There was a welcoming party waiting for me at the third trimester check point—Exhaustion wearing a rather large party hat, Sleeplessness toting a kazoo, Back Pain waving glittery pom poms, Hot Flashes carrying a cake full of hot candles, Headache with a few too many loud party games and Big Belly waiting for me with a giant sash declaring my condition. And I can't forget all the people that didn't show up to the party, like Immune System and Emotional Control. Who forgot to invite them anyways?
It seems as though every possible pregnancy symptom that didn't find a way to make me miserable in the first six months is making sure the last three won't be without all the wonderful experiences that come with pregnancy. After all I wouldn't want to miss any of it.
Other moms always talked about how much energy they had in the second trimester—and I would always (sleepily) roll my eyes. Well, what I called exhaustion last trimester I would gladly welcome back in place of the feeling that has me quite literately dragging through the past few days. Even if, by some miracle, I don't have to get up and pee in the middle of the night and I can actually get comfortable enough to fall asleep fairly quickly and manage to stay asleep for at least eight hours, I still feel like I could have used at least eight more hours (If I'm eating for two, can't I sleep for two?).
And even though I feel like I could put my head down on my desk at work and nap through lunch hour, I can't manage to get comfortable when I actually do have time to sleep. After a few minutes in the same position, my hip will start to feel like the wheel of a bicycle left out in the elements for a decade. If my hips decide to give me some relief, a big knot will work its way underneath my shoulders, or my lower back muscles will start carrying protest signs about all this extra weight they've had to lug around.
On a 90-plus degree day (which has become the norm this summer), I'll be wrapped in a sweater inside the air conditioning, then suddenly become sweaty and overheated, then cold again once the sweater comes off, then too hot to hardly even breath once I step outside. And while my allergies typically only flare up in the coolness of spring and fall, somewhere along the line my immune system has also decided to call it quits, adding sore throat and stuffy nose to the guest list, not that I didn't already have enough to deal with.
Sure, I'd take all of my third trimester complaints magnified times ten over the month of constant vomiting I had in between first and second trimesters. And the baby is now big enough for me to feel every little movement, which is still cool no matter how uncomfortable it is (he likes to roll—a lot). He reacts to my voice and my husband's hand on my belly and I find it amazing to be able to interact with someone I haven't even met yet.
And while all this is going on, some days I feel like I could start crying instantly (which means not being able to stop). Sometimes, it is because the baby's movements make me laugh so hard. But usually, it is for absolutely no reason at all (except for maybe some of the guests at this party, like Exhaustion, who is rather rude. Cue music: It's my party I can cry if I want to…whooo…oh oh…)