HI SHADEA CAN YOU BELIEVE WE ARE BOTH IN OUR THIRD TRIMESTER LIKE HOW DID THIS HAPPEN HOW IS IT THIRD TRIMESTER CHAT ALREADY
ALL CAPS ARE APPROPRIATE BECAUSE MY PERCEPTION OF TIME PASSING HAS BEEN A CONTRADICTION IN SLOW AND TIME WARP SPEED
On the one hand, I remember us doing our very first chat, and imagining doing a third trimester chat, and that seemed like centuries in the future.
I blinked, and have +/- 6 weeks left of this incubation period.
Any time someone asks, “Has it gone fast or slow?” I always go, “Both?”
For me, the time has gone slow, which I’m grateful for, as it gives time to adjust, but then also now I’m kinda ready to be done being pregnant and get used to the baby/mom stage…but also, I’m astonished it’s already, eight-ish weeks left for me.
I have gone through 2 bottles of prenatal vitamins and am now like, “Do I really need to buy another bottle at this point?” lol
Yes!! I kept getting surprised every time I had to buy a new bottle. Oh, right, we need more of these…
I feel like I’m just being confronted with actually being physically inhibited by being pregnant – the bending over, the can’t walk for long, the swelling, the very real fatigue. So, I think that time will definitely slow down as I’m having to endure more.
Yeah — this is a good topic to get started on, I think. I’ve gathered for you, this has been a harder trimester?
It’s just different, but if I had to pick one, I would actually say the last one was harder.
I think dealing with the physical burden is in some ways more understandable and relatable, and easier to articulate than all of the emotional turmoil I was dealing with in the 2nd.
Yeah, that makes sense for sure. I remember feeling, in the third trimester, I can stop trying to be brave and strong and can just be a big sloppy mess and everyone will be sympathetic because THIRD TRIMESTER.
It was hard for me and the people around me to decipher if what I was saying, how I was acting was because of the pregnancy in a really direct way. And I also think that there’s the expectation that I should be in control of that aspect.
Right, your second trimester you were really hormonal — and I was just discussing this with the girls yesterday — it’s really SCARY when your hormones are dictating your moods, because you KNOW you’re not you, but you still FEEL WHAT YOU FEEL, and the dichotmy of your feelings makes it worse.
I will say thought — I do still struggle to try and present a positive front to people, especially at work. We’ve discussed that “It’ll get worse!” or “Just wait!” response that I HATE.
OMG YAS. Like I just cried at my midwife one day and was like “I just don’t feel like myself and feel like I’m being an utter asshole, and I can’t control it but don’t want to excuse it.”
Yeah, I mean, your feelings are no less valid just because hormones/GROWING A HUMAN is what’s throwing you off your groove. You still gotta be true and honor those emotions.
But you’re right to note that it’s partly because of expectations you’re perceiving from those around you, in how you should express those feelings.
Yes. I think that “just wait” answer that you get sometimes makes you feel like you always need to be like, “Oh, it could be worse!”
When in reality, I probably cried getting dressed and begged my husband not to actually drive me to work, and spent the first hour of work trying to control my anxiety to get through the day.
So in comparison, the physical toll of the third trimester is definitely much easier for me to deal with.
Yeah, for me — third trimester has actually been really nice.
I know we’ve discussed my mental health state a lot throughout our pregnancies, but…
I mean we’ve discussed both of ours!
….even though I wasn’t sick early on, I was dealing with a lot of mental health issues like anxiety and worry about doing a good job being pregnant or being a good mom…
…and something about getting to later second trimester and into third has made it easier and better for me. I feel her kick all the time, we’ve seen her sweet face on the 3D ultrasound, my belly is big enough that you can’t ignore it……it makes it all more REAL and a REAL GOAL to work towards, instead of the theoretical goal it felt at the beginning of the pregnancy, when I was making huge life changes or dealing with issues but without the real understanding of a baby.
So that third trimester physical discomfort you mentioned — yeah, it’s easier to handle because BOBVIOUSLY, your baby is real because your tummy is huge and she’s (or in your case IT???) is kicking and that end goal is very real.
OMG HAVING THAT GOOD MOM FREAKOUT much more often now.
I had this moment after the baby shower, sitting in a room full of baby things, thinking “I have no idea really what any of this is for, and if I actually have the things needed.”
Oh, God, the nursery and the STUFF.
I think, for me being, confronted with the actual reality of a kid was a little blindsiding.
I have just made a pact with the Lord and myself to NOT FREAK over that stuff, even though I very often want to.
