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Third Trimester, Please Go Easy on Me

Sarah Preston Gorenstein

Dear Third Trimester,

Let me start off by saying: I’m scared of you. I’ve been scared of you my entire pregnancy, because—frankly—I’ve felt your presence for the last six months. For the last six months, this thought has run rampant through my head: “If it’s this hard now, what will the third trimester be like, lordhelpme?” And now, just like that, you’ll be here in one short week.

Even during my last pregnancy—which was blissfully uneventful and all around a joy—I remember the third trimester was hard. I was big and tired and, especially that last month, so ready for it to be over. But the difference then was—I wasn’t carrying as big, I didn’t have a toddler to tend to, I was feeling a lot better, and I was four years younger. People can argue with me that age doesn’t matter, but try telling that to my body. It’s mattered to my body during this pregnancy—I have the weight gain and aches and pains to prove it.

I’m scared, too, because this pregnancy has been very difficult—as much as I hate admitting that, it’s the truth. Since I finally kicked the HG (hyperemesis gravidarum) after suffering for the first four months, I have been able to reap the rewards of being pregnant. I’ve had many moments of joy—I’m enjoying food again (especially ice cream now), loving my curvaceous body, and feeling the baby move All in all, I do love being pregnant—and knowing this is most likely the last time for me, I’ve tried my hardest to look past the all-day nausea and other complications to experience the wonder and amazement of having a baby inside of me.

But besides just the acute morning sickness, I’ve had other issues this pregnancy that I haven’t talked about yet—dull yet severe cramping throughout the day, and tightening or pressure that rears its ugly head mid-afternoon. It makes breathing difficult—which in turn makes everything else difficult. A visit to my doctor last week revealed that my cervix is sealed shut, thankfully, so while these symptoms mimic early contractions they appear to be nothing to worry about. I’ll be starting physical therapy and prenatal yoga to help manage the pain and discomfort, but other than that I’m looking at a rough three months.

Because of these symptoms, I’ve been advised to keep my feet up as much as possible during the day—which is next to impossible at work. I’m also not sleeping because of this, so my bed is the last place I want to be. Sleeping through the night has officially gone on hiatus—but that was to be expected.

I keep hoping that I’ll be the anomaly, and maybe I won’t have a hard third trimester—maybe because I’ve already had a hard pregnancy, I’ll be shown some mercy these next 12 or so weeks.

But somehow, I kind of doubt that.

I spent the entire weekend in bed, and worked from home yesterday—something that’s been happening more frequently lately. I don’t know how other working moms-to-be with toddlers and high-risk pregnancies do this—I’m doing it and I still don’t know! That’s been the most difficult part—juggling my life, when I’m not feeling my best. When you have a pregnancy like mine, it’s the equivalent of being sick for 9-10 months—and who’s got that much time to be sick?

Third trimester, don’t get me wrong: I am not complaining about being pregnant, or reaching the third trimester. These are both wonderful things—and despite how sh***y I feel most days, I still love this. I bet I will be sad when it’s over. But for now, can you please go easy on me? I’ve earned my stripes for the third trimester—I would just like to enjoy the rest of this pregnancy. Please? Thanks!

How was your third trimester? Any tricks to managing those all-day-long dull cramps and tightening that mimic early contractions?