The Hard Part

9.18.09: T-1 month, and counting

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This is the hard part: the final month of pregnancy. It’s a crawl to the finish line.

I officially have sausage fingers and water balloon feet. (I’m not sure they even qualify as feet anymore; they’re more like numb clubs attached to swollen ankles.) When I wake up in the morning and waddle to the bathroom, my arches feel like they might actually collapse under all this extra weight. My fingers are such fat, stubby stumps that I can’t seem to grasp anything completely anymore. I drop approximately 2,500 things a day, and I want to cry each and every time I’m faced with the fact that I have to—once again—bend over and pick something up off of the floor. I’m tempted to start carrying a pair of barbecue tongs around with me everywhere I go, for the sole purpose of snatching things up from the floor.
I’m exhausted, and yet I can’t sleep. Every night, I pop a few of my fruit-flavored Tums to help with the inevitable burning in my esophagus, then twist my arms and legs around my gigantic body pillow in an attempt to get comfortable. My hips ache, and my limbs go numb after too long in one position, but flipping over to the other side requires a 12-point turn and a bedside crane. I’ve tried sleeping sitting straight up in bed, only to have my head do an inevitable neck-flop every ten minutes, startling me awake. That is, if I’m not first woken up by a painful charley horse in my calf, or if I'm not already up for my 12th middle-of-the-night trip to the bathroom.
Everyone says this is nature’s way of preparing the body for the newborn days. But, you’d think Mother Nature would want pregnant women to get some rest at this point to gear up for the marathon of labor, delivery, and the newborn months ahead. (You’d also think Mother Nature wouldn’t want brain-dead zombies taking care of fragile new human beings, either.)
This part of pregnancy is certainly no walk in the park. Still, it’s not as hard as this. Or this. And it’s true what “they” say: taking care of a baby on the inside is so much easier than taking care of a baby on the outside. So I’m just going to do my best to try to kick back, relax, and make the most of these final few weeks of relative calm.
On a happy note, we had another ultrasound this morning which showed that my fluid levels are—finally!—in the normal range, and that the baby appears to be doing great. If things could just stay this way, I think I might be able to sail through this last month of pregnancy, afterall.
Join's Managing Editor Dana Rousmaniere each week as she blogs about her third pregnancy.