My wife is just a little shy of 33 weeks pregnant as I put pen to paper, or fingers to the keypad, for this blog on the third trimester. There is a dusting of snow on the ground, on the cars, kids are throwing snowballs outside and I'm reminded of the blizzard we had in 2018 when we couldn't travel anywhere.
People lost their minds if you remember. Shops ran out of bread, toilet paper and the shelves were bare. That was one week of essential travel only if you could even get out. 1 week the country pretty much shut up shop, ground to a halt and we went to the pub! Here we are a year in a pandemic. 1 week was a piece of piss when you look back on it, but we did have the pubs.
Anyhow, I'm well into the third trimester at this point. A few things have stood out, repeated themselves and so I felt it my duty to share what new Dads should know heading into the third trimester.
***Disclaimer, this is more for my wife who reads these, it's just a bit of a joke and I love you. She's amazing though, working full-time in a busy veterinary practice while carrying around my child and putting up with me on daily. I'm like practice for an actual child***
Pregnant Women in the Third Trimester are Irritable
Oh my dear lord lads be prepared for your wife or partner turning into one of the most easily irritable people on planet earth.
At the best of times, I'm an annoying bastard and I do like to wind my wife up. Normally, her patience for it is good. But now in the third trimester, that patience has up a disappeared like a fart in the wind.
Anything and everything irritates her. We'll park the direct pregnancy-related stuff like kicking and pissing like a racehorse 4-5 times an hour. Things that irritate her are stuff like the pouf not being the ideal height for her legs, can't find the remote, a phone ringing, filling in an online form and even just me breathing.
"I can hear a slight whistle from your nose when you breath" (Coupled with the death stare).
Obviously, (well I hope), her irritability is due to broken sleep, constant kicking, constant trips to the loo, heartburn and the general aches that come with growing a baby with muscles stretching etc.
Hopefully, you're not a sensitive soul as be prepared for a tongue lashing at some point but don't take it to heart lads.
You'll Have to Develop Masseur Skills
Next thing you should know gents is that you'll need to develop some skills in the old massage department. This isn't so that it might lead to something a little more hot and heavy and let's call a spade, a spade, what landed you in this spot in the first place.
Be prepared to spring into action at a moments notice and deliver a back massage with elegant effleurage techniques and these outward strokes from that hypnobirthing course you did. Unlike myself who thinks every massage should be a sports massage and you should dig right it. You need to go gentle. But I am learning and trying.
This need for massage crops up at some odd times. You'll be sitting on the couch and suddenly you'll see your wife pull up the side of her jumper. You think "Oh, are we on here?" but then you hear a yell...
"Quickly, quickly, massage my side" followed by "a little to the left, up, right, down, left, left, left again, right... that's left. You're on it... ahhh. Ok, go back over there now and hand me that cushion".
(The song 'Sound of Silence' by Simon & Garfunkel plays out in your head).
Often times I've found it's when she turns on the kettle for tea or a hot drink. Maybe is the click of the kettle that triggers it because as soon as it's boiled I see my wife with her hands on the counter, giving a little grunt with "rub my back... not on the jumper. Skin on skin. How many times do I have to tell you".
Then you jump into action in the hope the massage rubs out the third-trimester irritability.
You'll Become an Expert in Dressing a Fully Grown Human
That bump, as gorgeous as it is, gets in the way of a lot of things for your wife/partner. Simple tasks become more difficult and taxing and you'll be called in to help.
You'll tie shoelaces, help put on socks and trousers and basically anything from the waist down that they can't see to do. On this, a question for any ladies reading who've had a baby? Did ye have to put your left leg into the trousers first??
Everything is your Fault
Accept this reality. Just a heads up these conversations usually start with "Your Child".... Moving on.
She may want to kill you for no Reason
Part of me hopes I'm not alone in this and other Dads have been here. I hope other Mam's can empathise or relate to this. But a few times during the third trimester so far. My wife has wanted to kill me. Has been angry with me or odd with me. And for no reason.
I normally do give her plenty of reasons but as I've said to people recently. I feel I'm 'husbanding' well at the moment. She's got nothing on me.
But as I said a few times she's been angry with me for no apparent reason. And has said it to me, I don't know why I'm angry with you and laughs. Then goes back to being angry with me.
I'm stumped and putting it down to the hormones or it might just be my face.
Baby Brain Arguments
Your other half will be adamant she is not suffering from baby brain. You finding the remote in the fridge thinks otherwise.
Then when it suits her she blames baby brain. Hmmm...
She'll be convinced she has told you something about doing X or Y. You'll be there going, "eh no you didn't", a small little argument ensues. She then remembers 5 mins later, while sitting down annoyed, that maybe she didn't actually say it and that she thought about saying it to me in her head.
A conversation in her head I should have been present for.
But then you'll start doubting yourself, "Am I right? It doesn't happen often that I am right. She didn't say it to me, did she?... Feck I'll go in and apologise just to be safe and do whatever I was supposed to do".
Meanwhile, your wife upon receiving this apology
"Phew, I got away with that one, but I'm saying nothing"
You'll Repeat Yourself a lot in the Third Trimester
You will both be like broken records from repeating the same stuff to each other.
"How are you feeling?"
"There is going to be a baby here soon!"
"Our life is over"
"How are you feeling?"
"When's your next appointment?"
"We need to get this sorted"
"Heartburn is it?"
"How are you feeling?"
"We're going to be parents! Us like! Bloody hell!"
And so on. I'm not even going to get started on the number of times you'll have a conversation over possible names.
"What do you think of...?" Let me stop you right there, we are not getting dragged into that debate just after we finally decided on a movie on Netflix. I would like to see the whole movie before one of us passes out.
Hope that sheds some light on life in the Third Trimester.
The third trimester is great though lads. Your baby will be moving non stop so it's great to feel all those movements. The anticipation is brilliant, exciting and scary all at the same time.
Kinda like that feeling the first time you walked across the GAA hall at the local disco to ask a girl you fancied for a shift. The anticipation, will she say yes or no? The excitement and nerves thrown on top of that as you get closer while simultaneously thanking you're lucky stars you went for the extra strong antiperspirant.
This whole experience of pregnancy does make you feel like a kid again with the excitement. The power a kid has.