This is actually the best month of your pregnancy. You're not too heavy yet, you're having fun eating for two, and you've felt the first few baby movements, which seem really, really cute.
Your husband can feel the faint movements too. The number of stuffed animals per cartload increases exponentially.
Best of all however, is meeting people you haven't seen in a while and watching their internal struggle. You just know, as their eyes shift from your face down to your tummy and back again, that they're asking themselves: “Is she pregnant? Or has she just put on weight? Should I say something? Argh!”
They don't warn you that eating for two also means that you're also doing other things twice as much. You spend 23 out of every 24 hours from now on making trips to the bathroom.
You discover that you're already a derelict parent in the eyes of your neighbor when you are scolded for not having decorated your nursery with a theme. Never mind that you thought you had, and that the theme was, well, “baby.” No, you were meant to choose something like “1930s Mickey Mouse” or “Cute Australian Marsupials” and go from there.
There will be at least one if not several news items reporting a health scare directly related to pregnancy, or something you've done during your pregnancy. Your husband will talk you down.
Baby movements are less cute now, as he/she develops the ability to do roundhouse kicks, karate chops, and full force hockey checks.
Since your pregnancy is now unmistakable, people develop the irritating habit of assuming your brain has shrunk or disappeared altogether. For example, if you visit a hardware store you've never been to before, and make the mistake of asking where you can find their Bosch 3/8-in. 5.5A variable speed drills, you will get the response:
“Awwwww, are you wost?
Now don't you stress, I'll have some cute little stockboy find that drilly willy for your hubby wubby.”
You will get the worst cold of your life at this point, if only because you can't take a thing for it.
You will get the worst headache of your life at this point, if only because you can't take a thing for it.
Your husband will come up with ways to help you with your cold and your headache, and develop excellent shoulder massage technique.
You will have memorized everything you have read on baby care, which will be absolutely useless when baby arrives, as baby hasn't read these books either.
You learn the names and distinguishing characteristics of every horrible disorder known to affect a woman's nether bits. This is because 1) Your ob/gyn's preferred method of decorating is to have graphic, full color posters of said disorders in every waiting and exam room. 2) You have several hours to read them.
If you should mention to someone that you're going to do the dishes, this will be attributed to the “nesting instinct” simply because you happen to be pregnant. It will not matter that the only reason you're doing the dishes is because you haven't seen the kitchen sink in three weeks.
If your husband decides to do the dishes, he will be told he is having sympathy nesting instincts.
Everyone you know, and several people you don't care to know, will feel compelled to share their labor horror story with you.
Whether or not they have actually been through labor personally will be irrelevant.
You will acquire a condition known as “hobbit feet.” This is where your feet swell to two or three times their usual size; it is extremely uncomfortable. Presumably this is to let a pregnant woman know where her feet are, since she hasn't seen them in three months.
You will need a block and tackle set just to get out of bed in the morning.
At some point, you will be in the obstetrician's office, wearing nothing but a giant paper napkin (given to you for the sake of preserving what little dignity you can in an ob/gyn's office) while waiting for your latest exam. You'll be suffering from stretch marks, water retention, weight gain, and hobbit feet. Naturally, the only magazine for you to read will be a copy of People Magazine's 50 Most Beautiful People issue. It is permissible to allow the nesting instinct to kick in, and shred the magazine.
Your husband will not get any sleep all this month as he is on permalert for the three a.m. elbow in the ribs to tell him it's time.
Everyone will forget your first name. You are greeted instead with either “Are you still pregnant?!” or “Haven't you had that baby yet?”
To read more of Chandra's work, visit www.ChandraKClarke.com.