The third trimester is the epitome of that “so close, yet so far away” feeling that also strikes during times like senior year, after giving a two-week notice, and when The Bachelor is down to six women. You’ve made it through a significant portion of the journey, but there’s still a hefty chunk of time left that will feel much longer than it actually is. The last leg of pregnancy is fraught with some very specific pros and cons so, if you're anything like me, there are a few key things you’ll definitely do during your third trimester to help yourself make it past the proverbial finish line. (You'll also do these things just because and yes you most certainly deserve it, duh.)
After all, what else can you do with all the physical symptoms and emotions aside from directly respond to them? Trust me, they can’t be ignored. I tried, and it definitely didn’t work. While it’s been a few years since I've personally experienced the highs and lows that come with the third trimester of any pregnancy, I can say I don’t remember the third trimester being quite as bad as I expected it to be. That’s not to say it was, like, a super-enjoyable experience, but it didn't render me completely incapable of doing anything aside from simply being pregnant (I should mention that I didn't have significant complications, so I realize plenty of women deal with far more).
Of course, this could be a symptom of time doing its dirty work. There's nothing like a hefty dose of nostalgia to make the past look much smoother than it actually was. Regardless, I think there are some fairly universal reactions to what’s happening during that final leg of gestation, including but not limited the following.
Contemplate The Need For More (Bigger) Maternity Clothes
I’m not sure about you guys, but it was hard to convince myself to buy clothes I know I'll only need for three or four weeks of my life (and that weren’t for a major life event during which I’d be professionally photographed and looking effortlessly flawless).
Ultimately, I didn’t end up making any new maternity clothes purchases, but I thought about it. A lot.
Get Used To Wardrobe Malfunctions
Speaking of your wardrobe, even when you have enough maternity clothes, they don’t always work the way they’re supposed to. Be careful about going on long walks with any product designed to fit around your stomach and hold up unzipped pants. I’m speaking from experience and, once again, I apologize to anyone who witnessed me doing the aforementioned in the spring of 2014. You probably saw more than you bargained for.
If there’s any time in one’s life when complaining is warranted, it’s during the third trimester. Your body is essentially preparing to turn itself inside out so you’re allowed to enjoy a little self-pity every now and then.
Field Inappropriate Comments And Questions
Perfect Your Polite “Thanks But No Thanks” Face
As in, “Thanks for taking the time to share this with me, but I’ll stick to taking advice from my doctor and from reputable internet sources. Actually, anyone who isn't a stranger in the produce section of my grocery store."
Learn That Some Stereotypes About Pregnancy Exist For A Reason
I probably didn’t do as much prenatal yoga as I should have, based on how hard it was for me to deal with super-challenging things like pants. And that joke about not being able to even see your feet when you’re that pregnant? It’s not really a joke.
Get Nervous If More Than Three Minutes Passes Between Baby Kicks
Alright, I'll admit that three minutes might be kind of an exaggeration. I could probably go four, maybe even five, minutes before putting a hand on my stomach, as if that would make the baby move more quickly for me. It was the first of many times he’s shown me who’s really in charge.
Get Distracted By The Movement Of Your Belly When Your Baby Is Kicking
I worked in an office up until my 39th week, and more than once I was glad for the protective layer of a desk or a conference table to block my rattling torso. I was distracted enough by it, so the last thing I wanted to manage was my colleague’s reactions, too.
Experience Every Feeling Possible About The Fast-Approaching Labor And Delivery
I was an emotional pendulum swinging back and forth between, “I've totally got this and everything is fine” and, “OMG, there’s no way I can do this.” It’s a cruel, cruel prank from nature that when we could really use a glass of wine (or five) to calm our nerves, it’s off-limits.
Let Excitement Take Over
OK, this might not exactly happen to every single pregnant woman in her third trimester, but I honestly think it should.
I kinda wish I had been more jazzed about my upcoming transition to motherhood and less stressed about the final weeks of pregnancy in between. In some ways, I was too overwhelmed by the idea of labor and delivery. In other ways, I didn’t know exactly what I was looking forward to, either. It’s true what they say, though; motherhood is the best. It’s OK to soak in that a little bit.