Justa Lanie Garrett

Exhaustion, in the third trimester has set in. 

I do remember being tired during the last couple months when I was pregnant with my daughter, but nothing like this. I’m pretty sure having to keep up with a 3-year-old has something to do with it.

Walking is tiring, my legs heavy, the baby dipping down every time I stand up. I’ve had to take it easy. Thankfully, I haven’t had much back pain, but have had some in other places in my body; places I didn’t know could be sore. I’ve had to buy a chair pad and even an exercise ball to help loosen my hips and maybe even help the baby out of the breech position.

I’ve been experiencing Braxton Hicks contractions (not pre-term labor), which can basically be described as the uterus flexing its muscles, preparing for what’s to come. This time around, contractions are tighter, more rigid. I don’t know why my uterus thinks it needs to work harder than before. Supposedly this is normal for second- and third-time moms who seem to be a little more in tune with their bodies and the pregnancy process. While my body might be more in tune, I’m waiting for my brain to catch up.

I’m not in control of my body. This baby and the hormones are. Yet, despite the discomfort I’ve been experiencing, it could always be worse.

After becoming a mom, not being in control of my body, my wellness, has been difficult for me. If I get sick, I have a hard time accepting it. If I hurt my knee or foot, I don’t like it and wallow. And while on the surface it’s just because it’s uncomfortable, I do think it also has something to do with a deep seeded need to be there for my daughter (and soon-to-be-son) at all costs. 

Don’t all parents experience this to some degree?

As I sit here, writing this column, my daughter is in the other room, resting with a fever, home from school. I couldn’t help but say a little prayer this morning for my protection, for the sake of her and for this baby boy growing inside me.

In the past, the uncontrollable nature of the situation would have overwhelmed me. Now, I know I can handle it. Each time anything feels out of control, I can either let it overwhelm, which it sometimes does, or choose humility. I’m not God. These things happen. In the end, it will all be okay, I say, as a place my hand on my heart, a semblance of the care of God, and try to be present with my suffering. Then, I can better myself, take care of my daughter, and move on to other things.


Justa Lanie Garrett is a lifelong resident of Baytown.

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