Heating Up and Counting Down: AKA the 3rd Trimester Struggle

I’ll be the first to say that this pregnancy has been a smooth ride, but the shift into third trimester has been a bit of a game changer for me. I was nonchalantly coasting through the weeks, counting my lucky stars for my good bill of health, steadily growing bump, and my perceived ability to totally rock at being pregnant.  I’ve made a point to focus on the good things and do my best to take all the negative “side effects” of pregnancy with a grain of salt.  After all, we did this on purpose and the entire experience has been nothing short of amazing… so far.

Heating Up and Counting Down 1

As a first time mom, I like to think that I’m not completely naive, (but that’s certainly debatable).  When I hit the 2nd trimester mark, I was repeatedly warned about what was waiting for me in the home stretch.  In fact, it wasn’t too long ago that I was waiting for my bump to finally be obvious and begging for the weather to warm up.  Alas, summer has arrived and so has my undeniable baby belly. With the risk of sounding like a wimp, here are a few of my not-so-favorite things about being big and pregnant during my favorite Iowa season:

Summer Pregnancy Complaints

Swollen ankles.

This is the inevitable result of spending too much time on my feet, or too much time sitting for that matter. Bonus because swollen ankles and feet look super cute in sandals!

Reduced lung capacity.

I vaguely remember a time when I enjoyed taking the dogs for a brisk walk around our neighborhood.  Now, each weekday I mentally prepare myself for the huffing and puffing that it will take to drag myself from my desk to the parking lot about a block away from my office.  Of course, there are unavoidable stairs in my path, so the limited space that my lungs have to work with is not going unnoticed.

Kiddie drinks.

Summertime, to me, goes hand-in-hand with evenings spent sipping strawberry daiquiris on the patio or a summer shandy around a bonfire.  Don’t get me wrong, I’m fully enjoying sipping my lemonade in the summer sun, but it doesn’t have quite the relaxation effect.

Sleepless nights.

Where did this come from? I was sleeping great, except for the fact that I’m not able to sleep in either of my prefered positions (stomach or back) and then third trimester comes along and I’m incapable of sleeping through the night. I like to think that it’s nature’s way of training me for what’s to come, but I’d rather just jump into those sleepless nights cold turkey.

Bi-hourly bathroom breaks.  

This is just annoying. No explanation needed.

Kicks to the ribs.

Feeling our baby move inside me provides a type of joy that I can’t begin to describe.  Now that those little flutters and squirms have turned into full-fledged kicks to my ribs and punches to my bladder, it’s slightly less cute and significantly more uncomfortable.

Heating Up and Counting Down 2

Wardrobe frustrations.

Part of me is thankful to be able to wear dresses and flip flops during my last couple months of pregnancy.  The other part of me is seriously upset that I’m intentionally packing on the pounds when everyone else is breaking out their shorts and swimsuits. The thought of wearing either one makes me want to cry… which I might just do thanks to these raging hormones!

Increased sun sensitivity.

Little did I know that the increased hormone levels caused by pregnancy also cause the skin to become more sensitive to sunlight.  This is especially awesome for redheads like me. Bring on the SPF 50!

Practice contractions.

Braxton hicks contractions have upped their ante lately, and although they’re not uber painful, they are certainly distracting and uncomfortable.  They strike me more frequently when I am active or slightly dehydrated–two things that happen more often in the summer.

Forgetfulness and indecisiveness.  

I can’t even tell you how many times I’ve left home without my cell phone (aka my third arm) and didn’t notice until it was way too late to go back for it. Literally, I can’t tell you how many times because I can’t remember. Sigh. Or how about the fact that it takes me a good 2 hours to get groceries these days? As if deciding between the gala apples and the granny smiths is a life changing decision… yikes!

End rant. But really, these aren’t complaints. I would do it all again in a heartbeat and I haven’t even experienced the best part! In some ways, I feel like our due date cannot come soon enough, but I hope this little guy or girl stays put and keeps cooking until the time is right.

If you’ve had a summer baby, what tips do you have for beating the heat and riding out the final weeks of pregnancy?


