Pregnancy Journey: The Third Trimester

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I’m on the last leg of my pregnancy and I’m so freakin’ ready for this whole bit to be over! I want my life back!

Observations at 28 Weeks

My OB confirmed what I already knew, I gained a lot of weight – about 4 kilos. This brings my total weight gain to 28 pounds or 12 kilos, jujuju! That a pound for every week. I can’t help growing so big at this point. Most days, I still eat even when I just ate, like, literally minutes after a meal! It’s ridiculous, I know. She didn’t give me a hard time about it though. She said as long as my glucose level and blood pressure are normal, she can overlook the weight gain. I was told that checkups should be done every two weeks at this point but the pregnancy remains healthy with zero risks so we’ll stick to the monthly checks unless I have to.

Baby bump alert! Here’s moi at 27 weeks and 28 weeks, respectively. As you can see, I look like Winnie the Pooh, ahahah! So far, little Damien is active. The thumps and bumps are getting stronger every day. I seem to feel them more at night when I’m relaxing. Sleeping at night became harder. Moving around, shifting sleeping positions are quite painful most times. I can really feel Damien’s weight these days.

As we hit the third trimester, we’ve started buying stuff for the nursery, finally. Baby stuff is so expensive guys, I had no idea. We still have several months to go but most times, I feel like we’re still scrambling to get everything ready for the baby. Like we didn’t prepare enough although we did. We started buying high ticket items for the nursery last week, such as the air purifier, AC, stroller, and the crib. Hopefully, everything will be set up just in time for the baby.

I’ve also bought a breast pump. I’m not sure if I’d breastfeed the baby but I am planning on expressing milk for Damien and then storing the milk in bottles for later. And yes, I sorta splurged on the breast pump and the stroller. Lazada had a 9.9 sale last weekend and not only did I get the Medela Freestyle Electric Double Breast Pump, but I also bought the Mamas and Papas’ Flip XT2.

These items were part of the stuff I was planning to get, which you can check out here. The stroller was still over my budget when I got it but I decided to snag it still while the price is slightly lower. I hope I made the right decision! The Flip XT2 is so freakin’ luxe, guys. It’s probably the most lux looking stroller I’ve ever laid eyes on. And the funny thing is, The XT2 is not even the priciest on M&P’s website! Of course, assembling the stroller was a pain. Also, it’s hella heavy so I was sort of questioning my decision to buy the XT2 as opposed to a much lighter stroller. Jelly Bean seems to like it though!

By the end of this month, we will get a baby carrier, sterilizer, a car seat, and etc. Once all the high ticket items are completed, we will work on the essentials and the nursery decors. Baby steps.

Observations at 30 Weeks

Ugh, I feel so biiig… here’s my view:

My husband noticed that I don’t post selfies on my insta anymore. It’s because I’ve grown so fat that I became too self-conscious about the weight gain. I’m sure all preggers go through the same thing. Can you believe this bump? It’s outta control! Here’s another pic, check out my water bottles in the background:

I’m slightly plagued by edema and there was a time when one of my hands was bloated. It was so weird. I wasn’t as worried as I should be, maybe because I’m so done with these body changes.

There is just something about the third trimester that makes one sooo lezi. I spend most of my days lying down because my spine refuses to support the rest of my body, ahahahaha! I haven’t worked out in two weeks because I just don’t have the drive and energy anymore.

Incidentally, the husband is in the midst of a serious fitness streak and he started working out every day. I felt so jelez because I used to work out all the time and was so hard on myself despite it. And now that I’m pushing 170 pounds, I feel totally guilty for not wanting to work out. So what he did was, he would take me to quick walks after his gym sesh to motivate me to move. It was his idea, not mine, so I was so happy that he decided to work out to stay healthy.

Also! We had the congenital anomaly scan! It’s a process that measures the baby while checking out deformities. It was tricky because we decided to get the scan done in the city. Apparently, the success of the scan will depend on Damien’s position and mood. If he is not up for it, we’d have to reschedule the scan some other time. Good thing Damien was such a good boy that day, the scan went without a hitch.

And he’s perfectly healthy and normal. No deformities detected. He was the perfect size for his age, what a relief. Also, we got the 4D pictures. The colored ones will be sent out much later but we got the black and white copies the same day!

Remember how freaky Damy looked in his initial 4D picture? Well, what a difference a few weeks make! His face (and whole body, apparently) filled out nicely. He’s a chubby little siopao now! My husband got his wish, Damy looks just like me. I wish he’ll take after his father’s temperament though, ahahhaha!

Just for fun, here’s the 4D image of Damy and my husband’s first picture as a newborn. They look so much alike!

