So I’m one of those women who actually doesn’t mind being pregnant, in fact, I actually like being pregnant! Until the last month that is.
The first 8 months are usually smooth sailing for me. Sure, I’m more tired in the beginning (luckily no nausea), but just knowing I’m growing a tiny human makes it all worth it.
Then you reach the last few weeks and they are torture. You’re large, uncomfortable, rolling in bed like a turtle on his shell, and just waiting for any sign of labor. There’s really nothing good about the last month except for the fact that you know you’re going to meet your beautiful baby very soon.
Here are some of the symptoms that I experienced that no one really told me. Now I’m prepared for it (not that it helps much), but knowing these symptoms are normal just makes me feel better about it.
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When my belly gets to it’s biggest, when I touch certain spots, it feels numb. I’ve learned that as the skin on your stomach stretches, you don’t grow new sensory receptors. So your skins receptors remain the same, but over a much larger space. This makes you feel less sensation on your belly. It’s weird, but totally normal!
Another thing that happens to your belly is itchiness. From the skin stretching so much, it gets very itchy. You may also find that you have little red bumps (known as PUPP) on your tummy- again, totally normal. I’ve found the best cure for my itchy belly was rubbing some coconut oil on it.
Sharp Pain By Bladder (Lightening crotch)
When your baby has dropped and is finally head down and engaged in your pelvis, it feels like he is just sitting on your bladder all day. Sometime I’ll move into a different position and it causes these sharp pains right below my belly and above my groin. It’s almost like an electric shock or twinge down there. Not at all pleasant, but it doesn’t last long.
Inner Thigh/Groin Pain
This is another symptom of the baby settling in down there. Toward the end of my pregnancy I could barely walk because the baby was so low. I literally felt my hips and pelvic region opening up and preparing for baby to exit the birth canal. Just relaxing and laying down helped me with this because then you’re eliminating gravity from pulling everything down.
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I have to hand it to all the working mamas out there who can make it through working up until they give birth. The last trimester just brings so much exhaustion that I could barely wake up in the morning (especially while also having a toddler at home). You’re carrying 30+ extra pounds and your body just isn’t used to it.
Good thing you’ll be able to catch up on that sleep after you give birth… HAHA! It’s like back to the first trimester where you’re so tired all the time and give yourself an 8pm bed time. I think this is our body’s way of saying, get your rest now because you won’t have that much time in a few more weeks.
Heaviness of Belly
At times my belly just felt like it was going to fall to the floor, it was so heavy! Also, my babies like to push out my belly as if they are trying to escape through my belly button. It doesn’t seem like there’s any more room for them in there to grow or move, but yet it keeps getting bigger! A belly band is helpful to hold your belly up so it seems to take a lot of the heaviness feeling away.
Everything in your body is just slowing down, including your bowels. Your digestive system is moving slower and having a harder time getting everything out regularly which gives you a really uncomfortable feeling.
My two pregnancies have both been in the summer which definitely leads to more swelling because of the heat. My fingers would puff up so bad that I couldn’t even wear my rings. It wasn’t just annoying because it made me look and feel huge, but I had trouble even making a fist and my hands always felt like there was so much tightness.
Your feet and ankles can swell too so don’t forget to keep them raised. If you notice an abnormal amount of swelling, check with your doctor because that could be a sign of something more serious, but a little bit is quite normal.
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I was soooo dehydrated during my last couple months of pregnancy. The only time I drank more water than that was when I was nursing (which also makes you super thirsty). Always keep a water bottle close by, as well as on your night stand for those middle of the night wake ups!
I experienced a lot of tightness and stiffness in my joints- hips, knees, back, shoulders- basically everywhere. Prenatal yoga and a lot of stretching really helped to relieve some of that, but I still couldn’t help but feel so tight all over. Some of this has to do with the fact that we’re a little more sedentary at the end of pregnancy so our joints just start to feel tight from the lack of movement.
With my first pregnancy, I thought my body would never return to normal. It felt like I was going to be experiencing this symptoms forever now that I have a baby, but I was wrong. You really do go back to feeling like yourself again soon, I promise!
My biggest advice is to try and relax mama! Drink plenty of water and enjoy the moments you get to yourself. Even though you’re probably bored and anxious to meet your little love, you’ll never have the same alone time again so enjoy it.