Just when you think that you’re in the home stretch of pregnancy in your last trimester, you realize something: The hardest part is yet to come.
In a strange phenomenon only known to pregnant women, no matter how fast the first trimester seemed to fly by in a whirl of saltine crackers and woozy, not-so-discreet trips to the bathroom, there is only one truth to the last trimester: It. Takes. Forever.
You’re miserable and huge and swollen — or at least I am and it does not seem physically possible that my stomach could stretch a centimeter more, and yet there is no way but through.
Through the slow and steady march of the last trimester and into what is hopefully a quick and easy labor, delivery, and recovery, right? (Also: hahahahaha.)
OK, so our journeys to the end will look a little different, as well as all of our journeys to follow into the great big world of parenting, but in the last trimester, my fellow preggos and I unite in having at least one of these thoughts cross our minds …
1. What does “you’re ready to pop” even mean?
Yeah, you’ve heard it right? Probably on a daily basis if you’re anything like me and look full-term at, oh say, only 33 weeks. But I just can’t help but wonder where on earth that expression even came from? What’s ready to pop? A baby out of my birth canal? My water like a water balloon, even though that rarely happens except in the movies where the mother is then huffing and puffing and screaming for an epidural two seconds later? And if we’re talking about the baby exploding out of me like the mental picture I always seem to get when someone drops this well-worn expression on me, it just seems wrong.
2. Maybe if I look around awkwardly for long enough, someone else will pick that up …
I am forever dropping things when I am pregnant. And while sometimes I get lucky enough to have the unfortunate item land directly on my shelf of a belly, more often than not, it’s hitting the ground — and I’m left casting about hoping for a kindly stranger or a closer-to-the-ground small child to pick it up for me. If I pause long enough, add in a sigh and the hand-on-the-back pose of pregnant women everywhere, I may just convince someone else to do the bending. #sorrynotsorry
3. Right back at ya …
In response to everyone and their brother telling you how big you are. I mean, honestly, it’s not like we go around pointing out people’s sizes on a regular basis, so why on earth is pregnancy any different?
4. No, I don’t trust modern medicine.
When people ask you if “you’re sure there aren’t twins in there?!” Well, no, kind stranger, I don’t trust the care provider I have chosen to ensure the safety of me and my offspring, the two ultrasounds I have had, or the now-weekly check-ups. I’m sure they’re all wrong and that you are more qualified to make an accurate diagnosis right here in the middle of the produce section. Thank you.
5. Hey, I think my belly is a little smaller today!
Maybe it’s just me, but every now and then, I wake up feeling a bit optimistic and talk myself into believing that somehow, against all odds, I’m not as big as I think I am.
And then I walk past a mirror.
6. What reason do we have to celebrate with ice cream tonight?
Every night after dinner, I find myself casting around for an excuse to go out for ice cream. The four-year-old took a nap today? I didn’t buy a new baby outfit? The mail came?
7. There is no way I can possibly get any bigger …
Until, of course, you do.
8. If I just ignore it, the urge to pee will go away.
Always at 3 o’clock in the morning and always after you have finally fallen into a semi-comfortable slumber. I call it nature’s way of preparing me for the inevitable night time feedings.
9. Is she due after me? Is my belly bigger than hers?
Sad, but true. I definitely play the comparison belly game, although usually, there is only one clear winner — or loser? — and it’s always me. Sigh.
10. Ooo, is that a clearance rack of baby clothes?
I mean, they grow so fast, right? I should probably stock up on a few sizes up … and maybe just get one more teeny-tiny newborn outfit, just in case …
I don’t care if you’re only 33 weeks, there’s no reasoning with a nesting mama-to-be. I’ve had closets cleaned, clothes folded, and baby items set up and ready to go for weeks now. Just in case.
12. Did my water just break? [gasp]
Or did I just pee my pants? So embarrassing.
13. Quick! Find someone to hide behind!
When someone dares to try to take a picture of you in all your pregnant glory. Do I even have a good side anymore?
14. It’s totally normal to have a weekly countdown celebration on my calendar, right?
34 weeks, yes! Only 6 to go! Let’s celebrate with ice cream! Er, um, I mean, onion juice! Yes, I totally juice!
15. How in the world did that lady run a race at 34 weeks pregnant?
No, really, how did she do it? I seriously can barely walk without pain/swelling/huffing and puffing like I want to blow the house down …
16. No, I really don’t care about hearing your birth story, thanks.
Because all I need to focus on right now is my own. How many more weeks again??