Yeah, I think the thing is — we’ve said this before with other mama-to-be friends but — you SEE the belly, you technically KNOW a baby is coming…but until that baby comes OUT, it’s still very theoretical…
But it will be REAL and it will be ALL THE TIME.
There is a point when you stop imagining the labor and start imagining the baby in the bassinet when you wake up in the middle of the night and start folding clothes to put away.
Yes! And to me — that’s helpful. I’m much more of a Real Tasks girl. I hated early pregnancy, KNOWING how much work was ahead of me, and being unable to do it.
Labor, and then taking care of her 24/7 — that’s a much more tangible task now. And to me, I think *now* it’s helpful, but I definitely had my moment, literally the night after my shower at 3am, frantically going through everything as a way to harness my anxiety.
Yes, exactly — those tasks like folding clothes and sorting presents MATTER now, because we only have 6-8ish weeks to do them now, NOT 4 months.
It is more tangible, for sure. I feel like I’ve been kind of stalwartly ignoring being pregnant to make it easier.
I just try and steer clear of worrying about TASKS. I try and accept that we will never be 110% perfectly ready, so my job is to do as much as I can handle.
Becky and I spoke yesterday, and she said something that helped — the world doesn’t end when you have a baby. We stock up on toothpaste and TP and all that kinda stuff, like we’ll be living in a bomb shelter and won’t get back out ever again.
When in reality, we WILL have to learn how to go to the store again, just with a baby in tow.
I’ve been trying to take the tasks in stride, and that’s not really what I think has made me seize up, it’s the irrational worry that I can’t handle it.
But yes, I think that also embedded in that “world goes on” sentiment is that you are also kind of expected to figure it out as you go along and that’s part of the process for everyone. But you kind of have to have your freakout first and arrive at that conclusion yourself
Right. Which takes me back to our It Takes a Village discussion we’ve had many times as well.
We both have great support systems, and those won’t go away once the babies get here.
Someone can run out and get TP for us if we’re out, and we’re crying with breast milk everywhere and the baby’s crying.
It’s amazing to think about, and lovely to feel. Also AMAZON PRIME. lol
OK, stressed about diapers? DELIVERED. Whatever.
Part of me does feel guilty about that kind of thing, at how privileged I am to be able to solve problems, because we have enough disposable income.
And I vex about having a kid in a way that will make me more selfish, less concerned about the world because i’ll be preoccupied with “my family” and the like.
Well, I think that’s necessary for the first couple of years, the survival years.
We talked about this yesterday too — how much can you try and live/parent the way you want to — I think in our discussion, we were specifically talking about avoiding hormones or bad things in food.
And how hard it is to do EVERYTHING you maybe want to…and Lauren said, “Do we just have to get used to that?”
And I just said “You do the best you can. You make your priorities and try and do what makes sense, as much as you can manage.”
I agree with you on the managing part, but I think there’s something that I mourn a little about becoming a mother, like there’s part of me i have to necessarily let go of, things I care about that I have to put on hold because of the resetting of priorities
I joked with my friend Taylor, “I solemnly swear not to become a martyr like my mother.”
But I don’t know if that’s even possible.
Right. Death of the maiden, and birth of the mother.
But I also feel like that’s the natural state of growing older, taking on these new life roles.
I don’t think even if we weren’t having kids, we could have stayed the Young Empowered Ingenue forever.
Yes, it most certainly is. And I’m certain that I want a family, and I want the joys of parenthood.
I think we each have to come to terms with losing that sense of your youth when you start having children.
Because YOU and your wants and your dreams are not 100% the focus anymore.
BUT that won’t last forever either.
It’s not even so much losing youth, or losing my dreams – my dreams include this aspect of life – it’s more about the unique pursuits that give you a rich sense of self.
But, for instance – and I’m sure you can appreciate this – I decided to try and put down all these baby books and pick up some fiction because I’m not sure when the next time I’ll have *time* to read a good book will be.
Yes! For sure!
And I support that too — I think there’s this mentality that we MUST and WILL stop ever doing ANYTHING for ourselves once baby is here.
And that’s really unhealthy for parenting!
You are your best you when you’re taking care of yourself first. It’s not ALWAYS possible, and we all get caught up in being A Good Mom — but we have to focus on us sometimes.
I have a good friend, Krista, who’s always so helpful with Real Talk about parenting, and she said, you know, the first year, maybe two are difficult and your time is not your own — but they get older. They learn to feed themselves, they learn to potty, they start to be able to have conversations. They will have sleepovers and weekends at grandma’s.
