Pregnancy is probably the ultimate example of time flying while also feeling like the slowest dimension, which I’m realizing is especially true for the third trimester.
It’s a period filled with inner conflict: yalla, let’s do this already/whoa, what’s the rush, self?! At times I feel like a kid, constantly being asked, “how are you, little one?” and at times it’s clearer I’m about to have a kid, asking my belly, “how are you, little one?”
It’s also a conflict between what my expectations of pregnancy were before and what the actual experience has been up until now. I usually go into situations with little to no expectations; it’s a life policy that has done me well. But after all these years of television-watching, stereotype-absorbing and heresay-accepting – yes, I came into it thinking I’d be a helpless annoying woman of cravings and mood swings.
Nay, it’s actually been quite pleasant. The pain is pain, but other than that I’m in better spirits than I am usually. I haven’t been consumed by extraneous consumption. My moods are stable; if anything, I’ve been laughing more than I ever have (and often laugh harder when I think about how the poor baby is bouncing up and down in there while I laugh). And at the very least, I find that PMS is definitely worse, hormonally-speaking.
So as normal as growing a new creature inside of an older creature can be, I feel pretty normal. Which is why I do feel bad when friends and family abroad want to hear funny stories, entertaining fadichot, major reflections. It just hasn’t been too much like that. I’m enjoying the time being. I’m not letting the pain get to me too hard. And I’m going with the flow of feeling accomplished yet freaking out. Life is good.
Here are some of the other things I’ve been up to lately:
- Moving to the belly rhythm. We have a schedule, belly tenant and I. When I wake up, it’s there, making a darbuka out of my uterus. When I go to bed, it’s there, sticking it’s extremities wherever it wants. Throughout the day we hang out here and there, but I think I’m too unfocused to focus when I’m sitting up. We have more fun when we’re both lying down.
- Getting friendly with nurses visits. I’m at that point where I have to go to the nurses more often to get weighed and all that. Plus the doctor appointments after next week will become as frequent as my bladder breaks.
- Meeting with midwives. I’ve been working on meeting with Ilana Shemesh, the Israeli-American midwife who built two tzimmer-style birthing cabins in her backyard on a yishuv near Ramle. Not sure it’s a realistic option, but I thought I’d check it out. Also meeting with another Israeli-American midwife in my area who came highly recommended. Definitely more realistic.
- Not complaining. I’m trying very hard not to complain too much. I actually think people get freaked out when I don’t complain, but I’m not one to think complaining helps. Yes, my back is in near-constant pain. No, it’s not my lower back, so I sometimes lend a minute to worry about when the lower back pain does start and then I’ll have two kinds of back pain to work out. Yes, I have gall bladder issues it seems and I’m getting it checked out in a couple weeks, but no, there isn’t much I can do about it so I’m learning to embrace it like an old friend who keeps coming back after hurting me so.
- Considering a pregnant women’s circle. Found an advertisement in the Tzur Hadassah cultural bulletin for a ‘pregnant women’s circle’ they’re trying to start up. Wasn’t sure what that meant but I went to the orientation last night and it seems kinda cool. As my husband says, very ‘Israeli’: sitting around with a group of hippy-ish preggos in dim lights with tea, discussing our changing bodies and minds while meditating and breathing and loving life. I might give it a shot; said-husband must be sick of hearing about it from me and I don’t blame him.
- Enjoying the hair. I don’t care if that sounds weird. I’ve missed my long, thick hair and for the next few months I get to enjoy the false reality that my old pre-aliyah hair has returned. We can rediscuss when it all falls out in May.