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The Second Trimester: Why Louis C.K. Is Now My Pregnancy Guru

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So I’m pregnant. It’s my first time. And I’m definitely not the type of person who ever pictured themselves pregnant (with the exception of looking at my unbuttoned jeans after an excessive portion of pasta). I’ve decided to share some of my observations and experiences with others who, like me, might have kept themselves in the dark about what actually goes on when you’ve got the world’s most beloved parasite growing inside of you.

As a pregnant person, I have been constantly barraged with blogs, apps, books and articles that are supposed to be relatable for anyone in my situation.

There are, of course, some valuable lessons to be learned from the extremely active online community of pregnant women (and I do appreciate them) but most of the time I have found the tone of what I read to be off-putting. It is either offensively joyful, irritatingly preachy, or just a bit too smug for my taste.

What I’m really looking for when I’m googling symptoms at 2 a.m. (alongside a WebMD article telling me whatever it is I'm panicking about is perfectly normal) is someone to commiserate with... Someone with a sense of humour who can help me appreciate the ridiculous side of this BIZARRE experience, and laugh in the moments when I want to cry.

Sometimes, when I'm tired or frustrated, the phrase “miracle of life" is just too sincere a sentiment for my cynical mind to handle. Luckily, last week I found my favourite pregnancy anecdote via the most unlikely of comrades: a 49-year-old male stand-up comedian. Louis C.K. summed up my feelings more accurately in a two-minute comedy bit than the words of all the pregnancy specialists in the world. Here's an excerpt:

“The worst part of my day, every day, is putting on my socks. It’s like folding a bowling ball in half. As soon as I start the process, I can feel I’m pushing all the fat up into my vital organs and I can just feel all the systems failing.”

You really have to watch the clip to truly understand the deep frustration that Louis and I share:
NAILED IT. THIS is how I feel! There truly isn’t a more perfect or accurate description of my current situation than constantly and repeatedly trying to fold a bowling ball in half. The phrase has been stuck in my head ever since I first heard Louis say it. It has become a sort of mantra to me, repeated over and over when getting dressed in the morning, when looking for a pan in a low cupboard, and almost obsessively over the course of a particularly brutal seven-hour flight back from NY during which each dropped tray-table item or adjustment of the under-seat carry-on bag brought a world of discomfort.

And yet, in all of the aforementioned pregnancy blogs, this is the time that pregnant women are meant to enjoy most; that “easy” second trimester where you just glide around, basking in your own glow. I count myself extremely lucky that I've had a relatively easy pregnancy thus far, very little morning sickness and no complications, which I realise is incredible and that, really, I have no right to complain. But let's get real; even the easiest of pregnancies is a true test of will, equal parts wonderful and terrifying, miraculous and REALLY annoying. I could sort of understand the whole “enjoying it” phase to a degree if, as soon as I got pregnant, “pregnant person” became my full-time job – but the fact is, I am still responsible for all the shitty things I have to do in real life that didn't stop just because I'm pregnant. I was lucky enough to enjoy the experience of moving house during my “easy” second trimester and, despite how helpful my husband was or how much actual manual labour I was spared by playing the pregnancy card, just the repeated motion of bending over to empty drawers or tape up boxes was an extreme physical challenge, sort of like TRYING TO FOLD A BOWLING BALL IN HALF.

And next up? The dreaded third trimester, which looms on the horizon like a Category 5 hurricane: I know it's coming, it's been forecasted to cause extensive-to-severe structural damage and, while I hope it might not be as bad as they say, I still need to take the necessary precautions because according to statistics and scientific data, it ain't gonna be pretty. No matter how much I have been able to relax and enjoy the past few weeks (in the fleeting moments where that was possible), I would be jolted out of my momentary calm simply by remembering the fact that I will need to actually, physically give birth to this baby. There is no getting around it, no short cut or express lane or premium price that I can pay to have someone else do it for me. This is happening. To me. And I am shit scared.

Read Aimee's previous "I'm Pregnant: WTF" pieces here:
What it's like wearing a 'Baby On Board' badge on public transport
When your favourite dress stops fitting
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