I think this answers everything you need to know. But if I have one motto it’s why use ten words when you can use a gazillion?
If the first trimester was all about the FEELS, and the second trimester was all about the glow, the third trimester has been all about the waddle.
It happened so incrementally it took me a while to notice. But then I could no longer ignore the facts – I was waddling and it felt sooooo good. Once Nib’s head engaged into my pelvis it was like having a cannonball between my legs. The only solution to gradually widen my gait until I was rocking from side to side like a penguin. I am never* closing my legs again. (If *never= until this baby makes an appearance)
Before I got pregnant, I asked pregnant women the same questions. Questions I didn’t realise that were either a bit silly or they were probably getting asked ten million times a day. Now that I have been pregnant I have new questions. Questions which are definitely silly but they definitely won’t have been asked before. Winning!
The new questions:
I know being pregnant is a miracle but do you also feel at times like Kane out of Aliens?
How weird out of scale of 1 to 10 are your boobs?
Drinking your own breastmilk/eating your own placenta? Interesting experiment or cannibalism – discuss?
Is being pregnant how you expected it would be?
Tell me your craziest pregnant dream?
The old questions:
How are you feeling (with accompanying concerned face and side tilt)?
This always confuses me because *guilty mother face* a) sometimes I forget I am pregnant until I look down b) I am pregnant not ill so it takes a while to realise that’s what people are really asking about and not my general health so normally I answer ‘fine?’ creating a confused and awkward silence.
Are you excited or scared?
Can’t I be both. Scated/excitred? We need new words. Also this feels like a trap for you to tell me about the horrendous experience your aunt/first cousin/ you had giving birth. Earlier in pregnancy I was tempted to lie down on the floor with a pillow over my head to avoid having to hear the stories. Now they don’t phase me at all. Frankly at this stage I’d be happy to push this baby out through my nostril.
When’s your due date?/what are you having/is it your first?
All great and relevant questions. Please ask me about my baby and I will bore on for Britain. But… my memory went the way of waist around three months ago and doesn’t seem like it will be making a reappearance anytime soon. I need to start wearing a sign around my neck saying ‘My due date is 13 January, I am having a boy and it’s my first baby.’ to make way for more exciting questions like who would win in a fight to the death, your baby or godzilla. Come on, he is the dark lord.
Have you had the baby yet?
I’ve just started sending over this link to people. It doesn’t help that I have never been the most reliable correspondent so when I take my customary sweet time responding to text messages I get a follow-up message ‘Are you in labour?’
Trust me the first thing I will do after pushing this baby out, feeding him, cleaning him and having a well deserved lie down it update facebook to let everyone know he’s arrived. Yes, that was sarcastic.
I’ve noticed a recent change in how people relate to me. At around this stage you stop being worshipped as a glorious pregnancy goddess and instead become a chubby woman hoarding all the baby goodness for yourself. I feel as if I am one day away from my sister getting creative with a scalpel so for my sake Nibs you’d better make an appearance soon.
Making a baby bucket list
There comes a time in every pregnancy when you feel like you’ve been pregnant forever. You forget a time when you weren’t pregnant and you can’t imagine ever having this baby just getting bigger and more immobile, until you stop.
But at the back of your mind you know one way or another this baby is coming out. And you have a brief gap in your maternity leave before the babies to make the most of your last days fancy free.
Maternity leave may just be one of the most epically wonderful things I have ever experienced. Finally I have time to do all the pregnancy yoga, hypnobirthing, that I should have been doing all along. I am slightly worried that actually having a baby might eat into the blissful idyll of reading and napping. But how hard can having a baby be? (Lie to me parent-friends, I beg you.)
When I say make a baby bucket list I am not comparing having a baby to dying But in my limited experience becoming a mother involves one of biggest and sudden role transitions most of us will ever experience. And there are no take-backs.
For example, when I left the job I’d been in for seven years, I knew it was the right time. I was so ready to move onto pastures new. But at the same time, it had been my life for better or worse for seven years. So instead of rushing through that last month of notice, I slowed myself down. I went for lunch, I walked the boundaries of the campus, even during endless meetings with stroppy academics I was filled with such glorious nostalgia – that this was it.
So I wanted to do something similar to mark the transition from pregnant lady to mother. In typical Row fashion I made a list (in addition to my more practical pack your birth bag tasks) and over the last month or so I’ve been:
Making freezer meals
Week 33 – starting to pop
In a fruitless attempt to not spend the early months of motherhood living on chocolate and popcorn.
Read/watch brain taxing stuff…
I’ve been diligently working my way through books off the best off lists and watching documentaries like Making a Murderer while developing a serious crush on justice warrior Dean Strang.
But I’ve also been cueing up the Geordie Shore for when the baby is born.
Obsessively tidying and organising the nursery aka our spare room aka formerly HWSNBN’s office.
Tiny baby clothes you make my ovaries ache.
Go to the cinema
We saw the Hunger Games (which was fine) and Spectre – during which Nibs moving around so much I thought I had a bucking bronco in there. I had to get and go to toilet four times. (Note to self: never sit between a pregnant lady and the toilet in a cinema). Not because I needed to but because he.would.not.stop.moving Conclusion: he really really hates loud noises and/or Bond.
