Finally, the third trimester is here!
I’m pregnant with our third child and this pregnancy has been the most challenging of them all. Now that my tummy is quite large and can’t possibly be missed, I’ve found many people, especially strangers, saying things like “isn’t pregnancy just so magical?” I admit, statements like this make me wonder whether these people have ever been pregnant before. Of course, we are beyond ecstatic to be having our third baby! We don’t just think this child is ‘magical’, we believe it’s a miracle, as we’ve struggled with infertility and loss for almost three years now. But to classify the actual pregnancy itself as “magical”, well, I beg to differ.
Here are my top 7 reasons why pregnancy, especially the third trimester, is anything BUT magical:
#1) Inability to reach anything.
Now granted, I’m a fairly short person to begin with, but this big belly has got me almost incapable of getting to most things. Everything I drop, I wonder whether it’s really worth picking up. I either will have to bend over, which I can’t get too far, or squat down to pick it up. If it’s something I must reach up high for, that isn’t happening either. There’s just no more stretch available in this abdomen! Let’s just say my floors have seen better days and there are a lot of cups on the lower shelf in the kitchen.
#2) Stains on maternity clothes.
I have approximately three maternity tops that are my favorites, I just rotate through them. At this point, with just two weeks left of this pregnancy, I don’t feel comfortable in most things, so I covet the few things that do fit. So when I spill something like coffee down the front of my favorite white maternity shirt, then it’s not good. I’m talking full-on adult temper tantrum, and possibly some words that I hope my baby didn’t hear in utero.
#3) The heartburn.
I know not every pregnant mama suffers from heartburn, and to them I say, count your blessings! I struggle with acid reflux normally, so with all my pregnancies the heartburn has been horrendous. And the ‘advice’ for not getting it really is counter-productive to pregnancy: try not to lie down after you eat (umm, we’re pregnant, we eat all the time and ALWAYS want to be lying down), don’t eat large meals (again, pregnant), and don’t eat spicy or acidic foods (because surely no pregnant woman ever craves Mexican food). Zantac has been my only way to survive.
#4) Doing laundry.
I’m not a fan of doing laundry normally, but when pregnant, I hate it. Again, it’s the reaching and bending. Trying to reach down into our top-loading washer to grab all those little socks stuck to the side is like torture. Then bending over, like, two-hundred times to reach into our dryer is even worse. My husband does carry the baskets up and down the stairs for me. But I swear, when I walk into that laundry room, I glare at the machines.
I read once that fatigue and hormones can cause memory loss during pregnancy. Sorry, I don’t remember where I read it. And I don’t remember where I put my purse (on my shoulder), or my sunglasses (on my head), or my coffee cup (in the fridge next to the milk). I’m able to function by using detailed lists and reminders on my phone. Now, if I can only remember where I put my phone…
#6) Grocery shopping.
Maybe it’s the tremendous amount of slow walking; or the inability to remember things (see #5) so I end up doubling back to grab what I missed; or maybe it’s the well-meaning, but quite nosy strangers asking me weird questions about my pregnancy in the check-out line. Whatever the reason, grocery shopping has become my nemesis. And heaven help us if my kids are with me! We’re all quite lucky to get out alive.
#7) Swollen everything.
Again, blessed are those pregnant moms who don’t suffer from this, but for those who do suffer from swollen feet, ankles, legs, and hands, you’ll understand; it sucks. For me, it doesn’t really matter if I haven’t touched a grain of salt in days, or if I’ve drank ten bottles of water, or if the humidity and heat are low, or if I’ve been sitting with my feet up for hours; I’m a walking Stay Puff Marshmallow Man! I’ve been wearing my wedding rings on a necklace since like 20 weeks along. None of my shoes fit. And apparently, swelling can also bring on pregnancy carpal tunnel syndrome in the wrists, so all night long I’m waking up with completely numb hands. Isn’t that magical?!
So yes, being pregnant is amazing, because we are literally growing a person inside our bodies. But I hope if you ever feel like using words like “magical” when talking to a pregnant woman, you’ll think twice.
Mandy Watts is a stay-at-home mom who lives in Crownsville with her husband, Justin, who runs their family business, and their two sons, 5-year-old James and 3-year-old Luke.