Every week of this trimester I look at a maternity gallery site that documents other women during every week of pregnancy. It’s so funny to me to see other women this pregnant, the fit ones especially with their extended bellies. With shirts pulled over their melon-esque bellies it looks like a pillow or beach ball has simply been stuffed inside for a prop. All the tall ones look so graceful and makes me acutely aware this baby has no place to go but out on my limited torso.
I never thought that I’d be one of those ladies that got swollen with extra fluids but looking down at my sock-indented legs I know this unattractive symptom for real now. Every time I must bend over I lose my breath to my massive belly and yet I insist on doing yoga in the hopes that it will render me more flexible and fit for labor.
I reached a wall around 34/35 weeks when I felt that I just couldn’t. be. pregnant. one. more. day. This was mainly because the baby seemed to shift downwards and suddenly I was familiar with the term “bowling ball between my legs”. Any digestive or achy ligament issue becomes exponentially worse with anything lodged in my system. It has become imperative to stay “cleaned out” for my sanity’s sake. I rely on 5 tablets of magnesium oxide taken religiously every night before bed to do this. The vinegar for my heartburn is also part of my uncomfortable nightly ritual, sending a searing blast down my throat to tell my stomach acid to stop attacking.
I’ve been craving crunchy-crusted chicken, so on one of our final dates, I requested the chicken tenders at a super-conventional, all-American sports bar. I couldn’t believe myself but I devoured every last trans-fat blasted shatteringly crispy piece and realized I might be dreaming about this again. My chocolate intake has increased dramatically, and like a woman possessed, every time we hit the store, I snag a bar or two of some variation on dark chocolate. Somehow, though, my stockpile always seems dangerously close to empty…
Emotionally I feel impatient, short-tempered, with a short focus, and super emotional. During week 37 I had a meltdown where I collapsed in front of Paul, weeping over how much I missed my girlfriends in my current, almost house-bound state. I also tend to feel very sorry for myself in my swollen, gassy, un-sexy state and even when I release in the whiny rant to Paul, somehow he manages to encourage me and tells me that I’m really not that bad, that I was actually worse when pregnant(I do remember being depressed) with Elliot!
My nesting instinct works in fits and starts. On the days I am not passed out on the couch, I usually try to accomplish something from my baby-to-do list. I’ve made sourdough pizza crusts to freeze, made loaves of honey whole wheat bread for the children, am fermenting loaves of sourdough for myself. I’ve done some pretty decent cleaning in the bathroom and kitchen. Paul has brought down bins of baby clothes which have been sorted and washed if they are gender neutral. We made a snowy trip out to a diaper store and have invested in about 12 changes worth of diapers. Paul put together the baby seat and the new swing…
My total weight gain is hovering around 26/27# for which I am thankful. I definitely don’t mind the extra boobies, since they help balance this ever-expanding belly. I live in comfy black leggings and stretchy tops. If it weren’t for the roll-call of discomforts I might even be enjoying my pregnant body more. Most of the time I feel like my body is failing me and this makes me simultaneously determined to do better with exercise and nourishment and pessimistic with the thought that ageing will just cause each successive pregnancy to wreak more havoc with my body.
But–thank you God! I won’t have to wait until 40 weeks to meet our baby!