Enjoying the third trimester of pregnancy can be a bit of a challenge.
I swore this time around it would be different. After I went into preterm labor during my last pregnancy and lost my son, I was going to be grateful for each week as I got closer to a safe gestational age. I wasn’t going to complain AT ALL about third trimester aches and pains and I was going to enjoy every second of this pregnancy.
Fast forward a bit. At 32 weeks pregnant, I’m officially fed up and even though I know this is likely my last pregnancy, I’m having a hard time enjoying it at this point.
While I know there are things that I will miss once this pregnancy is over, I don’t entirely trust my body so I won’t feel completely secure until I have this baby safely in my arms.
In the meantime, I’m looking for ways to try and enjoy the third trimester.
Nothing makes waiting harder than sitting around staring at the clock . . . or the calendar in this case. Plans can always be changed if something comes up with your pregnancy but giving yourself something to look forward to can help pass the time a bit faster. Even if you just make plans to go to the park or see a movie that is coming out before your due date, schedule some things that you want to do.
I have a friend who recommends scheduling something major, like a big get together, right before your due date so you won’t be tempted to wish you were delivering earlier. If you don’t have the energy for arranging something big, think about just putting together a final girls night out before the baby arrives.
Document your Pregnancy
My youngest son’s baby book has little more than his name written in it. While I’d like to recommit to keeping up with the baby books this time around, for this baby and the ones who are already here, I am realistic. I know that this baby’s book will likely get the same treatment as the others.
Take advantage of your last baby-free moments to at least document your pregnancy and write a few thoughts down. It’s easier to continue a project than start a new one after baby is born so if you get a head start, you may be more likely to continue. If not, at least you have something written down.
Let Some Things Slide
I don’t know about you, but most of the things that I’m normally interested in have little or no appeal during pregnancy. I can’t sit through a movie or read a book to save my life at the moment. I’ve had to give myself permission to let a few things slide so I don’t waste all my energy stressing about the things I’m not doing well enough or not doing at all.
One of the things I’ve had to let go of is housework since I’ve been on some degree of bedrest for the last several months. My kids are learning some great housekeeping skills but I have to constantly remind myself that it doesn’t matter if they do it perfectly, it just needs to get done. That means we have streaks on the bathroom mirror and clothes are in the drawers but not necessarily folded. I’m trying to remember that their skills will improve over time and I won’t have to stare at messes I can’t fix forever.
Check a Project Off your To-Do List
If I could feel the nesting instinct when I’m not pregnant, I would be seriously on top of things. Unfortunately, nesting seems to hit full force when I’m too uncomfortable to take advantage of it. Put your family to work on projects that you can’t tackle yourself, like big decluttering jobs, and take the time to get some of the sedentary projects done that you don’t usually have time for.
I have been putting off organizing my digital photos and printing photo albums because I rarely have the time to sit down and focus on it (I’ve actually put them off for so long that the Shutterfly gift cards I had expired. Fortunately, Shutterfly has great customer service and gave me an extension).
I’ve been taking advantage of the times I feel too antsy to work on anything that requires brain power to organize my hard drives and preserve digital photos that I don’t want to lose. While other tasks may go unfinished, I can at least feel like I’m getting something done.
I don’t generally spend a lot of time or money pampering myself but I do make an exception during pregnancy. . . or at least I try to when I can remember to get around to doing it. Despite what everyone says about the “pregnancy glow” there are few times in my life I feel less attractive than during the third trimester and the post-partum period. The situation isn’t helped by the fact that I can’t even bend well enough to trim my own toenails and my split-ends have a mind of their own.
I try and schedule a hair appointment shortly before my due date and with slip-on shoes becoming more of a necessity than a fashion statement, a pedicure is high up on my list.
Is a pedicure not in your budget? Use these tips to give yourself a pedicure at home (or have your more flexible partner do it).
It’s tempting to spend your money on things for the baby, especially if you still have quite a few things you need to buy, but your emotional state will be much better if you take the time to take care of yourself too.
I’m trying to remember that this week so that I’ll finally get around to making that hair appointment.
What tricks do you have for enjoying the third trimester?