First mistake: stopping to think about it

I fear the future.

Even though we waited for this baby for years,  it does not mean I feel any more prepared to actually be responsible for A Human Life. But since life-with-child-on-the-outside is so unimaginable and the list of things that should happen before then so very long, for the moment I am focusing my anxieties on the more immediate future.

I fear The Third Trimester.

Why would one fear a nice little trimester, you ask? Especially one that means you are ever-closer to a healthy babe? Well, because everyone keeps telling me trimester three is …(cue foreboding music)… The Beginning of the End.

Take, for instance, the midwife I met with recently. She gave the following ‘pep talk’ to me and a group of other women due in November: “So, you’re near the end of the second trimester. This has been the honeymoon phase. Your belly is still small, you feel good. But you are only going to get bigger, slower and less comfortable.”

So, what I basically heard was: “I hope you enjoyed it, because it’s all downhill from here.”

I recognize that what she said is objectively true. If all goes well, I *will* only get bigger for the next 15 or so weeks. And, to be honest: praise be!

But on the other hand, just because something is true, does not mean it has to be SAID OUT LOUD. For example, consider my birthday. Does my husband pass me a piece of cake and say, “Enjoy this honey, because you are only going to get older. Your metabolism will only slow down. Your memory will only get worse.”  No, no, of course not. He says, “Happy birthday.”

So how about a “happy trimester!?”

It is, at the moment, a happy (second) trimester. At this stage, I feel great. I am mobile. I have energy. The baby kicks and dances, but is fully portable in my abdomen. The due date seems far enough away that I can delude myself — at least some of the time – into thinking we still have plenty of time to prepare the house, shop, celebrate, learn about childbirth and child-rearing, plus go to movies and do all the Things We Will Never Do Again.

I just want to freeze time where it is for a moment.

In its defense, the third trimester means I am closer to meeting my baby face-to-face and for that reason, I will embrace it with joy!

But a part of me dreads the arrival of each new week.

At the beginning of my pregnancy, I could not wait for the weeks to pass.  I was so anxious to get to the safe(r) zone, I just wanted the first trimester to pass. I celebrated each growing number. Now with each passing week, I kind of feel the same way I do about my birthdays post-30. It’s nice and all, but the size of those numbers causes a little anxiety.

The basic story I get on the third trimester is that I will be huge, uncomfortable, overwhelmed, exhausted and generally unhappy.

I was reading a blog the other day written by someone at the very beginning of her third trimester. She was feeling large, tired and miserable — a feeling she described as “third trimestery.”

I am worried about feeling “third trimestery” not only because I have so much I need to accomplish in the next 15 weeks, but also because I have two upcoming trips that require some degree of mobility and alertness. In just over a week, my husband and I will be vacationing in Turkey, a trip that is supposed to involve us walking around towns and ruins and perhaps even sleeping on the deck of a sailboat in the Mediterranean. Awesome, right? I recognize the silliness of worrying about a VACATION, the one thing no one has a right to complain or worry about. But what if I can’t stay awake for it? What if I have to take a nap on the old stomping grounds of St. Paul and throw up all over that beautiful Turkish sailboat? To add to the excitement, two days after we get back home, I leave for another two weeks for a work-related fellowship that will involve getting my pregnant butt on a ship at least once. And at some point, I need to get ready for this baby.

In the midst of all of that: The Third Trimester strikes!

I assume I am not going to gain another 10 pounds overnight. But the transition from nauseated-tired-first-trimester to happy-second-trimester was so fast, I kind of feel like I will wake up and just not be able to get out of bed.

This all led to the following conversation the other night:

Me: I am afraid I am going to hit the third trimester and feel horrible on our vacation.
Husband: You’re not going to feel horrible! You’re going to be on a boat in Turkey!
Me: (good point) But this blog I read, she was feeling really bad at the beginning of her third trimester.
Hubs: If you have time to blog about it, you should be out doing stuff.

26 weeks, today.  I will not feel horrible. Just. Keep. Moving.

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10 Comments

Filed under pregnancy

10 responses to “First mistake: stopping to think about it

  1. amber

    I stumbled upon your IF blog a while back from another blog’s page – congratulations on your pregnancy!

    I am 5 days ahead of you and feel the exact. same. way. I would so love to be able to freeze time for oh, say about 2 or 3 months. And then I would be okay starting things up again. I keep joking with people that I hope my baby comes in January instead of November…I’m not really joking. At the very least I’m hoping that mine comes a few days late so I can squeeze a viewing of the last Harry Potter in there somewhere. 😉

    Just wanted to let you know that you are not alone in the “yes I’m very excited but no I am not quite ready for it to be here either” camp. Have a great vacation!

