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Welcome to the 3rd trimester (and pregnant lady whining)

28 Weeks

This week, Niblet is about 2 1/2 pounds and between 15 and 16 inches long, depending on which pregnancy website you’re reading. She’s getting so strong and her movements so frequent and varied. Sometimes she jabs, sometimes she squirms, I can feel her rolling over, turning, and sometimes it feels like she’s stretching her arms and legs out, pushing her butt and back out against my belly so that it gets very hard and makes my belly button pop out. She also does this thing where she bounces from left to right, like a rubber ball bouncing between two walls, or a kid overdosed on sugar in a bounce house. It always makes me laugh because it’s so weird and it really feels like she’s just playing around in there, having a grand old time.

I’ve let my nesting instincts out of their cage and have been working my tail off (with my sister and Mike’s help) to clear out the second bedroom (formerly Mike’s office/our TV room) so we can turn it into the nursery. By the end of last weekend I wanted to crawl into bed and cry myself to sleep, I felt so overwhelmed. It seems like the more work I do, the more I discover still has to be done. I’ve already taken three carloads of crap to Goodwill and there’s still more stuff to go through. (WE’RE I’M A HOARDER.) We moved the TV, the dog crate, and the snake’s tank into the living room, and Mike’s desk and computer into our bedroom. In one weekend our apartment went from spacious to teeny tiny. I can’t move in any room now without banging my knee on an awkwardly placed piece of furniture.

Whine, whine, whine, I know. Poor me, with two bedrooms and two bathrooms and all the comforts of modern living, blessed with a healthy pregnancy and a loving husband. Play that tiny violin a little louder, please.

But I’m not done yet.

Getting dressed every day is like waging a small battle with myself. I’ve gained 24 pounds so far and I waffle between loving my pregnant body and wanting to die a slow death because I feel like an obese hippo. Nearly all the office-appropriate maternity clothes I borrowed from girlfriends are too small in the thigh and rear, my underpants are too small, dresses that were cute two months ago look like tents now, and nothing is comfortable. There are tears nearly every morning and Michael, bless his heart, has to talk me off a ledge. A couple of days ago he insisted that I go out and buy a few more things to get me through the next three months because “crying in front of the closet every day isn’t productive”. I hated the idea of buying clothes this late in my pregnancy, but I did, and I’m so glad I did. It’s helped. I bought size large non-maternity leggings, tunic-length camis, and a few flowy, wonderfully cozy sweaters. All clothes that are soft and stretchy, oh-so-comfy, and will hopefully still look cute post-partum when I’m hiding my I-just-had-a-baby-so-I-still-look-pregnant belly.

As much as I love being pregnant (and I really, really, really love it), I do not feel beautiful or sexy or feminine. I just feel huge. I can’t stand looking at myself naked. Which is probably why people asking if I’m pregnant or just getting fat especially stings. I’m really struggling with this because I want to raise my daughter to love, respect, and appreciate her body – not to hate it and abuse it the way I’ve spent most of my life hating and abusing mine. I want to somehow shield her from society’s expectations of being “skinny” and all the bullshit that goes with it. And I know that it starts with me – that I’m her first example of how a woman should feel about and treat her body. So I’m really trying to love my 150 pound body and appreciate it for the miracle it’s creating, instead of getting angry and saying mean things to it every morning while I try to squeeze into too-small maternity pants. I’m also cutting out ice cream and making an effort to exercise for at least 30 minutes every day (per my midwife’s gentle urging).

All that said, I adore not having to suck in my stomach constantly (I was a chronic sucker-inner pre-pregnancy) and being able to eat a big meal and not worry that I look pregnant afterwards because I AM pregnant is freaking terrific. See? UPSIDES TO EVERYTHING.

Also, Hi. I’m pregnant. And the hardest part is feeling fat. So, I’m done complaining and I will go back to being blissfully happy and excited and stupid-crazy-in love with the acrobatic water monkey who keeps making my belly button pop out whenever she wants to stretch her legs. Because honestly? I’d take a fat ass for a healthy baby any day.

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  • Hawk

    Fat? Bah, I could fit two of ya inside me and have room leftover for luggage…

    • Awww. 🙂 I know I’m not “fat”. I think it’s different for women than for men, no? Either way, as a woman who has struggled with body issues her entire life, it’s really hard to watch my body get bigger and bigger and bigger. I really thought I’d love it – that pregnancy would be the first time in my life when I adored my body. That hasn’t been the case at all and that’s been a challenge.

  • Josey

    Gaining weight during pregnancy is a serious mind fuck for MANY women (myself included) – just saying, you’re not alone. I totally agree with Mike – it is WELL WORTH the investment to have some key pieces of clothing to get you through the next 3 months, b/c honestly, the belly growth the last few months is insane, and you don’t want to make yourself miserable trying to squeeze into too-small clothing the entire time.

    I have utterly FAILED at working out the last few months and I’m just not sure how to get my mojo back. I guess it just requires getting on the damn elliptical on my lunch break and just doing it. *sigh* I do remember wishing my legs were stronger when I was giving birth to Stella – there is definitely an upside to doing lots of squats and such – beyond the obvious weight part.

    • Thank you for that – It’s nice to commiserate with other pregnant women!
      I agree – it’s SUPER hard to work out while pregnant. I’m just so tired all the time! Everyone says “oh you’ll bounce right back!” but if I can’t find the energy to get to the gym now, how am I going to do it with an infant? I can’t imagine trying to fit it in while pregnant AND caring for a toddler. I think you’re right though, jumping on the elliptical during your lunch hour is probably your best bet. I’ve been ducking out of the office at lunch to get 30 minutes on the treadmill every day. (Except I’m still not doing it every day!) I know if I don’t do it on my lunch break I won’t do it at all.

      Also, so grateful you mentioned you’d wished your legs were stronger during Stella’s birth. I hadn’t thought of that, but it certainly gives me motivation to work my legs more. I’ve been lifting light weights because I’m worried my arms won’t be strong enough to lug an infant around, but other than walking and squatting to pick stuff up off the ground, I’ve ignored my legs entirely.