bumpwatch terror alert: week 21

this pregnancy is flying by. how am i at 21 weeks already?

i can’t believe i am already over 21 weeks pregnant! though i can kind of believe it because it has gotten rough. last week, jared & i decided to trade sides of the bed. we have lived together for over four years, & i have always preferred to be the one that sleeps closer to the wall while he sleeps closer to the door. i just feel more protected that way. like if a murderer breaks in, they will have to get through jared to kill me. though i am really putting jared at greater risk that way, because unless the murderer can be vanquished via heckling, jared will be the first to be slaughtered. but sleeping next to the wall means i have to wiggle all the way down to the foot of the bed to get up 9000 times a night, as pregnant ladies are wont to do (to stretch their leg muscles, to get a drink, to go to the bathroom). so we traded. we both found it very weird to be sleeping on the other side of the bed (jared more than me, because i always sleep on his side of the bed when he’s out of town; it makes me feel closer to him).

the next day, i was laying around in bed watching “roseanne” episodes on youtube. i rolled over & my expanded pregnant girth bumped the huge glass of milk i’d set on the windowsill, which toppled over & spilled all over me &…jared’s side of the bed, where i was laying. my side was untouched. we had traded sides fewer than 24 hours before & somehow i had already subjected him to a horrifying milk tsunami. so i had to strip off all his blankets & sheets & do some emergency laundry. thank goodness we have a washer & dryer in the basement & i didn’t have to lug everything to the laundromat at like 8:30pm.

when i went to get everything out of the dryer, i somehow wrenched my knee walking down the back porch steps. my knee has been bothering me for a while. the more pregnant i get, the more reluctant it is to support my weight. my left knee feels like a knee; my right knee feels like a pound of raw rotting hamburger–just kind of squishy. but this was agony beyond agony. i couldn’t even bend it, so somehow i was hauling this basket of freshly washed blankets up from the basement on a knee that wouldn’t work right. i was literally screaming in pain with every step. when i got inside, i burst into tears. i have been living with sometimes-severe chronic pain for nearly twenty years; my days of crying because of aches & pains are pretty much behind me, but this was different. it hurt SO MUCH. jared made me sit down in an armchair & he gave me a bag of peas to put on my knee. then he proceeded to remake the bed. i got up to help & he said, “what do you think you’re doing?” i said, “i’m the one that messed up the bed, i should be the one to make it, or at least help,” & he said, “sit back down & keep those peas on your knee.”

that night was rough. my knee feels a little better now, in that i am not sobbing with pain, but it’s still really bothering me a lot. i went to the library today & knelt down to get a book off a low shelf. i then could not get back up again. & it’s not even like i was deep in the stacks, where i had some privacy. i was looking at the new bookshelf, right in the middle of the library, with the info desk on one side, the circulation desk on the other, right where all the patrons have to walk by to get to the electronic card catalogue & the stacks. i had to crawl over to a chair & use it to pull myself back to a standing position. if shit is this rough at 21 weeks, how undignified is it going to be at forty?

not to mention, having an ever-expanding baby living in my ever-expanding uterus is no picnic either. i have been having a lot of pain that i guess is probably a mix of round ligament pain (ligaments hold up the uterus & they can stretch in uncomfortable ways as the weight of the uterus increases during pregnancy) & muscle pain (from the muscles supporting the uterus & having to contort in new ways as my center of gravity changes). it’s not as horrifying as the knee issue, but it’s surprisingly uncomfortable, & i can only imagine that it will get worse as i get bigger. i was so focused on how my body would handle the pregnancy as far as arthritis & mobility issues went, i didn’t even stop to consider the general aches & pains that are par for the course. that’s probably all this is, but i live in terror of pre-term labor.

i think i am really worried about pre-term labor because the baby isn’t considered viable until 24 weeks. if it was born at 24 weeks, it would still have a major uphill battle to fight health-wise, & it could still face permanent health conditions like cerebral palsy, just from being born too soon. but if the baby was born now, it probably wouldn’t live at all. i think being so close to viability but not quite there yet is making me really anxious. even though obviously i would prefer to keep the baby in until, you know, more like forty weeks. at least 37. i am not really at risk for pre-term labor, but that’s the magic of pregnancy: who knows what the fuck is going to happen, or when, or how it will all turn out? all you can do is keep plugging along & hope for the best.

but hey, we got our crib set up.

sorry so few lulz this time.

Published by Ciara

Ciara Xyerra wrote zines for the better part of two decades. She has a brilliant & adorable preschooler named Ramona & sews as much as she possibly can. She lives in Lawrence, Kansas with her boyfriend. She enjoys catching up on "The New Yorker", meatball subs, keeping it cranky, intersectional post-third wave feminism, dinosaurs, & monsters. If you have nothing nice to say, she recommends that you come sit here by her, so you can say not-nice things together.

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