Travel through Pregnancy World has been quite the journey! Since my article on 12 funny symptoms of the first four months of pregnancy was shared so widely, I think it’s time for a third trimester update. Now that I’m SEVEN months pregnant (!), my preggo symptoms have shifted to be even more wild and weird. So here they are: 20 funny symptoms of the third trimester of pregnancy!
1. An uncanny sense of smell for urine. At seven months pregnant, I can suddenly smell human urine from supernatural distances. This has proven most disconcerting when walking through Boston and taking public transportation. There’s more urine residue out there than I knew!
2. Random rock-hard abs. Starting around 20 weeks (a pregnancy is 40 weeks total), women get “Braxton-Hicks Contractions” in which the womb becomes rock hard for 30-90 seconds. I get these contractions at least four times a day now. They don’t hurt and are normal… but it doesn’t make it any less bizarre when your stomach suddenly morphs into a dense knot for no reason!
3. Massive weight gain… being fine. Confession: I’m on track to gain 40 pounds by my due date. Apparently, this is normal?! Most of my friends also gained around forty pounds during their pregnancies, and one finally showed me a chart explaining where it all goes: Only about 8 pounds is the baby. The rest is from vastly increased blood volume, uterus weight, the placenta, “milk production area” weight, etc. All this means that I will come close to weighing 200 pounds by November… and that will be fine!
4. Butterfingers. Not once in the past three years that I’ve owned an iPhone have I dropped it… until now. In my current state, I have now dropped my phone not once but FOUR times in the past two weeks. Good thing I have a giant, cushioned case! A pregnant gal must take measures to reign in her buttery fingers.
5. Give me my space! Since being “with child,” I need my personal space like crazy, and will go to great lengths to get it. When I attended a very crowded recent Mayoral forum in Boston, I actually sat in the crack between two seats so I would steal double the space and have a bigger cushion between me and the strangers around!
6. Lust for driving. You may recall that I never really learned to drive a car, and had never driven alone before… until now. Suddenly, for the first time in my life, I’m driving myself to and from work each day! Cramming onto the bus with 80 coughing strangers is no longer my idea of a good time. This is a huge and very useful shift.
7. Bending is a horror. Because of the mini-human relaxing in my abdomen, it is now between awful and impossible to bend down and pick something up, or even to lean down to put on my pants or shoes. I’m considering hiring a little trained chimpanzee to do my lower-altitude tasks for me. A related symptom to this is that my baby-stretched abs make it embarrassingly hard to get up from sitting or lying down. Sometimes I have to ask to be pushed off the couch!
8. SUDDENLY STARVING. It’s my husband who came up with the official name for this symptom, as it has wreaked havoc on his life. In short: One moment I’m fine, calm, and satisfied… and then I’m SUDDENLY STARVING and can’t deal with life and must be fed immediately! “Food now, please!” I may scream while collapsing on the floor and whimpering, unable to stand to open the fridge. Partners of all pregnant folks should prepare well for this! People ask me constantly if I get cravings to eat particular things, and the honest answer is: “FOOD.”
9. Internal rib punches and hiccups. Our baby has figured out how to get under my ribs and kick them from the inside. It’s intense. He also gets hiccups at least twice a day, making my entire belly jiggle rhythmically: “Hic! Hic! Hic!”
10. Belly touch need. Apparently newborn babies need human touch to survive and grow. Well, I appear to be channelling that ache even before the birth, as the moment my husband puts his hand on my belly I feel calmer. Whenever he’s near me, I grab his arm and force him to touch my belly. As I said in my first pregnancy article, I highly recommend ensuring you have a supportive partner before embarking on a pregnancy, as I would be really sad without that loving belly hand (and the person attached to it)!
11. Better delegation. For the first time in my life, I’m becoming able to assign tasks for other people to do rather than trying to do everything myself. It’s a breakthrough! And will be essential once the baby comes, methinks.
12. Nesting. This one’s a cliche, but has proven to be true: The messier our home, the more upset I am. The neater and more prepared to raise our little sparrow that our surroundings look, the happier I get! The state of the nest makes a difference.
13. Solitaire addiction. Since becoming preggo, I’ve played about 10 games of the card game, Solitaire, on my iPhone a day. Sad but true. This is related to the waves of fatigue from…
14. Passing out after eating. So, I don’t exactly faint after eating, but once food is in my system, I become drenched with the overwhelming urge to sleep right then and there, no matter what time of day it is. This is most inconvenient, given that I teach three classes right after lunch!
15. Baby love. When friends come by with their babies, I grab the infants from their parents and snuggle them for as long as I’m able. When they leave, I ache to hold a baby again. This is probably a good development, given what’s coming in 8 weeks!
16. A burning throat. Because my womb has pushed my stomach up almost into my chest, I currently get heartburn after eating so much as a peanut. *Burp.*
17. Laziness. Like a massive hippopotamus, I find myself far slower at doing anything important than before pregnancy. Whereas I would respond to every email received within 24 hours pre-Preg-World, I now dally at action for days on end. I’ve got to figure out a way to kick this symptom soon, as there’s much to do before November when I go on Maternity Leave!
18. Changing belly size through the day. My belly gets significantly bigger as the day goes on due to food and water retention. The coworker who said to me Friday morning, “Hey Skinny Minnie, you don’t even look pregnant!” would NOT say the same thing of my inflated balloon belly of 8pm!
19. Reversing belly button. If you get pregnant, your womb pushes your belly button from an innie to an outie! So odd. Mine hasn’t totally “flipped” yet, though it’s close. I owe Colin $5 on a bet when it does.
20. Family bonding. Since I’ve entered Pregnancy World, I want to hang out with my husband, mother, father, brother, and family-in-law as much as humanly possible. (Speaking of which, thanks to my mother for taking these photos with me at Jamaica Pond in Boston!) I also crave time with good friends. Clearly, my soul wants to burrow into a nest of community and kin to prepare for our babe’s upbringing!
There you have my current symptoms of travel through Pregnancy World. Any sound surprising? Familiar? Do comment…
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