Before I became pregnant, I heard people talking about mysterious things like trimesters, and measuring time in weeks and days more accurately than I ever managed to arrange my life into months or years.
It is surprising how quickly you learn.
I know, for example, that right now, I am 30+1 – or 30 weeks and one day pregnant. And I know precisely where I will be at 31+6 (on a plane), 32+5 (at a midwife appointment) or 40+0 (theoretically pushing a baby out of my hoo-ha. Of course, Doozer* doesnt know anything about timetables, so is unlikely to conform to that. But the timetable exists all the same)
*Doozer is the baby. Who moves around a lot. In a very busy fashion. Always doing something, although I have no idea what can be so busy-making or important in there. But busy. Always busy. Like a doozer.
Trimesters I also know about. I know about them mainly because they have been marked clearly by moods.
First Trimester = Angry
Or sleepy. But seeing as Sleepy is more of a physical symptom than a mood (or a dwarf. It is also a dwarf), Angry makes more sense.
Not angry about being pregnant. Not angry about anything in particular, really. But just quick to anger.
During my first trimester – the first 12 or 13 weeks of pregnancy, depending on who you ask – if anything needed sorting out, or anyone needed telling off, from letting agents to handymen to banks to internet providers, my beloved sent me in to do the job.
Which is not usual. Usually I am the one at the back, mumbling that we really should be saying something, if we want to get anything done, but no, we probably shouldnt, because that seems like a very aggressive and scary thing to do, and doesnt seem like something I want to do at all.
In the first trimester of pregnancy, all of that was out of the window.
Suddenly, I was able to walk into every situation and let them know my mind, my laundry list of complaints, and my to do list for them before they had time to open their mouths.
Either that, or I was sleeping. My brain was on fire with irritation and short-patience with the world, everyone I knew in it AND my own inability to get any work done (due to ridiculously short attention span, irresistible urge to nap, and the fact I felt like I was motion sick from simply sitting upright quite a lot of the time), so quite often, I just went to sleep instead.
OOOH I was cross. Cross or anxious. Or both, overwhelmingly, at the same time. Or sleeping.
Or, sometimes, while sleeping.
Second Trimester = Capable
I want to find a better word for it, but Im not sure I can. Happy would be a good word, but I was sometimes worried too, and sometimes anxious, and sometimes cross about things – but always, for some reason, more than ever before, I felt calm, and capable. Capable of anything. Capable (for once) of being calm. Whatever happened. To some extent this has not gone away. It has just been joined by well, thats later on.
But between week 13 and, say, somewhere around week 27 or 28, I felt like I could do anything. I could convince anyone of anything; convince anyone of my ability to do whatever they wanted better than anyone else in the world – and then believe in myself for long enough to do it. I basically felt easily confident for the first time ever. It was amazing. Seriously. You think I sounded calm about being in hospital? That was those hormones. People wondered about my decision to go off to Canada on my own for a couple of months to power through enough work to earn money for when the baby was born? That was down to those hormones. If I could bottle whatever those hormones are, I would be a multi-gazillionaire. Or rather, I wouldnt, because I would keep them all, and take them every day for the rest of my life. Because they were the best hormones that ever existed. In the world. EVER.
And then the crying started.
Third trimester = Crying
I am barely into the third trimester. I dont know what the rest will hold (although Im getting signs of some extremely promising obsessive nesting behaviours, but more of that in another post), but right now, I just know about the crying.
I keep crying.
Not for *no* reason. But for not as much reason as I would usually need. By a long way. ANd I still feel pretty capable, but something that would usually make me about 10% stressed suddenly makes me 90% stressed instead. And weepy. Very weepy. Something that would usually chart as very low on the sadness scale is suddenly the saddest thing I have ever heard. A little tease from a friend that I would usually be able to brush off or bat back at them now sees me red-cheeked and full-eyed with heavy tears.
For the first week or so of this, I was a complete slave to it, and gave into it, and let my tears flow for as long and as hard as they needed, and reasoned that it must be something worth getting this sad about, or I surely wouldnt be this sad.
And then I realised. The tears had nothing to do with anything, much. Theyre just going to happen at the slightest provocation. They are going to happen whether I have a bad meeting in the office or when I feel like a tugboat blocking the aisle on a plane while waiting for the toilet, or just because somehow I cant work out how to use the tin opener in my little rental flat.
And if I just pause for a moment, and breathe slowly, and think about maybe NOT crying instead, the tears will just (eventually) stop.
So Ive been trying to do that instead. I cant seem to stop them coming at all, but I can warn people that they might and, when they do, I can now mainly talk all the way through them, saying There now, see, I told you I would cry, and here we are. Honestly, just carry on, give me a second, it will pass and eventually the tears just stop. It isnt very attractive. Or professional. Or useful. It is just what is happening. And thats the way it is.
The most annoying thing is, I see absolutely NO physiological reasoning for this constant weeping. The anger I could reason out: being that fierce to keep away danger in the first trimester: very useful. The capableness had a clear use and purpose, and was all very good (and should be bottled, I say again. Hasnt anyone thought of that? Why hasnt anyone thought of that? I want it. Now.) But the crying? Apart from letting a bit of the water Im retaining – and good garden SEATS there is a lot of that to let – I cant think of any evolutionary reason why releasing so much liquid from the face would be useful.
Perhaps to drown tiny tigers in miniature tear-pools. Perhaps to frighten away any mortal enemies that happen to be water-soluble. Perhaps just to endear us to people who might want to look after us (that doesnt seem to work, by the way. Not with random strangers, anyway).
But that is the way it is. So it goes.
Next up: I have no idea. But I think – hope anyway, since Im getting home in less than two weeks and have very little prepared for Doozers arrival some time around new year – that the obsessive nesting bit where I get everything ready is what will come next.
That would be good.
That would be useful.
More useful than being Madame Drippy-face, anyway.