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.