August 13, 2014 by Amy B
I was going through my morning ritual of getting ready for work, which lately involves squeezing myself into this garment that is a cross between an old-lady girdle and a pair of compression shorts. You laugh, but somehow it manages to hold together the mess that is my midsection these days, and also spares the innocent bystander of an accidental belly flashing, since most of my shirts are now precariously draped over my enormity. (Though let me sing the praises of the extra long tank top – my new BFF.)
I’d just announced to my husband that I would be borrowing one of his sweaters to wear to work – just a black crew neck that probably cost $15 at JCPenney – but it was a godsend. A lot of the maternity items I bought in the beginning, thinking they’d last the duration, are too small. The shorts I bought two sizes too large in the beginning of the summer? Barely hanging on, even with additional waist-expansion devices.
“I know this is probably quite entertaining for you,” I said to my husband, who was watching me squeeze into a pair of jeans.
“I’m just wondering if this is an attempt to avoid maternity clothes,” he said, clearly unclear on the concept of what constitutes “maternity wear.”
My definition? It’s everything that’s NOT all the things I wore back in April. The jeans with real waistbands, the shirts that had any kind of definition at the waist. It’s the two drawers full of running clothes I can’t even get past mid-thigh or my shoulders. Maternity wear are the bras I had to borrow/buy that are at least two sizes bigger in the bands/cups because my boobs are out of control (and I’m not even going to start on the awesome sideboob I’ve got going).
As a reasonable adult, I know that all this shouldn’t matter or make me feel awful about myself. I’ve been through this two times, and I know that it’s temporary (though let’s be honest – my body has never really gone back to what it was pre-children, even when the scale registered a lower number than it did in my mid-20s). I know that there are women who’d die to be in my spot, and that my ever-growing self is one of the signs that all is still well – the baby is continuing to grow and be seemingly healthy and right on target. Shit, I know all this. I’ve been there. I know that the 40 weeks of pregnancy are a blip compared to the rest of the child’s life. I know that eventually I’ll be able to bend over to tie my running shoes without fearing I’ll pass out and cover more than 1.5 miles in a 20 minute run (that’s about where I am these days).
But I’m uneasy these days. Uneasy, uncomfortable, and at times, a little afraid. Afraid of what a third child is going to bring when most days I feel completely inadequate to take care of the two I have. Which was where I was the other day, lying in bed, staring at the ceiling, thinking to myself, oh shit. I suppose the only good thing to come from that is that it didn’t last long. It’s a little too late for second thoughts at 25 weeks.
Above: 24 week photo (I think).
I also think I went into this expecting it would be a breeze. I’m an old pro. I totally know what to expect. But I didn’t take into account that every pregnancy is different. I’m older, for one. And your brain is really good at making you forget all the little shitty things during pregnancy (sorry, I know it’s probably a different story for all the “ooh, I luuurrrvvve being pregnant!” people, which sadly, I am not). While I don’t regret having my 20s to do all of the stupid things I did without parenting responsibilities, I have to wonder how your body handles this kind of task when it’s younger and more spry. Also: when I could wake up in the morning and not have indentation lines from my pillow stuck in my face for the rest of the morning. It’s these little things I just seem to notice more these days.
Exercise-wise, my pace has dropped another minute or so per mile, even though I try not to pay attention too closely. There is definitely some walking going on in my morning sessions. Yesterday morning I only had enough time (and bladder endurance) for 20 minutes. It was enough.
I also ordered Hilaria Baldwin’s Prenatal Yoga video (yup, she’s Alec’s wife!), which I like a lot more than the other one I had, though it was a little tough to keep up with her at first, and I totally need a set of yoga blocks to do this (which I don’t have yet). This one seems more like a good stretch with some yoga thrown in, which is good for a non-yogi like myself. I don’t feel quite as ridiculous doing it, and the stretching is probably good to balance out my run/walking. There was also a strength/core session thrown in one day (Tuesday, maybe?) and I was sore for the rest of the week.
It won’t be long before I’ll have to retire the jacket. Boo.
This is pretty much the scene looking down. Also: all shoes must be able to be slipped on without bending down.
I go to see the doctor today for one of my final monthly appointments (only one left) and then it’s every two weeks (I think) for the rest of the pregnancy. Next week I retake the three-hour glucose tolerance test (blegh). This is when it really starts to feel real; I start to bug my husband to finish all the half-done house projects (THE BATHROOM) before November. I also find myself crying about everything – celebrity deaths, heart-wrenching blog posts, Instagram photos, a raspberry I picked from our bushes and dropped on the ground. I know it’s all typical at this point, but I can’t help but feel weak and emotional.
At this point, every week I tick off is a victory. I’ll take what I can get.