Belly Bonding: How to Avoid the Third Trimester Blues
Post originally ran December 2012.
“I’m over it.”
I’ve heard it a million times.
Words muttered from the mouths of friends teetering on the brink of sanity as they embark on the final weeks (and sometimes months) of their pregnancies. From an infertile standpoint, I never understood this. I’d have given anything to be in their shoes, yet it seemed they were wishing away their pregnancies, as the discomfort was too much to bear. How bad could it possibly be? Not as bad as never having a child, I’d quietly mutter under my breath, careful to camouflage my eye roll.
But at twenty-six weeks, I’m starting to understand what all those women meant. No, they weren’t wishing away their pregnancies. No, they weren’t ungrateful for the experience they’d been given. They were in pain. They were immobile. And they were beyond ready to meet the baby that had been cramping their guts for the majority of a year.
I’m nearly out of the honeymoon phase of the second trimester. Getting off the couch has become a process sometimes so awkward (and time consuming) that I often opt to stay put because the effort seems too great. Two antacids before bed no longer cut it. In addition to waking up five times a night to pee, I’ve now added wake ups just to take more antacids. The back pain is constant, the bladder pressure keeps me chained to a bathroom, and my stretching skin itches like I’ve bathed in dish soap.
All this? And I’ve got an entire trimester to go!
I’d better toughen up.
But even as my comfort level fades, I can’t help but mourn the day I will not longer have this baby inside of me. From the start, I’d wake up in the early morning hours, guzzle chocolate milk, and sit quietly as I imagined the cells of my child multiplying at break-neck speeds. I’d picture the transformations as he progressed from the size of a poppy seed, to a blueberry, to a lemon and beyond. I diligently read the books that described each milestone, using those to help paint the pictures of what was going on inside of my womb.
“He’s growing little arm buds this week!” I’d proudly announce to my husband.
These quiet moments propelled me through some pretty dark days. We experienced multiple scares with this pregnancy, and when I felt like falling apart, the silent conversations with the remarkable occupant of my uterus provided surprising strength and endurance.
And now that I can feel him? Forget it. There is nothing I would trade for this.
I feel each kick is his way of communicating with me, either telling me he’s happy or hungry or simply assuring me he’s still in there and he will meet me soon enough.
I will miss this. I will miss the quiet moments that seem so selfishly special- the moments that were ours alone. So when his foot smashes my bladder and causes me to pee myself in public, I try to remember I may never be so lucky as to experience this again.
How do you stay focused on the positive in those final weeks of pregnancy which are filled with the awe of your growing baby and, you know, back aches?