We’ve never been busier. We’ve been traveling to the city several times to buy baby items. As planned, we started with the high-ticket items such as the crib, the stroller, air purifier, sterilizer, etc. and then had the TV and AC installed into the baby room. After that’s done, we started shopping for baby essentials such as newborn diapers, baby clothes, towels, etc. It’s a pity that I couldn’t stay on my feet for as long as I used to. I couldn’t shop properly these days.

We also hired a nanny, which was exciting. Well, we just re-hired my little bro’s old nanny, really. As new parents, we have no fucking clue what to do with a baby so it’s nice that we finally had a nanny teach us the basics of cleaning after a baby. Essentially, everything is coming together nicely.

Observations at 31/32 Weeks

Here’s me well on my way to the 8th month. We experienced our first false alarm. I had bouts of gastritis one night and I thought I was going on labor already, herher. That was embarrassing! I was freaking out, guys! We went to the nearest hospital to have myself checked and I was told that I had nothing to worry about. Damy is still snug as a bug inside.

Anyhoo, that incident led to an early morning checkup with my doctor. She said it’s a GI (gastrointestinal) related issue because I ate the wrong combination of foods (blue cheese, coffee, and pancit with Iloko vinegar) the night before. Thank God because we have a scheduled baby shopping next week (the essentials, finally!) and I really don’t want to delegate this task to my husband.

I also found out that I gained another two kilos so overall, I gained 30 pounds at 32 weeks. I’m blaming out babymoon on the added weight gain, hahahaha! My OB didn’t give me a hard time about the weight gain, which was a surprise. She said it’s normal to gain a lotta weight this late in the third trimester.

I am feeling the full weight of Damy. My joints, particularly hip joints, were busted at this point. Shifting positions while lying down hurts so much sometimes. My neck muscles are always sore from my sudden weight gain. Also, I started losing sleep at night, which is so unusual since sleeping is one of my favorite hobbies. Heartburn became much less of a problem, surprisingly, although I am always out of breath all the time.

During the checkup, we started choosing the hospital to give birth in and if things go well and Damy won’t require an emergency procedure, we might head to Medical City in Clark. It’s one and a half hours away but the facility is the best in the region. I am having reservations about this right now.

Although the facilities are no doubt, the best, my husband had bad experiences with their Ortigas hospital. I also read a few reviews (Ortigas) and the experiences were equally bad. There were horror stories of condescending doctors, uncaring nurses, and pretty much weird issues that shouldn’t be there when you’re paying 120k. So I will mull things over and if this won’t push through, I will choose the largest hospital in Tarlac instead. I want the whole birthing thing to be as stress-free as possible because I am quite argumentative in person so if a doctor comes at me with some condescending shit when I just pushed a melon-sized human being from my lady bits, we might find ourselves booted out of our room.

Observations at 34 Weeks

Health experts say that at week 34, the baby has little breathing room so the movements will come far and wide in between. That’s not the case with Damy at all, he’s been kicking, rolling, and generally causing a ruckus in there! My belly is quite huge at this point, even doing nothing is making me breathless these days, hahahaa!

The hubs and I recently prepared our hospital bags as well as a baby bag for Damy. I didn’t want to bring everything except the kitchen sink because I have no plans of staying in the hospital for a long time. For new mommas out there, you might look for a list of things to bring to the hospital and my advice is to stick to the essentials. Here’s what I have in my hospital bag:

  • 3 maternity dresses (double as going home outfit)
  • 2 loose shirts and 2 pairs of lounge pants (as pjs)
  • A pack of disposable breast pads
  • 2 packs of Modess maternity pads (sprayed with Thayer’s witch hazel, in case I had a natural birth)
  • Two packs of Charmee menstrual pants (sprayed with Thayer’s witch hazel)
  • 8 pieces of disposable cotton panties (Watson’s got the best ones and cheap too at under PhP 150 per pack of 5)
  • 2 bras, the regular kind
  • 4 pieces of clean, old undies that I don’t care to soil
  • Toiletry bag and makeup essentials
  • PhilHealth card, Credit Card, and Health Insurance card
  • Cash for hospital expenses, extra cash for meals, snacks, and additional hospital expenses
  • Two pairs of socks
  • Slippers

For Damien’s bag, we got:

  • 3 newborn onesies
  • A pack of Mommy Poko newborn diapers
  • 2 hats with matching booties and mittens (skeee!)
  • 2 sleepsuits (got these from Mamas and Papas :D) and 2 playsuits (double as going home outfit)
  • 3 sets of cotton tops and bottoms just in case
  • 2 baby blankets
  • 2 pcs. muslin wraps or receiving blankets
  • A giant pack of biodegradable baby wipes
  • Petroleum jelly and VCO (makes the first poo easier to clean up, I heard)

We are likely to add a couple of pillows to the stuff that we will bring to the hospital as well as snacks and drinks. At this point in the pregnancy, our OB started asking about our plans, which hospital to choose, preference between natural birth and C-section, etc. Initially, I wanted a C-section just because natural birthing terrifies the shit outta me.

