There is apparently lots of disagreement on when the third trimester super-technically starts, but given that all calculation methods--give or take a few days--put me close to November 1st--a nice remember-a-ble date--I decided several months ago to just go with that. (Also, while we're talking pregnancy math, the 40 weeks that a normal pregnancy takes? Does not equal nine months. They should start a public service ad campaign about that.)
So here we are--in the last lap now.
All in all (knock-on-wood) I've had a pretty easy time of it, really. A lot of tired, but only a little digestive stuff (nausea, heartburn), a little emotional stuff....nothing unbearable or scary. Nonetheless, there's a lot that's been surprising to me.
I'm surprised at how much the baby is already here. So much so that it almost feels silly to talk about "when the baby comes" in a future tense. Yes, yes, a lot of it is just me imagining and attributing things to him, but I already feel like he's communicating sometimes.
He kicks when it's been too long since the last meal or when he's getting squished because I'm sitting too close to my desk at work. He practically swims laps in the mornings, as if to perkily say, "Good Morning Mama!" (Lord help us, our kid is going to be a morning person!) He kicks when I sing to him in the car--we like "Two of Us" by the Beatles and some Avett Brothers. I can't decide if that kicking is supposed to be applause? Or if it's a less flattering commentary on my singing voice? Maybe I don't want to know.
I'm also a little surprised at how unafraid I am of actually having him, even given our choice to go with a basically med-free birth center. It's not that I'm being brave. I'm actually less afraid because we're not doing the hospital birth--just a wee phobia of mine. Also I think having been in the room for Sweet Sister's birth, and knowing what to expect a bit, is helping a lot. (She rolls her pretty tween-age eyes every time I re-tell the story, but I cut the cord!)
And I know that ignorance of the pain is bliss, but let me stay in my bubble, please. First of all, it's not a bad thing. Second, even if it is going to be excruciating, there's not much to do about it at this point but get through it--the kid can't live in my belly until he's 18. It's a little late for fretting about it now.
(OK, that last paragraph there--see what I mean about surprising myself? Every word is true, but it's also so out of character for me. I worry about things I can't change all the time....)
I'm also surprised at how the dynamic of our marriage has changed just a bit.
I'm not at all surprised that Sweet Husband has been wonderful and uncomplaining about picking up the slack around the house. I married a good guy and I know it. (I'm grateful for it every day, but it doesn't "surprise" me anymore.)
It's just that, we had been very 50/50 before I got pregnant, and I don't think I quite foresaw how that would change. I imagined myself going on very much like I had before--the same energy, the same ability to "do it all"--just with a little basketball tummy along for the ride. I never thought that I would need someone to carry the laundry down the stairs of death because I've become so clumsy that it's frightening, or tackle home improvement projects alone, or feed me and tell me it's all going to be OK when my blood sugar gets low and the world seems to be caving in...and all for so very little, besides the occasional "You know I really, really do love you, right?" Which is all to say, I never really understood how hard it would be for me to just lay back and let myself be taken care of for awhile, without the ability to ever really give back anything in exchange....
And now I'm getting all teary and sentimental--another little pregnancy side effect that I thought would never apply to me!
Oh, but, just because I still find it fascinating--the little guy is the size of a head of cauliflower this week! Again, in an effort to be seasonal we're going to the squashes for comparisons, but thank goodness he's not really as big as this pumpkin!