Bless our cotton socks, when we're *this* close to the finish line of pregnancy, we undergo what can only be described as a somewhat terrifying and completely wonderful metamorphosis. Our primal nesting hormones are raging and our bodies have reached the CODE RED stage of preparation.
And it's during this time that we tend to lose rational commonsense. We make decisions that no person with full control of their brain's frontal cortex would.
If, like me, you're in the throes of a third trimester metamorphosis, take heed of the warnings below. People probably won't share them with you, but honestly? They should be.
1. Put down the hot glue gun and step away from the craft table
It begins well enough - you just want to create a special space for your newest addition. After all, unless you're Finnish, a cardboard box next to the bed just won't do. So you create a Pinterest account to gather ideas.
By the sixth month of pregnancy your partner declares that if you buy one more piece of craft from Etsy (a well-known gateway drug to DIY) they might actually divorce you. You decide to go it alone. How hard can it be?
Fast forward to your 35th week of pregnancy. It's 2am and you're hot glue-gunning pipe cleaners and fur pom poms to toilet rolls in the dark while eating Tim Tams. Whatever you envisaged for your nursery, this is not it.
Put the hot glue gun down and step away from the table. Throw away the DIY unless you want your nursery décor to end up on one of those viral "Pinterest vs real life" fail albums. You know the ones I'm talking about.
2. Throw away your bathroom scales. Put them in the bin right now
If this is your first baby, you may have embraced the socially acceptable 'pregnancy muffin top' like I did. If this is a subsequent baby, you've probably given healthy eating a red hot go in fear of the extreme weight loss programs that await you on the other side of a laissez-faire approach to pregnancy nutrition.
Either way, by your third trimester - unless you're Hillary Baldwin or Kate Middleton - you're massive. Our chins have disappeared into our necks and we're so physically tired from growing a human that the return (or intake escalation) of processed sugars is inevitable. Embrace the Tim Tam. Throw away the scales. There will be plenty of time for Beyonce-style cayenne detoxes when your hormones are no longer making you a CRAZY person.
3. Do not attempt the construction of flat pack furniture. I mean it. Just don't
Picture this. You're 30 weeks pregnant. You've got all this time on weekends now that you're not recovering from nights out on the town, so it seems only sensible that you invest that time in more enjoyable pursuits – like reading Swedish instruction manuals and getting well acquainted with 'Allen keys' and 'cam locks'. Your rational partner will have nothing to do with your ridiculous plan, so you start your quest down the Ikea rabbit hole of construction with glee.
Fast forward to 4 hours later when you're on the phone to Gary from customer service. Sweaty, exhausted and furious, you're explaining to Gary that your chest of drawers is wobbly and the drawers won't slide in. Surely there should be a national product recall for this faulty design? Your husband returns from a sanctioned trip to Bunnings with power saw and drill to review the situation and decide on a plan. Thirty seconds of clear-headed analysis finds that you have screwed the drawer rails and support beams incorrectly and it can be fixed with but a few turns of the Allen Key.
You'll never be able to enjoy that chest of drawers. Every time the drawers smoothly glide on their rails you'll be reminded of your flat pack incompetence. Don't do it to yourself; outsource all flat pack construction to smug neighbourhood tradesmen who've put together a million of these models with their eyes closed while juggling fire-lit batons.
4. Embrace the insomnia
Your body may start to reject sleep in a third-trimester attempt to reduce the shock of your impending two-hour sleep cycle. Well meaning strangers will tell you to sleep as much as you can in the lead up to labour, but anyone who has experienced this late pregnancy insomnia will confirm that this is the most impractical advice ever. So I'm telling you to do the opposite. Embrace the insomnia. Use your new-found time for 3am research of important purchases like genie leggings and Nutribullets. Early morning hours are also a great time to binge eat all that processed sugar you've been hiding, in a vain attempt to avoid the "are you sure you need that fifth bowl of ice-cream?" look from across the dinner table.
Hey, you've thrown out your scales - no one will ever know, right?
5. Your third trimester is not the time to try a pixie cut. Trust me, you don't have the bone structure right now
It's been eight long months of feeling like your body is not your own, and you no longer recognise the moon-faced turkey staring back at you. Enough is enough and you want your control back. It seems the only safe and impactful course of action right now is to get your hair cut.
How glamorous! You defer to your Pinterest account and collate pictures of size 2 celebrities with chiseled cheek bones and perfectly blow dried hair.
You tell your hairdresser "I want to look like THIS!" while pointing to a picture of Scarlett Johansson's totally hip undercut. Your hairdresser bites her bottom lip, grimacing (she's not Harry Potter, after all) and proceed to chop off the luscious and thick hair you've been growing for eight months (that gorgeous hair is one silver lining of those pregnancy hormones). Then you leave the salon looking like Bert Newton (on a good day) and die a little inside knowing that there will be no photos of you with your little prince or princess for their first six months, because Lord knows you'll shoot anyone who tries to obtain photographic evidence of this heinous hair cut before it grows out.
These are the 'school of hard knocks' lessons I've learned in my last three months of pregnancy, and I'm sharing them with you – because if not me, then who will?