The third semester was daunting as a last stretch. In the beginning, it went by kind of fast, but by the time I had 2 months or so to go, it was as though time became a sloth. A cruel pace. It seemed everyone I knew who was pregnant had their baby and mine was especially comfortable in my tummy. I got bigger, heavier, less mobile. I read as much as I could about labour and delivery, and forgot most of it almost instantaneously each time. I looked for signs of impending labour everywhere. I heard every baby’s sound even remotely within earshot. I daydreamed constantly about what she looks like. Who she looks like, what she will be like. How big she’ll be. What her cries sounded like. Even what she smelled like.
My back hurt all the time, Braxton hicks became painful. I couldn’t sit up for very long, I couldn’t walk for very long (Long meaning 5 minutes), couldn’t tolerate long car rides… I also had increased sciatic pain. It would be especially foul when I bent over (however slightly), after car rides and when I had to lay on my back, like during ultrasounds and regular check-ups. Most times it was so bad I could hardly walk became ever-present the closer my date was. Yet, for all these discomforts, I had a textbook pregnancy. Completely normal. I escaped some things, like swelling feet. Literally had none. (Does the nose count?)
The stretch marks. Sigh. 38 weeks and all I had on my tummy during the time was a less than 1 inch mark where I had felt the are burning and knew it was stretching. I taped the skin up in a panic each time for a day or two. (Don’t judge me it worked. Ha! Along with my shea butter and oils concoction and moisturizing body wash and stretch mark lotion.) That last week, the side of my belly button burned. I didn’t tape it. I have marks. I’m ok with them. They’re negligible and will most likely fade. I think I got away with much less than I expected going into this. I also learned my belly button is so lean, I find that funny. It twists towards the right since my belly started growing and appears to be the reason the stretch marks happened. MEH.
I could feel distinct body parts this trimester and my family made sport of it. I could time her movements. I was feeling like I would pop any second and wobbled more than I walked. Boobles said I walked like a duck. She would kick at him when we cuddled and they would bond. My anxiety about labour strangely lessened. Of course I still worried about the pain and the physical well-being of the vagina. But more and more was the worry about Pepperseed being here strong and healthy. Boobles said he wasn’t worried, I saw something different in his mood and expressions. I was determined to not seem scared but, you know. The horror stories of 20+ hours of giving birth as a first time mother were forever hovering in the subconscious.
There was the feeling of elation as the due date drew closer, knowing that with each passing week, she would be able to survive without medical intervention.
I got a surprise shower on the weekend of my birthday. Threw a surprise ‘daddy shower’ for Boobles on the weekend before his.
Packed the hospital bag and washed all her clothes under 6 months. My mom came by quite often to help us around the house. You know, the (Jamaican/Caribbean) mom thing. Both my mom and mother-in-law are excited to meet their first grandchild. We’re excited to.meet our first/only child. Waiting, waiting, waiting…