Kicks and Cankles: Tackling the Third Trimester
So you're in your third trimester and you're starting to see the light at the end of the tunnel. Right? Yeah, probably not. At this point in time, it feels like babe is never coming out and you're going to be a lethargic, waddling, planet forever.
But I promise, this ride's coming to a stop soon, mama. The real question is how the heck are you gonna survive the next few months when people expect you to do things like brush your teeth and put on clothes everyday? The funny (i.e., the worst) thing about pregnancy is you pretty much feel terrible for the first few months, pretty great for a brief period in the middle there, and then you're back to miserable for the last 3-4 months.
In this mama's humble opinion, the final stretch is made even more stressful thanks to the looming due date and the fact that you will soon have a babe in your arms instead of in your tummy. So if you're following along in your own preggo journey, and you're feeling me when I say I am SO DONE with being pregnant, then maybe these things will help you get through the third trimester and to labor and delivery mostly sane and with limited casualties.
Learn to Say No
Here's the deal: When you're pregnant, you get to use the "No Thanks" card pretty much anytime you want. Your friends are all going out for dinner this week and they're meeting up at 8 p.m., but it just so happens to conflict with your standing appointment with a bowl of ice cream, some antacids and your pillow? Guess what, mama! Say no. Someone needs to get picked up from the airport after their red eye? Say no. You're little tot wants to spend an extra 30 minutes at the park, but your feet are so swollen you can't feel them anymore? Say no.
Learning to say no is key during your third trimester, because you simply cannot do it all and still function. If you have somehow learned a way to do both, please fill me in on your pregnancy wisdom, mama. Saying no doesn't have to happen all the time, and it doesn't have to happen in a way that makes you feel like the bad guy or the party pooper. The fact is you need to cut yourself some slack, and decide when your body needs you to say no.
Split up the DayThis is especially important for mamas who are trying to make it through the day with another (or several other) kids during the pregnancy. Whether you've got a toddler or a teen, being pregnant when there is someone else counting on you for food, love, attention and diaper changes is just hard. So splitting up the day helps to make it more manageable (at least for this mama). When you have successfully rolled yourself out of bed in the morning, work on getting to lunch time. Split things up to make it work for you-- in our house it's breakfast, reading and toys, some TV time, and (if you're feeling up to it) grocery shopping or a trip to the park. Just a few hours that are filled with things that can mostly be done while staying pretty low key. Trying your best to make it to the next couple of hours instead of feeling like there are eight hours until Hubby/Daddy comes home can make your day feel never-ending, so splitting it up can help you feel less overwhelmed.
Take it Easy
There are going to be days when your body is straight up telling you that you're doing too much. At 37 weeks, my body is pretty much telling me this during all of my waking hours. But the fact is there is still stuff that needs to get done. My advice? Take it easy. Don't expect too much of yourself, and don't push yourself to do things the same way that you could even a couple of months ago (because the second trimester is a lie).
Yes your home needs groceries, but don't think that you can tackle Costco on a Saturday when you need to restock on all of the essentials. Not gonna happen, mama. Yes, your little guy needs some attention and playtime with mama, but don't think you need to head to the pool where you'll be playing lifeguard with your toddler in the blazing sunshine. Girl, that's just crazy. Dinner has to get made, but that doesn't mean you need to be slaving over a hot stove while making the delicious Gordon Ramsey dish you saw on Master Chef. Uh...no. Things like taking your husband with you to the store, or sending him with a list, blowing bubbles out in the yard, and a freaking crock pot are going to make your third trimester so much easier, mama.
Prioritize and Down Size
When you're planning on adding a babe to the home, you have a list of items you need to get (probably on your phone, posted up on your fridge, and texted to your husband, mom, and bff). But once you get down to the last few months, you can start to seriously stress that your list isn't getting any smaller. Chances are (if you're as neurotic and irrational as this mama) you've been consistently adding things throughout the pregnancy that are making your list even more ridiculous. So now that you're here and babe's due date is fast approaching, you need to prioritize and down size.
Stick to the need-to-haves like a carseat, diapers, a bassinet, bottles, some onesies, socks, and swaddle blankets. Got those covered? Then you can move to things like jammies, cute shoes, a noise maker, and a swing. If you have all those, then you can keep on ticking off the items on your list, but don't stress yourself out over it. Newborns don't need a whole lot, and you'll start to realize things that you need versus things you thought you would need very quickly.
Do you have the necessities but still have your heart set on some splurge items for the nursery/babe/yourself? A tip from this mama: make sure to register for everything that you could possibly want for yourself and the babe (regardless of whether or not you're having a shower), because most stores will give you a discount once babe arrives. If you choose to send out a baby announcement, you can add where you're registered and still receive some gifts after the fact.