciting Laury! It’s been so great to follow your experience thru your pregnancy, especially since I’m not there yet. Not only has it been informative for all of us, Ella can look back some day and read all of this!

    April 19, 2011 at 12:10 pm
    • Reply laury

      Thanks, Jen!! Yes..I will have to figure out how to get these on a disc or in a memory book!

      April 19, 2011 at 12:32 pm
  • Reply Suzanne Williams

    You look amazing. In the pics, if it weren’t for your tummy you wouldn’t really know you were pregnant. You’ve kept in such amazing shape. I love reading here b/c you have such good advice. As you know I was just recently diagnosed w/ a molar pregnancy, so I’m looking forward to getting healthy and trying again. You are an inspiration. I will be reading, so keep posting. Thanks for looking at my blog, I hope to help and inspire others through rough times. http://www.inspirehealth16.wordpress.com
    Suzanne Williams

    April 19, 2011 at 12:26 pm
    • Reply laury

      Thanks, Suzanne. I know you will help many women out there who are struggling. Keep doing what you’re doing!

      April 19, 2011 at 12:33 pm
  • Reply Jessica@Fruit and Veggie Tales

    I have so enjoyed reading your pregnancy posts!! I can’t wait for your birth story, I love birth stories! I hope that everything goes well, just remember to trust your body! Oh…the biggest pregnancy myth (that astonishingly some people still believe) is that you can’t exercise while pregnaant! Ha! The worst symptom with my first pregnancy was migraines and with the second it was being soooooo tired, though that was probably from having a toddler to chase around! The p-brain definitely turns into mommy brain but it’s actually a good thing! Imay not be able to remember whether or not I brushed my teeth or checked the mail but I am in tune with my babies and know everything about what they are doing/going through!! Being a mom is the best, most rewarding ~and most challenging thing in the world! You are gnna loooove it! 🙂

    April 19, 2011 at 12:27 pm
    • Reply laury

      I can’t tell you how many of my clients have gasped and couldn’t believe I was still working out and strength training. Because I guess 20-30 years ago they were told not to! Such a myth! My doctor is thrilled that I exercise. So many benefits during pregnancy!!

      I guess that’s justified them with the mommy brain 🙂

      April 19, 2011 at 12:34 pm
  • Reply La.

    Gooner was breach AND facing the world, so when I felt kicking she kicked my crotch. No big deal for me, BUT everyone wanted to feel her kick. Well people just can’t grab you there so it there were MANY awkward moments. 🙂 You have done such a great job this pregnancy and I can’t wait for her to come.

    April 19, 2011 at 1:41 pm
    • Reply laury

      That’s awkward, lol. Thanks girlie..you are awesome 😉

      April 19, 2011 at 6:37 pm
  • Reply Caree @ Fit-Mama

    wow, you are going to be back to your prepregnancy body in no time, you seriously look amazing. I wish I would have done things a lot different with my first pregnancy, it has been tougher than I thought to get back into shape…but girl, it won’t take you any time! 🙂

    April 19, 2011 at 3:37 pm
    • Reply laury

      Thanks, Caree….I really hope so!! I am so nervous about that but trying not to get too hung up on how I am going to be feeling about the bod once there’s no excuse of carrying a baby!

      April 19, 2011 at 6:38 pm
  • Reply Morgan

    I know most all of these symptoms all to well!! Although I have to say I had fairly easy and carefree pregnancies like you with just minor pains and discomfort. I SO KNOW what you are talking about with the chubby knees. I used to tell my husband that I felt like I had chubby knees while I was prego and he didnt get it? He would tell me I was really petite, and I would say, whith some chubby knees. LOL I was also on my feet non stop though so maybe that makes it worse?
    My heartburn though, its bad. I think I block it from my memory to be honest. My 3rd was so mild though with heartburn and it makes me wonder because I ate a VERY clean diet for the most part during it. The others I had to sleep elevated at night and would wake up crying! So so bad. And I think my back aches pretty bad at the end. I am short, anddont have much room in my torso. My stomach pops out completely in the front only, so you cant even tell from the back Im prego. Then I turn around…and HUGE. So I think since it pops out so far in front it pulls my back muscles extra bad. I get crazy feeling at the end. Although when I look back, it wasnt really THAT big looking. Just so so. I felt like it was mondo huge though.
    Oh, and pregnancy brain. Um, yes. That was probably the worst. But then my Mommy brain was sharper than before. haha. So there is hope girl!! And also I had such itchy boobs. All the time. I would feel so hot and itchy and just come home and strip everything off and stand under a fan. And then I wouldn’t be able to anser the door. I would see my neighbors a little later outside and say, “sorry, couldnt answer, I was naked under the fan again!” LOL
    I am Sooooooooooooooo excited. I am just waiting to hear the news anyday now! And Michael is going to tweet…heck ya! What a hubby! You two are the bomb shizzle girl! cant wait!!!!

    April 19, 2011 at 3:43 pm
    • Reply laury

      You were prob the cutest preggo ever. You crack me up so much…”chubby knees” so cute. Yes, I totally have the chubby knees. It’s encouraging to know you had them and they go away! Oh, and “naked under the fan again…” you are TOO much. Seriously, thanks for giving me my daily dose of comic relief, hahaha.