Since that was the plan then, we prepared our finances accordingly. But I heard through my doctor that vaginal birth has a much shorter recovery time, which means I could work out a few weeks after giving birth. Natural birth may help my body bounce back much more quickly and it’s more affordable too. I’m still unsure what to pick at this point because I’d like the birthing process to be painless but if it meant dropping the pounds much more quickly, I will try natural birthing. TRY because I’m unsure of my abilities when it comes to pushing a baby out of my lady bits.

Observations at 35 Weeks

At this point in my pregnancy, our OB asked for our plans. We decided that I’d give birth at Medical City Clark if I make it to the 40-week mark. In the unfortunate event that I get rushed to the ER, however, I have no other choice but to give birth at the nearest hospital. You see, Medical City Clark is about an hour’s drive from where we live. I want to give birth in a nice hospital because the facilities and the service are worth the money. My OB was pushing for Medical City as well although she’s no longer affiliated to that hospital. Thankfully, my husband was okay with that decision too.

Hospital Tour

Since we made our choice, our OB had to hand our case to the resident OB. We met our new OB last weekend and also scheduled a hospital tour after the meeting and initial checkup.

The drive to the hospital was smooth because it’s accessible via the expressway, no traffic at all. After meeting our new OB and then getting an initial checkup, we went ahead with the hospital tour. First, we asked for a quote for both natural and C-section packages and the rates were surprisingly lower than expected. Unlike Medical City Ortigas, Medical City Clark adds the room to the rates for a slightly lower price so there’s that.

After getting a quote, we headed to the admin for the tour. We were led to two rooms, one a deluxe room and another, a standard private room. The only difference between these rooms is that the deluxe room comes with a large closet while the private room only comes with a small closet, about the size of a side table. We were surprised that the closet space was the only thing that’s different between these rooms considering that the price difference is 1k. So we made up our mind that we’d get the private room.

The room itself is okay-looking. It’s not fancy (even the deluxe, they look alike) but you’re in a hospital and fancy is the last thing you should be looking for in a room.

Apart from choosing where to give birth, the hubs and I decided to not entertain guests as well. That includes immediate loved ones, like the grandparents, siblings, etc. This was my personal choice. My husband was slightly weirded out I think but I was adamant about not entertaining guests.

I know we won’t be feeling or looking our best by the time I give birth. The last thing I want is to relive the excruciating experience of giving birth through small talks. I want to spare myself and my husband the burden of entertaining guests when we’re both tired, stressed, and frazzled. This isn’t a common choice, especially in a largely family-centric country, but again, this is my choice.

As for how 35 weeks is looking, I’ve started experiencing weird contractions all over the place. These contractions were painless and they come at random times so I’ve nothing to worry about. As we head to 36 and 37 weeks, I could probably give birth any moment from there. I heard that at 37 weeks, the baby is considered full term. Still hoping against hope that I’d make it all the way to 40 weeks and be induced instead of an emergency delivery. Wish me luck!

Observations at 37 Weeks

Damien is now considered as a full-term baby, which means I can give birth anytime without worrying about respiratory complications and other health issues! Yes, we finally made it. Our goal now is to make it to 40 weeks, which is what our OB recommended.

At this point, I have gone through more tests for infections. I seem to have become even more prone to all sorts of infections, particularly gum disease and urinary tract infection. Just some of the many wonderful side effects of baking a baby, I guess. I am in pain most times, particularly my swollen gums. The toothache is hellish, it feels like a cross between a migraine and dying.

Also, I started feeling Damien’s full weight even more… if that’s even possible. I’ve already been feeling his full weight a few weeks back but this time it’s different. The weight started waking me up at night! I tire so easily these days and I could no longer enjoy a restful sleep. I deal with edema all the damn time now.

Also, I feel huuuge. I have gained 37 pounds at this point and I must say, I was letting myself indulge a bit. I feel a little guilty about eating all dem treats but I’m hopeful that I will lose the baby weight by working out again. Yes, after almost 3 years of stopping myself from hitting the gym (was advised by a doctor while trying to conceive due to my “advanced age”), I’ll be back whipping this fatass into shape.

We’ve started seeing our OB every week now, which quite frankly gets so taxing so fast. I hate waking up early on Saturday mornings and then waiting in a long line at a hospital. I hope my son appreciates all my efforts, hahaha! Effort ko lang talaga, kidding!

Damy had his final scan and things are looking great. He is in the right position (which is the nearest exit) and he’s now round and chubby! Also, he’s about 6 pounds now and I was advised to cut back on carbs if I want to slow down his growth to 7 pounds by week 40. So that means I’m on a diet.

