We all happen to have that one friend who has the seamlessly effortless and beautiful pregnancy. You know, it’s that woman who always walks into a room with the “pregnancy glow.” And truth be told, she kind of makes us all a little bit sick.
I have been told that I am this woman. But today, I’m here to give you the honest and hidden realities of the third trimester, or as I call it, what happens beneath the glowing surface. Because guys, there are just some places where the glow can’t show.
- Compression Stockings: I’m quite convinced that if I didn’t start wearing these bad boys daily in my second trimester that my legs would look like tree trunks. I mean pillars of sturdy, oak tree trunks. Yes, it takes me 10 minutes to pull them over my heels. Yes, I grunt and moan while I put them on. And yes, I look like I’m 90 when I wear them. But that combined by drinking my weight in water keeps my swelling down. Which leads me to my next point…
- Pads: Not only does your water intake need to increase in the third trimester, but so do the number of times a day you waddle off to the bathroom to pee. But since we are being really honest here, dribbling happens. A sneeze, a cough, a giggle, or even just chasing your toddler down the hallway sets my bladder off and sends me running to the bathroom. These days, pads and panty liners are my lifeline. Hence, another way I feel like a 90 year old.
- Granny Panties: Gone are the days of thongs, booty shorts, and lace-bottomed negligee. Yep, bring on the cotton, elasta-waist, muffin top forgiving granny panties. Ladies please, slip these on and feel the freedom. Plus they go great with your new found love for pads.
- The Triple V: OK gals, I’m going there. (Take a deep breath before you read this next sentence) Vaginal varicose veins. Did you even know that you could get those things in there?!? Because I sure as heck didn’t! I mean, I knew you could get them on your legs and on the outside of your lady parts…but inside? Nope, the glow just can’t go there ladies. It just can’t.
- Sex: I believe during the third trimester of my first pregnancy my husband’s exact words as he tried to move around my belly were, “It just doesn’t move out of the way, does it?” Sorry honey, it’s there to stay for a little while longer. The thing that we’ve discovered during the third trimester is that sex just isn’t normal. You have to try new positions, different rhythms, wear a bra because your boobs leak, and find a whole new sense of weird humor. And it’s in those awkward moments that you can either choose to laugh or cry. I’ve been known to do both at the same time. Speaking of emotions….
- Crying: You guys, I saw a leaf fall from a tree the other day and I cried because it made me sad. A LEAF! During each of my third trimesters, the lack of control over my emotions has been strange and overwhelming. The tears come in the least likely of moments and my husband and children are constantly asking me why I’m crying. I burst into tears of joy when I see my kids sharing toys, I cry whenever I eat a Reuben sandwich, and I turn into a fit of tears when I hear my favorite Christmas song on the radio. But it’s also hard because third trimester emotions make the hard things in this life really hard. Some days it truly is a battle to look at the painful and difficult stuff that the “pregnancy glow” can’t touch and choose joy. But it’s in those moments when I look to the man who is the responsible other half for me being in this crazy state and let him bring me back down to earth. Because, for better or worse, right?
So there’s what happens beneath the glowing surface, friends. Shine on!