I’m nearly 32 weeks along now, and very much in that stage where the glow of pregnancy has dulled a bit.
Make no mistake: I’m still enjoying this pregnancy. But it’s no longer cute: it’s just plain uncomfortable.
No doubt the gestational diabetes put a damper on things. It’s required more maintenance this time around. During my pregnancy with Lola, I was able to manage it with diet alone, and the standard appointments with my obstetrician and a dietician. Now, I have regular appointments with my obstetrician, a diabetes specialist, and the hospital team of specialists who will deliver FestBaby.
I’m on a very strict diet, pricking my fingers multiple times during the day, and administering an insulin shot every evening before bed. (Thank goodness I don’t need a shot after every meal. Counting my blessings there!) It’s become so routine now, I no longer rely on Martin to give me the shot. I’ve overcome my squeamishness, and administer it myself.
It took awhile, though.
In the mornings, I stretch my way through the daily “Charley Horse” leg cramps, something I experienced with the other pregnancies. However, I also get to deal with “restless legs” which is the most bizarre sensation I’ve ever experienced. And it only happens at night! Apparently, it’s all related to the gestational diabetes and pressure on my back and nerves, and it will go away when I’m no longer pregnant.
In addition, the rest of my body is definitely feeling the effects of lugging around a four-pound bowling ball: my hips hurt, my back hurts, I can’t find a comfortable sleep position. I simply no longer feel like myself in any way: everything about my physicality is changed. The way I move, stand, sit, sleep, get dressed, eat, walk, breathe … it’s all different from how I was eight months ago.
Perhaps the only thing that I do unaffected by the pregnancy is lather the shampoo in my hair … and even then, chances are pretty good I still manage to drop the bottle because my grip on things is worthless at the moment. I warn people around me to keep their heads up for items unintentionally flung at them: pens, pencils, make-up brushes, cell phones, water bottles.
Nearly everyone who encounters me now is a little bit more cautious: making way for me to move across a room, giving up seats, slowing down to keep pace with my lumbering waddle, pulling open all the doors … all the while eyeing this monstrous belly as if it’s a water balloon about to pop at any moment.
Fortunately, the weight gain has stayed front and center, so I can get away with wearing most of my non-maternity pants, if they can stay under the belly. That wasn’t the case when I was younger and gained everywhere!
Sometimes I have to walk along a running track and sports fields next to my office, and now that the weather is improving, it’s a pretty busy scene. Every now and then, a bunch of people will run past me, and I actually get wistful. I can smell their sweat and feel their energy as they sprint past, and I miss that for myself. Not that I was ever any serious runner or athlete, but to just push forward like that, to break a sweat, was something I took for granted.
Nevertheless, despite the unpleasantness and discomfort, this pregnancy has been more sweet than bitter. It’s gone by so fast! I know all these things are temporary, and will soon be memories, a perspective I simply couldn’t appreciate when I was younger, when it felt like it would never end.
I know this time will end soon … and once this baby is born, I know I will blink, and it will suddenly be walking and talking … going to school … morphing into a teenager.
So, I’m patient. Uncomfortable, but patient. And waiting.
Today’s #TBT picture is from 1982 at my first birthday party. My mother dressed up as a clown. I have no memory of this, obviously, but there are other blurry photos of me aggressively enjoying that first slice of cake…a moment I hope to recreate at a later time!