Trimester III

I’m 29 weeks pregnant this week. When people ask me how I’m feeling, I reply that “I’m still feeling really good,” as though I am well aware that give it a couple weeks, a month, whatever, I may not be feeling so good. Because I’ve heard. I know the complaints that arise at pregnancy’s end. The heartburn. The fatigue. The ready-for-it-to-be-over feeling. I’m not there yet. I mean it when I say I feel really good. I do, at least for the most part. What I mean by that vague “good” is that, when I wake up in the morning, as opposed to in my non-pregnant past, I feel absolutely healthy every single day. I don’t wake up with a stomachache, say, or a headache. I don’t wake up with sinus pressure or a random feeling that I might be getting the flu or a cold even if I’m not, that, you know, you sometimes identify a few mornings every couple of months when you wake up. I feel constantly, assuredly, like my immune system is working at 150 percent. And it’s a good feeling.

I’m really happy, too,— again, for the most part…there is the occasional crying episode, where the tears flow down my face like a river, out of nowhere, maybe because my ankles are really swollen that day (see below) or during a moving scene on some medical TV drama, and then, just like that, they’re gone—although I’m not crazy, like Halle Barry and a whole host of other celebrities who I’ve seen quoted as saying they’d like to be “pregnant forever.” Let’s not get ridiculous. I like it a lot, but not forever. Come on.

Despite all the positive stuff, I will admit that in the last couple of weeks things have changed somewhat. First of all, I got really big all of a sudden, or at least feel like I am really big. My once cute, five-month bump turned into a large, unruly, seven-month belly, with a half-protruding belly button. Sometimes, particularly the days I ride the train to New York, my back hurts. Sometimes when I’m walking the ten blocks to my office from the train station, my laptop and purse and water bottle, etc. in tow, my feet and calves strain, as though to say, “Seriously, we’re not rated for this”

And then there are my ankles and feet, which in the humidity of July, tend to get noticeably bigger at times, particularly after a day working at home, where we don’t have air conditioning.

I was sitting last night on our couch, my feet up on the ottoman, looking at my sausage feet and for the first time, ever, during this pregnancy, I just didn’t feel up for it. I wasn’t up for my normally petite feet looking like that. I wasn’t up for dealing with another couple months of not drinking really good white wine on particularly hot days.

To make matters worse, we just got back from a trip to Maine. All my best friends from high school came into town and for four days we played games and took walks, ate lobster and swam and reminisced. We watched fireworks from across the bay on the Fourth. They threw me my very first baby shower. We decorated onesies with fabric markers. It was, in a word, wonderful, and all of my pregnancy symptoms went completely away in that relaxed state. My ankles stood out proudly. My little feet supported my big body, no problem.

So sitting there looking at my fat toes suddenly set me off. My good friends, my incredibly fortunate life, my healthy pregnancy, my supportive husband, my amazing family – no matter. My feet! They were big and I couldn’t fit into anything but my flip flops and I started crying.

J, always attentive and comforting. who met me at the train station the day before with San Pellegrino orange soda and cheese and crackers because he knew I’d be hungry, immediately asked me what was wrong. I told him it was my feet, yes, “that was all,” and that I needed to take a shower. I turned the water on cool, but not freezing, got in, and began to calm down. Something about the peppermint soap and my Burt’s Bees pomegranate shampoo and the cool, flowing water did the trick. I took my time. I put things into perspective, and emerged happy again, thinking not about being pregnant, but about the baby, who, in a short time (even when it feels like forever) we will get to meet.

When I got to the bedroom, the door was closed, and I opened it to discover that J had installed a window air conditioning unit we got a few weeks ago but hadn’t found the time to put in yet. The room got colder as we watched the final half of an episode of “What Not To Wear,” and then we slept, the dogs curled up on their beds instead of lying on their sides panting, and me and J under the covers for the first time since the New England winter yielded to this unrelenting, but now so very bearable, season.