If anyone reading this is currently in her first or second trimester of pregnancy, please accept my most humble apologies. Any ideas you may have had about the glory of the third and final trimester may be squashed over the next few minutes. While it's true that it's really, really great to know I'm nearing the end of my pregnancy, the fact of the matter is the third trimester is not very fun. Perhaps these examples of things your third trimester actually feels like will help paint a picture for you. A sloppy, messy picture with paint blobs dripping off onto the floor, but a picture nonetheless.
Of course, every woman and every pregnancy is different, so my examples may not ring true for everyone (including you, dear reader). Still, most moms I know had a range of feelings, both physical and emotional, throughout pregnancy that are somewhat universal, and the damn third trimester is no exception. In fact, for me, some of it feels even more exaggerated because the ending feels so close, yet so far away. I'm larger than ever before, more tired than I ever could imagine I would be, and definitely more inclined to lay on the couch without moving.
So, yeah, you could say that I'm noticing all the little inconveniences, while simultaneously getting more and more excited for my baby's impending arrival. Here's a few examples of what that all feels like, because when a life-change starts to feel surreal, it's a good idea to lean on some helpful comparisons.
Like A Terrible Movie That Will Never, Ever End
On a personal note, my partner teaches film, so for a number of years I’ve had the distinct, um, pleasure of either attending various screenings with him, or sharing the couch with him while he watches various movies to prep for class. Sometimes, this is awesome, and it exposes me to movies I’d normally never pay attention to. Other times, however, it’s super boring.
That desperate, “How much longer do I have to sit here?” feeling that comes over me when I’m stuck at a movie is kinda like how it feels to be in the third trimester. Like, you know the end has to be getting close, but no amount of shifting positions or checking your phone will help.
Like A Watermelon Is Duct-Taped To Your Stomach...
I actually used this metaphor the other day with my spouse. Try as he might to sympathize with the struggles of a nine month pregnant woman, there are parts of the process my cisgender male partner will simply never understand. To give him as best of an idea as I could, I suggested we get a huge watermelon (not one of this wimpy personal-sized ones, but a big hulking one) and strap it to him.
...And Punches Your Organs Regularly
It’s not just the weight of the watermelon, or how much it throws off your balance, though. It’s also the fact that the watermelon pushes your organs out of the way, like a playground bully cutting in the lunch line, all damn day long.
Like You’re A Baby Elephant Figuring Out Your Body For The First Time
I think of baby elephants as big and cute and clumsy, which is honestly a pretty generous description of my current state. That awkward, “What it this part of me, and how do I use it?” feeling that young pachyderms seem to be experience in all the internet videos I watch, is pretty much my life right now.
Like You're Violet Beauregarde Becoming A Blueberry
Actually, this scene should be shown in seventh grade health classes all across the country as an example of effective contraception, since it's true right down to how intensely she is imagining food. Of course, yes, I don’t know any women who turned bright blue during their pregnancy. However, let’s be real: everything else changes during pregnancy, so I wouldn't be all that surprised if it's happened to someone, somewhere.
Like You’re Sitting In Your 6th Period High School Class Watching The Clock On A Friday Afternoon
I swear, the clock is slowing down. It’s literally slowing down, and time is stopping. The second hand is no longer ticking, and I’m going to be stranded at 36 weeks pregnant forever.
Like Three Months Of Christmas Eve
To be fair, usually the sleeplessness on Christmas Eve is due to excitement, and during the third trimester it’s due to heartburn and night sweats. But, still, the metaphor works. You’re counting down, and often, getting antsier by the minute.
Like You're As Helpless As A Newborn Baby
I can no longer get up without hoisting myself on a piece of furniture, or accepting my spouse’s hand for help. I can’t reach certain shelves because my large belly pushes me back just enough. I need to eat every couple hours or I basically stop functioning. I can barely read to my son at night without falling asleep. Basically, I’m about as useful in the home as a infant.