  2. Big Sis

    You will be fine. I don’t remember being terribly unhappy (apart from having to stop running) in my third trimester. I mean, I taught and coached and went out with my friends and everything right up until the last minute. Come to think of it, I did run out of steam on our weekend shopping trips though…. just pack snacks 🙂

  3. MegGret

    Oh sweet friend! I love this post! I miss you so much and wish I were closer to be the positive voice, like your sister, about the third trimester. It is the more nerve-racking trimester just because you know baby is going to come… and that is both exciting and terrifying. But I also have so enjoyed my last trimesters with Joseph and Giules. It’s the season of showers, celebrating, and praying about the little life.

    As for your vacation, I would not think about it being your third trimester. Just think of it as your longer second one. It’s all about mind over belly and, well, positive prayer 🙂 which I will continue to do with/for you 🙂

  4. the vessel

    oh, thanks ladies! You are the best! I wish we all lived on the same street…or at least in the same time zone. Oh Meg, “mind over belly” — that is hilarious!

  5. Mom

    Hey! Stop it. Stop worrying. Enjoy your pregnancy. Enjoy your belly – one trick is that it will become a nice little table on which you can rest your tea cup between sips : ) Enjoy your vacation and if you get tired, take a nap. Enjoy the extra kindness shown to you when people notice you are with child. And in another 15 weeks (that’s a long time if you think of it in terms of a college class you didn’t particularly like) your life will change, but so will your priorities. You & P will be great parents. You will love being a mom. I do : ) Happy trimester!

  6. Sara K.

    Not ever having been a vessel myself, I think: you have been very active before and during your bump growth, and I think that will stave off the third trimester slump! That is just a guess, though. Sending encouraging thoughts your way.

    PS-I loved this post! Spoken right out of my own unvesseled heart, or how I would imagine it to be when I am in the same place.

  7. I definitely feel the same 3rd Trimester fear as I hit 28 weeks tomorrow. The fact that the baby will be here in a matter of a couple months (instead of many months) is hard to process!! Unfortunately, all I seem to hear are the horror stories of the 3rd trimester. I’m hoping regular exercise (including swimming…loved your comment about wearing the suit to work) will help.

  8. Happy Trimester!

    I too read the horror stories on blogs (dangerous things, blogs are) about the Evil that is Third Trimester. I woke up on that fateful morning and read the new section of What to Expect and groaned pre-emptively in expectation of the Body Attack that was to come.

    I have been pleasantly surprised with how…human…I have continued to feel. Though running is a bit–interesting–I still walk and swim with ease and relative vigor. I’m still hungry. Which is great. I like to eat–especially tomatoes. I’m sure that you will be able to continue to enjoy regular human things–like moving, talking, playing with pets, and eating tomatoes.

    This said–it is a strange and frightening thing to contemplate a New Person falling into your life–sooner rather than later! Suddenly everything is becoming…real.

    I will continue to pray for you and for Pavo. I hope you both enjoy Turkey! And when you get back, maybe Pavo will have a cousin in the Outside World!

    Love
    Sarah

  9. Hey mama! I’m Mag’s friend Erin? Your mom gave me the link to your blog so I stopped by to catch up. You are so cute!

    I’m wrapping up 34 weeks this week, and really my only (unique to the 3rd trimester) complaints are nighttime ankle swelling and not being able to eat more than about 10 bites of my meals before I’m so full I can hardly stand it. That’s it! What do I know about pregnancy?, but I think if you’ve felt pretty good all along, it’s rare for everything to suddenly go south. Just like you didn’t have every symptom mentioned in the 1st trimester section of all those books, you can’t possibly have all the ones listed in the 3rd trimester section. And, the 3rd trimester is when strangers start asking when you’re due (awesome for verifying that you look unmistakably pregnant, not just fat or lumpy), and all your friends give you presents, and you get to eat baby shower food!

    What’s that bible verse about ‘who by worrying adds an hour to his life?’ Whenever I start to panic about just how ill-prepared I am to birth and care for a baby, I try to remember that worrying won’t help or change anything. I know the same cannot be said for prayer, talking to your mama and sister(s), and going out for tacos. or ice cream. So my advice is to keep those things in heavy rotation, and keep the worry to a minimum. And you know there will be a time, like you see in all the other mom blogs, where you say “I remember when my biggest fear was falling asleep on vacation. HA!”

    I hope you have a fabulous vacation!!

  10. Jen B

    I too vote in the no-fear-of-final-stretch camp. We are so excited for you guys!! YAAY for your little one! Happy travels =)

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