For me, pregnancy was something of a rollercoaster. In the first trimester I couldn't stop vomiting, in the second trimester I couldn't stop smiling because baby kicks are so amazing, and in the third trimester I was so damn tired of being pregnant. That last trimester involves so many sacrifices, too. Some are hard (like giving up red wine) and some are pretty easy (like staying home from the party you didn't really want to attend anyway), but in the end, most of the sacrifices you make in your third trimester are totally worth it.
The best advice I ever heard about pregnancy (and life, really), is learning how to say "no." The word "no" is a complete sentence, and when it comes to taking care of yourself when you're growing another human being inside your body, sometimes "no" means missing a party, not traveling for the holidays, or even taking maternity leave early. I promise the people around you will understand, and if they don't just remember that they don't have to live in your pregnant body. There are other sacrifices a pregnant woman in her third trimester makes, too. For example, I let my partner take my picture, even when I was miserable, and I decided to get vaccinated, even though it hurt like hell.
If there's one secret I've learned to surviving the third trimester and those first few postpartum months with a newborn, it's the importance of self care — even if that self care feels more like self-sacrifice. Things like trading in your cute shoes for comfy sandals and following doctor's orders to take it easy aren't always easy, but you won't regret taking care of yourself, I promise. After all, you are about to become somebody's mother and babies need healthy mamas. So with that in mind, here are a few sacrifices I made that I absolutely don't regret:
Taking It Easy
For me, the words "take it easy" really don't compute. As a fitness instructor and long distance runner, I planned to stay physically active until I had my baby. Nope. My baby and my body had other plans, and "take it easy" turned to bed rest. It sucked, but it was what my body needed to stay healthy so it could finish growing my baby.
Skipping Holiday Travel
I felt terrible when we couldn't travel during my third trimester last year. But, staying home and watching movies was way better than getting carsick and having contractions on the way to a family member's house.
Making Time For Extra Prenatal Appointments
My third trimester was filled with prenatal appointments, ultrasounds, non-stress tests, and meetings with specialists. These "meetings" were monthly, then bi-weekly, and then more than once a week. That meant a lot of time away from work and my family. It's totally important to take care of your health, though, so it was worth it.
Starting Maternity Leave Early
During each of my pregnancies I ended up starting maternity leave early. It was hard because I wasn't ready, but so worth it. I can't tell you how awesome it was to not have to worry about work, on top of my pregnancy complications, my baby's health, and my impending delivery.
Trading Your Heels For Birkenstocks
I gave up all of my cute shoes during the third trimester of my second pregnancy. My kitten heels, wedges, and even my favorite pair of boots no longer fit my swollen, sore feet. I even got stretch marks on my feet, which everyone could see because the only shoes that fit were sandals. I've since given up cute shoes altogether, and it turns out that comfy shoes are now my happy place.
Going To Bed Early
I missed out on election night (probably a good thing), parties, TV shows, time with family, and even a big part of my "babymoon" by going to bed early. Totally worth every minute of sleep that I am never, ever going to have again.
Letting People Take Your Picture
I hate getting my picture taken. Especially when I am huge, my feet are huge, and I have huge dark circles under my eyes. But I will forever cherish those photos, so it was totally worth it.
So, pretty much no one actually likes getting shots, myself included, but I took one for the team because I know that not only can the flu and tdap (tetanus, diphtheria, and pertussis) vaccines protect me from getting sick, they can also pass along antibodies to my baby and protect them until they are old enough to get vaccinated, too. Score.
When I learned I had to be induced, I was seriously upset and scared. I heard that induction was slow, painful, and that sometimes it didn't even work. To make matters worse, I had very little time to get used to the idea that I was having my baby early. This caused me to have serious anxiety, which was compounded by the fact that I was having medical issues and was insanely worried about about my babies' health. I did it though, because my baby needed me to. Guess what: it wasn't scary or bad at all. Totally worth it.
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