Surviving (and thriving?) in the 3rd trimester.

7:58 AM

//32 weeks with little Mister//

    It is another summer of babies, with a few I know expecting their little bundles any day now, a few of us (including myself) due in a couple of months and a few more due later in August.  I feel like each of my children so far has been born in a wave of little ones among my peers, and it is so sweet and special to share this sacred time of growing new life with others.

   I cherish pregnancy a little more each time.  That is NOT to say it is "better" each time, because rather I have found the opposite to be true.  My first was my "easiest" (as easy as pregnancy can be), the second a little bit harder, and this third one, a little harder yet.  But I say that I cherish it more each time because, truly, I do.

   With Jocelyn everything was so new and foreign and I sort of floated along in a magical fairy land and didn't really take the time to appreciate it.  I was just getting started and with your first it feels like you will be pregnant for 1,000 more times and you just don't really take time to savor it.

   Jocelyn was only 9 months old when I discovered I was pregnant with Charlotte, and so "taking time to savor pregnancy" was the last thing on my mind, needless to say.  I was a little bit whirling from surprise and "what have we dones" and slight embarrassment at having two so close together.  I didn't tell tell people for a really long time for some reason, and so that helped the pregnancy fly by and before I knew it?  She was here.

   But this time, it's different.  With a long break in between this pregnancy and my last, and the realization that I will be turning 30 this summer and will not be young forever, and also with the realization that no, I actually won't be pregnant a thousand times like it seems at first and my days of carrying life in a womb are numbered......I find myself cherishing it.

  That doesn't mean that the nausea was any less awful in the first trimester or that sleeping in the 3rd trimester is any more comfortable or that I want to be done and meet my baby any less.  I still feel like I'm waddling through Costco and I carefully estimate the value of any item I happen to drop to see if it is even remotely worth picking back up.  And so it doesnt mean those things don't bother me, it simply means that I am trying to embrace the process, because I know it simply will not last forever.

   June will come, our precious son will arrive, and who knows if/when/how many times I will get to experience that magical, MAGICAL moment again in my life again.  Plus I need to write a post like this to look back on and be a gentle reminder to my June self, to not go completely bat-crazy.

   And so, without further ado, here are some of my simple survival tips for the 3rd Trimester:

  • STAY BUSY.   
      I have discovered that nothing helps the time pass more quickly than a full calendar.   Some days I definitely overdo it, like the day that I decided to plant my flower beds on the same day of throwing a birthday party and hosting 12 people and cleaning my house....and I always pay for that later.  But like I said, it still makes time fly!  So say YES to things.  I have made a few simple changes to our schedule that have helped the weeks zip by.  I babysit twice a week and clean the mill where Randy works once a week. I attend a Bible study once a week and a small group of women 1-2x a month.  These things will obviously look differently for everyone, but the key is to just say YES to things.  Then of course you add in all the other activities and events a month can bring, and it fills up fast!  I am hoping I won't have to endure much time "overdue" with this baby, but if he's anything like his sisters, I can expect nothing else!  And so staying busy during that time is even more critical in preserving one's sanity.  I surprised Randy with a date to a college baseball game on Charlotte's due date and it was (and still is) such a fun, special memory.  I assure you, the worst you can do is sit around at home going crazy!
    We've all heard the saying "It takes a village" in reference to raising children, and I have found that to be completely and totally true.  Unfortunately, some of us don't have a village.  Some women I know are lucky enough to have built-in community and never have to work hard at finding one.  They grow up with moms, aunts, uncles, sisters, brothers, cousins, grandmas, in-laws, and friends from childhood, in a wide-spread network all around them.  They never have to look much farther than their front door for help with pregnancy, children, and life in general.  And while that looks completely dreamy and ideal, (and some days I drive myself crazy idolizing it) those are not the cards I was dealt.  And so I have learned (slowly, but surely) to stop pouting in my corner about what I don't have, and get out there and build community.  And sometimes I have found it in the most unlikely of places, and it has been such a beautiful thing.
  • PRAY.
   This, I certainly have not done as much as I want to/need to, but I am striving to do better, and so maybe writing this down will help keep me accountable!  It always amazes me how praying for others lifts me out of my own pit.  You would think that the deeper I have sunken, the harder I would need to pray for myself, but I have found the opposite to be more effective.  Praying for others takes the focus off of myself, and for those lovely moments I forget all about my aches and pains and how desperately ready I am to be done with pregnancy, and my mind is able to rest.  And obviously, praying for the baby growing inside you is so important.  I have found so much comfort in knowing that God knew our little guy long, long, LONG before we even knew he was a he, or that he existed at all.  And so who better to talk to than the One Who knows the beginning and the end?
   Most of the time, you won't feel like it at all, or you will kind of hate it when you do, which is how I felt about this picture.  Regardless!  Take them.  You will cherish them later, and you will be so glad that you captured these precious stages of your little one's life.  I would love a whole BOOK of pregnancy photos of my mom, wouldn't you? 

  That's all for now.  I warned you, I was going to keep it simple!  I feel like the third trimester, much more so than the other two, becomes all about your state of mind.  It is easy to get discouraged and overwhelmed with how uncomfortable you are getting and how far you still feel you have to go.  But it really doesn't take a whole lot to change our "frame of mind" and I've found that a few simple steps can go a long way.  

And now I'd love to hear from you!  What are some pregnancy survival tips of your own?  

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  1. Words of truth right here- Thanks, Shelley!

  2. So true! Thanks for sharing, I can totally relate and you're right about how things feel different after several times and though the experiences really are amazing, the experiences can also be very un-fun when you feel big and uncomfortable and not like yourself. Hang in there...June is close and you're looking great! :)

  3. Love these tips, Shelley! The "stay busy" one is especially vital for me these days, otherwise I just lose my mind with this waiting game. ;)
    You are such a beautiful + graceful mama!


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