I’m thirty weeks now and look pregnant enough to have my first stranger, a cashier in one of the local shops, ask me when I was due. Of course, she had been recently pregnant herself so was unusually perceptive as to what such a large protruding anterior growth might possibly mean, but still, it was a milestone of sorts. My apartment neighbors still have yet to get a good look at me up close and I aim to keep it that way; of course, I run the risk that when I do start appearing with an actual air-breathing baby, they’ll probably think I stole it and call the cops. I’ll have to track down the shopgirl to vouch for me.
The closer I get to the magical date of January 1st (the day insurance starts! What? Does January 1st mean anything else? I can’t remember…), the more anxious I get. By the time the date rolls around I’ll probably undergo such a complete full-body relax and exhale that my lungs will collapse and the baby will slip right down out of me onto the floor. I’ll be in Trader Joes or something and people will seriously freak out.
The third trimester seems to be when all the unpleasant symptoms of pregnancy rear their ugly heads and I am right on schedule. (1) Monday morning of my 28th week, my back was suddenly all achy. I grumped around for a few days before walking to Fred Meyer to buy a hot pad and let me tell you, I LOVE that thing. Hot pads are the cat’s ass. My back, now two weeks later, actually feels better. Man, I’m turning it on right now! (2) Recent hyperproduction of relaxin in my body means my very skeleton is now held together by sheer will, or possibly peer pressure. I’m all … floppy. Sleeping on one side for more than five minutes results in a sensation that my hips have dislocated. Double ick. So I roll over (and make Joshua roll over too because his body forms a convenient scaffolding system for my body’s limb support) and give it another go for five minutes. Repeat. And again. Nobody sleeps. We nap a lot lately. (3) Stretching hurts! One of my abdominal scars has so much nerve damage I can’t feel anything anywhere in the vicinity but the other scar remains fully functional, nerve-wise, and hurts like a sonofabitch as the belly looms ever northward. I’m sure my round ligaments will start in next. (4) Restless leg syndrome! GAH! (5) Charley horses!! AAACK!
One fascinating development of pregnancy is blood. There is a lot more blood in my body than there used to be. The books all say so, something like 25-40% more. And I can feel it. I can feel my pulse in my fingertips and palms whenever I put my hands down by my sides or lay them on anything at all (kaBOOM kaBOOM kaBOOM). I feel my temples pulsing against my eyeballs. No wonder mosquitoes are especially attracted to pregnant women, we’re bursting with bloody goodness and there is SO MUCH SURFACE AREA to choose from.