The Third Trimester

Nikola and I decided before we got married that we wanted a kid, and soon. We weren’t sure exactly when we would start trying. Part of us wanted to be responsible- set up our life together, get me moved to Bulgaria (or move for a few years to the States together) and enjoy a few years of play and travel. At the same time a biological time-bomb had exploded in me. Not even a week before I met Nikola I had been planning a completely single life of flirting and adventure. Within a month of meeting him I suddenly had these strange urges to get married and have a kid. It was whiplash to say the least, and I was tugged along by my late-twenties hormones- through marriage all the way to the exciting process of conceiving a baby (Which is so much fun when you are actually trying to do so).

So then I was pregnant, my time-bomb was satisfied, and I suddenly realized the reality of the situation. I spent the first trimester slightly freaked out. Even though we wanted a baby we weren’t financially stable enough to be having one. We hadn’t built a house, saved for emergencies, or explored much of the world on our own. How could we possibly raise a child?

The pregnancy progressed (Thankfully this thing is 9 months long, giving me plenty of time to get used to the idea) and during the second trimester I felt much better. My anxieties started to slip away, my energy levels returned, and I started nesting. Crocheting baby clothes, sewing cloth diapers, and researching basic baby care got me excited about the baby on its way. It was no longer a huge, overwhelming force in our life, but an actual person that we would come to know. I started taking yoga, practicing breathing, and began to feel the baby move. That was an amazing sensation.

When the baby moves it is sometimes a gentle tickle. It is sometimes a forceful, awkward jab. It sometimes feels like a nuzzling roll. I lay in bed at night, before falling asleep, with Nikola’s hand on my stomach. The baby moves and Nikola squeezes back. They would happily play this game for hours, if I let them. When I feel the baby move the aching ribs, and painful lower back don’t seem so bad. Issues with digestion and urination fade away, and the fact that I can’t sleep more than six hours at a time, but need twelve hours of sleep during a day, feels worth it.

Now I am well into the third trimester. I am beginning to think seriously about birthing. How, and where, and when… We are painting furniture, buying necessities, and learning how to change diapers. Once again I am realizing this little fluttering in my stomach is eventually going to come out of me and be its own person, and I am scared.

I begin to realize how mother’s fall into depression after birth even when their baby is right there. Right there doesn’t seem like it will be close enough, not after having carried it inside me for nine months.

I am also becoming anxious about my skills as a mother. I am terrible with children. Honestly, they kind of freak me out until they can have intelligent conversations and realize cause and effect. I am reading about discipline and training. I am recognizing all of the social pressures for women to be the perfect mother while having the perfect body, being the perfect business woman, and remaining the perfect wife. It seems completely unattainable, and it is hard to sort through the mess of everything to figure out what is important.

I read how to care for a baby. It seems that everything is known to cause SIDS. Everything is known to kill babies. Reading these books I wonder how any of us ever survived to be old enough to make babies of our own. It’s times like these that I begin thinking maybe the internet isn’t such a good idea, and the expertise of science is really crap when it comes to choosing how to actually live your life.

One way or another, ready or not, we are having a baby in two months. Will I be a good mother? Who knows? But I will definitely be a mother. 

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