Personally, I don't consider pregnancy to be a particularly fun time, especially towards the end. In fact, I think there has to be some reason why pregnant people are so miserable. Is it evolutionary? Does it serve some higher purpose? I want to believe that my pain and suffering was for a good cause, other than the baby that I got at the end. And when I think about it, I must admit that pregnancy is solid precursor to motherhood. There’s just so many moments during your third trimester that prove you're going to be an amazing mom.
In my humble opinion, pregnancy is sort of like a nine-month-long parenting Boot Camp. You learn how to cope with heightened emotions, pain, sleep deprivation, fear, and a plethora of bodily fluids, all of which are totally necessary for motherhood. And, at least for me, late pregnancy was a seemingly never-ending lesson on how little sleep I could get and still remain upright. My pregnancy brain was good practice for mommy brain. And while I still can’t remember a damn thing most of the time, I’ve learned to cut myself a little slack and be kind to myself, especially when facing a situation I can't entirely control.
Pregnancy also teaches you to take it easy, which is a lesson that I totally needed to learn if I wanted to take care of myself so I could be the best mom I could be. These instances, and so many other third trimester moments, prove that you’re going to be an absolute badass mother once your baby gets here. And when you're at the end of your pregnancy, tired and miserable and maybe even afraid, you deserve to hear that reminder over and over and over again. You are going to be an amazing mother.
When You're Too Exhausted To Move
Pregnancy is exhausting. It makes sense, though, when you consider that you are literally growing a small human in your body and that person is sucking the life out of you. But if you think pregnancy is exhausting, just wait. In my experience, postpartum life is even worse. But it's kind of like training for a marathon. Getting through those exhausting last three months of pregnancy pretty much proves that you can do it, mom-to-be. Just keep on going.
When You Pee Your Pants
My pregnant self pretty much got used to peeing my pants whenever I coughed, sneezed, laughed, or vomited. Sometimes even walking too fast would cause a trickle or more of pee to run down my leg. It was so gross and demoralizing. Fortunately, I had lots of black pants. Then I learned two things: this doesn't stop after your baby is born, and the third trimester is like a vaccine desensitizing you to pee and other gross stuff. By the time your baby is here, you're so used to pee that it's no big deal when your baby's diaper leaks or they pee all over you.
When Your Baby Kicks You
Baby kicks are one of my favorite and least favorite parts of the third trimester. One one hand, they are lovely and reassuring. On the other hand, they can hurt like hell. But if you think baby kicks are painful, you should try bed-sharing. Getting kicked by a fetus is nothing compared to getting kicked in the face by a sleeping 7-year-old. Like I said: boot camp.
When You Can't Sleep
I thought that pregnancy insomnia was the worst, but then I became a mom and still had insomnia and a tiny human to keep alive. When I think about it, though, pregnancy insomnia was like a test of my ability to stay upright while sleep deprived. Thankfully, I passed with flying colors. And so will you.
When Your Back Hurts
I like to consider my pregnancy back pain as strength training for life as a mom. If you can make it through months of carrying around an extra 20 - 100 pounds, you should be able to carry a growing baby (or toddler) around like a pro.
When You Can't Remember What You Were Going To Say
So yeah, pregnancy brain is real. You may find yourself forgetting what you were going to say or do. It sucks, but, it turns out, being forgetful might actually be a good sign. Pregnancy hormones change how your brain works for some very good reasons. As neuropsychiatrist Louann Brizendine, M.D. explains to Parents.com, "These hormones also cause the growth of new brain circuits that help mothers focus on the baby when she's born."
When You Advocate For Yourself
There were so many times in the third trimester when I had to advocate for myself to get what I and my baby needed. It's a good thing, too, because once I became a mom I learned that advocacy is pretty much the number one item on my mom job description.
When You Are Emotional
When I was pregnant I felt all the emotions, especially toward the end. I like to think that crying at commercials, feeling warm and fuzzy at the sight of baby animals, and feeling real fear when I had preterm labor and pregnancy complications prepared me for the intense emotions of motherhood, because honestly, you guys, I had no freaking idea exactly how much I could feel until I held my baby for the first time. No idea.
When You Have Contractions
Your first contractions cause a mix of emotions from intense pain and worry to excitement and anticipation. Labor is a great practice run for parenthood, as well as the spectrum of emotions and experiences that go along with it.. When you make it through, no matter how things go, you can be sure that you are absolutely can handle this motherhood gig, and everything to come. The finish line is just ahead. You've got this, you absolute badass, you.
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