I've had a couple bad pregnancy days recently. They're much like bad hair days, only instead of just affecting your head and your mood, it affects your entire body and psyche.
I'm sure it's not uncommon at this stage of the game. I mean, I feel like I've been pregnant forever. And really, when I think about it, I have been pregnant almost the entire year.
The toughest part is my changing body. I've slowed way down and even the simplest tasks have become difficult. Just carrying a basket of laundry up a flight of stairs makes me winded. Hell, even without the laundry I struggle for breath sometimes. The baby is now taking up my entire midsection which has encroached on my lung space. It's almost like a constant asthma attack. Sitting up overly straight is my only line of defense.
To top it off, her nutritional needs have taken over. I'm often hungry a few hours after eating, and ignoring it is not an option. My stomach starts growling loudly and the baby starts flailing. I'm not sure which is weirder: Feeling something inside you demanding food or feeling your stomach rumble in your ribcage.
Then there's the fact that I can't move the way I used to. Bending over and picking things up requires my utmost concentration. And I kind of have to bow out my legs to give my bulging belly a place to go. I've noticed that I'm even walking differently. I sometimes arch my back to overcompensate for the load I'm carrying out front.
The only time I really have any get up and go is when I'm literally getting up to go. If she rotates or moves anywhere near my bladder, I feel it. The pressure is enough to send me immediately to the bathroom, where it is always disappointing at the lack of liquid that had me so worked up in the first place. I expect Niagara Falls. I get a rain drop.
The nights are the worst. Finding a comfortable position is almost an impossibility. I am hyper aware of my belly and its contents, and it takes a lot of work to move it from one side to the other. Not to mention a 180 degree turn is enough to stir the baby, and I have to wait until she settles to doze off again.
The other small internal changes don't seem like much until I add them up. Things like popping vertebrae have become a regular occurrence as my bones and ligaments loosen in preparation for childbirth. My hands and feet swell like tightly packed sausages on the rare occasion that I do attempt to walk around for a bit. And then there's the gas. Oh my God the gas. I would think the smells coming from my ass were those of a 450 pound trucker who just ingested a deep fried jalapeno sandwich and washed it down with molten lava.
Externally, I'm trying not to place too much emphasis on the small purple stretchmarks digging trenches into the skin around my sides. I know from experience that they fade, but it's difficult to watch them grow and realize there's absolutely nothing I can do to stop it. Not even the four applications of anti-stretchmark cream I'm committed to daily.
Then there's the weight gain. I've honestly been okay with it up until my maternity jeans stopped fitting last week. When elastic pants become too constricting, you know you've hit an emotional low. I now have two pairs of long pants that allow me to sit in comfort. Relatively speaking, of course.
But as I fought off the urge to cry on my drive to work one day last week, I tried to remember what it's all for. And how hard I've worked to get to this point.
Then, as if right on cue, I felt a little arm or foot or butt or something stretch the boundary of my belly. Those are my favorite moments. When I'm alone in my car thinking about who knows what, she moves and reminds me she's there.
And I know without a doubt that she'll be worth it.