Pregnancy 101: According to Britt

Updated: Nov 25, 2020

Hello friends. It’s been some time since my last blog update. Mostly because I have been soaking in every ounce of this pregnancy and taking a lot of mental notes to write this very entry. Also, a LOT has happened. I want this to be more than just an “inside scoop” as to what my life has been like over the past nine months. Because, I know that many of you reading this are just nosey. That is no offense to you, but I know who you are. I see you. I get it. I share a lot on social media and have for a long time in the hopes to entertain, uplift and inspire. But, there is a WHOLE WIDE JUICY WORLD that I don’t share. Which, I know is what everyone is most interested in. My last blog was the most read / viewed blog I have ever written. You can read that here. Even more so than my leaked chapter of my new book. (Which yes, I will update you on that too, but not here. Soon)

(Maternity photos done by Ashley Alderfer - , SHE IS AMAZING!)

I want to give you a solid raw, real dose of pregnancy according to my experience. Which should be no surprise to anyone. I tell it like it is. I don’t believe in sugar coating or beating around the bush or saving people's feelings , in this case very sensitive hormonal feelings. This will be no different. I believe that everyone who has ever birthed a child has the right to share their experience because we each have something valuable to teach. We each have our own unique experience and our own perspective. I want newly pregnant first time moms to read this and be like “ OH THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR TELLING ME ALL OF THIS!” There are lots of books to read, I will share the ones I found beneficial but really I learned the most from my friends who have had children. But really, there is no book you can read or friend that you can talk to that can prepare you for your pregnancy. You just have to experience it day by day and take everything as it comes along. I hope this offers some insight to newly freaking out mama bears who just need something to grasp onto. That was me back in March. And now, we are here. 40 weeks, full term tomorrow. We have made it to the finish line, we just need to cross it. Only God knows when little Miss will make her entrance. My pelvic floor and patience are hoping soon. (that will be it’s own blog)

Let me continue to preface this by saying I have overall been VERY FORTUNATE. I have had little to no complications and have not felt poorly until the third trimester. I truly am grateful to be full term. I am very grateful to have had the tests come back clear and good. I am so thankful that my experience has been mostly a good one. I know that many women have awful pregnancies from the start. I know that many women would do anything to be able to conceive and feel the discomforts of pregnancy. Which is what I hold onto when the days are long and hard. I honestly felt SO guilty when I took that test on March 11th and it read “pregnant”. I felt like I didn’t deserve this baby. I know so many people who have tried everything to get pregnant and spent hundreds of thousands of dollars on treatments in hopes that they would have a positive pregnancy test. I have seen so much heartache when the treatments don’t work or something goes wrong. I couldn’t imagine the actual pain and heartache that some of my friends are feeling. I was just a few days late and had a weird dream and wanted to take a test so I would stop thinking about it and get back to my busy work day. I nearly fell over when the “not” didn’t show up and nothing has been the same in my life since. I wasn’t trying. I was newly in love with this super hot guy who had some serious baggage that I was unsure I wanted to help unpack. I loved him but I wanted to be with him longer than I had been before we decided to, you know, be attached to each other for a lifetime. I surely did not want to go through pregnancy alone and had so many fears. I honestly wasn’t sure if we would make it. He was 26, and a major babe. I never expected him to actually stay and be a family with me after such a short time. (I know I talked about this in my last blog. If you missed it, you can read it here.) But as I sit here on the couch balancing my Macbook on my huge belly and he lays beside me on his Nintendo Switch, it all worked out better than I had ever expected. I can’t call myself anything other than blessed. He is not only the father to my child but now my husband and a new Airman in the United States Airforce. Our future is big, bold and bright. Our life hasn’t even really begun yet. I am so excited to experience it all.

My First Trimester (Week 0 -12)

My start to pregnancy was more mentally stressful than physically. Because while Brandon and I had some issues in the start of our relationship and I was not the most welcomed person in his life by any means, let's drop COVID-19 and a world pandemic on top. It wasn’t a coveted situation. We were newly together. Like, super fresh. Barely two months into it and BAM. Pregnant. I was 4 weeks pregnant when I took the test in March. I had always meticulously tracked my period with an app and by date. I was rarely ever more late than two days. I do remember my phone alerting me that I was in the ovulation phase after a night of extracurriculars and did have a slight “panic” attack but then thought “OMG Brittany, get over yourself no one is THAT fertile.” Yeah, well I was very wrong.

My first thoughts were about my weight loss and fitness goals I had for the year. I was DEAD SET on getting my beach body back and losing a solid 50-60 lbs. Brandon was helping me, training me and counting my macros for me. I had lost 12 pounds and was feeling better everyday. I deadlift the most I ever had just that week. Well, I was now restricted to only lifting things under 25 lbs and instead of losing weight, I was about to gain it all back and then some. I was disheartened, mostly because I had been in the process of dealing with being fat shamed because okay yeah I had been on the chunky side. And compared to Brandon, I was fat I guess. So I was motivated for the wrong reasons to get back in shape but it would have worked. He was getting anonymous messages on his website calling me a fat ugly lesbian and saying that I was bigger than him. And yeah, they hurt my fucking feelings and made me angry and made me want to show these bitches who was fat. I didn’t want to say anything about my pregnancy until after my first appointment and until the testing came back and we knew the baby was okay so I would have to suffer silently for over a month and continue to deal with the bullying.