Exactly. But that is what makes me dread the baby stuff a little, like I will resent the poor kid and just be waiting all over again to get to that stage.
In my head i’ve always imagined having *kids* not *babies.*
You feel me?
Ha, see — this was my first and second trimester worry!!!
I was really, really worried then that I would resent having my alone time, my couple time taken away.
And IT WAS SCARY!!!!
Because TOO LATE TO TURN BACK and also EMILY YOU WANTED THIS.
So I guess that’s what I meant by this tangible third trimester feeling — my LOVE for her is real now, in a way I couldn’t understand earlier. She’s not just the fetus in my belly, theoretically, now. She’s my daughter.
SO, YOU ARE NOT ALONE, SHADEA.
My thought was, “This isn’t real yet. Miscarriages and percentagess, and you can still undo this if something tragic happens.”
I totally thought I was terrible too.
LOL. I guess I’m just playing catch up on this front! Because I was like “this isn’t even real yet! Whatevs.”
Well, you had a really great sense of courage and capability earlier on that I envied.
So maybe we just switched places??
I think both mindsets, at some point during pregnancy, are natural and normal.
WHICH AGAIN is why I’m glad you and I have these conversations and post them. Because I DO THINK this is a normal worry — but I think pregnant women would feel guilty admitting it.
I know I didn’t want to tell people how scared I was that I was a shitty mother-to-be because I seemed like such an asshat for getting pregnant and then being like MAYBE IT’S TOO HARD FOR ME.
And women should know — feeling both OVERJOYED and TERRIFIED is normal.
That’s always been my response when people ask me if I’m excited – “Oh yeah. Excited and terrified.”
I think we would be crazy people, or at least Not In Touch With Our True Selves, if we felt zero fear. That’s not realistic. It’s a HUGE deal.
OK — so, let’s get into some funny pregnancy stuff….
We mentioned that physical discomfort, and I think we have to laugh at ourselves or else cry. Sometimes both.
For example, I am sitting here typing with a sexy brace on my wrist for PREGNANCY CARPAL TUNNEL WHICH IS THE WORST AND INSULTING.
I spilled a jug of juice on the kitchen floor yesterday while trying to “help” Shaun with dinner, and then I got so upset with myself, I started bawling.
He said, “Uh-oh, you went really quiet and I knew something was up and I looked over and you were just literally crying over spilt milk.”
OMG, I had a similar feeling of ineptitude yesterday, helping put together this changing table.
Watching Davis wrestling it across the room by himself.
UGH, I just resented my pregnancy, I hate not being helpful. And it was silly complicated.
(What a modern problem!)
I just started crying and feeling frustrated, because when we have this sweetness in partnernship to accomplish things.
WHO DECIDED BABY FURNITURE SHOULD BE SO HARD TO PUT TOGETHER.
I keep trying to put together baby furniture by myself, and then Shaun comes home and goes, WHY ARE YOU CRAZY? STOP IT AND WAIT FOR ME.
I tried to put the CRIB together by my 7-mo pregnant self and cried FOUR TIMES while I did.
Oh, Jesus, Emily! Fiercely independent to a fault!
*applause* for the effort*
I was proud I managed the high chair alone, and that was like 6 steps and ikea simple.
YES! OK, this is a great topic too — because you HAVE to slow down in third trimester. YOU PHYSICALLY HAVE TO.
And I think you and I are both pretty independent and also have stayed pretty active our entire pregnancies. Pretty Normal Life, in general.
Yeah – I think I’d like to unpack “slowing down.”
So, now that we sometimes just CANNOT, through no fault of our own — it’s incredibly infuriating.
I’m used to doing a lot around the house or doing my share of the carrying or the errands, and I will get Braxton Hicks if I don’t slow down, or my feet will swell if I work all day, clean all day, try and keep up with Shaun.
And I feel TERRIBLE, because I feel like a bad wife and partner for not doing my fair share.
Yas. All those things.
I’m also of the mind that its just as important to try and *keep* moving and exercise, which, makes the helping part even harder.
But back to your main point – it is good to note that those things will change in nature, will be more limited. Like, last summer I was doing backflips off a boat at the lake.
*proooooobably* not going to be doing that this year…
Yes! I think I’ve enjoyed the pregnancy as an excuse to take it easy sometimes — EARLIER. But now I legit am missing being able to do a better yoga flow, to be able to REALLY DANCE and not get Braxton Hicks after jumping around. I finally got to that OK, I miss my body alone point.
