Twelve weeks to go.
Something about hitting this particular milestone feels super-significant to me. It isn’t just that, by most reckonings, 28 weeks is the start of the third trimester (although that is certainly in the back of my mind too). It just suddenly feels like such a small amount of time.
Something about 28 weeks makes me feel really, really pregnant. Like, I know you can’t be just a little bit pregnant—but this feels real. When you’re at 28 weeks, you’re way closer to having a baby than you are to not being pregnant in the first place. It feels like you’ve tipped the precipice into the motherhood free-fall.
Before, it seemed like I still had quite a bit of time left. I mean, no one ever counts in weeks unless they’re pregnant or using the wedding countdown timer on The Knot. Saying you have “twenty-three weeks” or “fifteen weeks” left to go sounds like a long time, and the math still generally works out in your favor. But from twelve weeks on, that’s a real frickin’ number. And everything after it just sounds impossibly small.
At 28 weeks, you’re pretty much having the pregnancy you’re having, and for a control-freak recovering perfectionist like me, that’s hard to come to grips with. When you first learn you’re pregnant, there’s time to clean the house and do more yoga and moisturize daily and restart your ClassPass membership and get a prenatal massage every week and see a chiropractor and start a new business and meditate on the miracle growing inside you daily. At 28 weeks, this is it. I still have way too much shit to do, my kid still eats more fast food than anyone has a right to, and I am several green tea Frappuccinos past feeling good about my choices.
With twelve weeks ahead of me, I have still so much to look forward to and so much I want to do. I want to reorganize my house. I want to love my new curves. I want to sit, breathe and feel my baby wiggle around. I want to play Marco Polo with Kayla and Anysa without worrying about the little one. I want to hold Phoenix forever while she sleeps because she still fits into my arms just right. I want to go for long brunches with my husband because the kids are in school and Avengers is playing. In so many ways, I want to freeze my life just where I am.
The gift of the third trimester is that you’re always aware of how little time you have left to enjoy things just as they are right now. The to-do list, particularly when it’s not a first pregnancy, becomes much less important. I still have a million things to do, but now I see that I can’t do them all. So your body, mind and heart begin to sort out what’s really important to you. And you keep that, and the rest just goes.
When I was pregnant with Phoenix, I remember seeing everything after my due date as being this big, blank darkness. I had no idea what to expect and couldn’t put any context to what the first few months of having a newborn would be like. Now, I have trips planned, events to cover and work I really enjoy to get back to. As my family has grown, so have I. So for me, this last trimester is all about being grateful for this experience, because with this birth, a phase of my life is transformed into something new. It’s about celebrating what has been and what’s to come (and like 20% about cleaning out the basement).