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Third Trimester…A New Definition of “Large”

Pregnancy math is strange. According to my doctor’s office, I’m 30 weeks along. My math skills have always been terrible; I flunked fractions in the third grade and it’s been downhill since then. But if I divide my week number by 4, I always come out a whole month ahead of what I should be in actual calendar months. And since I’m getting larger by the second (no math skills needed to see that!) I prefer to go by the larger number. People gape slightly less when I tell them I’m almost eight months pregnant instead of barely seven.

Any way you count it, I’m definitely in my third trimester. Some call this the “home stretch.” I call it the “stretch that makes you wonder why you ever wanted children in the first place.” Everything is larger, bumpier, and generally less manageable. Even the simplest of daily tasks can become daunting or downright impossible. Here’s a list of what every woman should be able to do with her eyes closed—and me, pregnant, can barely manage to accomplish without calling the paramedics…

Peeing

You’d think with all the extra practice, I’d be faster and more efficient than usual. Nope. All the shifting and maneuvering that’s become necessary just to get a trickle out is definitely YouTube material (I’ve become paranoid that someone’s planted a webcam in my bathroom—I’m seriously tempted to pee with the lights off.) And no matter how hard I try to get everything, I am, without fail, back on the toilet somewhere between seven and eight minutes later. Is all this potty time enticing E to try hers? Not a chance.

Changing the Crib Sheet

Actually, this activity is torture even on a good day. I’d rather change thirty diaper blowouts than tackle one measly crib sheet. Who manufactures these things? Do they want to punish people for having kids? Pregnant, getting the sheet off of E’s crib is downright dangerous. I’m sweating, lightheaded, and breathing hard before I’ve even finished prying off one corner. And let’s not talk about the string of sailor-esque profanities that I sometimes can’t contain—poor little E’s virgin ears (not to mention #2’s.)

Seeing My Toes

This is embarrassing to admit, but until a few days ago I didn’t realize I couldn’t see them. “See,” I told J. “There they are right there. I’m not so big.” J, somewhat gently, pointed out that I was tipping my head forward. “Stand up straight and try,” he suggested, hiding his smirk behind a sesame bagel. So I can’t see my toes, not even a little bit, and I also can’t wear any shoes that have straps. Or buckles. Or laces. This wasn’t much of a problem during flip-flop season, but how am I going to keep my feet warm through December if I can barely manage to put my own socks on?

Parking in Tight Spaces

I’m a proud parker. Not to brag, but my parallel parking skills are…well, unparalleled. And in LA, where everyone drives an enormous car and every parking space is labeled “compact only,” I’m also a pro at squeezing into tight places, no extra steering wheel action necessary. Pregnancy hasn’t affected my ability to park the car—I just can’t always get out of it, let alone release the squirming toddler in the backseat. E’s new skill this week is climbing in and out of her carseat by herself—sometimes it’s just to much for me to wrangle her in there. Now if I could only teach her to buckle herself in…

Climbing Stairs

I’m not in great shape—not like I was with E, when I hit the gym every day of my trimester and did yoga several times a week after that. This time around, “exercise” pretty much consists of walking the dog, chasing after E , carrying her around when she’s yelling “Mommy hold you!,” and getting the groceries out the car. Pathetic, I know, but I can barely find the time to check my email, let alone get to a gym. Still, I consider myself an overall healthy person. I eat right, I’m active, I drink a lot of water. So why can’t I make it to the top of any staircase without feeling like I’ve scaled Everest?

Did you get frustrated by third trimester largeness? Or should I be finding ways around being a sweaty, hard-breathing pregnant cliché? What’s on your list of can’t-dos now that you’re pregnant? The only thing that will make me feel less sorry for myself is knowing I’m not the first person to get stuck between cars in a grocery store parking lot…

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