Think white tablecloths, amuse bouches and marble surfaces. We went to 1847 a new vegetarian restaurant in Brighton and it was delicious
Visit friends without children and have conversations about anything not related to babies.
I have nothing against friends with children, it’s just that I had limited time and I knew that my friends with babies would understand post-baby distractable me. Whereas my friends without children might aspire to higher conversational standards than ‘look what I made.’
Not talking about babies is hard because, as evidenced by this blog, I can talk about babies for hours. HWSNBN and I can be having a perfectly innocuous conversation about dinner and within one sentence I can related it back to Nibs. It’s a talent. A very annoying talent, but he married me and knocked me up so he can’t back it out. It is also hard because well meaning friends can’t really ignore the elephant in the room aka me. But so far I’ve been out for dinner, brunch and walks by the sea.
Go out the house with just my purse and keys (thanks Sarah for this one)
Let’s face it babies and travelling light don’t really go together. So far I have managed to leave the house with just my keys forgetting my wallet. It was briefly liberating and then terrifying.
Spend time by yourself/with your other half
Truly recommend, this has been lovely.
Is there anything else I should add to the list bearing in mind I have the mobility of a small country and the energy of a sloth?
The waiting game
At the time of writing this, I’m a day over my due date. As friends and family will tell you I am one of the most impatient people they have ever met. At the beginning of this pregnancy I would have expected to be to swilling raspberry leaf tea and castor oil like it’s going out of fashion. But to my own surprise, I’m content to wait.
Don’t get me wrong. After all these months, I can’t wait to meet him, to hold him in my arms and to memorise the contours of his face. But I believe that babies have their own timescale and he is after all HWSNBN’s child
Partly I think I’m content to wait because unlike so many of my friends physically, at least, I’ve had such a relatively easy journey. OK, yes I bid goodbye to comfort at the end of the second trimester. My back feels like it will never be normal again, I need to pee every five minutes, turning over in bed is a Herculean struggle. But since I stopped working (after a brief scare with some of early symptoms of preeclampsia) things are a lot easier.
Pregnancy seems to have switched off the part of my brain that needs to fill every moment of each day. Instead my busy schedule consists of all the naps, worthy novels, and a very slow waddle round the block.
I also feel a bit melancholy that I am the end of this pregnancy. I began to believe that pregnancy might not happen for me and I remain so grateful for every moment – headbutts to the cervix and all. Nibs and I have never been apart and soon that will be coming to an end. Although I hope that I will have other babies, I know there are no guarantees and besides, it will be different then. And I worry, neurotically, because how could I ever love another being as much as I love him?
I feel as if I am braced at the top of precipice. Behind me is my old life, where I was responsible only for myself. Over the edge, shrouded in mist, is motherhood waiting for me. I’ve grown him and kept him safe this last year, but it’s time for him to emerge into this wide, wonderful and terrible world. I know once I dive, there will be no going back. So for now I am enjoying the hesitation before the fall – content to read, to nap, to cradle my ever-expanding belly and wait for the next chapter to begin.
The third trimester – the statistics
How far along: 40 weeks and one day. *Insert Rocky music here*
Baby is the size of: A durian, actually. Feels like, a baby elephant dancing the macarena.
Names: We have decided on a name. Which I am not telling, because it’s a lot harder to say I hate it to a little baby face than to mine.
Bump: HUGE. So much so that I have caught my bump in a car door, the fridge, a small child, and taken out of a shelf in holland and barrett.
Symptoms: Boob sweat. Yeah, I said it.
Peeing all the time with no warning.
Lack of sleep. I love that most people’s advice is sleep now. *Side eyes* With the peeing and having to rearrange the great wall of pillows around me every time I shift getting a restful night’s sleep is a distant memory. It’s Ok though. I can catch up on sleep when the baby arrives.
Being really, really ridiculously emotional. Which was especially hard as my job involves immersing myself in human misery and towards the end I just could not absorb any more bad things
Things I Can’t Handle On Any Emotional Level (a short and not exhaustive list): the news, Making a Murderer, orphaned animals, orphans, injustice in any form, Adele songs, and Pixar movies. Just thinking about the ending to Toy Story 3 is too much to bear.
Boy or girl: A boy.
Cravings: Nothing except for one brief night where I needed liquorice immediately and made HWSNBN drive me to the shops where I ate a massive pack of the Allsorts spitting out the coloured bits. Classy.
Anything making you feel queasy: Just when memories of first trimester ickiness are fading heartburn arrives to spoil the party.
Maternity clothes: I am so bored of wearing the same three things that vaguely fit and don’t make me look like a house. I am living in trakkie bottoms
Don’t get me started on why so many maternity clothes involve stripes because that’s what every pregnant women wants to look wider around her bump. Just don’t.
Miss anything: Seeing my feet.
Sleep, oh blessed sleep.
Being able to pick things up. Pregnancy klutziness and the inability to bend means I am constantly leaving a trail of discarded items in my wake. Or if HWSNBN is there making a distressed sound like bird cheeping until he comes to pick it up for me.
Next stop, motherhood. Eeek!