So yesterday was my 30th birthday.
I’m going to preface this by saying that I’m going to complain again. When we were TTC, and experiencing loss, and when I was staying up nights crying into the darkness about how I’d do anything for a baby, hearing anyone complain about pregnancy made me irate…and understandably so. That’s why I just want to acknowledge, again, that I know complaining may sound ungrateful and it may cause some of my homegirls to want to punch me in the face. That’s OK. Please feel free to skip these posts (or, you know, punch me in the face if you really think I deserve it). But I have decided that since I’m all about honesty, and since this is my blog, there’s no use in sugarcoating the ugly reality of the third trimester and how uncomfortable it’s been making me. I’m not glowing…I’m dripping with sweat. I’m not all belly…I’m pretty much obese. And HAHAHA! is what I have to say to the me of several posts back – it turns out you CAN look pregnant from behind. I look pregnant from behind. I definitely do. Do I know it’s going to be worth it? Heck yeah. Do I take back asking for all of this? HECK NO. But still, to properly document my life, I must tell it like it is right now. And right now… it’s rough.
I take birthdays very seriously, and not only do I take the day off work (I now have a 30 year streak of never working on my birthday, and I don’t plan to break it anytime soon), but I also force my mom and sister to take the day off and hang out with me. Generally the plan involves going out to breakfast (by far my favorite meal of the day) and lots of shopping, and then going out to dinner. Most years we drive an hour and a half to the King of Prussia mall (KOP, affectionately), which as anyone in the Philadelphia metro area will tell you is pretty much the best mall ever. It is MASSIVE. Any store you could hope to shop is there.
This year I knew my limits well enough to know that KOP was out of the question. I have a list of nursery needs that I’ve been carting around, and I figured these items were best procured from a discount store, like Marshalls or Ross or Big Lots or Christmas Tree Shops. These are my favorite places to shop lately anyway.
We started out our day running two hours behind schedule just because that’s how it worked out. The birthday crew included my mom, my sister, and my two nieces (aged almost 3 and just turned 1). We drove to my favorite breakfast place, paid for parking, dragged the kids out of the car, walked over and… it was closed for renovations! Boo, hiss. Loaded everyone back up, consulted Yelp real quick, and ended up finding a perfectly respectable place with yummy food. Crisis averted.
We went to Marshalls and spent a couple hours hunting bargains. I was pretty disappointed because of course last time I was there I found a TON of items that perfectly matched my intended nursery decor (and of course I didn’t purchase anything because I wasn’t ready to commit to the theme or the fact that I was actually having a baby just yet), but this time I found nothing. Strangely, they had a lot of cute boy nursery items but not as many things for girls. The one thing from my list that I did find was a robe and comfy pants for the hospital so I don’t have to take pictures in the ugly hospital-issued frock. The robe is black and white, made of a really cool and comfortable stretchy microfiber, and it was $12.99. Score one for Marshalls.
Even though we were running behind schedule, we still had time to go to a few more stores. I should mention here that by this point, after approximately 2 hours of shopping and walking and standing, my feet were completely miserable. These days I can’t help but think of a friend who was pregnant a few years ago who wore these intense white orthopedic shoes every single day, even with skirts and dresses. At the time I was thinking, Oh, weird, if/when I ever get pregnant I’ll never do that. But do you know how much I would have paid to have orthopedic shoes yesterday? Infinity dollars. My feet were K-I-L-L-I-N-G me. My sister and my mom were apparently laughing behind my back because usually on Birthday Shopping Day I’m the one dragging them around and rolling my eyes at how long it takes them to do everything. Yesterday was a huge role reversal, and I was the one constantly seeking out chairs and bathrooms and walking at the speed of molasses. I couldn’t even handle the checkout line, and opted instead to go sit in the car and wait for them.
They came out of the store and started sorting out everyone’s items and loaded up the little girls into my sister’s car (she had driven separately because she had to leave earlier). Then all of the sudden, my sister ran over in complete hysterics. She had accidentally locked her keys and her babies in the hot car, windows up.
The whole thing was so scary. I mean, when I say hot car, it was 65 and sunny, not like 90 degrees or something. Otherwise we would have found a brick and broken the window. But as it was, it was pretty terrible watching the kids cry and sweat in there with no way to comfort them and no way to open the damn doors. We called 911 and the cop came and used some giant hanger looking thing to pry the lock. The whole experience felt like it took hours but really it was only about 25 minutes start to finish. Sweaty girls were comforted, water was distributed, and we ventured on.
We were supposed to hit like four more stores but after all the drama of the morning and due to the fact that my feet felt like I had just climbed up and down Mount Everest 14 times, my heart just wasn’t in it. We stopped in two more stores quickly, but again I didn’t find anything. Honestly, the most stuff I got was at Wegmans about an hour later. Leave it to a pregnant chick to do her birthday shopping at the grocery store. (Favorite purchase of the day: Turkey Hill All Natural Mango ice cream – a new flavor!).
As I may have mentioned, Eric is away on a business trip in New Orleans, so he wasn’t even there to celebrate with me. I guess it’s not that big of a deal and we can just celebrate later. He did send me lovely flowers, which were waiting for me when I got home. I had just enough time to put away my groceries before heading back out to dinner with my parents, sister + fam, and a friend I haven’t seen in a while. It was a nice way to end a physically and mentally exhausting day. Well, that and the ginormous bowl of mango ice cream I indulged in later on.
30 feels a lot like 29, except when it feels like 85, which is to say every day lately. I’m so run-down and exhausted and I hate that I can’t physically do the things I need to do (LIKE…SHOP). I don’t know why I was kind of expecting this in the last two weeks or so of pregnancy, but totally was not expecting it for the entirety of the third trimester. If I had to do a pregnancy breakdown, it would go something like this:
Weeks 1-4 – Hope against hope.
Weeks 4-12 – Absolute terror that something will go wrong.
Weeks 12-16 – Ok, all right, this is pretty cool. Cute bump!
Weeks 16-18 – Wait… why am I getting so fat?
Weeks 18-22 – Seriously, I need to stop gaining so much weight.
Weeks 22-26 – Ice cream is a food group, right?
weeks 26-30 – Now I feel stupid for saying people can’t look pregnant from behind.
weeks 30-34 – Feet! Oh, my feet! Is there somewhere I can sit down? I just need to sit down.
I’m pretty sure the solution is to be more physically active from the get-go, which would allow me to be more physically active now, which would just make me feel better overall. If I ever get pregnant again, that will be the goal. My excuse for not doing this is that I was so terrified in the first trimester that even low-impact exercise seemed ill-advised. That, and I’m a little lazy.
Anyway! My mom loved her thirties. My 87-year-old grandmother called to wish me a happy birthday and said that her favorite years were 30 to 35, which is pretty specific, and seeing as how she’s lived through almost 8 full decades I’m thinking she would know.
All in all, turning 30 isn’t so bad.