The third trimester is a serious test of patience, wits, and bladder continence. You're ready to meet the babe that's been kicking your ribs, while navigating the world with an aching back hips, swollen feet, and, sometimes, a toddler hanging on your leg. Reaching the third trimester and all its unappreciated glory is super hero status, as you experience the calm before the proverbial storm. It's also when you'll experience all the third trimester moments that prove you're a badass, just in case your pregnancy insomnia has made it easy to forget how truly incredible you are.
Now, I have to admit that I felt anything but triumphant during my third trimester, with either child. It's only through nostalgic reflection that I realize I rocked it. With my daughter, I can easily conjure up memories of discomfort from all the swelling. Thanks to pregnancy-induced hypertension I gained 30 pounds in water weight alone and, trust me, I felt every ounce. And though I wasn't ordered to bed rest until the very end, I still remember going to family gatherings, walking through town festivals, and wearing the hell out of my pre-pregnancy t-shirts that are now forever ruined. It was my first pregnancy, so I'm pretty damn positive I complained the whole time.
Then came my pregnancy with my son which, unfortunately, was a million times worse, I had a 4-year-old daughter in need of my attention, and I still managed to do all the things I couldn't with my first pregnancy. All the way up to my induction (ordered due to leaking amniotic fluid), I drove myself everywhere, did the grocery shopping, tended to the house, and raised a rambunctious mini-human. Something about that pregnancy made me more badass than ever before, or after, if I'm being honest. So with that in mind, here are some moments in the third trimester that prove you're a badass. Moments I know I couldn't relive if I tried.
The first time I had Braxton Hicks — false labor contractions — I kind of freaked the you-know-what out. How was I to know the difference between those pains and actual labor pains? With my second pregnancy, though, I was experienced, seasoned, and dare I say, even a little arrogant about it all. Braxton who? Hicks what? I didn't even notice them.
Once the baby begins growing (and moving incessantly), sleep becomes nothing but a distant dream. I was too uncomfortable to find a sleep position that would render me unconscious, and my baby was too active to allow me a few seconds of bliss before I was kicked in the ribs from the inside. Still, with no sleep, I continued to go about the day like a regular human being... if regular human beings grew other human beings insider their body.
That, my friends, is what a boss badass looks like.
The third trimester is easily one of the only times in my life when I didn't take a lick of sh*t. It was partially because I was so uncomfortable in my own body, my nerves were already high, and because I wasn't interested in anyone's long-winded stories about the weather, or whatever. I had a baby's elbow stuck in my ribs, people.
The things you sacrifice to carry a baby, I'm telling you. You get used to peeing every 20 minutes, avoiding your once-favorite foods like the plague, and giving up your right to breathe freely because you're sharing the lung space.
I got to a point where I had to sit up in bed in order to breath, and still breathing was a challenge. I hear breathing is a pretty vital part of this whole staying alive thing but please, oh please, tell me how crappy your day was.
By the time you're in the third trimester, there's little you haven't experienced. So all those "cute" kicks and "gentle" jabs, aren't all that cute or gentle anymore. Still, you're such a badass you probably don't notice that tiny foot repeatedly kicking you in the bladder. And if you do, no one can tell.
Being pregnant for the first time was such a weird experience. My partner and I had no idea what we were doing, so we relied on a lot of overplayed stereotypes. For example, I read all the baby books, and my partner put the crib together. I was busy nesting, and my partner was busy running to the store to fetch me some ice cream.
When I was pregnant with my son, though, I wasn't having any of that. Because I'd miscarried previously, I had waited long enough for this pregnancy. I was ready to do it all by my damn self. So I did.
Even though the third trimester is uncomfortable on an almost impressive level, it's just another blip on your pregnancy radar. I mean, badass much? You know the end is near, and you've been through all the highs and lows, so your eyes are on the prize and you're focusing on meeting your baby. All of this heartburn, water retention, and nausea? They mean nothing.
By the time I reached my third trimester with my son, I felt like I could do anything. So if you're ever doubting whether or not you have the badass thing down, remember all you've been through already. You're magic, mom.
Check out Romper's new video series, Romper's Doula Diaries:
Watch full episodes of Romper's Doula Diaries on Facebook Watch.