My second thoughts were about being unable to drink. I love beer. I love wine. I love drinking beer and wine. Which I had given up most of due to my new diet but the amount of stress I was under being bullied, sometimes a beer or two really tasted like I felt better. Say what you want. I know drinking due to stress is very unhealthy but I panicked because now I lost two outlets. I can’t lift heavy weights or push myself in hard insanity workouts AND I can’t drink. (Oh and COVID shut everything down literally the week after I took the test) WHAT THE FUCK WAS I GOING TO DO FOR NINE MONTHS?! Thankfully Brandon isn’t a drinker. I can literally count on one hand how many times he has consumed alcohol during my pregnancy.

My third thoughts surrounded my relationship. My new relationship. With this very hot 26 almost 27 year old fitness trainer. How would this ever work? These kinds of situations never worked out. Not on TV not in real life. Nowhere. I had so many doubts. I didn’t want him to feel trapped or like he had to stay with me, but at the same time I couldn’t imagine not being with my childs father and having to deal with other girlfriends or finding someone else to love me and my child later in life. ( I am not passing judgement on those situations at all. I know there are many people who co-parent successfully. ) I loved Brandon. I loved him fast. I loved him hard. I wanted it to work but due to my lack of self confidence and doubts (all of which I mostly made up in my head) I nearly sabotaged it all. We fought a lot and it was a very stressful time. I was in shock trying to adjust. He was in shock trying to adjust. Truthfully it was what we both wanted for our life but the impact of it happening so soon, was a lot for us both. I told him I didn’t want to trap him. He said he didn’t feel trapped and wanted to stay and be a family but I don’t think either of us knew exactly what that meant until much later. We both had a lot of growing up to do. We both figured that out as we went along.

So with all of that being said, the first trimester of my pregnancy was a LOT more than just some sickness and having to pee a lot. It was adjusting to a whole new life and dealing with a global pandemic upon a lot of other stressors.

As for my physical symptoms, they weren’t terrible. Truthfully it wasn’t that bad for me. I had a HUGE repulsion to any kind of meat other than the chicken nugget form. Brandon would cook his fatty meats and I would hang my head out the window and pray for death. I wanted nothing to do with anything greasy at all. No pizza, no french fries, nothing deep friend. I lived on frozen tropical fruit, Shakeolgoy, and chicken nuggets (baked) drowned in a ton of salt and ketchup. I also could no longer drink any dark roast coffee. Or really any coffee. Prior to being pregnant the darker the roast the better. I always drank hot strong dark black coffee. I used to pride myself on it. But in my first trimester I would smell strong coffee and have to puke. I have never been one to use any kind of creamer until I got pregnant. Now, I am one of those iced coffee extra cream so it doesn’t taste like coffee kind of girls. However, I never woke up and had to hurl. Not once. It was all caused by the smell of certain foods. Side note- your sense of smell really gets to be superhuman when you get pregnant. You can smell something rotting in the back of the fridge from the bathroom. No joke.

Personally, I drank caffeine my entire pregnancy. I kept it under 200 mg per day as recommended and suggested by my doctor. But I drank coffee (with lots of cream) and soda. That paired with some Tylenol was the only thing that relieved my headaches most days. I even had a few sips of Brandon’s energy drinks a few times because I needed something to give me a boost. As far as I know my baby is fine. She isn’t out yet, but I have carried her to full term and nothing has said anything is wrong otherwise. But of course consult your doctor and do what they say and what you feel you should. I would never have made it without caffeine.

Headaches. The awful awful hormone headaches were probably the worst during my first trimester. I have a history of having pretty bad headaches but these headaches felt completely different and would knock me right out. I would wake up with them sometimes and I couldn’t barely keep my eyes open. The worst part about it is the only thing you can really take when pregnant is Tylenol. Which for me, doesn’t do a whole lot. Finally someone suggested I take magnesium daily and once I started doing that, (with the approval of my doctor) my headaches went away. It also helps with leg cramping in the later weeks of pregnancy as well.

Fatigue. The fatigue was another tough part about T 1. It constantly felt like I had run an entire marathon and hadn’t slept in weeks. I slept a lot. I took lots of naps when I felt like sleeping. I listened to my body. After all, my body was creating an entire nervous system. It’s plain exhausting. It seems as though you will never get enough sleep, and I guess that is to prepare you for what is to come.

Bloody gums: Have you ever been to the dentist and lied about flossing everyday and were quickly check mated by the hygienist? It looks like you ate a raw human much like the zombies off of the Walking Dead? Yes? Well, prepare to have that kind of reaction every single time you brush your teeth for the rest of your pregnancy. Gums get extra sensitive and it doesn't matter what you do, they will bleed every time they are grazed. I got to the point where I couldn't eat apples normally anymore and had to cut them up because I would bleed all over the fruit.

Also, peeing. Peeing all the time. I counted 8 times one night that I had gotten up to pee. I couldn’t believe it. A teaspoon of pee felt like my entire bladder was going to burst. It made no sense then. It’s all caused by your newly surging hormones. (Now, there is a very large child pressing on it at all times and the sip of water barely gets down my throat and I am getting up to pee. But, I will talk more about that when we get to T3.)

