second is not best: on why i love my third trimester most of all

Being eight months pregnant is the best thing ever.

My first trimester was pretty exciting. I resigned from teaching, secured a new job, disposed of most of my earthly possessions, and said goodbye to my wonderful life of the past three years. I went to Colombia on an amazing missions trip, drove over 5200 miles on a road trip from Florida to Colorado via Massachusetts, and played with my sister in Greece and Turkey. I declared: “No morning sickness in Jesus’ name!” and it worked. I was exhausted, but besides some constipation and sensitivity to cold, I felt great.

My second trimester was difficult and filled with a lot of emotions. I returned to America and to everyday life. I started my new job, settled into a new church, and publicly announced my pregnancy. Growing a baby felt more real: I bought maternity clothes, read pregnancy books, chose a midwife, settled on a baby name, and got my first and only ultrasound. But I felt lonely in many ways, frustrated and stressed from work, and overall sad about this season.

I ended up quitting my job and it was one of the best decisions I could have made. I am healthier, happier, and loving these last two months before baby comes. I resumed my yoga practice and feel refreshed and rested. I see my husband more often because I am not working late nights, weekends, or out of town for days at a time. I feel like I am finally experiencing the famous second semester joys, e.g. renewed energy and great sex. But even though the second trimester is popular for being the pregnant woman’s favorite, I am convinced that the third trimester is even better. Here’s why:

  • I AM OBVIOUSLY PREGNANT.

It was noticeable to me at 10 weeks when I couldn’t fit into any of my pants, but now the world has no doubt that my 30 lb weight gain is not solely the result of burgers and beer. I would rather have an extra cookie than the chair someone offers me, and now sometimes I can get both; but neither would have been an option during my first or second trimesters when people had no idea or were too polite to assume I was pregnant. In general, there is just more grace for me when it comes to snacking. I can show up to a potluck with a piece already cut from the cake I made, and although no one believes me when I say I genuinely was checking to make sure it was okay, they are understanding.

  • MY SELF-ESTEEM IS SOARING.

I am a hot mess going grocery shopping with my dirty hair in a bun and my belly busting out of one of those free T-shirts no one wants unless it is free, and I am stopped and told how cute I look. I go hiking with friends from out of town, and while they are struggling with the high altitude, I am beating them to the top of a small mountain. I post Instagrams where I am JUST STANDING THERE and get lots of likes and comments of how stunning it is that I am just standing there. And on days when I am kind of lazy, I remind myself that I clipped my toenails and it was really hard and I also am growing a human, and I feel much more productive.

  • GIFTS ARE MY LOVE LANGUAGE. LOTS OF GIFTS = LOTS OF LOVE.

My birthday was sad this year (I planned a party and cancelled it after I realized no one would come because I did not have any friends), so baby showers are a magical redo birthday. I never had a bridal or engagement shower or bachelorette party, so celebrating my baby’s soon arrival is extra special in light of milestone festivities I missed. I freak out over every Amazon prime box that is left at my door and it’s Christmas all over again. I spent a lot of time and research on our registry, so Noah does not have the same emotional attachment and excitement for our gifts, though I don’t blame him for not getting pumped up about nipple cream like I do. And I’ve decided that these weeks of nesting and preparing for birth day are way better than my birthday anyway.

I CAN’T WAIT. Except I can. Because I LOVE my third trimester.

>>>

Photo credit: http://reagandeninephotography.com

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10 comments

  1. I never considered the idea that I could love you more than I already do. But this post took my heart – I’m crazy for you Bethany Goodson!

    Sent from my iPhone

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    Liked by 1 person

  2. That’s hilarious, the slice-out-of-the-cake to the potluck. With my first pregnancy I too felt so much energy in the third trimester and spent a lot of time gardening, walking around town, and hiking in the mountains. (Hoping this pregnancy goes as well, as I’m at 20 weeks now.) I’m just wondering since by reading your blog it seems we have so much in common, are you staying at home with your son now or do you plan to work again soon?

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    1. I’m staying at home for the foreseeable future :) but contemplating going back to school in the fall. No clue how it would work financially, but logistically, it seems the timing would be right. What about you? Good luck with your pregnancy!

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      1. I’ll be at home for sure while the kids are young, but would eventually like to teach high school orchestra and/or choir and coach softball. As long as I can read and write for a little bit during the day, I really do enjoy spending time with my daughter and watching her grow every day. I’ve had so many pointless jobs in my teens and twenties and it’s such a blessing to actually feel and know that what I’m doing now matters.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. I was wondering if you could offer suggestions on how you and your husband spoke about you staying home and agreeing not to head back to work. I am currently still on maternity leave and and finally getting use to my life at home with baby. I’m very nervous about returning to work and what that will mean for my little girl but also for my physical and mental health (as my work is a high stress environment). Any helpful tips would be great!

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    1. My husband was supportive with whatever I chose. Fortunately, it was an easy decision for me. If I had a job I loved and/or knew of a nanny I trusted, there would have been more to consider. Even though money is tight, we both value peace, intimacy, and unity over financial security. Being a stay at home mom is great for my emotional health, so it’s great for my husband, too. “Happy wife, happy life” is definitely a true sentiment :)

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      1. Thanks so much for your honest response. I hope to find the same balance and peace as one day.

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