Pregnancy Diaries: The Final Stretch

The Third Trimester: Ballooning Uncertainty

Natasha Malpani Oswal

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Photo by Unsplash

You start to look like a pop culture cartoon of a pregnant woman. You ballon. Every time you think your stomach can’t possibly grow any larger, you surprise yourself. People open doors for you, run to get you pillows to support your back and treat you like you’re special. You waddle. You help yourself to tubs of ice cream, because that’s what they seem to do in the movies.

But that’s on the surface. No one can prepare you for the battle within.

Your uterus has stretched to humongous proportions and is now compressing your other organs. You have severe acidity. You can’t eat after sunset. Your baby seems to have decided it enjoys kicking your ribs. It hurts you to walk for more than ten minutes, even though you’re constantly advised to keep moving. You can’t sleep on your back, stomach or your sides- you’re just sitting up most nights. There’s a fight for space in your own body, and of course, the baby wins

More than the physical discomfort, you notice yourself getting increasingly negative and helpless because you’re so physically constrained. You resent your husband’s freedom from the ever increasing weight on your spine, the constant aches and pains, the sleepless nights. You distract yourself with baby showers and registries- the things you can control and execute- but you’re not ready.

You’ve wanted this, planned for this, known it’s coming: but you’re not looking forward to the mind-numbing repetitiveness of childcare, while your partner goes back to work. As it starts to get more real, you experience a real sense of loss for your former self. You wonder if you will be a ‘good’ mom. You’ve found prepping for the baby exhausting so far: how will you handle the real thing?

You know you’re not allowed to say or think this: you’re meant to be absolutely thrilled about becoming a new mother: but you are questioning how much of your identity, independence, body and time you need to sacrifice. Does maternal instinct really exist?

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Natasha Malpani Oswal

vc. investing in startups + stories for a new india author of reinvention and boundless. aspiring yogi.