The hardest part about the first trimester is that everything is so uncertain. You can’t see a practitioner until you are 8-10 weeks so it’s a long 2 months to wait to find out if everything is okay. It’s a constant worry. You google things you know you shouldn’t. You don’t dare to publicly announce anything or tell anyone other than the father and close family until you have your first appointment or really until you are out of T1 for safety reasons. You are not showing anything but feeling a surge of different ways. It can be frightening. It was for me. Especially considering everything else I had going on. But, if me now could talk to me then, I would tell myself to CTFD. - Calm the fuck down. Because a lot of my problems and fears I created. Everything worked out. Better than I had ever imagined. But it was a long road getting here.

If I can give you any advice in the first trimester it is this. Take one day at a time. Don’t worry about anything until you have solid evidence to worry about it. If you are someone who needs to know what is happening in your body read What To Expect When You Are Expecting or as many call it, The Pregnancy Bible". Follow along the book through your months of pregnancy and download the app. It is SO helpful to know exactly what is happening, what could happen and what will happen. To me it was comforting. I know that not everyone wants to know, but to me knowledge is power. I am grateful for this huge book “The Pregnancy Bible” for leading me through this pregnancy. Because my experience at my OB office hasn't been the best.

Another hard thing about my first trimester and really my entire pregnancy was that the OB department of my hospital does not have you see the same person. There is no consistency. You have to see every provider because there isn’t one who commits to delivering your baby. It just depends who is on call. The hard thing about that is that everyone has a different view, practice and perspective. Many of the providers are LOCUMS, which is just a fancy word for traveling doctor. Some have been wonderful, a few have not been. Being a first time Mom is scary as hell, especially in the midst of a global pandemic. And now with the COVID-19 baby boom, they are spread thin. Which I totally get, but it has made for a very poor experience overall. However I have made the best of it and I am crossing my fingers and toes that Labor and Delivery has more of their shit together because in the next week, this baby will be evicted one way or another and I can't do that shit myself.

I will say that my first appointment was great. I had a great nurse educator and doctor for my first ultrasound to see the little grape. But the appointments that fell after that I felt much like herded cattle. No one had spent more than 5 minutes with me until the end of my second trimester and I can only count a few times where I felt heard as a patient. But thankfully I have had a good friend who used to work as a labor and delivery nurse teaching me about everything and calming my worries. Also, the Pregnancy Bible. Without those two things I think I would have lost my shit by now.

I did have the Q- Natal testing done. They do this around week 10-12. I had all of the testing done. Again, that was a personal preference. I wanted to know everything. I wanted to know if something was wrong. I wanted to know the sex. I wanted to know as much as I could because I suffer from anxiety and to wonder for 9 months on top of hormones was not going to be healthy for me. They take a series of labs and test the fetal blood within your own (HOW COOL) for defects and issues. Thankfully every single test that I have had has come back clear and nothing has surfaced. We are very very blessed.

One thing I am very glad I started was the weekly progression photos. I was good about it every Wednesday from week 12 on. It was so exciting every Wednesday morning to wake up and take my weekly mirror bump pic. I am sure Bria will appreciate seeing all of these someday. I wish I had started from the moment I took the test, but I only have a week 5 and then jump to week 12. There are a few apps but I found the one “Baby Story” to be the best. You do have to pay for it but it’s worth it to put the little fruit pictures next to your belly and keep a weekly track of your beautiful belly growth.

Second Trimester (Week 13-28)

I didn’t start to feel better physically or mentally until the second trimester. A lot of my worries had been eased and people knew now. The bullying died down too. I mean you are some kind of asshole to fat shame a pregnant lady. Regardless, I had a lot of relief. Of course now I started to worry about being able to afford a baby. I worried about not getting everything she needed and already living paycheck to paycheck and being furloughed to part time and Brandon not working a lot. I know what it's like to go with out and struggle and I never ever wanted that for my children. I also discovered that my maternity leave would barely (50% pay) be covered for only 6 weeks (8 if I need a section) because I did not get the fancy short term disability in my insurance because I had no intentions of being pregnant this year. Also, childcare is expensive and booked out and COVID. How would I ever be able to return to work and afford another car payment / mortgage sized bill? Again, if I could speak to my second trimester self my speech would be the same, CTFD BRITTANY. I have a whole army of people - many of you who would never ever let me go without anything. But that little scarcity Brittany from my childhood really revved her ugly head for a little while.

I also began to realize that I had prepared for every part of my life without my mother, except this one. Being a mother. I cried a lot over my mom. I still do. But, I know she's with me. I know she has already held this little babe and knows everything about her. I know that she will have her Grandma Linda in her heart and spirit. But damn, the hormones don’t let up. They just get worse. Everything is heightened. Everything is worse than it is. Everything seems as if it’s the end of the world.

I was finally able to eat meat again in T2. My beloved cheeseburgers were back on the menu. (Cheeseburgers are my favorite food. Also tacos, but taco seasoning and I still really aren’t friends yet) Speaking of eating, holy crap, I was hungry. All the time. Starving. Constantly. I would finish a meal and within 20 minutes need to eat another one. I felt like a bottomless pit and wondered where all the food went. My co-workers just watched me eat all day long and probably found it very amusing. I needed breakfast before I left the house. Breakfast when I got to work. Pre lunch around 10:30 and lunch-lunch around 12. I would also need a hefty snack around 2 or 3 before my work day ended at 4:30. God forbid we didn't eat dinner until like 6:30. That was torture. I woke up in the middle of the night hungry too. It was WILD.

I also started working out everyday. I did 9 weeks of a fitness program and felt the best I had in a very long time. I was glowing. I felt like I was killing it. I also began to get this bump that was just SO CUTE. I loved it.

