The first trimester— you still can’t believe you’re pregnant.
You can’t wait to start showing.
If you’re like me, you suffer through some serious morning sickness and wonder if you’ll even be alive by your due date.
The second trimester— life is glorious.
Your energy is back, your appetite is back, and everybody thinks you’re so cute.
You actually start to believe that maybe Michelle Duggar has the right idea and you could have a zillion babies, too.
Then the third trimester hits.
You feel giant. Perfect strangers say things like, “You look like you’re about to pop!” and yet you have to explain that you still have eight weeks to go.
You’re outgrowing the maternity clothes, but refuse to spend money on more because you dream that in a few short weeks you’ll be back in your pre-pregnancy clothes. (Yeah, right.)
You’re uncomfortable, swollen, and r.e.a.d.y.
And you wonder if you’ll be alive to see your due date.
Supposedly the third trimester, like the other two, is only three months long. I have this sneaking suspicion that it’s more like eight.
If you want to keep up with me and my family as we approach this baby’s due date (very soon), make sure you’re following me on Facebook! Click the button on the right of the blog. Can’t wait for you to meet him! 🙂
So here are some tips for making it through those last few weeks and enjoying this special time. Yes, it too, is special.
Eat what you want. Yeah, I said it. Don’t concern yourself too much with weight gain, especially in the last trimester (unless your doctor is concerned about your weight gain.) Instead, enjoy yourself, eat what you want when you want because it makes you feel better and your appetite matches Big Foot’s. Just let that thought about losing the weight after baby comes stay at the back of your mind. The far back.
Get your thank you notes written. Baby gifts will begin pouring in, and not only is it proper to get that thank you note in the mail, if you think you’ll have time after baby comes, you’re fooling yourself.
DO NOT cut your hair. Women in their third trimester tend to feel pretty yucky when they look in the mirror. Instead of seeing the beauty that God created, they see swollen, unattractive versions of themselves. To cope, many women head straight to the salon and make a drastic “change.” DON’T DO IT! Not only will you probably be upset with your new “do” once baby has arrived and you wish for the longer hair you had that you could just throw in a ponytail, your hormones post-baby will change and affect your hair once again. Wait at least 3-4 months after baby to make a drastic hairstyle change.
Get a pregnancy massage. They are heaven. Find a nice spa with a certified masseuse and let the pampering begin. After all, at no other time in your life will you be able to justify the need like you can in your third trimester.
Get over your fear of needles, especially the epidural. I’ve heard more women talk about their fear of the epidural specifically because of the needle involved. Let me tell you two things from experience– the epidural needle is as long as a sword. (Okay, not really, but it’s long.) And the epidural is the greatest invention known to man. When you are in the throes of your contractions, you WILL NOT CARE about the needle in your back. In fact, it will be welcome relief. If you are having a c-section, trust me, you need that epidural. You don’t want a c-section without it, so learn to deal with the idea of a needle. I’ve never loved a needle so much!
Think about who and when you want visitors at the hospital. Family, friends, people you barely know… everyone wants to see your new baby, and they tend to show up at the hospital, sometimes when you don’t want them. Both of my older sons were born on Fridays, which meant we had hospital visitors all day on Saturday with both births. With my first son, I thought I might die. I was so tired and the revolving door of people I had to make small talk with almost killed me. Plus, I felt like I barely held my own brand new baby! With my second son, I knew what to expect, so I told my husband and nurses when I got too tired for visitors. A sign was placed on the door and I got a quick nap. Remember Mama, you have to take care of yourself first, so don’t worry about hurting people’s feelings. This is about you and your new baby! Discuss these sorts of things with your hubby ahead of time so you are both on the same page.
Pass the long days with that nesting instinct. When it kicks in and you feel the urge to clean everything, do it. You won’t be cleaning again for awhile. Just be careful around cleansers that contain chemicals, don’t climb on anything, and don’t overdo it.
Write letters to your baby. Journal or describe this time in your life. Even if you’ve been pregnant before, this pregnancy is special and distinct, so document it.
