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Lumbering Toward the Third Trimester

26w3d - I am slowing down. My waddle has become comically pronounced, and heaving myself from cars, off benches, and out of bed onto my feet takes several attempts, leaving me to question whether there's a term akin to 'three-point-turn' for advanced stages of pregnancy. I have clearly taken for granted how many times I roll over throughout the night, because now I need to wake each time and do the brace-shift-topple that's required now that my ab muscleslaughable though they ever werehave packed up and fled for the season. (They are cordially invited back, though. PLEASE RETURN, ABS.)

I'm feeling especially conscious of how differently my body takes up space lately. A friend asked how it felt to be carrying such localized weight, and I could only think to describe it as being one of those heavy enamel chime balls that every middle schooler buys from the local Asian import store: I'm aware of the heft of my uterus, and can feel it shift from side to side, high and low depending on how I move, and I am vaguely conscious at all times that I am housing something solid within something very liquid. I find myself swaying a lot, stepping from foot to foot as I wait in line or make calls, comforted by the rhythm that these movements set in motion.

Far less poetic, I am now also unable to eat basically anything without it landing on the high ridge of my belly, leaving me with Pollock-like splatters on all my maternity tops. (Bless Oxy-Clean, and eating in just a bathrobe as often as possible.) I also cannot walk through any narrow space without misjudging its width and bashing my hip bone or shoulder as I quick-turn to avoid whacking my belly.

Graceful, I am (still) not.

Yesterday, for the first time since we crossed the threshold into the second trimester, I sat on the couch at 6pm for a quick breather and conked out for four hours, waking only because my stomach was hollering for dinner. I groggily ate some chilithe Crock Pot is de rigueur here in the northeast these days, as we are still being pounded mercilessly with snowand was revived, to no good end. Too dazed to edit, too tired to read, I watched hours of embarrassing TV and recalled this wired-at-the-wrong-hour sensation from the beginning of this pregnancy. Then, sleeping was a daily defense against the nausea that ensconced all waking hours; now, these sudden onsets of fatigue feel like a warning: Prepare to know well the dead of night, sucker!

But if the chili was not enough to beckon heartburn as I lay in bed, the glass of orange juice I washed it down with sent it speeding along. And, alerted the baby that it was time to hustle: A little bladder can-can, a little rib cha-cha, before finally cozying up as close to my spine as possible and settling down. This favored hang-out spot is clearly the reason the nerves around my sacrum throb and sear for the first five minutes I lay on my side each night before bed, as the Mister obligingly knuckles the small of my back.

(Anyone else experience this lower back tenderness? I bought a giant exercise ball to perch on during the day so as to be gentler on my sits bones for the hours I'm typing away, and am pretending that being able to walk daily again soon will combat this achiness, though I'd love to hear what worked for you.)

So it feels too early for my body to be shouting, "Last call for physical energy!" though hopefully once I retreat to the sunny Southwest next week, I'll resume normal levels of activity (though the laundry situation isn't likely to improve). But for now, I am just grateful to be in this slow lane, because the place it's headed it so, so where I want to be.