Start your registry as early as you can! Because you will forever be adding and changing it for next few months. I used Babylist and loved it. It was great because you can add things to it from any store, you aren't limited to just Target or Walmart or Amazon. You can do it all from the app! It is all online too, so now with COVID and such, it's very convenient. As for what to add to your registry.... I am not your girl. I didn't do a super bang up job on mine and am still missing a few things that were kind of important but its ALL GOOD. My advice is to seek advice from someone who JUST HAD a baby to see what is really needed. Oh wait, that will be me. Okay, well I guess in just a few short weeks I will let you know. I do know that everyone has a different opinion about what you need and what you don't. I know there is a lot of shit you don't need that people will tell you that you do. So, more to come on this in my next blog.

I also started to feel her move around week 19-20. Not a lot at first, but when I did it would send me over the moon. Wow, a real human baby life in my belly. It was becoming very real to me. Moves started to pick up near the end of T2. Brandon felt her move from the outside of my belly for the first time around week 17 I think. It grossed him out more than anything. Don’t take that personally ladies. If I felt something move inside of someone else and knew my body wasn’t capable of doing that I would have felt grossed out too. Now, he spends the majority of our evenings with his hands on my belly feeling her shift and contort my stomach. We have identified her little butt and can tell when it moves from one side of my belly to the other. She recognizes his voice and always kicks and rolls about when he comes home from work and she hears him. It really is the most amazing thing.

The second trimester is when the Karens started to come out. Mostly because people knew about the baby now. It wasn’t a secret anymore. Oh, how you have to prepare yourself for the Karens. (If you get nothing more from this blog please let it be this) Because the hormones that make you someone you aren’t just intensify with time, and the Karens are incredibly irritating. Things that people say that normally wouldn’t bother you, will make your blood boil and steam come out your ears. In some cases you may actually breathe fire. True Story. The Karens are very judgy of pregnant women. ESPECIALLY first time mamas just trying to figure it all out. My advice, don’t post or share anything you eat or drink on social media. Don’t post your hair products or the fact that you get spray tans. Someone will have something to say about it and it will make you mad. Like how dare they imply that you would intentionally eat something or use something that would hurt your baby!! Also, lean on your OB provider. If they say it’s okay, then it's okay. Karen on Facebook is NOT your doctor.

The messages will open with “ I am not trying to be nosey but… you should really….” or even, “I am really not trying to be a Karen….” Yes people actually called themselves KAREN and continued to send the message. Several times. These were not family members or friends really, just internet people who have followed me for some time which made me even more frustrated. And nothing you respond with will satisfy the Karens. They will hold firm their ground and opinions. I eventually learned this and stopped answering them. To keep your peace of mind and sanity, be aware of the Karens and just ignore them the best you can. I did end up deleting a few people because it got to the point where they were just being assholes about everything I did and I no longer felt the need to tolerate it because they weren’t family or friends or anyone that would be relevant to my child’s life. You have to protect your sanity. Do whatever is necessary to do that. More on this to come in T3.

I think this is a good time to discuss the fluctuation of hormones. Man, they are a real bitch. Sometimes I have an out of body experience and watch myself have full on meltdowns and wonder who the hell that person is and wonder why I can’t reign her in. Hormones babe. Hormones. I have heard they get worse after the baby is born. Brandon is in luck getting out of having to deal with that as he is leaving for the Lackland AFB shortly after she’s born. God help my friends and family. One day you will be sitting on your couch watching nothing emotional and have a thought about nothing sad and just start sobbing. Or you will laugh out of control over something that isn’t funny at all. Or, you will have to excuse yourself to a room alone to avoid turning into the exorcist in front of someone. You flat out can’t control them honey. You just have to embrace them. Coffee cups being put back the wrong way will piss you off, and if your food (that you heated up) isn’t hot enough you will cry. Your child's father will say something as a joke and it will send you into a full on nervous breakdown. You can be walking to your car and drop something and Niagara Falls will come out of your face. TV is also very triggering. Anything happy, sad, bad… will make you sob like a baby yourself. I have gotten to the point where I can kind of cut myself off after a while and tell myself that this isn’t me. But it has taken literally 40 weeks to get to that point. More on this to come as I go through postpartum. Stay tuned.

T2 is where you get to see the baby and it actually looks like a baby. I loved my ultrasounds. It was amazing to watch what is happening inside of you. It’s amazing to see your placenta and the cord. The baby femurs and piggy toes. The anatomy scan - where they measure all of the bones and look at organ function lasts about an hour and is done around week 20. I am very lucky because Brandon was able to attend this with me. Due to the pandemic, many places do not allow a second person. I believe they had just lifted that restriction right before my scan. This was the first appointment he was able to attend with me and for that I was so grateful.

The most often dreaded glucose test happens in the second trimester too. I had the fruit punch drink and honestly didn’t think it was that bad. It tastes like fruit punch. You know the kind we made when we were kids and put way too much sugar /mix in the glass? It’s like that. They keep it cold so it goes down pretty easy. I didn’t have the orange kind but I have heard that it tastes like orange soda with too much syrup in it. I can think of times where I have drank worse things, so if that is something you are worried about, you really do not need to be.

If I can give you any advice about the second trimester it’s this. GET AS MUCH DONE AS YOU CAN. If you need to do home improvements or projects or prepare the nursery. DO IT. GET IT ALL DONE. Because all too soon you will have no energy, you will be a lot bigger and you won’t feel like doing shit.

