Ahhh. We’ve almost made it! The finish line is in sight! There’s something so glorious about being in the third trimester of pregnancy. Part of it is knowing that even if your baby were to sneak its way out, with today’s modern technology, he or she would probably survive. Part of it is knowing the discomfort and pains are SO CLOSE to saying sayonara. And, of course, the biggest part is knowing you’re about to meet your little baby.
That being said, the third trimester is uncomfortable. It is exhausting. Did I mention it’s uncomfortable? You may feel like a beached whale. And if you have pregnancy brain half as bad as I do right now, you have the mental capacity of a beached whale. But enough with the obvious. Let’s talk about the symptoms you don’t read about in your weekly What to Expect newsletter.
Bitchin’ Third Trimester Pregnancy Symptoms You Don’t Always Hear About
1. Just Breathe.
When your stomach starts to get really big, your lungs take a hit. Those poor guys don’t have any room to work anymore. Which means breathing becomes a nuisance at best. And it gets worse if you’re exercising, or in a heated discussion, or nervous. I just had a job interview, and I had to slow down my talking and remember to breathe every few words or I would start panting. It was embarrassing. It was uncomfortable. And no, I didn’t get the job.
2. I’m Soooo Tired I Forgot to Sleep.
Insomnia sucks. I’ve experienced it a few times in my life. The difference with pregnancy insomnia is you totally could be sound asleep if you weren’t so damn uncomfortable. It seems really unfair because you are so. damn. tired. But everything’s against you when it comes to bedtime. First, you have to follow the rules. No sleeping on your back, and try to sleep on your left side whenever possible. But then you have to weigh in the hourly pee breaks, and shifting your weight when you lose blood flow in your hips. Throw some heartburn into the equation and voila, you’ve got pregnancy insomnia.
3. One Superpower We Can Live Without.
Pregnancy gives women a few superpowers. We get thick, luscious locks of hair. Our nails come in strong and pretty. We even get a cool “pregnancy glow” that may or may not be a synonym for oily skin. These are all pretty cool. But one superpower we get that really sucks is our amazing sense of smell. For the life of me, I can’t find many positives to this newfound capability. First to find the donuts in the room? Survival skill if someone leaves the stove top burner on? Perhaps. But more often than not, you’re in a crowded room next to a person who hasn’t showered in several days and you think you’re going to puke. Because it doesn’t just smell bad, like it used to pre-pregnancy, it smells like death and your gag reflex is still on high alert since your first trimester. And it happens all the time, because it turns out not as many people regularly shower as you once thought. The nose truly knows. And it’s gross.
4. “Are You Ready for the Delivery?”
Ok, this isn’t really a symptom, but the fact that you’re just weeks out from delivering the baby brings a lot of questions, anxiety, and fear. And not just on ourselves. The whole world wants to comment on what you need to be worried about during delivery, or what NOT to do at the hospital, or “let me tell you about my birthing horror story.” Seriously, why do people think now is the time to tell us about how they almost DIED delivering their child? Have some tact, folks. And if this is happening to you, cut them off mid sentence by saying you have to pee. You don’t need to hear their horror story, and chances are you probably have to pee anyway.
The most exciting, beautiful, overwhelming, exhausting, and stressful blessing in the world is about to rock our worlds. As much as you may anticipate your baby’s arrival, especially now when you’re so close you can already smell it (that damn superpower), take a step back and try to embrace these last few weeks of calm and peace. Your baby is snuggled up in your belly. Floating in a soft sack of fluid and probably safer than he or she will ever be outside of the womb. Embrace these moments. Because in no time the chaos will erupt and you’ll spend your days in a balancing act of swaddling, feeding, changing diapers, checking to make sure the baby’s still breathing, and scratching your head wondering why you can’t stop the crying. And loving. Lots and lots of beautiful loving.
Good luck, new mama. And congrats.