I have mentioned before that I have had a pretty easy pregnancy. I have felt mostly ok throughout the entire process, minus first trimester nausea and skin problems. But, I can honestly say I was in no way prepared for the pain and surprises that come with the third trimester. Can we say OUCH?! I know everything I am feeling is completely normal and every pain is actually a good sign that baby is progressing how she should, but I just wasn’t prepared to be quite this miserable. So, in hopes of helping other preggers out there that are in their third trimester and wondering what the hell is happening to them, here are a few things that I have experienced during my third trimester that were unexpected, but are perfectly normal.
1. Vagina Lightning
Exactly what it sounds like. Also lovingly called “Crotch Lightning”, this searing pain feels as if there is lightning shooting out of your lady bits. Pleasant, right?! This was the third trimester pregnancy pain that I was least prepared for. It didn’t happen to me until the baby dropped the day I turned 35 weeks, so if your baby doesn’t drop until labor you MIGHT get lucky and miss out on this one. But, I have a feeling you’ll experience it at least once in your pregnancy when baby decides to turn her head while it’s pressed up against your bladder. It’s a good sign that baby’s head is down and it could mean your cervix is ready to dilate or has already begun. But, the pain is enough to stop you in your tracks and grab yourself à la Michael Jackson. Just try not to scare those around you when it happens, and good luck explaining why you just grabbed your crotch in public.
2. Pelvic Pain
I figured there would be some pain in my pelvis at some point considering there is something the size of a watermelon wanting to force it’s way through, but I had no idea it would be so debilitating. This is another third trimester pain you might get lucky and miss out on, but around 80% of women will experience pelvic pain in pregnancy. Since my sweet little darling dropped into my pelvis, I have hardly been able to walk. I feel like I’ve run a marathon from my hips down. This kind of pelvic pain in your third trimester is usually caused by the hormone relaxin which is helping your body prepare itself for that watermelon to have an easier time passing through. The relaxin is living up to its name and relaxing the ligaments and joints in your body, which will make it easier for baby to pass through the birth canal. So, it’s a great sign that your body is doing it’s job in preparing for labor, but man does it hurt! If the pain is unbearable bring it up to your doctor, and they can lead you in a direction to relieve your pain. Pelvic Support Belts and warm baths are also known to help.
You thought the first two trimesters were bad? Wait until your third when your uterus has officially taken over your body and pushed your intestines into a cramped and crumpled mess somewhere to the side of your abdomen. This makes it very difficult for anything to pass through on any sort of ‘regular’ schedule. Also, the added pressure of the baby on your digestive system can cause those lovely pregnancy visitors called hemorrhoids. Everyone’s favorite! So, between your hormones, hemorrhoids and that iron supplement your doctor may have put you on, good luck with this third trimester pain in the ass… literally. I recommend Colace Stool Softeners (DO NOT use laxatives. They could trigger contractions and cause dehydration. Please ask your doctor before using stool softeners.), Witch Hazel and Flushable Cleansing Wipes for the hemorrhoids, and a daily glass of Prune Juice (sounds gross, but it’s actually quite tasty).
4. Leg Cramps & Restless Leg Syndrome
Wasn’t expecting this one either. One night I woke up screaming, jumped out of bed with the worst charley horse I’ve ever had and scared my husband to death as he was startled awake asking if I was having contractions. These are just another unfortunate side effect of third trimester bliss. Not only is there more blood forcing itself through your swollen legs, you just can’t seem to drink enough water no matter how hard you try. So, the more dehydrated you are, the more likely you are to experience these middle of the night visitors. Drink lots of water, take a warm bath (not hot) before bed, and if you feel one coming on, get up and walk it off.
If you’re having any of these symptoms, talk to your doctor about them and see if there is anything they suggest to relieve your pain. The good news is that these symptoms are all normal and mean your body is getting ready for the big day! The end is near!
*Note: Affiliate links were used throughout this post. I only share items that I genuinely have used or recommend.