      I can’t wait until we can tweet the news!!! The doc is telling me probably next week, boo 🙁

      April 19, 2011 at 6:40 pm
  • Reply Melissa

    What a great summary!! Thank you for sharing your whole pregnancy experience with us, it’s really great!

    Love that story about the royal wedding and your mom:)

    Take care and hope the last little while goes well for you!!

    April 19, 2011 at 3:54 pm
  • Reply Jenny (Fit Girl Foodie)

    I think we all enjoyed following you through all your pregnancy experiences. You really put yourself out there and you were as real as can be. You don’t have to give up being active and eating right just because you’re pregnant and you are a true testament to all of it. Good luck with everything Laury, Your blog is one of my favorites and I know that years from now when I have my first I’ll be looking through your posts for inspiration. Love ya and will definitely be following up on twitter! 😀

    April 19, 2011 at 4:05 pm
  • Reply thehealthyapron

    I love all your preggo posts laury! It’s encouraging to hear how great and un-great you have felt about yourself and the pregnancy. I worry that I will hate my body when I’m pregnant bc of my past ED issues. I only hope that I keep the same attitude as you do. I don’t want to focus so much on teh weight gain, as I do on how I feel and nourish my body. Lots to look forward to! Can’t wait for ella to come!

    Have you any thoughts on sharing your post-baby weight-loss story?I would love to follow along. I think it would keep me encouraged for my own post-baby body someday.

    April 19, 2011 at 4:35 pm
    • Reply laury

      You will do great!! You are so healthy now, I felt the same way before I got pregnant. One of my biggest anxieties up to the day, but handled it MUCH better than I thought!

      I will definitely be sharing my weight loss journey post baby! You guys are all my support system 🙂

      April 19, 2011 at 6:37 pm
  • Reply Kristina @ Life as Kristina

    you are so amazing-I’m so excited for you:)

    April 19, 2011 at 6:10 pm
  • Reply Mary @ Bites and Bliss

    I loved reading all of these pregnanvy posts. It’s been such a pleasure following you through the entire thing!! 😀 I can’t wait for baby Ella to get here!

    April 19, 2011 at 8:54 pm
  • Reply Sophia @ Raven Waves

    Though I don’t plan on getting pregnant anytime soon, all of these posts have been really interesting!! I’m so excited that your baby girl will be here soon!! And btw, I literally laughed out loud at you saying that it looks like you’re birthing the dumbbell haha!

    April 19, 2011 at 9:09 pm
  • Reply Jennifer

    Hi Laury, I’m so glad that your pregnancy is going well, and I have to add that you look amazing! But of course, since I don’t know the details of your diet, I want to caution you about b12. You say that you are getting, “pregnancy brain,” and forgetting things, and feeling like you are short-wired in terms of memory can be due to b12 deficiency. If you do not consume red meat, it is incredibly difficult to get adequate amounts. b12 is like vitamin c– you can’t get too much of it. fish is an okay source, but red meat is best. I stress this so much because I followed a vegetarian diet for a few months, and though the first few months were great, the subsequent months, I began feeling tired and losing my train of thought often. As the head of my class, that scared me. Especially now that you are sharing those nutrients with your baby, please make sure that you are taking in b12! It is essential for brain development!!!
    I wish you the best of luck!

    April 19, 2011 at 9:21 pm
    • Reply laury

      Hi Jennifer. Yes, I do take B12 and still eat fish. I’ve been since before I was pregnant. I have been extra cautious of this since I gave up meat over a year ago 🙂 The pregnancy brain is just a normal symptom from hormones, very common in pregnant women. Animals actually get their B12 from bacteria they eat, and nutritional yeast is actually a great source of B12 which I eat as well. Thanks so much for the input! 🙂

      April 19, 2011 at 9:33 pm
  • Reply lisa

    ahhh your getting so close and you look great! & that would be so cool if Ella came before the royal wedding, so you can watch it with her just like you did with your mom! what a weird coincidence that would be too!

    April 19, 2011 at 9:22 pm
  • Reply Jennifer (The Gourmetour)

    Thanks for sharing Laury! You look amazing and I wish you the best of luck when Ella comes!

    April 19, 2011 at 9:49 pm
  • Reply susan

    It’s been wonderful following your pregnancy journey and so glad you’ve had a healthy and safe pregnancy. That really would be cool if Ella was born 4 days before Prince William’s wedding!

    April 20, 2011 at 5:04 am
  • Reply Handsome Boy

    […] so much for all of your amazing comments on my Third Trimester post. You are all the best! I can’t wait to share my birth story and my journey back to pre-baby […]

    April 20, 2011 at 11:14 am
  • Reply Shan

    I am a new follower and just read this post! I have a 5 month old daughter as well (born April 22) so I really enjoy reading the parallels. Craziest thing is that my mom remembers being up nursing me as a newborn while watching Charles and Diana’s wedding and I did the same during Will and Kate’s wedding with my little one! So neat! Did Ella make it in time? Can’t wait to hear more about your experience with solids as I am getting ready to start my little girl soon :).

    October 2, 2011 at 11:51 pm
    • Reply laury

      That’s SO amazing!!! Parallel is right!

      I didn’t get to do the same though. I watched while bouncing on my birthing ball lol. She was born a week late on May 4th!

      So glad you stopped by!!

      October 4, 2011 at 9:12 pm
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