Pillows to sleep. A pillow between my legs worked great to reduce back pain. Though it was more of a deterrent to getting out of bed most nights as I had to untangle myself from the grasp of a body pillow unwilling to do anything but be in my way. During the final weeks, it was next to impossible to keep my belly on a pillow for an entire night. After what felt like a billion years adjusting myself to find any level of comfort, I’d close my eyes only to realize I had to pee.
Urine samples. The trouble with this is the size of a third-trimester belly and the lack of size of this cup. Given the fact that it’s easier to hug a planet than it is to wipe yourself after you pee, this got old fast.
Heavy breathing. It becomes evident your uterus is the size of a hippo when the simple act of breathing is so laborious, you have to turn the volume up to hear the TV. If I had a whistle in my nose, I would sound like an old man.
Muscle and scar tissue stretching. The doctor said the muscle stretching was common with second and third pregnancies. This surprised me as I’d guess after two babies, your muscles would be more Stretch Armstrong-y. But alas, I’m wrong. As for the scar tissue, no one will admit that’s what I’m feeling since they can’t see it. But, I find the tearing sensation that’s only over the area where my gallbladder used to be a little suspicious.
Congestion and snoring. This has happened every pregnancy I’ve had. Sperm hits the egg, and suddenly my mucous membranes are the size of a beach ball. They are so swollen that air has to struggle to escape my nasal passage. Think about it. Air needs help getting out of my nose.
Braxton Hicks. At first they were weird, and I was happy they didn’t hurt. But then I passed week 35, and suddenly they became very annoying when they contracted while a fetus moved around. Sometimes they contracted with cramping to make it feel like a real contraction that made me question everything I thought I knew about contractions … leaving me to wonder if I was having a real contraction. A huge goodbye to the liar of all things pregnancy.
Sleeping on my left side. I’m over it.
Hearing “not too much longer” or “you’re almost there.” Since I’ve been hearing this from everyone for about four months now, I don’t want to hear it anymore. Sure, a week or so isn’t that long for YOU, person who doesn’t have a seven-pound fetus bouncing on your cervix every time you shift, walk, sit or think about moving.
Limited bladder space. You don’t know frequent peeing until your baby’s head is testing the limits of your bladder. It’s only during this time that one truly appreciates the strength of an internal organ. Based on the laws of physics, my bladder should be as flat as a pancake by now, and as useful as a whoopee cushion with a hole in it.
Belly button pain. If you haven’t experienced pain from the other side of your belly button, you simply must. Sitting on your couch and then suddenly jumping 40 feet in the air because of a flash of genuinely deep pain is like having an amusement park ride in your uterus.
Goodbye, discomfit and puffy feet. Thanks for the memories of snoring and the opportunity to roll myself out of bed the way an elephant might. Goodbye, pregnancy, and thanks for the flat bladder. Hello, guilt-free chocolate cake!