Tuesday, January 04, 2011

Confessions from the Seventh Month Slump

The Bump, swathed in spandex

I am 99.9% sure this happens to most pregnant women, apart from the few who are all "oh, my body is a vessel for a new human being and it is SO WONDERFUL and I feel full of happiness and joy!" to whom I say "I got two rolling pins for Christmas and I am not above beating you senseless with them."

Freakin' happy pregnant women!  I hate them.

I was doing so well during that second trimester.  Yeah, there was the belly, but I could tie my shoes.  I could feel movement, but the kicking wasn't painful.  I could get out of bed without flailing like an upside down tortoise.  My underwear stayed up.

I've gained 15 kg/33 lbs over the last 29 weeks and for those in the know, yes, a so-called healthy woman of my size will gain up to 16 kg/35 lbs over her entire pregnancy (40 weeks, btw).  So I'm a little on the fat side.  I blame my butt, which took it's sweet ass time getting here, but arrived with a *bang* in the middle of the night.  I can now sit comfortably in chairs without bruising my tailbone, but my knees are killing me.

But I just feel fat and ungainly.  I struggle into clothes and out of them again because they no longer cover my belly.  Trousers and jeans take FOREVER to get into.  Going to the bathroom has become this epic journey of discovery: "oh, so that's where my panties went," "ah, I see I've got toilet paper stuck between my butt cheeks again," "why look, the hair on my belly has gotten thicker and longer," "is today the day the hemorrhoids return?" and "how am I going to get these pants back up without falling head first to the floor?"

My skin feels completely tight, as though I've been stretched to the maximum capacity, like an overstuffed sausage casing.

And I'm supposed to get BIGGER??

And women who've been pregnant before tell me it gets WORSE??

Thanks, but no thanks, I don't think I want to be pregnant any more.

I miss my old body, the one that went up stairs without creaking.  The one that didn't smell weird.  The one that ached after a night out dancing and drinking and carrying on, not walking two blocks to the post office.  I miss my belly button ring.  I miss my flat stomach.  I miss being able to easily rub lotion onto my legs because I could bring my leg up to my chest.  I miss my morning routine that only took one hour because it didn't take 15 minutes longer to struggle into my clothing.  Who knew socks were so challenging?

I miss my old life.  I read the posts from my friends in Qatar and know the highjinks they are getting up to and I'm not going to be doing that for a long while, if not ever again.  I'm old enough and have enough contacts that I probably could be in the field year round and instead I'm sitting here, gestating.  Soon I'll be lactating.  But not excavating.  No, not for a long while yet.

I miss being able to visit friends and drinking bottles of wine and crashing on floors or couches.  Okay, I didn't do it all that often, but I was at least physically *able* to do these things.  Now it's all about how many pillows it takes to keep the AG upright enough to breathe and not have acid reflux and have a pillow ready in case she rolls over and boobs and belly suddenly enter the earth's gravitational field and are pulled resolutely down past the point of comfort.

I miss uninterrupted sleep.  "Get lots of sleep now, while you can" they say.  Right.  So can we put me in low orbit where gravity doesn't apply because I'm not able to sleep now.  I have gestational rhinitis, so I can't bloody breathe and I snore so I have a constantly sore throat.  The baby flails like a champion kick-boxer about every hour, sometimes going into a prize-fighting routine that takes 20 minutes to subside.   Acid reflux has made it's acquaintance with my esophagus.

To sum it up: I'm a sad sack.  A sad sack of mucus, fat, semi-digested food and baby.

I lumber and I waddle.

And if that wasn't the only thing to get one feeling down, now is when the pregnancy websites think you should start watching birthing videos.

You want to watch something scary and horrible?  Watch a birthing video.

Maybe because I'm not that interested in vaginas, or maybe because I like to keep an air of mystery about some of my parts I DO NOT WANT TO WATCH A BABY COME OUT OF SOME OTHER WOMANS HOO-HA.  How exactly is that supposed to make me feel more comfortable and relaxed about giving birth?  A friend of mine focused on her body opening up like a lotus flower and that's a HELL of a lot better mental image than what I've seen on YouTube.

"Birth on programs like 'A Baby Story' or [insert other TLC show I've never heard of, let alone seen] give a negative view of what child birth is like, because that makes good drama.  For a real birth in all it's beauty, watch Mary, a real woman filmed by her husband Joseph, giving birth at the Bethlehem Birthing Center"FOR FUCKING CRAZY PEOPLE!  WHAT THE HELL IS WRONG WITH YOU??  I DIDN'T NEED TO SEE THAT SHIT!  I'M NOT GOING TO GIVE BIRTH NOW, THANK YOU VERY MUCH, I'LL JUST STAY PREGNANT UNTIL THEY INVENT THE TRANSPORTER AND CAN BEAM THIS BABY OUT OF ME!!!