I haven’t had too many Braxton Hicks contractions yet, but when I have, I’ve been driving so it was a compounding scare in a different way.
Yeah, for sure!!!!
I didn’t even know I was having them until Emi felt my belly after ballet barre and was like, “Um, yeah, those are it.”
I don’t have many and they’re not painful, and they always stop quickly, but definitely if I dance/walk for a longer period of time, I start to get tight.
Driving would be scary just because anything (sneezing) is scary while driving.
Ugh, I am at the point where it hurts when I sneeze. UGH.
I had to pull over and lean the seat back and just lay on my side. definitely started tearing up too.
Oh, poor babe!
I’ve thought about this as practice, as preparation.
Because when I *do* have real contractions I’ll be a little accustomed to it.
FOR SURE. Anything — I practice my breathing and calm.
Because let’s be real — sometimes when I wake up at night and have to get out of bed to pee — that is actually painful and traumatic.
That bladder is SO SO FULL and she’s shoving on it, and my hip hurts from a weird sleep position and sitting up is the WORST.
If she’s kicking or rolling too hard, when I have to pee so so bad, anything like that — I breathe, breathe, breathe, and try to find calm. I know that can seem silly for something as silly as peeing — but I feel like it needs to be a Go To place, second nature to slip into that calm.
You do at least partial desk work too, right? Because Desk Life is the bane of my existence right now, work is KILLING ME.
I haven’t had anything that serious! But peeing all the time, for sure.
I primarily do office work, yes.
Let’s just ignore the hormones that make me Mad At Everyone, all day long. My legs are too short and now I have to have a footstool. My carpal tunnel makes typing (WHICH I DO ALL DAY) painful. I get restless legs from sitting in an office chair.
Oh, my feet are always swollen at the end of the day. But I have the luxury of having my own office, so i just put my feet up sometimes, and I’ve been listening a lot to nature soundtracks like the ocean and birdsongs.
So work isn’t too bad, but I’m definitely wondering if I’ll be OK until the end.
Oh, God, I have another funny story to tell you —
Mom and I went to eat dinner the other night, and the owner and waitress knew I was pregnant. I got up to pee (of course) and when I came back, the owner and waitress were huddled with Mom, and everyone kept asking, “Are you all right?!”
And I was like, “I’m fine, I went to the bathroom.”
And apparently there was a damp spot on the back of my dress and the waitress got worried that my water had broken??? And told the owner who told Mom, and they were freaking out. Which was sweet — but I was like, ladies, it’s either or sweat or pee, I don’t know what to tell you. I’m fine.
LOL! That’s amazing!
I’m sure it’s only a taste of what’s to come.
It was sweet, but embarrassing and funny at the same time.
I had a boob leak yesterday, and Davis was the only one who really saw it, but i imagine that will happen in public eventually.
OK, so winding down — I feel like, if we’re bored and want to, we can do another chat in early July, more of a Nearly Go Time as opposed to this Seriously Pregnant one, that’s fine.
And then — if we can HANDLE it — sometime after we’ve both birthed, maybe trying (TRYING!) for a post-birth follow up?
That sounds like a solid plan. We’ll aim for someting mid-July.
Our post-birth chat might be like HI I HAD A BABY SO DID YOU GO US BYEEE.
WE’RE ALRIGHT. THE KIDS ARE ALRIGHT. HIGH FIVES. lol
WE ARE DOING GREAT! WE ARE MINDFUL, EMPOWERED, SMART AND LOVING WOMEN. WE GOT THIS.
I’ll meet you on a patio somewhere in late August, for a margarita and a good cry and a good laugh.
UM YES. I would love a margarita.
Or a mojito!
Yes! I’m down for either.
Well, so here’s the headline on this for me – worry about your cabablities as a mother is normal, but you might face the reality of it at a different time.
Yes. And thank you, as always, for taking time to do this! What I love most about this chat is it’s a crazy journey we’ve both been on, and I love that I had you to compare it so directly, and to commiserate, and to really soak up this process. In two or five or ten years, we’ll look back on these chats with such fondness. And I always get at least a couple people who really love reading them — so thanks for taking the time to chat and laugh and complain and philosophize with me!
Likewise, Emily! You’re so sweet to want to virtually hug me through your words and make me remember to feel, to reflect, and try to enjoy what’s happening now. I feel really lucky!
It’s so rare to feel like you can be honest, and I feel like the honesty is really helpful.
Same here! Take care — until next time!