Just the other day, a friend asked me if I was in my third trimester yet. I replied that I didn't know because I couldn't remember when the third trimester actually started. But it hardly makes any difference whether the last leg starts at 26 weeks, or 27 weeks, or 28 weeks, because to me, my body's already left the blissful second trimester and crossed over.
It all started on new year's eve. While most of my friends were busy ushering in the new year (including hubby who was at watchnight service), I was stuck at home. It was a bit depressing not to be able to attend watchnight with hubby, but I had to stay home because it was a logistical nightmare to take Cherise along. And as I went about the usual routine of feeding her, playing with her, changing her diaper, bathing her etc, for the first time since I got pregnant, I found it hard. Suddenly, my belly was in the way of everything. Bending to pick up toys was difficult. I caught my reflection in the kitchen door and realised I was no longer walking, but waddling. My belly put me further away from the changing table than I was comfortable with. And while bathing her, I suddenly found my shower stall way, way too small.
It's been deceptively easy, till now. I thought I was stronger this time round - thought maybe looking after Cherise had conditioned my body to be tougher. Sure, I experienced a few aches and pains, but hey - I could walk longer, carry more, do more things this time round. But that's over, for sure,
As we all left 2008 behind and crossed over into 2009, I've crossed over into whale-land as well.
Of course I wasn't that naive to think it would be easy all the way. But what my mind can't really accept is how suddenly it all happened. Like, everything was fine and usual one day, and then the next, so different and difficult. What happened to gradual changes?
all my comfy spaghetti-strapped tops decide to start revealing a tantalising belly swatch below.
amorous activities are no longer fun because my belly makes it hard to breathe.
clapping and moving on stage at church threatens to create an embarrassing scene because I get thrown off-balance.
all the doorways in my home are too narrow.
And to top everything off, my darling princess is teething her molars. So everything familiar and comfortable gets thrown out the window. She doesn't want to drink her milk - any milk. She wants to nurse five times a day. She doesn't want to nurse to sleep, only before she tosses and turns for 45 minutes to sleep. She wakes up at 6am asking to drink water - but I think it's to play with the straw because rubbing it against her gums provides some comfort. She wants me to baobao all the time - even at home, even when there's no one else at home but me. She cries out at night, "No, no, mommy, mommy", leaving me in distress, but her eyes aren't even open and she can't be soothed, so I stay awake while she tosses and turns for the better part of an hour till she falls asleep again.
So, my prayer for this new year is for strength. Strength to infuse aching and tired arms and legs. Strength for the long nights alone. Strength to stay patient instead of losing my temper in frustration and fatigue. Strength to stay smiley and positive through physical and mental weariness. Strength to get out of bed in the morning when I would much rather snuggle up and continue sleeping. Strength to continue doing my best to mother my baby and baby-to-come.