Don’t obsess about when the baby is going to come. I’m a planner. Both of my older sons were induced, but this time I’m looking at the unknown of going into spontaneous labor. Yeah, it freaks me out a little, but there’s one thing I know as truth– no matter when or what happens, this baby will come in God’s time, God’s way. It’s out of my control, so I’ve got my bag packed and important people on speed dial. No sense in wasting energy on wondering when. Instead I’ll make brownies or something.
Make plans for your older children. When baby comes, things might happen fast. You should have their bags packed, too, plans made for who they will stay with while you are in the hospital, and plans for how they will get to and from school, etc. Also, don’t forget to include your older children in this special time. Let them make cards and banners to welcome baby. Let them help fold the mountains of baby blankets you’ve washed 10 times already. Let them talk about what they will teach the baby and how they will help you once the baby arrives. The more they are involved, the easier the transition will be.
Don’t be afraid to explain what’s going on to your older kids. My oldest son is nearly seven and he has lots of questions. Using common sense and age appropriate responses, we’ve explained some basics and answered his questions about things like how Mommy will feed the baby when he’s born. Don’t over-share with little ones, but don’t confuse them, either. God’s miracle put the baby in my tummy and the doctor will help take it out. Yes, it will hurt a little, but there’s medicine to help. And Mommy will need lots of help from Big Brother when she gets home from the hospital with the new baby!
And last but not least, give in to the hormones. The third trimester is like an emotional roller coaster of hormones, and you might as well have a good cry every now and then. Let the tears flow, but don’t forget the tears of joy over the miracle God has done in your life through this child. Get excited! Anticipate, but don’t stress! Have a good, cleansing cry, and then eat some chocolate!
Baby showers can be lots of fun. My favorite gift to give at a baby shower depends on the mom’s situation.
For first-time moms, I love to give the Boppy pillow. I couldn’t live without mine when nursing or bottle feeding baby, and I think every mom should have one. Great invention.
For mom’s on their second go-around (or more), I like to be practical with the gift. Diapers, wipes, baby bath items, burp cloths, etc. The more practical the better, because you know mom and dad need it, especially diapers, which aren’t cheap.
******* GIVEAWAY!!! *******
Are you expecting? Know someone who is and need a great baby gift?
I have two great giveaways for you!!
First giveaway— a FREE gift card for a car seat canopy of your choice from CarseatCanopy.com! (You pay tax and shipping).
Second giveaway— a FREE gift card for a baby carrier/sling of your choice from SevenSlings.com! (You pay tax and shipping.)
There will be TWO lucky winners (one for each prize)– I’ll announce them next Thursday, March 14th.
To win, follow instructions below!
Share with me: To win, leave a comment answering the following– what’s the best baby gift you ever received? What’s your favorite baby gift to give?
Thanks and good luck!
4 responses to “Twelve Tips for Tackling the Third Trimester Plus a GIVEAWAY!”
Well, I’m in my 5th month of my first pregnancy. I haven’t received a lot of gifts yet, but my mom can’t stop buying things for her first Grandbaby! My favorite thing so far is the onesie she bought that says “I love Daddy” on it. 🙂 Makes my heart smile every time I see it.
Favorite baby gift to give is something that I put time and energy into making. A diaper cake is always fun or home-sewn receiving blankets in a unique fabric. 🙂
One of my favorite gifts I ever got was a bunch of cloth diapers that a friend added ribbons to and made burp cloths. I got them 7 years ago with my first son and I’m still going to use them with this baby. A gift made with love is definitely a great one!
I know how important practical gifts are (my sister helped me see that when she had her babies) but my favorite thing to get a friend that is pregnant is a selection of my favorite books to read the new baby. I have a list of seven or eight of them that I like to get and share. My other favorite gift is after a few weeks, I like to make a call on a Thursday (or other non-popular night to get visitors) and bring dinner, clean up after, and allow mom and dad some quite time (I of course snuggle the little one so it does end up being a gift for me too!) I also take into consideration how many children are in the family. A first baby is often welcomed into the world with LOTS of gifts and showers, but a second or third baby are not always given the same fan fare. If we are welcoming a baby into a large family, I tend to get a little more practical with my gifts. I feel like I am rambling….
You are a baby genius already. Meals = perfect. Books= LOVE IT (some of my favorites to give are by Lisa Bergren) and remembering that babies that come after #1 are just as important– I’ll tell ya what, Lori, the people in your life are very lucky to have you!!