Ladies and gentlemen, I am in the home stretch. The third trimester. I am thirty-one weeks along, which means that in nine weeks (give or take two weeks on either side) I will have a baby. Cue mild, moderate, or maximum panic.
The first trimester sucked. I was exhausted all the time. I threw up a lot and couldn’t actually walk through my building because the smells emanating from my international neighbours’ apartments were just too much to bear. My throat burned from puking one too many times. I couldn’t celebrate graduating from Queen’s in the proper way (read: have a beer) and had to miss a friend’s wedding because I was too damn sick. Worse, I had nothing to show for it. No belly, no “glow”, no think luxurious hair, nothing. It was not a good time.
Second trimester brought some relief (bye bye morning sickness!) but also new complaints. I have terrible seasonal allergies. I pound reactine and sniff flonase like there’s no tomorrow. Well…those are apparently big no-nos for pregnant ladies. There did come a point where a few hits of prescription nasal spray entered my nose, because I think not being able to breathe is much more damaging to the baby than any potential side effect. I somehow survived allergy season through a combination of saline solution, local unpasteurized honey, too many showers, and creating my own little hermitage. The hermitage thing worked pretty well…until the heat wave began. The day we installed our air conditioner was the best day of my life. Jason and I dragged the mattress into the living room and watched movies in sub-zero temperatures. And preggosaurus survived another day.
Now I’m in the third trimester. Insomnia is here, so there is a lot of middle-of-the-night-knitting going on in this apartment. A bottle of gaviscon tablets is always at hand so I can cope with heartburn that often leaves me in tears. I officially look pregnant: people ask me when I’m due and what I’m having. A guy gave up his seat on the bus for me. Baby kicks strong and hard enough not only for me to feel it, but also to see it. And my belly is getting bigger every day.
Big enough to get in the way of just about everything. Cygnet, I love you, but you do make life a little more difficult these days, although you provide some great laughs while doing so.
1. Furniture. Something I used to take for granted was getting in and out of bed. Or up off the sofa. Or to sit on our crappy Ikea dining room chairs and not leave a pool of sweat behind. Movement once fluid and free is now a calculated, multi-step process (and it looks pretty damn awkward most of the time).
2. Clothing. NOTHING FITS. I know, this is not a new complaint. I have made the best of the situation, as thankfully many of my sundresses and tunics were able to accommodate my growing belly. And second-hand stores are a treasure trove when it comes to high-end maternity wear, as is simply buying things a few sizes bigger than I normally would. But…I’m getting to the point where some of my earlier maternity wardrobe no longer fits (see you later, black cords). And then there’s the matter of undergarments. My bosom is most ample. My bras? Not so much. Even getting dressed is a challenge: thanks to pelvic pain and a basketball-belly it is a challenge to put on socks and underwear. I want a muumuu.
3. Anything that involves bending over. A few days ago there was a big pile of dirty clothes on our bedroom floor. Every day, I told myself I would tackle the pile. And every day, the pile remaining, taunting me as it grew with new articles of cast-off clothing and miscellaneous accessories. Eventually, I broke down in tears, pleading with Jason to please please please take care of the pile. He did, because I simply could not bend over to pick up the clothes. And there are only so many squats I am willing to do, no matter how much that form of exercise will help me during labour. I have the same problem when it comes to reaching over: it can’t be done. If I am knitting at one end of the sofa, and my pattern book is at the other end…well, I have to get up and walk over, or have Jason fetch it for me. And don’t even think about asking me to clean the bathtub. It’s not going to happen, even with all-natural organic pregnancy-friendly plant-based cleaning products.
4. Prolonged sitting. Car rides between Kingston and Ottawa. Movies. Church. All new and unusual forms of torture. My back doesn’t like it. The baby doesn’t like it. I have to pee.
5. Peeing. Pregnant women pee all the time. Did you know that? They spend half of their time on the toilet and the other half looking for a toilet. But that’s not the annoying part. The annoying part is the OMG I AM GOING TO WET MY PANTS feeling, sitting down and expecting Niagra Falls, and then producing the teensiest little tinkle.
6. Aquafit. I used to be a champion in the water (not that anyone gave out prizes). I could have been in an underwater kick line. Oh how I kicked! Oh how I jumped! Oh how I crunched! And then I had to go and get knocked up. And crunches were out. And my kicks became lower than those of the woman recovering from knee surgery. And eventually I just started doing the duck walk for every other exercise. I AM SICK OF THE DUCK WALK.
7. Walking. It hurts. Especially walking up stairs. Have I mentioned we live in a third-floor walk up? Maybe it’s time for me to re-visit the hermit thing.
8. Sex. Enough said.
9. Halloween. A few years back I made myself a rocking bee costume. Antennae, wings, and a yellow shirt I painted with black and gold stripes. It was a simple and cheap yet cool and kickass costume. I was working at Circle K/Irving back then, and I think it was the only time I was excited for work, because I got to wear my bee costume. Last year I was candy princess (although I learned the hard way that it is a dumb idea to wear a costume involving candy when you teach grade nine). I donated most of the candy princess costume, but recently found the bee costume. Hmmm, maybe this will work! And then I stuffed myself into the yellow shirt. And couldn’t get out again. Bee costume FAIL. I will probably spend Halloween eating my way through a 54 pack of “fun-size” candy bars.
10. You know what? Life in general is made more difficult because of my belly-baby. I can’t wait for my due date.