There is a sort of tunnel vision that has taken over in which all I can think about is finally meeting my baby. The days pass slowly in both deep reflection and inescapable anticipation.
As much as I long for this pregnancy to be over, I know I will miss my big belly, his kicks and hiccups and our connectedness that makes caring for him so easy right now.
These past nine months have been so life-changing, with each trimester bringing its own set of distinct symptoms, emotions and lessons.
The first 12 weeks were full of anxiety and excitement. Physically, I felt awful and had no cute belly to show for. I found comfort in breaking the traditional rule of silence by announcing my pregnancy at week 8 rather than 12. Hearing my baby’s first heartbeat made it too exciting not to share. Besides, I enjoyed the love and support I got right from the get-go as I navigated those early days of uncertainty – and nausea.
The second trimester was a time to discover myself. Just as the bump finally made its debut, I began to feel better physically, but I had a lot of emotions to sort through. I didn’t know anything about childbirth or caring for a newborn, and while it was overwhelming to navigate so many unknowns, it pushed me to confidently step into my new role as mother.
Now as I endure the third trimester, I can’t help but feel a combination of the first two trimester’s greatest challenges; I am drained both physically and emotionally. I feel as though I have run out of room for him to grow, books to read and corners to clean.
Ivan is “dropping,” which is putting a lot of pressure on my pelvic region and bladder – a minor nuisance in exchange for the exciting fact that he is moving in the right direction. I’m prepping for the labor in little ways I can like sitting on my exercise-turned-birthing ball , sipping on red raspberry leaf tea and forcing myself to waddle through as many walks outside as I can.
Starting next week, checkups with my midwife switch from every other week to weekly. I have been blessed with a low-key, healthy pregnancy thus far, aside from minor things to monitor like anemia, low iron and low platelet count. If my platelet count drops too low, then I won’t be eligible for the epidural. So it is a good thing that I have already been preparing for a natural, drug-free birth.
And no, my midwife is not concerned that I’m having an abnormally large baby or that there are twins hiding in there – yes, we’re sure. Now that my belly has graduated from cute and round to huge and “ready to pop,” I am brushing off all of the cliche size questions, including my favorite from this week as I stood in line at the car shop – “Whoa there! Are you selling tires?” Yes, I’m as huge as a tire. Thanks for the most awkward “compliment” I have ever received.
And now for chocolate.