Third Trimester (Weeks 28-40)

Home stretch. You are in the home stretch. It will be the longest stretch but the most exciting. Also the hardest, in my opinion. Your belly will stretch beyond belief. Your emotions will be all over the place. Your energy that you once had in T2 will be on the first flight out. The anticipation of the baby will just consume everything you do. It really is like picking up someone from the airport but not knowing what they look like or when their flight comes in. The only thing you know is the terminal. The only thing you can do is rest, relax and hurry up and wait.

Things to look forward to this trimester: Maternity photos and BABY SHOWER, and of course a real LIVE BABY.

My advice on maternity photos: Get them done earlier in the trimester rather than later. If you have a good sized bump at 30 weeks, DO IT. Because, you sure as hell will not feel like putting on a dress and doing your hair and makeup closer to your due date. You will be very large. Very uncomfortable and just want to sit on your couch with your belly out eating pizza. I got my dress through Pink Blush Maternity. They have a lot of beautiful dresses.

My advice on the Baby Shower: First of all I had the most beautiful shower. My friends did an incredible job it was perfect. It was everything I had ever wanted. The only thing I am still very upset about is that I did not get a photographer to capture the moments and the people and the beautiful decor. I barely have any photos and it makes me so sad. You will say you will take them all yourself but you wont have any time and before you know it, its the end of the event and all of the decorations have been taken down and no one took any pictures. The night went so fast. I spent the majority of it opening gifts. Which I am so very grateful for! But, So many of my loved ones were there and I have no pictures with any of them. I did have a few people send me the ones below and I am so glad I got those! If you know me at all, pictures are everything to me. So, if they mean a lot to you too...make sure you hire someone to take them for you! My shower dress is from Amazon! Best $20 I have ever spent! (The sash on my belly is also from Amazon. My friend got it for me. I plan to have Bria holding it or wrapped around her fingers in her newborn photos and give it to her for her wedding day.)

Side note: We also got married the day of my shower. It wasn't anything very ceremonial and we do plan on having a celebration sometime next year either before we leave for base or before the end of the year. But he gave me the most beautiful ring earlier that week and we decided not to wait. It was what was best for our family. Being married before he ships will make everything easier, as many things will not be from here on out. I set up a cash fund on the baby registry for that as well. Which some people gave me a hard time about, but since we aren't really having a wedding and my leave isn't hardly covered I figured it couldn't hurt anything. If you find yourself in our kind of unique situation I recommend doing that. Another reason why Babylist is so great for your registry! Advocate for your needs! :)

On to the third trimester feels! You will feel baby move a LOT more. Every time I eat or pee or stand up or sit down or Brandon speaks she makes her presence known. She’s a lot bigger now so her moves sometimes knock the wind right out of me. (I suspect she kicks me in the lungs) She also punches my bladder which hasn’t made me pee my pants yet but, I am anticipating if I go much over 40 weeks that will happen.

Energy level drops a LOT. I feel the best in the mornings. I have the most energy and can get the most amount accomplished before 12. After that, I start to shut down. It’s kind of like the first trimester all over again but this time with a huge belly and a lot of discomfort.

I have personally had severe pelvic pain for the majority of the third trimester. It feels like a bowling ball is sitting on my cervix. It hurts to stand, sit up straight, walk, move, sometimes breathe. More towards the end in my last few weeks of work I had to leave several times because the pain is so severe it brings tears to my eyes and the only thing that makes it better is to lay down. Not everyone gets this, so don’t panic. She was breech for the first two trimesters of my pregnancy and when she moved into the head down position, this is what started happening. The bigger she gets the worse it gets. I wanted to be the girl who worked on her due date just to say I did, but I tapped out last Friday. (which was only 3 days shy of my due date). So I made it pretty close which I am very happy I was able to. It’s the worst in the morning when I wake up. Sometimes I feel like I need a walker to get moving. I have a large suitcase next to my bed that helps me stand up and stabilize before I actually start ambulating.

Lightening crotch is also very real. Not everyone get's this but oh you will know when it happens. It's shooting pain in your crotch. That's all I have to say.

I am up usually from 2:30 am to 4:30 am. I am not sure why but I wake up to pee around that time and I just can’t fall back asleep. The pelvic pain makes it very hard to roll from side to side or to move, so every time I have to adjust myself during the night I have to get up and do it. There is no such thing as rolling over anymore. It’s like being a turtle I presume. One thing that has brought me a lot of comfort is my body pillow. I didn’t spend the money on a fancy pregnancy pillow. I just have a very plush body pillow that I wrap myself around at night and it relieves some of the pressure and gives me some support. I highly recommended anyone who is pregnant to have a body pillow. You will thank me.

Also, a corn bag / neck wrap. Keep it in the freezer for those swollen hot feet at night. It feels so nice to wrap your feet up in a nice soft cool corn bag at night. The feet swelling is REAL in T3. Drink lots of water, watch your salt intake and keep your feet elevated when you can. But, also say goodbye to your ankles. It is just all a part of the process. At this point you can’t see your feet either. Also, forget about shaving your cookie. You can’t reach it. No one will care. I had full intentions of getting waxed but then decided I didn’t care enough to.

Another thing that is tricky towards the end is wiping. It becomes VERY difficult and you need to get creative. I highly recommended wipes for yourself. They are necessary from here on out sister. For both you and the baby.

