Gaviscon, Diprobase and the odd rant at ‘him indoors’ - the only way to survive the third trimester of pregnancy
- Credit: Archant
I had forgotten how hard the third trimester really is, writes Ellen Widdup, as the arrival of her third baby grows ever closer.
I know I’m on the home stretch. Just four weeks to go. “That’s nothing,” you say. “You should be resting.”
But that’s rational thought. Something I am currently incapable of.
There is also not enough room right now to accommodate an enormous baby and a sense of humour.
“I’m stuck!” I yelled yesterday evening from the bath, where I had retreated to rest my aching joints in lavender bubbles and decided to lean back and relax while I let the water out the tub.
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Obviously bringing in the cavalry was a final resort.
The last thing I wanted was help from a man who regularly fires off what he considers to be beautiful comedic quips and I consider to be more irritating than nails on a blackboard.
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But I had spent a good 10 minutes floundering around like a fish in a bucket and realised I was going nowhere.
This is just the most recent in a list of irritations that are plaguing my life right now.
I can no longer put on my own socks, for example. And my knickers are so tight they cut off my circulation.
And what about the insomnia? Oh how I love having to pee 10 times a night. Said no pregnant woman ever.
Throw in the blotchy skin and dried out hair and you are starting to get the picture.
I’ve also got something called symphysis pubis dysfunction, a pregnancy-related condition which causes difficulty when walking and wrenching pain in the pelvis.
I went to the doctors last week in an attempt to persuade him to hand out some extra strong drugs.
Free prescriptions are a perk of pregnancy you know.
But it turns out there is actually very little I am allowed, so I had to make do with his offer of 27 litres of Gaviscon and 325 tubes of Diprobase.
Because yes, raging heartburn and unitchable itches are also part and parcel of life right now.
I went into Boots to collect the goods from the teenage counter assistant who had clearly never seen emollient and antacid in that volume before.
She tried in vain to find a bag big enough to contain it while looking me up and down, eyes widening slowly with the utter terror of the reality of pregnancy and silently offering herself up to a life of chastity.
And she’s not even aware of the incontinence issue. I can’t laugh. I can’t sneeze. So much for pelvic floor exercises.
My bump is really starting to get in the way too.
I can’t get close enough to my computer to type so I’m having to work in Arial 18pt and I can’t pull my chair up to the dining table to eat without spilling gravy down my front.
I have to psyche myself up before bending over for anything.
I tried to paint a nursery chair the other day.
It’s my attempt at upcycling after impulsively buying a revolting granny rocker off eBay for £40 and having to justify the expenditure to him indoors.
But everytime I leant over to reach the back of the furniture, my stomach rubbed over the freshly painted front, leaving one of my bulk-buy maxi dresses ruined by Farrow and Ball gloss.
Which brings me to my distinct lack of clothing.
Nothing fits. Not even the maternity wear in size 16.
“What are those red marks on your stomach?” my son asked, spotting the bump escaping from my harem pants.
Ah yes, did I forget to mention stretch marks?
They are back with a vengeance. I’m the tiger who earned her stripes and then had to buy a tankini. I also am now the proud owner of a permanent “outie” belly button.
Every so often the whole bump goes rock hard in one of those practice contractions that have you gripping your nether regions in case everything falls out.
I would say 70% of the time I am completely immobile and the other 30% of time I spend thinking about the next opportunity I’ll get to sit down.
Strangers look at me with that worried expression, fearing I might drop a sprog then and there.
Even my kids are concerned about being left alone with me.
Last weekend the husband went to watch a sports game in London. I know! It gave me another reason to berate him irrationally for his insensitivity.
“Well I don’t want to be responsible for you,” said my eight-year-old, making us decamp to granny and grandpa’s.
And I wouldn’t want to be responsible for me either right now.
We’ve all heard stories about women feeling super maternal and womanly as the clock ticks down to D Day.
They’re filled with warmth, joy leaking from their still-perfect pores. In love with their ever-expanding bodies.
Well let me tell you something.
That glowing woman who lovingly rubs her belly as she gracefully glides around effortlessly completing day-to-day tasks?
Yeah her. She doesn’t exist. At least not in my house.