Can you believe it? This week marks my last week in the second trimester. And actually, according to some online calculators, 27 weeks is the official beginning of the third trimester. Two down, one to go!
I heard over and over and over again that the second trimester was the “honeymoon phase” of pregnancy, and maybe that is true for some people, but I don’t think it was for me. I struggled with my body image, my physical limitations, and my anxiety, and I think ultimately a lot of this was because, as strange as it sounds, I have kind of been in denial about being pregnant and what it really means.
I wanted to be pregnant so much and when I say denial, I don’t mean that I resented or didn’t appreciate my pregnancy. I think I just had a really hard time accepting that it was real, long after most pregnant mamas start being able to conceptualize their babies as, well, actual babies. I have been waiting for the other shoe to drop — for another loss, another huge shock. It just couldn’t be real. Believing that it was real meant accepting it, which meant acknowledging how much I would lose if something happened. This in turn has made it really hard for me to accept my changing body and new physical limitations and to really embrace the reality that regardless of whether or not I acknowledge it, I have more to lose now than I ever have.
And on top of that, I also felt unable to really enjoy my pregnancy because so much of my heart is taken up with grieving. I described it once that it felt like my pregnancy was trying to break up my little sad party and cheer me up and I did not want to be cheered up. Therefore, I’ve spent a lot of time resenting the things I can’t do anymore, while not wanting to really think about why I can’t do them.
I may not be able to run anymore, but it sure feels like he can.
But the last week or two have been really different, and for the first time, I find myself really enjoying being pregnant. Part of it is because I think I am getting to be comically large, and for some reason it’s funny and not frustrating to me that I can barely put my boots on in the morning or reach down to the floor from a seated position. Maybe it’s because I can actually conceptualize the end of my pregnancy (April is a lot closer from this side of January 1) and it’s easier for me to understand that my limitations are temporary. And maybe it’s because the baby moves around so much and is actually starting to respond to external stimuli, so I’m feeling closer to him than ever. (He seems to really enjoy music — or maybe he really hates it!) But I don’t think the whys matter as much as the simple fact that I am finally more excited than I am anxious and apprehensive.
It’s time for me to retire this shirt, I think. Compare it to the one of me above at 20 weeks!
Other fun pregnancy statistics:
- total weight gain so far: reasonable and healthy. Yay!
- number of pillows I am now sleeping with: four
- number of hours of sleep I need each night: ideally, nine
- current cravings: nothing really intense at the moment, but I’ve never loved grapefruits or cereal as much as I have this winter
- number of striped maternity shirts I own: four
- number of striped non-maternity shirts I own: zero. I’ve had to shop the trends this year.
- can I still zip up my winter coat? yes!
I get really out of breath just walking now and my back gets sore after five minutes standing at the kitchen sink. But I don’t really mind it anymore — there will be plenty of time in the future for walking and washing the dishes — just like there will be plenty of time for running, and shoulder stand, and wearing my old clothes, and being able to put my boots on without much trouble. I can wait. For now, I am just curious about how much bigger I am actually going to get!