I know every pregnancy is different, but I honestly thought my second pregnancy would be like my first. Spoiler alert: it wasn't. My third trimester, in particular, was a hellish ordeal. There's something about feeling completely depleted, and vulnerable, that makes me turn more inward than usual. So there were definitely more than a few things I needed when I was in the third trimester, I was just too afraid to actually ask for them. I guess I was terrified of being denied or rejected, especially at a time when I knew — mentally and physically — I wouldn't be able to handle it.
Pregnancy with my son came after nearly two years of grieving two separate miscarriages. Just as I was starting to contemplate fertility treatments, I found out I was expecting. I was elated, as you can imagine, but that pregnancy came at a high price (and nearly killed me after it was labeled high-risk). Each trimester was incredibly different than the trimesters I experienced during my first pregnancy. Where there was extreme morning sickness with my firstborn, I had none with my second. I horrendous breakouts and mood swings with my daughter, but they were much less severe with my son. And towards the end of both, I was put on bedrest thanks due to hypertension and a few unforeseen complications. One thing that didn't change, though, was how much courage I had when it came to asking for help. None.
The third trimester is arguably the most unpleasant period of any pregnancy. At least, it was for me with both children. Swollen, uncomfortable, and ready to meet the person who had been kicking my ribcage for months, I didn't mind asking each baby to come out already so I could at least breathe. I did, however, have trouble asking for the following things:
Someone To Help Me With Literally Anything
Pregnancy is hard enough, but that third trimester is next level difficult. When I was nearing the end of my pregnancy with my second, I could've used about six extra hands. My partner worked a lot, I was moving slower than usual, grumpier than ever, and would've appreciated someone jumping in to take any part of my responsibilities off my shoulders.
Someone To Allow Me To Get More Sleep
There's no such thing as "enough sleep" when you're pregnant, but the third trimester drains all life force from your soul. I could've spent all my free time sleeping and it wouldn't have been enough. I needed to rest, to be sure, but asking for an extra hour of sleep here or the was humiliating. I mean, pregnant women go to work each and every day, right? They're taking care of their other children and doing all the things, so why could't I?
(Hint: pregnant women going to work until their water breaks and/or taking care of other children do so because, yes, they ask for help and take breaks. You should never feel humiliated for asking for what you need when your body is doing something as incredible as growing another human being.)
Someone To Be There For My Other Kid
When I was pregnant with my son I was also a mom to a vibrant 4-year-old girl with a lot of energy. She was in her second year of preschool — that was nowhere near our home — so I had to do it all. I was afraid to ask someone to help me with her, though, because I thought it meant I wasn't doing a good job as her mother.
Someone To Rub My Lower Back, Feet, & Shoulders
It feels selfish, even in pregnancy, to continually ask for things to be rubbed. But, come on, you non-pregnant people! Our bodies are in constant pain. Just offer already so I don't walk around with the fear of rejection.
Someone To Cook Me A Hot Meal
Cooking is hard enough on a typical day, when I'm not pregnant. It's time consuming, I'm on my feet, it's hot, and those are all things I don't want to do when I'm in my third trimester. I was afraid to ask friends and family to bring me food, or to come visit and maybe heat something up, because it made me feel incapable. To be clear, even on bedrest, I was plenty capable. I just didn't want to.
Someone To Take Away My To-Do List
My third trimester might've been a little less terrible had someone rescued me from myself. I couldn't ask someone to run my errands or clean my house, but when I think back, I wish I had. Maybe then I wouldn't have felt so miserable.
Someone To Show Me Some Compassion
When it comes down to it, all anyone wants — particularly when pregnant, emotional, and in need of help — is understanding and compassion. You don't have to know what pregnancy feels like to be empathetic to a pregnant woman's needs. I was so emotional during the entirety of pregnancy (but especially the third trimester) with my son, because I waited so long to meet him and was so afraid I would lose him. When I didn't feel heard, or I felt overlooked, I needed someone to show me compassion. Yes, without me having to ask for it.
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