The third trimester, and it’s only just begun, feels a lot like being a child stuck in a car with your parents driving. “Are we there yet?” you ask, the answer “no!”. You can see the end but it’s far away, on the horizon. It’s a sick joke, an optical illusion, like Robben Island. It looks like you can swim but once you get in the water you realize how far away it actually is.
It seems like your tummy couldn’t possibly get any bigger, lung capacity any smaller and then the pertinent question, “how far could I possibly still have to swim?”. Well, far! By the time you hit the third trimester you start questioning whether you can ever re-call a time when you weren’t pregnant. “How does it feel to be hung-over?”, “Should I get someone to check if my genitals are still there because I haven’t seen them in a really long time?”, “I wonder if my bathroom will miss me when I don’t visit it 15 times every night?”. The only thing I will miss when reaching the final destination is being able to protect my daughter 24/7. Once she makes her debut into the world, I won’t be with her every minute of every day.
But the physical and mental challenges of the final finale are not your biggest villain, other parents are. Being pregnant somehow gives other people who have had children during the course of their lives, the right to give you unsolicited, un -researched and borderline aggressive advice. People are deathly afraid that if you don’t do what they did, it will somehow undermine and diminish their own parenting experience.
I would like to say something to all you well-meaning sociopaths on behalf of pregnant people everywhere…. We don’t care! We don’t care if you had an orgasm while giving natural birth or went to Nirvana during your elective Caesar. We don’t care if you think immunizations are heaven or hell. We don’t care if you let a pack of wolves raise your child for it’s first year of life.
And Mom’s-to-be are not the only victims. Father’s –to-be are as inundated by this vicious tirade of advice. As if imperative that they enforce said advice incase the mother didn’t hear what you said for the millionth time. Here’s the thing, they don’t give a crap either. In fact, it makes them angry that you are stressing the mother of their child out when she is doing her best to juggle back ache, 30 baby books and the mental energy that goes into preparing to bring your baby earth side.
Allow me to let you in on a little secret, people are different. They have different likes and dislikes. They have different approaches to doing things. Most mom’s to be I know are doing everything they can to be as prepared as possible. If someone isn’t following your method it doesn’t make them a bad mother or diminish your maternal laurels. It just makes you an insensitive dick.
So here’s the advice I will be following; that of my medical Dr, my own maternal instincts, advice I have explicitly asked for, my husband’s who will be sharing and raising this child with me and my heart.
– Olivia de Beer