Baby Got Me Walking from Side to Side: 3rd Trimester, 3rd Baby, 3rd REAL Reality Check

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Dear Arianna Grande, please excuse me for (loosely) interpreting some of your song lyrics to fit my current state of affairs…But girl — during the third trimester of any pregnancy, women everywhere know what it is to walk from side to side.

Third trimester, third baby has its own way of bringing the reality of new motherhood back to the forefront of an expecting mama’s mind. I have finally reached the point with my two back-to-back boys where they can enjoy such things as autonomous play, getting dressed on their own, and no more diapers!!! YAY!!! They are big boys now! All of this just in time to welcome another newbie to this song and dance, and start the process all over again.

It’s funny how my perceptions have changed throughout my experiences with motherhood.

Views on Sleep

  • PERCEPTION: With our first I had a crib, and it was beautiful. It was decked out in the finest of bedding, with a built in changing table, and lovingly chosen mobile. It sat in our bedroom ready to be the sleeping place of our darling firstborn son.
  • REALITY: Our first came 8 weeks early, so not a thing was ready for my sweet boy. That crib was literally all we had when my water spontaneously broke and I casually called my mom. I told her that I was in no pain, but something weird was leaking so we were going to go to the doctor just to check. Not to worry — it was way too early for anything real to be happening… Flash forward to that evening when our little guy made his early debut.
  • REAL REALITY CHECK: That crib saw maybe a week of use. I was breastfeeding, horrifically near-sighted, and terrified of tripping or dropping the baby during nightly feedings. I was also constantly losing my glasses and groping around trying to find my way to my child. (For those of you familiar with vision prescriptions I was (-9) and (-10.5) with high amounts of astigmatism in both eyes.)

A dear friend showed me how to nurse lying down and from that day forward we utilized a small bassinet attached to the bed, or co-slept so that the baby could feed on demand without my fear of dropping him on our trek to and from the crib. The same tactics were used for our second son, leaving the crib to become an epic dumping ground for storing random odds and ends.

Views on Rest

  • PERCEPTION:It took me a while to appear pregnant with little fellow #3. Many people didn’t realize that we were expecting until just a couple of months ago. Upon realizing how far along I was many people offered the sweetest of advice: rest, relax, put your feet up! I imagined sinking into our over-sized sectional surrounded by fluffy pillows. I envisioned reading, writing, and finally watching something that does not involve Cars or Minions…
  • REALITY: We have two other kids. One year apart. BOTH BOYS.
  • REAL REALITY CHECK: As well-meaning as people are, often, they don’t realize that the word “relax” has new meaning when it comes to motherhood of multiple children under the age of 5. To relax for me involves getting up by 5 am to have some “me” time before the littles wake up. It used to involve going to the gym and sweating out the stress of the previous day, but now (with the waddle becoming ever more prominent) it involves maybe catching a little Netflix, working on my class, or trying to write.

My days are filled with the frenzied chaos that is chasing around of my boys. Usually one or both are naked, as they have come to LOVE running around, shaking their pee-pees and laughing crazily at one another.

Then, there are the knock-down, drag-out, MMA style throw-downs that spontaneously erupt over Captain America or Ironman and often result in the bullied brother crying and desperately begging for the offender to be let out of time-out. They can’t stand each other one minute, but can’t bear to be apart the next.

And finally, the eruption of tears over the heartbreaking possibility that one brother could be mad at the other. “BROTHER IS MAD AT ME!!!!” **cue waterfall of tears and sobs over the other brother’s silence or perceived indifference.

Have I had an absolute blast being at home for these few short weeks of summer with my littles? ABSOLUTELY! These boys make me laugh like I never have before, and floor me with their wit, sweetness, and charm.

Is this “relaxing”? ABSOLUTELY NOT! Cheers to all the moms that do this full-time, day in and day out — you gals are rockstars.

Views on Family Planning

  • PERCEPTION: When we announced that we were on our way to a larger household, we were greeted with words of encouragement, enthusiasm, and excitement. It was simply a shower of love and happiness in anticipation of our new little lovebug. We were scared, but eager for the adventure ahead.
  • REALITY: Not everyone was so positive about our bundle of joy. There have been looks, and the ever-common, “You know you have to go for the girl now, since you have all boys…” Our standard response has been, “We had a 50/50 chance three times — we beat the odds!” We are thrilled for our house full of boys…and terrified of how we will be able to feed them all. I know the prods toward a girl are well meant, but we are just fine with three boys.
  • REAL REALITY CHECK: Sometimes people have no filter. And they don’t necessarily mean well. They just talk out of their bums and say rude or tactless things. As a pregnant woman well into her 35th week, the penchant for patience is running ever so thinly within me.

The sun is shining, the birds are chirping, and I am walking hand in hand with my two beautiful little boys (dressed alike, because really, how much longer will they allow me to do that??) I am in my own lovely little world, my baby belly protruding, and a huge smile is on my face. The boys are behaving, and all is roses and rainbows.

Enter a person walking toward my happy bubble.

I beam at them and say, “Good Morning, friend!” (Even though I have never seen this person before in my life.)

They smile, and with a sneer say, “Looks like you’ve got your hands full — and another one on the way? What are you trying to do, be another Octomom??”

The smile fell from my face, and I must have conveyed a look that was pure deathly rage: eyebrow raised, lips pressed together, and dragon-mother’s eyes flashing with fire. This person physically stumbled at my poisonous look, laughed nervously, and said with a gulp, “I guess we won’t be friends after that comment, huh?”

I flashed what can only be described as a malicious smile and loudly said, “NOPE” as I clutched my children’s hands and bounded off.

I am not proud of my reaction, or my response of rudeness to someone else’s lack of tact – especially in front of my children, but good grief my blood was boiling. And I know that I am not the only one that has had to deal with that type of incivility. My cousin is pregnant as well, and has had people tell her rude things about how “big” she is. For goodness sake! There is a freaking kid growing inside her!!! LAY OFF!!!

Tales from the Waddle Side

One day you think you’ve got it figured out, but the next you realize that everything you thought you knew is somehow very different from your initial perceptions. As I walk around with random songs playing in my head, Ariana Grande’s makes me giggle even more so now. With each waddling step I notice that I am DEFINITELY “walking from side to side.”

My real reality checks and ever-changing perspective on this dance we call “motherhood” continue to keep me on my toes. My tales from the waddle side continue to evolve. I can gladly say that every day is a welcome surprise, and three seems to be our luckiest of numbers.

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Jennifer is the lucky mother of three boys, Dean (3) and Dante (2) (yup, back to back), and Diego (2 months). So life normally resembles either a crazed, juice-fueled dance party, or a giggle powered wrestling match. When she is not prowling around the house like a t-rex she teaches high school AP Social Studies, coaches UIL and is a self proclaimed "fit-ish mom" (translation: food is heaven, but the gym is therapy.) She grew up in Edinburg, and is a graduate of Florida State University with a degree in Political Science and Theater. After college, she bounced to Los Angeles where she began acting, print modeling, and worked for a high profile mortuary. After about 5 years she came back to her roots in the RGV, met her incredibly sweet husband, and the rest, as they say, is history.

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