At the risk of sounding ungrateful, can we all just agree that pregnancy sucks sometimes? Okay, maybe not everyone will concur. Some of you might be like my sister-in-law, whose pregnancy was a breeze. With her energetic good health and adorable bump, she was a walking advertisement for the miracle of life. My pregnancy is more like the miracle of survival.
In my first trimester, I threw up weekly, was constantly nauseous, battled dry mouth, had weird rashes, and had stabbing round ligament pains whenever I got out of bed. And the exhaustion? Let’s just say my 3-year-old once ate dinner off the floor while I snoozed in front of “Doc McStuffins”.
But now, after a few not-so-horrible weeks in the middle, my third trimester is here to give the first trimester a run for its money. Sleep is more like a series of short, unsatisfying naps since I wake up every hour to pee, sometimes with stunning cramps in my calves. When I do sleep, I snore, exiling my husband to the living room couch (probably for the best, because I’m basically a natural gas processing plant).
The heartburn is so bad, I’ve nearly called the fire department. My belly is so big and heavy and that I get winded just thinking about climbing the stairs. If I drop something on the floor, I have to convince my daughter to fetch it for me or that’s it, it’s gone forever.
Oh and here’s a new one — suddenly I have skin tags. They’re these flesh-colored growths, which, according to Dr. Internet, sprout in areas that are warm, moist, or frequently rubbed by other body parts — i.e. my whole pregnant body. My ob-gyn says they may fall off after I give birth (they’d better because otherwise my baby is going to think I have 100 nipples).
Overall, I just can’t get comfortable. My doctor says it doesn’t help that I’m only 5’2″ so my organs are squished together in extreme ways that a taller woman might not experience. Last night I was sitting cross-legged on my bed, trying to make space for the bowling ball crushing my thighs. “How does Yoda do it?” I whined to my husband. “No wait, not Yoda. Buddha! The chubby one with the belly.” Did I mention pregnancy brain has made me feeble-minded?
But despite everything, is the third trimester actually worse than the first trimester? Maybe not. During the first trimester, many of us are keeping our pregnancies under wraps, so we suffer our symptoms in silence. The fact that I look so pregnant now is an advantage, because friends and strangers are instantly sympathetic, offering to do things like chase my child up a jungle gym while I read a magazine on the park bench.
Plus, while the first trimester is exciting, it can also be very scary; the fear of miscarriage is a dark cloud threatening to rain on our good news, and genetic testing is a rabbit hole of terrifying possibilities. The third trimester, on the other hand, is marked by baby showers, nursery decorating, and Lamaze classes. It’s game on! Annoying, but kind of fun.
So I’m voting that first is the worst. What was your least favorite trimester?