34 weeks pregnant. Just 6 weeks left!!
It’s been a while since I’ve written about pregnancy stuff and that’s because, so far, this third trimester has been a breeze!
In a few minor ways, this trimester feels a little like a return to the first. I have much less energy again. Still more than I did in the first trimester, but noticeably less than the second. This is easily combatted, though, with my daily naps!
I’ve also become marginally more emotional. Again, nothing extreme. I don’t have any crying outbursts. But, I’ve noticed I’m a bit more sensitive.
As my belly grows more cumbersome, things that get dropped on the floor are more and more being left for either my husband to pick up or my dog to eat.
Getting up sometimes requires a helping hand.
And even movements like getting in and out of the car have become, well… different.
I feel bad because I planted a small vegetable garden back in late April and now I can’t really do anything about it. Squatting down to weed or even pick vegetables is no longer really an option for me. So, I planted a garden… and now my husband has to do the rest!
But, so far I have no ankle or feet swelling. My belly button, while slowly disappearing, is still there, albeit barely! And I still have enough energy to work-out almost every day.
There is a lake nearby where we take the dog swimming every day that the weather’s nice enough. So, lately, my husband and I have been swimming with her. It’s a blast! But, oh so tiring as well!
Swimming is an excellent work-out for pregnancy as the buoyancy of the water relieves the weight on all your joints but you are still working virtually every muscle group.
Then, in the evenings, I usually do some aerobics-type exercises as well, like wall press-ups and squats and donkey-kicks… nothing too strenuous.
But, in the last week I have had a renewal of one pesky symptom: cramps.
They felt just like menstrual cramps (which for me are always in my lower back) and they hit me hard one night and went all through the next day!
By the end of the next afternoon, I began feeling a pain in the front of my stomach. It was like a fist clenching before slowly releasing.
We were pretty sure that this was my first brush with the dreaded Braxton-Hicks.
But, since it wasn’t going away, I went in to see my midwife just to play it safe.
They brought me up to one of the labor/delivery rooms and they hooked me up to a machine that measured my contractions. Of course, once there, I didn’t have a single one! But, it was nice to officially rule out pre-term labor. Giving birth at 33 weeks would have been too scary!
Baby girl hated the bands that they put across my belly. She kicked and she squirmed more in that hour than she had all week!
Thankfully, since that one day, my cramps have mellowed out. I’d been very physically active for the few days prior, so we think that maybe I just overdid it a little.
Note to self: take it easy in the third trimester… or else!
Now, I just get them intermittently--every few days--and they usually pass pretty quickly.
In other news this week, I went to see a prenatal chiropractor.
My back gets a little stiff sometimes and my midwife recommended it as something that might be helpful.
I was nervous about seeing someone as the coronavirus is still going strong in my state, but in the end decided to give it a shot.
This chiropractor wound up being quite the character!!
First and foremost, she didn’t take the virus seriously. I don’t view the coronavirus as an area for opinion and “personal beliefs”… and it certainly should not be political. It is a virus.
I wear a mask to protect others and ask that they wear a mask to protect me. If we all did this, we would have saved so many lives. But, I digress.
Straightaway, I noticed that she wasn’t wearing a mask. Given that she works in an industry where she interacts with so many people on a physically close basis, I found this a bit alarming.
Then, during my preliminary exam, she asked me, “What does your husband do?”
Another button for me. She never asked what I did, she asked what my husband did.
So, I explained that we work at the same restaurant.
“Oh, are you super excited that the 50% capacity restriction has been lifted?”
“To be honest, no. I think it’s a terrible idea.”
“Oh, well I could kind of see that.”
“There is no way to adhere to social distancing regulations.”
“I just had another patient in here earlier wondering about the same thing.”
“I’m telling you… there is no way to do it.”
Because, really folks, there isn’t! Not in my restaurant anyway. Not at 100% capacity.
Also, bear in mind that restaurant employees all must wear masks and protective gear; but that is for YOUR safety.
You aren’t wearing a mask because you are there to eat.
There is nothing to protect the employees from the customers.
Already in my city, we have several reports of outbreaks at restaurants that refuse to close and that force their employees to continue working regardless.
From experience working at a very high-end restaurant, I can tell you that there are the health regulations and rules that workers are meant to follow... and then there are the rules that people actually do. As I'm sure you know from whatever field you work in, there are lazy people who like to cut corners in every industry. This unfortunately has not changed just because of the coronavirus.
So, please bear in mind that if you decide to go out to eat, you are putting restaurant employees at risk (and many are not there by choice.) As well as, very likely, yourself.
Thankfully, my husband and I do not have to return to work until after the baby is born.
Okay. End rant.
Anyway, the chiropractor had me watch a small video on her computer which explained the link between the nervous system and the spine.
It talked about how stress played a huge part in our spinal health—which makes sense.
After the video, the chiropractor told me that she was going to do three tests and from those tests she would garner just how stressed I was.
The first and second test involved a computerized tool that she ran along my spine.
The third test had me place my palm on a mousepad so that the computer could take readings of my pulse variations.
After that, I went home and I was asked to return the next day.
From those three tests, the chiropractor told me she could read my stress levels.
This was where she lost me.
If she had done thermo-imaging of my brain or had taken cortisol measurements from my blood or something like that… I’d believe she could have a more accurate picture of my stress levels.
But, how she thought that she could delineate such things from those computer tests… that I wasn’t so sure about.
She told me that I had many misalignments in my back. This, of course, made sense to me.
I have a basketball on the front of my body and it shifts my balance, moves my organs, makes me sleep funny… of course my back is a little out of place!
Not to mention the fact that I’ve been wearing bras that are too small for months because I keep outgrowing them as soon as I buy them!
She then told me that these misalignments were due to my extreme levels of stress.
The pulse variation test in particular was able to measure how big my “stress bucket” was and whether or not it was full.
She told me, “You are in constant fight or flight mode. Your stress bucket is overflowing.”
“I honestly don’t feel that stressed,” I told her.
“Oh, I get that all the time. That’s because your body internalizes it.”
Then, she gave me my first adjustment.
Let me note here that I went into the office with zero pain. But, when she had finished, my lower left hip really hurt. It felt out of place.
I mentioned this to her and she said, “That’s because your muscles aren’t used to it yet. You should use an icepack or take an Epsom salt bath.”
Except, what I was feeling was NOT muscle pain. And it lasted well into the next day.
So, I went into the office with no pain and left in pain.
Not to mention, I really wasn’t sold on her stress tests. It struck me as odd that so many women should tell her, “I don’t feel stressed”… perhaps this was because they weren’t!
What makes much more sense to me is that whatever misalignment is there is due to, I dunno, the BABY on the front of our bodies!
If she had wanted to tell me that stress was also a minor factor, of course I would believe that. But, the main source? That doesn’t wash.
She recommended that I see her twice a week from now until 8-12 weeks postpartum!! This also seemed incredibly excessive. I’d have been willing to see someone once a week. But twice a week… and for that long? It was hard not to feel like it was a bit of a scam.
I gave here one more try. Just to see. Once again I went into the office in no pain and left in pain. I’ve decided not to see her anymore.
I certainly believe that chiropractic care can be helpful. And it makes sense that it’d especially be helpful during pregnancy. But, that woman was not a good fit for me. I have an appointment with a different chiropractor here in a few days; hopefully this one will be better for me.
Have you had any similar experiences?
How many of my readers saw a chiropractor during their pregnancy?
What was 34 weeks pregnant like for you?
I’d love to hear your stories! xx
I'm Kelsey! Proud Iowan native, world traveler, writer, wife to the most incredible husband, and now soon to be mother