Peeing also gets interesting. Yes you will have to pee a lot. Mostly because there is a large baby human literally laying directly on top of your bladder. (That gets bigger each day) But, it gets tricky. You will go pee in the middle of the night. You will come back to bed and lay on the opposite side you were prior to getting up to pee, and you will have to pee again. Sometimes you will pee and think you are done. You will do some circus moves to wipe yourself and then stand up and have to pee again! In the same moment. It's frustrating shit. You will chug bottles of water and be able to go a while and then take one tiny sip before bed and have to get up within 10 minutes of laying down. You have to stay hydrated and you have to drink a lot of water though. It just becomes a sick game at the end of pregnancy. It's also hard because you can't just pop up and move around easily anymore. Every movement is hard. But, trust me, I have made it past my due date. If I can do it, you can too mama,

I was fortunate not to get many stretch marks until this trimester. Then it was like BAM. HELLO. HERE WE ARE. I was hoping that I was one of the lucky people who just didn't get them. I faithfully applied handfuls of cocoa butter all over my belly twice a day everyday since I found out I was pregnant but, still they came. I had a hard time at first with them. Now, I am like… I am basically a tiger and could eat anyone at any given moment. (true story, keep reading) After she is out, they will be a reminder of how hard my body worked to create this little one. They will be worth it. I am lucky they aren’t worse than they are honestly. I do have an incision from the bottom of my sternum all the way down my belly from my emergency surgery in 2012. I was really anticipating that being painful or making them worse. Oh and as your belly grows it will ITCH LIKE CRAZY. DON’T ITCH IT. I heard that makes it worse. Instead definitely purchase a large bottle of coca butter and apply it to your belly when it itches. That takes the itch away and may help you prevent some stretch marks. But, don’t worry if you do get them, it just means you are a badass creating another little badass.

THE SWAB. Beware of the SWAB. I wish someone told me about the swab and for some reason I had missed this in all my reading and research. At my 36 week appointment I was handed a large q-tip on a wooden stick and was told to stick it in my vagina and then in my rectum and put it back in the tube. WHAT. THE. HELL. So, it is a test that they have to do before you deliver to see if there is any kind of infection that could be passed along to the baby. But I went in blind and was planning on peeing in a cup to check my urine for protein and glucose and was handed that. So, it needs to be done. I was surprised when I was told to do it myself honestly. I almost think that it would have been better if the nurse or doctor did it. If you aren’t a big fan of “butt stuff” having to shove a large stick up your ass is not an easy task friends. But, we got it done and great news. No infection.

MEMBRANE SWEEPING. I have had it done twice now. Once at my 39 week appointment and once today at 40 Weeks. It isn’t that bad. Lots of pressure. You will cramp and be sore after, especially if you are only 1 cm dilated. There has been some bleeding afterwards but that is normal. Having someone finger your cervix roughly isn’t anything like foreplay trust me. It’s not enjoyable. But it is supposed to be a natural way to get things moving along. So far, it hasn’t worked for me. It is very quick, lasts less than a minute. It makes baby very active as they are poked in the head by the provider. The first week I had it done she did not stop kicking the crap out of me until the next day. It pissed her off more than anything I think. I have had a lot of dark sticky discharge this last time I had it done and did call up to OB to just make sure nothing was out of the ordinary. So far, my water hasn’t broken and no contractions have begun. But, it was a safe natural way to maybe move things along. It was worth a shot.

Prenatal Massage: Please get massages. You need them. You deserve them. They are fantastic. I have a lady named Marci that is a miracle worker. She has checked on me almost daily since my last “induction massage”. It did not induce me but LORD DID IT FEEL WONDERFUL.

Chiropractic Care: Ugh, friends if I could afford to go twice a week every week, I WOULD HAVE. I have only been a few times because it is expensive but when I did go it offered me a ton of relief.

Baths: Some Karens will probably not like me suggesting taking baths, but seriously when you are straining your back so much carrying around that babe, there is nothing better than sitting in a warm tub full of bubbles and a nice glass of sparkling water or hot cocoa or coffee or whatever your non - alcoholic drink of choice is. I take one almost every night now.

Nesting: I guess this is a thing where you want to clean and organize things before the baby comes? I say that as a question because I never had the energy for all of that. Also, I am not able to set up a nursery just yet. We have to move in 3 weeks out of our apartment because my husband is shipping off to the Air Force in Texas for Basic Training and then Tech School. He will be gone for nearly six months. So, we are putting all of our stuff in storage and Bria and I will stay with family while he is gone to save money on rent. Which, yes kind of majorly sucks. But, I am looking at the bigger picture and trying to stay positive. He is making so many sacrifices for our family, I am so very proud of him. The least we can do is hang out and bother Grandpa and great Aunt Val and stay busy until we get our base assignment and can be reunited again in the late spring. - Side note: Brandon decided to enlist in my second trimester. We discussed it and made the decision as a family. With COVID, he lost everything - his entire business disappeared overnight and it really drove him to find a career that wouldn't leave him high and dry even in the midst of a global pandemic. While him leaving right before Christmas weeks after his baby is born is so hard and I am very sad that our first holiday together wont actually be together... I am so proud of him and Bria will be too. The sooner he goes the sooner we can begin our next Chapter. I am hoping for something warm and coastal. Being his wife and the mother of this baby is by far the best Christmas present anyone could ever want.