Jessi is a creative, organized and enthusiastic girl mom with a soft spot for country music and all that it entails. She's a single mom to two sassy little girls (born in 2014 & 2018). She's putting down roots in West Branch, Iowa, just a few miles from her hometown of West Liberty. Jessi works in fundraising, event coordination and community development and enjoys hiking, crafts, bargain hunting, party planning, and taking in the simple joys of life. She is admittedly addicted to funny memes, is passionate about philanthropy, and is completely smitten by the adventure of motherhood.


  1. I’m due August 9th with my second, and I have a daughter at home who turns 2 on the 8th (YOUR due date!). I’m miserable too, honestly, and it has nothing to do with the heat. In fact, I kind of love being pregnant in the summer because clothing is so uncomfortable, and the house is warm enough for me to run around in nothing but underpants and a loose sports bra (or to sleep in just underpants… ahhh!). In the winter I wouldn’t be able to do that.

    Honestly, the only way I am getting through is by talking to friends who don’t mind my grousing about the awfulness of this stage. The burping in the middle of sentences, the uncontrollable flatulence, the heartburn, the awful nights of sleep (sleep? what’s sleep?), the uber-urination, the giant butt expansion… none of it is awesome, whether intentional or not. I did this on purpose too, but that doesn’t make it any more pleasant.

    A friend once said something that I never forgot: Nature makes the final weeks of pregnancy so miserable that you actually LOOK FORWARD to giving birth. To potentially tearing your lady bits by squeezing something the size of a watermelon out of an opening the size of a lemon. There’s no other way to make us wish for that day than for the weeks prior to it to be unbearable.

    Nature. Smart little beast, isn’t she? Best of luck to you in this home stretch!

    (p.s. – You mentioned not wanting to put on a bathing suit, but I highly recommend hitting the pool. Because there’s nothing more incredible than the weightlessness that water provides. Who cares if you’re pale and veiny? Pregnant chicks are beautiful no matter their size or color. Put that big belly out there and be proud. Pretend you’re European. They don’t cover the belly. We shouldn’t be ashamed. But try the swimming — even if you’re only paddling around like a preschooler. It feels wonderful.)

  2. Lydia, I must say that it’s nice knowing I’m not alone in these feelings! I’m blessed to be surrounded by supportive women and it sounds like you are too. 🙂 Also, the new kiddie pool in our backyard is my new favorite hangout so I can honestly say that I’m taking your advice about rocking a swimsuit these days! The neighbors may think I’m crazy but they have kids too so it’s all good. Ha!

    • Good for you! I’ve been sneaking into the kiddie pool too. You should try the big pool though, see what you think of it. The floating part is THE BEST. 🙂

  3. 2 words: Gaucho Pants and Flip Flops. They are the 2 things that fit when nothing else does!! I always feel like towards the end even my maternity clothes/pants get uncomfortable. So they are my go-to! Not exactly sure what I’m going to do this time around when it’s the dead of winter. Maybe flip flops in the snow?! Hang in there! You’re getting so close! 🙂

  4. The benefit of being pregnant in the summer is sandals. The swollen feet come no matter what and being able to wear as little of a shoe as possible is amazing. As well as Maxi skirts. I was due Aug. 11th last year, and I bought eight non-maternity maxi skirts that I wore below my belly and can still wear. (They’re also awesome for post pardom.) Also – find a swimming pool, especially now that you’re in the home stretch. It takes the weight off the belly. (I was so miserable the weekend before I had my son that I rocked a two piece to the local pool because I.just.didn’t.care.) Next summer you’ll be wearing your shorts and tanks again, looking at your almost one year old, thinking of this time with nostalgia (and possibly tears in your eyes.)

  5. I was pregnant in the summer all 3 times! Go for a swim! There is nothing better than the weightless feeling in the water!!! Plus I liked to think of myself as great birth control for all the cute teenagers at the pool:)

  6. Great first blog! You are seriously the cutest pregnant woman I have ever seen! I look forward to see if you will have a red-head “ginger” baby!


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