My third trimester (almost) seems like a distant memory now that I’ve got my second baby out in the real world. But the discomfort and nausea I felt had those days creeping by and therefore they’re seared into my brain for now. Some women at the end are amazed by how quickly pregnancy goes, but that was not how I felt. If I’d had the balance and energy to shout from a rooftop I would have yelled, “How am I only 35 flipping weeks!?”
I was so uncomfortable, nauseated and starting to swell like a balloon. My toddler was able to run laps around me. I wasn’t sleeping. I couldn’t remember anything. Did I mention I couldn’t remember a single thing? When I would try to doze off, the baby would decide it was the perfect time to try out her routine for Dancing with the Stars. Just as she’d settle, my little guy would come crawling into our bed. I wanted to be sleeping, getting as many hours in as possible before having a toddler and newborn under one roof. But no, we were still working on getting Evan to stay in his bed. I’d spend most of my night walking Evan back into his room and reminding him he sleeps in his bed and I sleep in mine. What he didn’t know was that I didn’t actually sleep. I lay in my bed wishing and hoping for sleep.
During my pregnancy, I was in survival mode. I know I don’t have to detail or justify the level of exhaustion to any mama reading this. I did things as a parent that I always judged others for doing; I allowed technology to be a babysitter. But when you’re throwing up more than you ever did during your college years, you make exceptions. Looking back on those final weeks, I can’t help but laugh about the nausea and exhaustion. I had more in common with my toddler than I did with even my best friend.
12 Signs You’re a Toddler — or a Mom in the Third Trimester
1. You can’t hold your bladder. You may begin to wonder who is potty training whom.
2. You’re not sleeping in your own bed.
3. You’re unable to produce full sentences others can understand.
4. You could really use some work on your balance.
5. You announce to the world when you have to go potty.
6. You never leave the house without snacks lest you have a tantrum.
7. Getting dressed is extremely challenging.
8. Personal hygiene is questionable.
9. You have no idea if you brushed your teeth before heading out the door. You lie and say yes.
10. You change your mind about what you want the second it is served.
11. Everyone pays if you miss your afternoon nap.
12. You claim your toots and think they’re hilarious.
I promise through the misery I was beyond ecstatic to meet the completion of our family and to be able to see Jake’s heart melt when he held his little girl. My favorite hospital moment after meeting Evan for the first time was seeing him in Jake’s arms and falling in a new kind of love with my husband. But that doesn’t mean it’s not a little funny getting to that special moment!
Do you see any other similarities between toddlers and a third-trimester mom? —Jennifer