Hunger: You will be hungry. Starving, much like the second trimester. But now your stomach is very smooshed inside of you and you will set out to eat a 5 course meal and only be able to finish an appetizer. Your eyes are literally much bigger than your stomach. I cried over this a lot because I was so hungry but couldn't eat everything I wanted. Again, these hormones are so over the top extra.

You will get to the point where you feel like you are a turkey and your lower half resembles one. Mine, clearly is raw and uncooked as I have no energy to undress for my spray tan lady Sasha. Oh, how I miss her and that bronzed glow she once gave me.

Now it is time for me to warn you about the Susans. Susan’s and Karens are two different kinds of evils during your pregnancy. I think they are sisters. I was going to name the Susans - the U - A - ers. But that doesn’t sound right. So, let me tell you about these Susans. Because in T3 they will make your head spin around even more than the Karens.

U-A stands for Unwarranted or Unwanted Advice. I have named the givers of the UA, Susan. Not to be confused with her sister Karen, the ones who judge you and tell you what to do with your body. Susans have all kinds of suggestions and advice and they will give it all to you for FREE. How kind of them right? Umm no. Because by the time Susans come around, you are already fucking done with everyone’s shit. You are tired of being asked how many babies you are carrying due to the size of your stomach. You are tired of being asked if you are ever going to have the baby. “Ummm no Karen / Susan. I am not going to have the baby. In fact I look forward to her first year in Kindergarten that she will attend from my uterus via Zoom.” EYE ROLL, CUSS WORDS ETC” For some reason, this gets exceptionally worse during the third trimester. Mostly because your cervix should be thinning out towards the end, and your patience is a sheet of paper at this point. You want nothing more than to have this baby and squeeze her cheeks and wrap her up in all the cute swaddles you got from your baby shower. But, if you share your journey on social media or just have a lot of family and friends that love and support you… the Susans are unavoidable. People you know. People you don't. People you don’t know and their mothers… I mean it gets to be ridiculous. I am telling you this so you know and are informed. Sadly, Susan is unavoidable. But, again knowledge is power. So here ya go.

Susan’s are all of the Moms on Facebook. Any woman who has ever been pregnant feels like she knows exactly what is going on with your body and your pregnancy at this very moment in time. Even if it was 10 years ago. She knows it all and she will message you and comment on all of your things, all kinds of condescending advice that you don’t want and won't ever take. She will be very bossy and tell you what to do and how to do it and for how long. She will act like it’s her baby that she is waiting impatiently for. She will tell you what is good for you, what is bad for you, what she did and why she did it.

Let me tell you that you will not give a single fuck. Not one. But, Susan has all the fucks and gives them all.

Now, I am sure that most Susan’s are trying to come from a place of helpfulness. Most of them anyway. What baffles my mind is that they don’t remember being pregnant and dealing with Susans and don’t realize that they have become one. I surely promise you, as a mother, I will never ever give you any advice that you do not want. I will never tell you what to do with your body. If you ask me a question I will share my answer but I will never send you a novel on things you can easily google and likely already know. I will never ever be a Susan. I can never forget how awful and angry they make me feel. There will even be Susans who had never had children and still give you advice on what to do. Those people really will grind your gears, as they do mine.

I chose to deactivate my Facebook for the duration of my pregnancy because of the Susans. I made it to 39 weeks online and then pulled the plug. (It’s the very best thing I have done this trimester!) I pulled the plug after simply posting a photo of me and my beautiful new shiny sparkly ring with my Mama Bear mug. All. I. Said. Was. “Waiting for my baby bear”. Well that was the whistle that notified all of the Susans to chime in. Dozens of comments telling me to have sex, use oil, eat spicy food, have sex, have some more sex, telling my husband to have sex with me…. And that was the last straw.

First of all, if you have ever been 39-41 weeks pregnant before, you know that having sex is the very last thing you want to do. If you are in the extreme amount of pelvic floor pain (like me) you REALLY cannot fathom having sex. It hurts to sit. Like I cry sometimes because sitting hurts, that bad. And you want me to sit on my husband's penis? Or bend over? And you think that won’t make me cry out in pain? And you think he will stay “up” for that? Oh okay. Sure Susan. It went steps further and moved to my inbox and I did lash out to some messages I received saying I was in pain and I just couldn’t do it a lot. NOT THAT ITS ANYONES FUCKING BUSINESS. But, I digress again. Susan still wasn’t satisfied and gave me all kinds of tips about position and ease of movement and orgasms… That was when I knew if I did not bow out of this platform I was going to do and say a lot of things I would eventually regret.

I think sex is an extra sensitive topic for me because of my trauma history. I am aware of my limitations and why I have them. Painful, unwanted or welcomed sex is a trigger for me. I am sharing this not to make anyone feel poorly, but to be aware. Because I am one of the very few who have come forward with my story. You never know what someone has experienced in their life. For that reason, I would suggest being mindful of what path others have walked. I have made peace with my past and have chosen to use it as a strength, however those damn hormones haven’t really caught up with that yet.

Anyway, I decided I was no longer going to be a nice, positive, witty, inspiring human. Devil horns have taken the place of my once glowing pregnancy halo and I was on the verge of being a straight up asshole. Which truly, deep down inside of myself that is not affected by these surging hormones and emotions… I am not. I don’t like being snarky or mean. I never got enjoyment out of arguing or making someone feel bad. I hate confrontation. I cry when someone is mad at me. But, third trimester 39 - 40 week pregnant Brittany. She’s an all new bitch that quite frankly, I’m scared of. So, to spare everyone her wrath, I decided to step away. Instagram has always been more of my jam. And for some reason Susan and Karen kind of don’t bother me a lot on the gram. Now that I have said that I am sure that I have jinxed myself, but I digress. (Going back through editing this before I post it, a “Susan” just contacted me via DM telling me “ Did you get rid of your facebook hun? This baby needs to be born.” So yes I did jinx myself. I am doing this Susan a kindness by not responding.)

