I’m at 34 weeks now, and I’ve reached another milestone: the “totally, completely sick of being pregnant” stage.
You don’t hear too much about this stage, probably because when a woman hits it, she has trouble garnering much sympathy. My husband is one of those who doesn’t dole out much sympathy. His response, when I am whimpering before bed, dreading yet another sleepless night full of multiple pee-breaks and a max of two hours sleep at a stretch, is “You wanted this!” (Followed by a gleefully mocking happy dance.)
Yes, it’s true, I did want it. But I’m also a little irritated at the rest of my gender for not fully warning me. These crappy parts are definitely not in the brochure. If they were, it’d be the worst brochure in the history of marketing:
PREGNANCY – It’s All Good! Well, Sort Of!
Weeks 1-6: You have no idea you’re pregnant. Enjoy this lovely time!
Weeks 7-15: Rut-ro. Constant nausea, hunger, and coma-inducing exhaustion.
Weeks 16-22: Small respite here, but get ready for some really unpleasant crap soon!
Weeks 23-30: Random ailments abound; back pain, heartburn, uncontrollable flatulence and burping, constipation, unwanted nipple changes, and freakish emotional responses to pretty much everything.
Weeks 31-40: All hell breaks loose. Maternity clothes stop fitting, and the bras you bought at week 22 don’t fit anymore either. In fact, pretty much all clothing will be uncomfortable at this point so you better hope you can be naked a lot. Back pain escalates to extreme agony. Late night pee breaks increase to 2-3 per night, and sleeping positions severely limited. Sleeping in general, if you can accomplish it, will be unsatisfying and in small, ineffective spurts. Heartburn becomes near-constant. Things you can’t do anymore, or you can’t do very well: Paint toenails. Tie your own shoes. Hold in a fart. Put on socks. Get out of a chair easily. Squat. Eat a reasonable serving size of any food. Scoot all the way up to your desk at work. Enter or exit bathroom stalls without hitting self with the door. Take stairs two at a time.
And one word: CANKLES.
A coworker told me a theory that I think is brilliant: the last 8 weeks of pregnancy are intentionally awful, she says, so that you actually look forward to labor. Yup, it’s an evolutionary tool that makes you want to push something the size of a watermelon out of an opening the size of a lemon (and let’s not forget this lemon is many times more important to you than the average citrus fruit). The only way you’re going to want to experience that kind of pain and possibly permanent effect on your ability to laugh without peeing is if it’s a reprieve from something totally awful. Like your last 6 weeks of pregnancy. 😀 Good theory, right?
I know I’ll forget all this unpleasantness after the baby arrives. And I’m sure someone who really, really wants to be pregnant thinks I’m an ungrateful snot (to those people: if that makes you feel better, go ahead and call me a snot; when you are in your last six weeks [in the summer, during an F-ing heat wave no less], come talk to me, and let’s see if you’ve changed your tune).
Yes, I know I’ll just have to deal, because I signed up for this. I’ve heard women talk about how they were sick of being pregnant, but they usually kept the sordid details to themselves. Now that I’m experiencing it firsthand, I finally get it. This part is the opposite of fun, for sure.
That said, I’m fairly lucky. On the whole, I haven’t had a bad 3rd trimester. Aside from the weird back pain I keep experiencing, most of my maladies are pretty textbook. Regardless, I am ready to have full control of my body back. I’ve donated it to my little tenant for the last 34 weeks, and will continue to do so for another 5-1/2 weeks (maybe more). But I’d like to reclaim it now.
And for the love of God, I would like a beer.