Chill Out with Charlie

By Charlie Emilia

This millennial content creator, social media geek, part-time healthy person and now first-time mom is coming back to her original roots as a writer. Formerly a radio show, “Chill Out with Charlie” was a peek into my life and what I had going on. Since leaving the airwaves, my journey has taken an extreme turn. For updates on what’s been happening, sit back and chill out with me as I navigate these new paths in a whole new way.

As I sit perched on my bed, my Haakaa (silicon milk collecting cup) on one breast, my automatic  pump on the other and my phone in my hands, I’m reminded that I promised you all the story of my third trimester. Also, I just skipped between apps and looked in on my baby in the crib – I am the epitome of multitasking.

Now please bear with me. The collective trauma and joy of childbirth can shock one to the core and erase many of the memories of pregnancy. Now I understand how women are able to forget the agony of their pregnancies and be persuaded to have another go at this mommy life.

The first wave

My third trimester started like everyone else’s...right after the second. I recall having an unending source of energy around that time. I was still up and about making everyone tired trying to keep up with me. I was also planning my baby shower. Yes, I planned my own shower.

While I was pregnant, I didn’t pay attention to months so much as weeks, so I’m not certain how many months along I was when I was still bending down and picking stuff up and being limber enough to say, “It’s okay, I got it.”

The optimism flowing from me was amazing! I kept pushing myself and everyone around me to be more active and I’m pretty sure if I wasn’t pregnant, they’d have murdered me. This was when my nesting kicked into full throttle. Why did everyone say this was the longest trimester? I was enjoying this! But nothing prepared me for what came next.

It was approximately the moment that my shower ended that I could no longer work excessively at everything. Almost as if my body sensed I was no longer completely focused on one specific goal anymore, it shut down my energy reserves.

Then there were two

What I like to call the second wave of the third trimester hit me like six bricks at the same time. Pain. Everything was painful. I felt like Nebula when Thanos slowly dismantled her parts without shutting off her pain receptors – sorry, Marvel reference.

My oesophagus and stomach were inflamed. Even water was spicy. The skin on my belly felt stretched to the limit and began to hurt. This was when the stretch marks ripped their way across my lower belly. My lower abdomen felt like a pressure cooker and at any minute a baby would emerge, fully cooked. My back had checked out on me, my feet were swollen water beds – and not in the cute way.

Positivity is key

Okay, let’s take it back to a lighter place. Listing all those problems really bums me out, because all in all, my third trimester wasn’t as bad if you don’t focus on everything wrong and just look to the blessing of what was to come.

The one thing I did make sure to set my sights on was the positive energy of the people around me. I made sure from the beginning of my pregnancy to lock in my team of people and I knew who would be sharing in my journey with me.

They did a really good job at keeping me grounded. I must say an extra special thanks and undying appreciation for my partner. There are people who say and there are people who do – and I am grateful to have found a doer – someone who is present and a source of strength as well as comfort.

Chalk it up to millennial hubris or faith! But either way, I believe we’re going to do well as parents.

Next time, we’ll talk about deliveries, shared rooms and nipples.