Updated: Apr 20
I decided to pair both the third trimester with our birth experience, simply because the third trimester, in my opinion and experience, was the most laxed... if you missed trimester 1 & 2 blogpost, find the whole series HERE!
WINS & WOES 3rd Trimester
Let's start with a WIN shall we? At 36 weeks visiting the High Risk doctor, I got cleared of my "Low Lying Placenta". Can you believe it! The safe zone is 2-2.5cm from cervix and I was 3.7cm cleared! What a relief! I hadn't cried tears of joy since getting out of the hospital some weeks prior. I still went with the thought that anything can still happen in birth, but knowing that me walking or doing specific movements, I didn't fear as much. Having the placenta in a safe spot, really helped me enjoy the last month of my pregnancy to the fullest.
Second WIN of that last trimester was being able to have a baby shower with my dearest ladies! When I was told I needed to almost be on bed rest, we all collectively decided no baby shower. As the weeks went by and no contractions came back nor was there any stress on the baby, only strength from him, we decided "Ok let's do it". When it comes to parties we are pretty quick with putting things together (in 3 weeks to be exact). The special part was that all I said was " I'm up for a garden theme" everything else was taken care of by my mother, sister and event extraordinaire Sari Sosa. Yes the Sari Sosa who created the most gorgeous wedding for us in New Orleans (You can checkout that BLOG POST HERE). Here are just a few pictures below, but I definitely have to dedicate a post to this sweet shower they created, you can also view the shower instagram reel highlight HERE.
Third win was that I got to do maternity pix with my two favorite photographers, UDS Photography and Tulips Photography. I did in studio session with UDS and then did a couples sessions at my old stomping grounds, Key Biscayne Lighthouse. I plan on doing a more detailed blogpost with inspo tips and tricks, but I will say this, if you can have your pix taken between 28-30 weeks, that is ideal because I swear anything after 30 weeks is uncomfortable. I did my in studio shots at 32 weeks and then my outdoor shots at almost 37 weeks! To be honest, I didn't think I was going to make it that far and kinda felt it was a bust, but fortunately my friends (UDS & Tulips) encouraged me to do so! Here are a few shots of my shoot:
So what's the woe in the Third Trimester?
You are uncomfortable! Case and point. Yes you get up to pee several times a night, your heartburn is through the roof, your pubic bone has this crazy amount of painful pressure from the weight and for the first time ever I experienced hemorrhoids in that last month and half. I know T.M.I. but you know I love to keep it real. It's very common in pregnancies and is caused by the pressure from the weight you have put on carrying the baby.
What's the highlight of the shittiest last month of your pregnancy? You become so ready to give birth you almost lose all the fear to birth a child. I say almost, because as a first time mom I was scared. I was scared of the unknown, what will this or that feel like and how bad is recovery going to be? I did have one advantage, knowing I would get through any recovery and that comes from my experience of plastic surgery and oral surgery. I went in there telling myself no matter what happens you will recover and pain is temporary. So if you've had any surgery, you can tell this to yourself as well. Obviously in part of recovery, you would have a little human to take care of, but the hard is endured and then you learn how to navigate through it (as I write this, I'm one month and change postpartum) each week gets better, I promise.
PREPARATIONS FOR BIRTH
Here I am in the last month getting closer and closer to my due date. My doctors, given the preterm episode, felt there was a high chance I would go into labor early. Wellllllll
that did NOT happen, lol, this little munchkin was very comfy and when I reached my 39 weeks, they could only tell I was 1cm dilated, they did say that the baby was looking very big and could reach 9 pounds. To this news I was happy but also fearful for my lady parts lol. I was also told that they would continue to monitor any possible cervical change and if nothing, then a scheduled induction will happen at 41 weeks. They feared the baby would be too big and I would need a possible C-Section. Every Monday for me is a new week and going into my 40th week, they once again checked me and no cervical change. So I came back a few times that week to be monitored, sonograms, and inevitably scheduled for an induction...
If you want a great list of "Inducing Hacks" check out this Labor and Delivery Nurse on Instagram, NURSE TINA . Her videos are beyond informative and prepped me for all things delivery and more... also just because these hacks didn't work for me, doesn't mean they wont work for you! The best advice I can say with any of these hacks is it's coming from a professional (*get clearance from your OB first before attempting any of them), save yourself the headache and mute unsolicited advice from random ass people who don't know your medical history or pregnancy journey. I got some advice that I had to correct people as to why I couldn't do said things throughout pregnancy. It's insane the audacity from some people lol, but correct them with kindness and they kind of go "Oh wow, I didn't know that.".
I did the walking, the bouncy ball, the dates, an enema and all the things behind closed doors. Listen, sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't and for me it didn't. It was frustrating but at this point with a scheduled induction, I was ready!