Let me tell you what I know. Your baby will come out when it's time. There is no amount of sex, food, oil, tips or tricks that can make he or she come out. They come when they are ready to come and if they don’t you will be induced so your placenta does not run out of steam. I have been promised that my daughter will not attend kindergarten from my womb via zoom, although it may feel that way right now. No one can summon it with knowledge. Only God knows when it’s time and it will happen when it’s time.

Let me speak to the Susans or to anyone who knows a pregnant friend. What they need from you is support. They need: “You got this!” messages and to be called beautiful and to be asked if they want some snacks and some fuzzy slippers and some self care items. They need ice cream and fluffy pillows and things to keep them comfortable. They do not need you commenting on how long the pregnancy has been for you. Because this isn't about you. Furthermore, making any woman, especially a very pregnant one feel badly about not having their baby (who they want to have more than anything) on your timeline makes you the worst kind of person. Hormones or not, I will stand by these words.

My good friend and godmother to my child, Shannon, she has been wonderful. While she has done a TON for the baby, she has done a ton for me. She gets me coffee’s - with lots of cream and sugar. She surprises me with cheeseburgers. She gets me face masks and makeup to make me feel better about myself. She comes over and listens to me bitch and deals with all my irrational hormonal feelings. In fact, right now at this moment, she is at a store buying me fizzy waters and cookie dough because I cannot fathom going inside of a store right now and I really wanted warm cookies. She loves me. She loves this baby. She tells me it's going to be okay and that little miss is going to be PERFECT. Be a Shannon, not a Susan. We do not want to hear how huge we are or how long it’s taking to have the baby. We want to feel loved and valuable and like we are not just an incubator. Furthermore, we do not have control over when our children are going to be born. We just do the best we can to create a safe space for them to grow in.

Now some may say that I have brought the Susan’s on myself because I have created so much excitement around this baby. I have posted a lot about my journey and looked forward to my weekly updates. Because, I am very excited about this baby. I am very excited to be a mother. I am very excited to be a wife and start a new journey with my husband somewhere new in 2021. And, Because I truly do love social media. It has connected me to some amazing people (my husband is one of them) and I have a lot of fun in creating content. I loved teaching social media to entrepreneurs and giving them the opportunity to connect with their tribes all over the world. Mostly because of my love of photography and writing. For me, social media connects both of my passions. But, everyone needs a break. Deactivating Facebook is the BEST thing you can do sometimes. It gives you a total break, but all of your stuff is still there and you can come back whenever you want.

My advice for the third trimester is to see it through. It will be tough. You will think you cannot go on any longer. But you can. I am sure that you have found some amusement in this read and my description of the difficult people you will face, but in all reality it really is hard. You will be pushed to your wits end during the last few weeks, but hang tight and be tough. You can do this. You are almost there. Soon your beautiful baby will be here and he or she will be very worth it. Of course I have not yet met my little Bria, but in just a few short days she will be in my arms, and I will confirm this whole heartedly. Also, be sure to take care of yourself, make your needs known and set boundaries. No one can make you do anything you want to do. No one has the right to tell you what to do, what you want or how you feel. You have to advocate for yourself, always, but especially as a mama to be. To your providers, to your family and friends and to the Susans and Karens. Lean on your friends and loved one's for support. Most importantly, don't take shit from anyone. You are creating human life, you don't have to. DEACTIVATE YOUR FACEBOOK. :) (if your self care requires it, and you don't owe a blog post to anyone explaining yourself either!)

In closing, today I am 40 weeks and 1 day pregnant. Due dates are nothing but a guess / estimate. Mostly lies. I am scheduled to be induced on Wednesday November 25th at 7:30. (Because she really has no more room. Really, she doesn’t. She has been served her eviction notice.) I hope that she comes before that, but if she doesn’t she will come soon after that. I have made myself very comfortable at home watching lots of predictable sappy Christmas movies and eating snacks. Spending as much time with Brandon as I can because our days alone are limited and he leaves in just 3 weeks. I am uncomfortable. This child presses on my sciatica and sends me to the floor at least a few times a day. I am being taken very good care of by Brandon and Shannon. God bless them.

My next entry will be my birth story with lots of pictures of little Miss Bria Lee Fuller, which I know you are all waiting to see and meet. Until then, thank you for the well wishes and prayers for a smooth safe healthy delivery and the start of a brand new chapter in this new book.

And, the book… I will send an update about that soon. I promise. For now, I need to keep my eyes on this prize in my belly.

If this helps you as a newly pregnant mama, I have done my job. I am always honest over all. Don’t be scared. You got this. I am here if you need an ear or if you have a question.

And as always, if you have enjoyed this please share it. I am not selling anything other than my advice and it's worth what you are paying for it which isn’t a whole lot I realize. I do want to grow this blog just to expand my reach and my readers. Maybe someday I will be a best selling author, successful blogger, SAHM. That is the goal anyway. In the meantime, thank you for reading and sharing my journey with me. I do appreciate you. Even, if you are a Susan.



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