The hubs and I started taking longer walks in an effort to help me lose weight, enhance my stamina (for natural delivery) as well as to reduce the effects of edema. I have mild edema but I don’t look too swollen, just puffy I guess.

Observations at 38 Weeks

We are nearing D-day and the goal this week is to make it to the weekend without landing in the ER for an emergency delivery. The plan is to make it to next weekend just so Damy is fully developed at 40 weeks. We were so committed to make it to the December 15 deadline that we stopped our daily walks. We’ll resume the walks when we’re nearing the real due date.

Everything still hurts at this point. I’m keenly observing my body for signs of imminent delivery but so far, no dice. My bump gets weirdly crampy most times but no searing pain, no contraction. Also, my belly feels as if it has grown so much overnight. Most times, I can barely walk with all the extra weight. Also, results came back and I’m cleared for strep but my UTI is back in full force. That was sad and frustrating because it meant I need to take another round of antibiotics.

Observations at 39 Weeks

Damien is finally full term and I can give birth anytime. The doc says if I don’t give birth until this weekend (or next weekend, max), induction may be the only option. I’d rather give birth naturally but if things do not go according to plan then a C-section might be in the cards for us. I am a bit disappointed but we still have time as of writing this.

I’ve gone through a couple of non-stress tests, which involve monitoring the movement of the baby, tracking the contractions, and the baby’s reaction to the contractions for 30 minutes, and so far, things are looking great. Fetal movement is off the charts and the contractions were coming in at 9 minutes apart. My doctor thinks this is a good sign, I might have the chance to give birth naturally.

The pregnancy will reach 40 weeks during this weekend and I have a feeling that we will be given a choice to deliver at this point. That means there is a good chance that our upcoming checkup will be our last before Damy gets here, assuming I see signs of imminent delivery in the middle of this week, which is unlikely. We might jump on the chance because, to be honest, my body’s just about had it with this pregnancy, we are ready to go.

He’s Here!

We were up for a regular checkup last Saturday (was scheduled for induction in the upcoming week) and during the ultrasound, we were told that induction was needed. As it turns out, my amniotic fluid is low and that the Damien needs to be evicted. We knew that induction increases the chances of a C-section but since we were committed to delivering naturally, I had to be in the zone for lengthy labor.

I was wheeled into the labor room so I could get the meds needed for the induction. Also, nurses were closely monitoring my progress. The contractions came gradually and we were all surprised that my pain tolerance was so high, I was still sleeping at 120 (most women were crying at 80).

Let me tell ya, the nurses were stunned that I was hitting 199 and was not screaming my lungs out. The contractions were painful but I think my gastritis episodes prepared me for this single moment that the actual contractions were peanuts. I’m quite convinced that I could deliver Damy without epidural had my cervix cooperated that day.

After a grueling 18 hour labor, I was not progressing beyond 2 cm. The day after the induction, I was told that it was a failure and that I have to go through a C-section. Honestly, I was relieved at that point because being stuck in the labor room for hours with no TV or semblance of entertainment at all made the experience worse than the actual contractions.

The C-section went without a hitch. It only took less than an hour to deliver Damien and he was born a day before his due date. The medical staff was so surprised at how big Damy was (he’s almost an 8-pounder), his legs were so long daw! My husband came to the operating room just in time to see Damien being pulled out.

The medical staff was so nice which was one of the good things that happened when we chose to deliver in this kind of hospital. The epidural was the only thing that was painful during the C-section, in case you’re wondering. Everything else, I didn’t feel. The day after the C-section, I was on my feet. I really pushed myself to move around because I was committed to speeding up the healing process.

Unfortunately, I was fighting a serious infection during the entire pregnancy so one of my Drs. recommended a C-section and that was the reason why our hospital stay took longer than the standard 3 days. We were stuck in the hospital for 5 days and I never saw Damien until the night before we were set to leave the hospital because of my condition. That was sad all around but I’m glad it’s all behind us now.

This was taken just a few minutes ago. Damy is now home and he’s been catching up on whole lotta naps!

So that concludes my pregnancy journey. I still cannot believe I gave birth, it’s still not sinking in. I’m glad it’s over and now we begin the actual work, raising my new son Damy!

Tina Lee

Tina Lee-Almazar is a writer with an insatiable appetite for all things bright, shiny, and beautiful. She's a beauty junkie, a shopping connoisseur, a book collector, a purse addict, and a budding mom-tepreneur. Tina has a long-standing (and well-documented!) but one-sided love affair with cats. Special talents include: the ability to eat again an hour after eating, shopping at 3 different malls in 1 day, and taking a 3-hour power nap every day including weekends.

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