Stages of pregnancy

28 May

Since I’m getting pretty close to the end now, this is what I remember. Those three trimesters they give you don’t mean squat when your iPhone pregnancy tracker counts everything by week.

Week 4 – two pink lines appear on a stick. You’re pregnant! OMG you’re PREGNANT. Mentally revise your activities over the last four weeks and chow down on a handful of pre-natal vitamins to cancel out the effects of last Saturday’s late night bender.

Week 6 – start exercise regime. Exercise is good for the baby, right? And surely a good walk will counter the effects of those four cheeseburgers you just ate.

Week 8 – nausea? Heartburn? Get used to it. Feeling bad is good anyway. Embrace it. Eat more cheeseburgers to settle your stomach.

Week 9 – panic hits. Despite the fact you’ve had an ultrasound and have seen your little bean’s beating heart, you convince yourself something is wrong. Something must be wrong. Something always goes wrong. Surely the stress alone is enough to make something go wrong.

Week 12 – you made it! You always knew 12 weeks would be the miracle turning point and now you’re there. Everything looks great. Except now you’ve seen what looks a lot like an actual baby growing in side of you and all of a sudden you’re a parent and a lot more things can go wrong. You’re pretty sure you should be feeling movement now and you’re not, what’s up with that?

Week 13 – is that a bump? My god you look huge. Are you sure you’re not having twins?

Week 16 – the nausea has stopped, finally. You’ve got a cute bump. Your boobs are getting bigger. Your husband is stoked. You’re getting impatient. And there’s something moving around in there that you’re pretty sure is not gas. Or at least not all gas. No-one believes you.

Week 20 – now you’re definitely feeling something. Even if it is just wet pants. You quickly realise pregnancy is actually pretty gross. Your obstetrician quickly realises you’re a total hypochondriac. Your husband realises that this is probably a good time to just suck up whatever it was he was going to say, and replace it with a ‘you’re right. And I think you’re gorgeous and I love you, honey’.

Week 24 – you realise your fetus is viable! You’ve come this far with no problems, except an overwhelming feeling of anxiety. You always knew you’d be able to relax once you hit this point. Except you can’t, because the thought of your little baby hooked up to all those machines for months on end has you curled into a protective fetal position.

Week 26 – is it time for prenatal classes yet? Probably. Because god only knows when you’re going to go into labour. You book yourself in and flaunt your bump because surely it can’t get any bigger now.

Week 30 – you ask your obstetrician whether your uterus stops growing now since you can barely breathe or fit into a regular sized bra thanks to your expanding ribs. She looks at you like you’re the dumbest patient she’s ever had and tells you that yes, funnily enough as the baby keeps growing, so do you.

Week 32 – this week, you ask your obstetrician what that big lump in your middle is when you lean backwards. She makes a note in your file to check your child for any sign of mental retardation because seriously, with genes like these, he’s got to be kind of slow. She informs you that what you are seeing is, in fact, your baby. Duh.

Week 34 – you’re over it. You’re Googling labour signs and symptoms every day now, and you’ve kick started that exercise regime you’ve let slip through your fingers over the past four months because you figure that walking now will help move things down a bit. You find out pretty quickly that yes, things do move, and cause excruciating pain in your lady parts as your pelvis makes room for that grapefruit sized head that’s pushing against your bladder.

Week 35 – you waddle. You’ve been waddling for months, but now you’ve got this side sway thing going as well that makes people stop, stare, and ask if you need to sit down. People are surprised when you tell them you’ve got five weeks to go and aren’t having twins. So you start telling them that you’re due any day now, are disappointed that your uterus only managed to support two eggs and that Octomum is your hero. Everyone is happy.

Week 36 – you’re over it. Really. This time you’re really done. The braxton hicks, the stabbing pain in your vagina, the cramps, the heartburn, the back pain and the foot in your ribs has you drinking raspberry leaf tea and eating chicken masala to get things moving. Every time you pee you wonder if that was really your water breaking or just wishful thinking. You ask your obstetrician how you’re going to know when you actually go into labour. By this point she is used to your ridiculous questions and does her best to reassure that you’ll ‘just know’. You swear she looks at your husband and rolls her eyes. You cry uncontrollably at every image or thought of a baby and all of a sudden it’s just not OK that the house is dusty. Your husband realises that at this point if he doesn’t help clean you may actually stab him in his sleep and really pulls out all the stops. Well done husband.

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