"One of the reasons so many women have a hard time with birth is due to fear."  AND HOW WAS WATCHING THAT HELPING???  You know when you are learning to drive and they show you videos of violent accidents so that you will become so terrified that you never drive drunk?  YEAH, IT'S A LITTLE LIKE THAT.

If you have no idea why I'm shouting (and waving my arms about - although you can't see that because I don't do video posts), you obviously haven't seen one of these videos while pregnant.  They are bad enough when you aren't pregnant, and when you are seven months along and know that you are only going to get BIGGER, it is quite possibly the LAST thing you want to see.

So that's me, seven months along, having my down days and sporadic freaking out moments.  It's what I'm calling the Seventh Month Slump (I'm sure there will be the Eighth Month Existential Crisis and the Ninth Month Neuroses and don't get me started on Postpartum Perturbations).  The DB spends a great deal of time these days telling me how beautiful I am and how sexy he thinks I am and making sure that he gives me hugs and rubs my belly.  He also holds my hand tightly when we see some woman on TV giving birth.  Meanwhile I hold things up over my belly and examine myself from the side in my full-length mirror admiring how lovely it is to have boobs and a butt and what all I'm going to do with them after I get rid of the belly, because I've always wanted a back and a rack, if you know what I mean.

So it's not all dark days here - but I'd be lying through omission if I didn't mention them.

Just keepin' it real, y'all.


  1. I haven't been pregnant in over 11 years, and I still want to stab women who gush about how wonderful pregnancy is. I felt so awful the entire time...from morning sickness (which, btw is bullshit because it lasted all freaking day) to Cass digging her toes into my ribs, to being grossly, enormously pregnant, with a baby's head engaged in the birthing canal so every time she kicked or moved it sent searing pain through my pelvis.

    I'm sorry you are sad. If I was there, I would make you hot chocolate and we would have a Star Wars marathon, and then follow it up with some Monty Python. I would also make you homemade chocolate ship cookies and insist that you stop watching birth videos.

    I don't know if it would help to read other mom's stories of sadness while pregnant, but if it would, you should check out Band Back Together, the group blog that Aunt Becky of Mommy Wants Vodka set up. It helps to know you are alone sometimes.

    I love you, Archaeogoddess and Spawn!

  2. Aw, poor you! I think if I was pregnant, I would feel the same way. I watched a horrible show on TV about a woman who not only gave birth in a bathtub filled with water (ick ick ick), but proceeded to have an orgasm when she pushed the baby out. Then she went on tv and told everyone. My mouth is still hanging open from that one.

    Hope that cheers you up! :)

  3. This post could not have been better timed. I literally JUST got back from the OB where I found out that not only have I gained 29 lbs in 26 weeks of gestation but that I'm measuring 5cm larger than normal so I have to go get another ultrasound tomorrow to make sure I don't have to much amniotic fluid. I probably don't. It's just a big ass baby in there.

    I loathe being pregnant. If one more person tells me I'm glowing (which I'm not) or that I must feel so fulfilled as a woman and mother I'm going to kill them. It helps to remember that there are other sane women out there who are equally miserable. Thank You!!!

  4. Anonymous11:17 PM

    I totally respect and hear your feelings. Hormones are making you cranky and the baby is very hard on your body, which won't ever quite be the same again. But it's good that you're keeping your dry and ironic sense of humor!

    Let me just say however that your husband's response is very good. I have to say that when the husband of one of my friends said she was "waddling like a cow" in front of us all, we nearly castrated him. She had to tell us to stop harshing on him. :)

    So let me say I'm glad you have such a supportive partner! Never lose that sense of humor - Best wishes to you.

  5. Bless you... I am normally quite a happy soul - until it comes to being pregnant, I hated every minute! Invest in some bellybands if you can, I found them invaluable in covering up my ever protuding belly (and keeping up those awful maternity trousers!) ...

  6. Anonymous10:48 PM

    The last few months of pregnancy are always a drag.

    Women who like to make out it's bliss at that stage are like women who only speak about how much they adore their children...they are doing nobody any favors and usually covering up some deep dark secret.

    Hang on in there, this is the bit that you will be glad to forget, your babe will be here soon and it will be worth the wait.

    With love

    'Babs' xx


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