Beginning of the 3rd Trimester (7-8 Months or 27-31 Weeks)
HH: Welcome to the third trimester, Toni! You two are almost there! Your baby girl is going through so many changes right now just like you. She is at the age where she can see and fully hear, is moving around a lot more, and her brain is developing rapidly. It’s such an exciting time.
TMH: For me, the third trimester is when everything started to get real. And maybe this is because I’m really starting to show—I don’t just look like I’m constipated anymore. Now people want to come up and chat all of the time about everything from their marathon labor, delivery-room mishaps, or the tired feeling that pregnant women go through. The worst thing that I heard was a woman telling me that tired feeling will stay with me for the rest of my life—yikes. Good thing I like coffee when I can finally drink it in its full-caffeinated glory! Well, needless to say, all of this attention for an aloof brunette has been pretty interesting.
HH: Now that you’re showing more, people feel that they have the right to talk to you about their experiences. That being said, sometimes this is welcome and sometimes it’s not. If you want to protect your privacy and also your state of mind, feel free to find a gentle way to discourage people from over sharing if you don’t want them to. For example, “Thank you for your willingness to share with me, but I’m trying to be present in my own unique experience without too many outside influences.”
A note on tiredness, everyone experiences the time after birth differently, but science has shown after birth the female body has a surge of hormones to support you during this period. The hormones help to stabilize your mood and help you function on less sleep. You might be less dependent on coffee than you think!
TMH: My saving grace always has been and continues to be, running. It’s the perfect way to regroup, and not to mention a great bonding experience with my baby girl. She’s normally a peppy little thing because I can feel her kicking around all day, but when I go on my 4-5 mile jog, she’s calm and relaxed. I was pretty fortunate early on to read about female athletes loving the Gabrialla Maternity Support Belt. I really feel the benefits from having this support belt, and it’s completely fixed my pelvic pressure (aka heavy vagina feeling). I’ve also read that it helps reduce the chance of getting stretch marks—which is a huge plus.
Started researching some bigger purchases like a jogging stroller. It has been important to me to find products that are safe, unisex (in case the future brings more children), convertible (can be used for newborns and older babies), something that my husband can use and still feel manly, and has a place where Kidd and Gizzy can ride along. I cannot wait to begin using our Mountain Buggy Terrain Jogging Stroller in the Flint color.
HH: Strollers are great for jogging and getting exercise with your baby. Have you also thought about how you’ll get around with her when you’re not exercising? Research has shown that carrying your baby in a wrap that is close to your body is far more beneficial for bonding and their development. It also keeps parents calmer because they have fewer contraptions to deal with. It’s easier to travel without a stroller, and easier to check on your baby and calm her when she is on your body. The baby can also hear your heart beat and smell you and hear your voice. The stroller was invented in 1733, but before that, humans carried or wrapped their children to their bodies. Check out a baby wearing class in your neighborhood or find some great options and research online.
TMH: I notice that my belly grows at night. It almost seems like twice the size. Is there a reason for this?
As my belly grows, my patience does not…
HH: Everyone’s body is different, and as far as I know, there isn’t one answer to this. It sounds like it could just be the baby’s position changing which could happen for any number of reasons. I love this chart because it shows what the inside of your body is going through at this stage in pregnancy to make room for the growing baby.
TMH: I started to notice a bit of a rash forming. Since I have sensitive skin, I thought it could be an allergy to shea butter, but then I read about PUPPP (Pruritic Urticarial Papules and Plaques of Pregnancy, a skin condition also known as Polymorphous Eruption of Pregnancy or Polymorphic eruption) and totally freaked out. I know that anytime there’s a rash, the body is having a reaction to something or fighting off something, and either way this was not good. I read that this PUPPP usually starts appearing in the last three months of pregnancy—right around the time that I noticed my rash. I ditched the shea butter and opted for vitamin E, and I also started pouring coconut oil in my baths. Coconut oil has always been a great natural remedy for me. Three days later, rash was gone—gratitude!