So my induction was scheduled at 9p.m. Sunday the day before 41 weeks, why so late? The first induction medication is one that is a small pill that they place inside your cervix to soften and begin contractions, Misoprostol. Since it's one that builds they basically bring you in at night to "sleep" throughout the evening and to see if you have cervical changes before having to go to the next step, Pitocin. I checked in with my husband, changed and we both got "comfortable" for the evening. Of course every hour on the hour the nurses are checking the monitors, checking IV's and on and on. They kept asking me if I was feeling the initial contractions but honestly I wasn't with the first dose. The pill is administered every four hours. By the second dose, I noticed I felt like I peed, It was 4:30 in the morning and to my surprise my water broke! I was so happy because it meant it was working. I then began to feel some cramping, they said it was indeed contractions, but to me not painful...there's a reason why I didn't find it painful and we'll come back to that reason. Apparently I was having a lot of cervical changes and it was working, but when the water breaks, you want to not be in labor too long so you don't risk infection, so they eventually moved to Pitocin.
Contractions did get stronger, but I was handling it. I started to dilate little by little. Pain of contractions, which feel like a terrible period cramp, began to increase. I held off on an epidural up until I began to have such pain it hit me in the stomach and I got nauseas and threw up, lol. I promise it took a while before this happened. It's now Monday afternoon and I waved the white flag. I was 4 or 5 cm at this point. I had been dreading the epidural, but luckily you feel so bad that you don't care. This is a big deal for me because I HATE NEEDLES!!! I FREAK THE F OUT!!! I was so scared, but like everyone says " It really doesn't hurt", they are right!!! It doesn't. It's a subtle pinch, the I.V. hurts more. I was having contractions in between them placing the epidural, but somehow you become laser focused with a helping hand. I grasped my nurses' hand so hard, focused on my husband and somehow we finished. INSTANT RELIEF!!! PRAISE JESUS!!!
The next few hours we're hoping for more cervical changes, my cervix did eventually completely soften and I reached 7cm. It's now close to 7p.m. and they decide to take me off Pitocin, I was having very strong contractions, but no continued dilation. Every time I would contract, the baby's heartrate would drop. He was still safe, but he just started to not react well to the medication. My OB Dr. Coll comes in, what I love about her is that she explains every step of the way, the reasons behind everything and leaves out any guessing and gives you options. She began to explain in detail what was happening, she then said "We can wait a few more hours to see if you dilate on your own, but if things don't progress and more stress on the baby, then we can then move to a C-Section". I totally cried, I was worried for the baby. He had already began to move down the canal, but my posterior Uterus had him hitting a certain area of my cervix and it began to swell. Still in a controlled situation, my doctor consoled me and said it was o.k. to wait, but WHY WAIT? I had an opportunity to have my child delivered safely with a C-Section. Also, these doctors do this every day! Trust but verify what you need with your doctor and team, but TRUST!
Yes I was scared, no I did NOT feel like a failure like I've read in these Mom groups. Your body didn't fail you because you had a C-Section, your body just went this course and still delivered a miracle! So despite my crying of fear, the shakes from my body in shock (totally normal) and just stress and fatigue in general , I told my Doctor I didn't want to wait and my husband supported me. Shout out to my hubby by the way who never left my side and kept me calm.
My anesthesiologist Jin was amazing. I was so scared and pleading with her, "PLEASE DON'T LET ME FEEL ANYTHING!!!" lmfao. She kept me calm and took care of me. At this point it was some time after 8p.m. and I'm being wheeled into the surgical room. I'd done this before with my nose job but this time is was different. I was going to be wide awake for this. WTF! What was funny to me was in the background, 90's rock was playing and I found something to focus on, sorta. Soon, they had me in position, increased my meds with morphine and the shakes soon calmed. I asked her how will I know if I'm numb enough? She said, "They will do a test". Clearly they did it at some point and I didn't react because all the sudden, they had already begun. You don't feel anything, but you do feel your body moving, does that make sense? It's strange, but I just focused on my husband's eyes and Red Hot Chilli Pepper's Californication playing. I even sung along to some lyrics...
Some times passed that felt like forever and I heard Dr.Coll express " Oh my what a big baby!!!", he was almost out!!! Then as they pulled him out I could feel the weight being sucked out of me in the strangest way. Major pressure relief and the most beautiful baby cry I had ever heard. My son, Celso Alexander, entered this earth at 8:58 p.m. at 8pounds and 13 ounces, 21 inches long. Thank you God!
As my doctor continued with the surgery, my husband was taking all the pictures, cutting the umbilical cord and I hear my doctor ask " Carolina, do you get painful periods? " I said "yes, on occasion but working out helps me with having less pain.", she then proceeds to say " I'm going to take some samples, but looks like you might have endometriosis!". I have friends who have this and I've heard the symptoms for it before, but the passed 5 years, I've been able to eliminate most pain with exercise. This also made sense with dealing with painful contractions in the beginning! It all started to make sense as I thought about the past and my time of the month. I'm glad I never knew because having been able to get pregnant, that was one less stress to think about during this pregnancy!
Soon after my husband cut the cord, they brought him over to me. I was in so much peace, I didn't even cry. I was so grateful he arrived safely. We took our first photo as a family and I couldn't have been more proud of the entire team, my husband and myself. It was the happy ending I prayed for...
This is my birth story. This is the moment I became a mother.
I hope it gave you an honest glimpse but not a fearful one. I plan on sharing my post-op C-section recovery, along with the 4th trimester experience to share, but also help any mothers out there who need support in their recovery and a reminder, you are not alone and YOU GOT THIS.
Love to all of you!!!
If you enjoyed this journey, don't forget to pin it!