HH: If you notice any rashes talk to your doctor, especially if they are getting worse over time. Decrease hot showers, wear loose fitting cotton clothing, and drink lots of water.
PUPPP is unfortunately quite common, usually very uncomfortable and only cleared after birth. Natural oils or creams won’t necessarily cause or clear a true case of PUPPP. Talk to your doctor if you think it is PUPPP, and ask for their recommendations.
TMH: I had another tough day where my entire body ached. This happened once before at the end of my first trimester. I felt like my body was going to explode with any food intake or movement. The next day I felt fine. I’m not sure what happened, but I just chalked it up to growing pains.
Went in for my seven-month appointment. For this particular appointment, I had to drink Glucola to do my glucose screening and check for gestational diabetes. I actually liked the taste of Glucola. I know that’s disgusting, but it reminded me of Hawaiian Punch as a kid. Everything came back healthy, but I could benefit from foods rich in iron. I’m already working on recipes to incorporate more iron into my diet.
Ran into an old ex who wanted to congratulate me. Finally had my first nauseous, morning-sickness feeling (could have been the ponytail).
Still researching pediatricians. Narrowed the search to include ones that have Saturday office hours and 24/7 service (not just an answering service). I’m not sure how many have that type of service, but these requirements will definitely help narrow things down a bit.
Was completely honored to shoot the very first cover, along with inside spread, for Fashion Stars for a Cause Magazine. A special thank you to Fashion Stars for a Cause Chairwoman Yvonne Crum, Jeanne and Darin Prejean of MySweetCharity, and Carolyn & Bryant Tillery for making this happen. And thank you to my team of experts that make everything seem effortless, Simon Lopez (photography), Kelly Whaley (hair & makeup), and Kathryn Knox (consultant at Stone Sevyn). You all really captured such a precious time in my life, and I will cherish this memory and these photographs forever!
The great debate: Cloth Diapers vs. Disposable. I need some help here! Besides the old cloth diaper stories from my family, I’d love some input from a modern mom! As it stands, I don’t personally know a woman who uses cloth diapers. Is there a reason for this?
HH: This is really up to you. It is a good idea to have both natural disposable diapers and cloth diapers when you bring the baby home so you can decide what works for you.
The amount of washing necessary for cloth diapers usually discourages parents after the first week or so. You can also look into a cloth diaper delivery service where they pick up used cloth diapers and drop off fresh ones.
If you choose disposable diapers, opt for the natural ones because the bleach and other additives in the generic brands can often cause irritation and are not healthy to be absorbed by infants’ delicate skin. As well, they are healthier for the environment.
TMH: Started keeping track of fetal kick count. I can be so oblivious at times, so I’m really trying to keep track of this.
HH: Books like “What to Expect While your Expecting” that encourage you to take an obsessive count of your fetal movements so that you can “catch” something if it is wrong with your baby, I believe, create an atmosphere of fear that’s unnecessary during your last trimester. I discourage reading them or taking fetal counts usually.
While occasionally this has been shown to be beneficial, mothers are usually in tune with their baby’s movements already and will note that any major changes are taking place. Counting fetal kicks might add anxiety to your day or you may start to read into issues that aren’t necessarily there. You obviously want the best for your child and you are already incredibly in tune and in touch with them. Spending quiet time with your baby girl every day and just being aware of her movements, reactions, sleep cycles is a more holistic approach to the entire process. However, feel free to talk to your doctor about their recommendations.
Look into books like “The Baby Book” and “Ina May’s Guide to Childbirth” or “The Big Book of Birth” that support your inherent bodily knowledge and holistic parenting style.
TMH: Spring Break 2015/Babymoon! I’m so excited to be finishing school in May and welcoming our baby girl at the same time. I’m going to catch up on some reading, work on my stories, and soak in the time with the loves of my life.
Thank you all for checking in and being a part of this amazing time. I still cannot believe how fast it’s coming…
Hannah & Toni