Mafe Maria: Personal stories by autism parent mentor, Maria Stultz

Third Trimester: Such a little box of surprises

Your belly has grown HUGE, and to make things worse, it grows all in one night. No previous warnings… No signals. One day, you wake up and: PUFH! You cannot longer see your feet, you don’t fit in your regular narrow passages, your spacious maternity clothes suddenly feel tight… You begin walking like a duck, sitting with both legs spread open (very classy), and you make little pain noises every time you sit and stand up. At 34, you have started sounding like a cucha. How lame.

You begin asking your doctor if it’s possible that your baby may be a little bigger than average. He’s been tiny all along, but now, your doctor confirms: he actually is just a little bigger than the norm… “not ridiculously”, she says, but yes: a little bigger. You still have another 8 cms of fundal height to grow and fear that you’ll end up with a 10-pounder. Your husband was a huge baby and you soon discover a nasty surprise: The knowledge that his son is also a little bigger than average gives him tremendous pleasure and pride. Not cool, man.

You, an energetic morning person, are now terribly exhausted during the day. You can’t sleep well at night, and now can’t even fall asleep trying to take a day cat nap. It takes hours to fall asleep, partly because the minute you indicate that you’re about to go to sleep and roll to a side, the baby starts fighting the mattress. And then, you wake up every time you switch your whale body from one side to the other because your knees and hips are so sore to hold your weight on one side. You CANNOT wait for the day when you’re allowed to sleep on your back again.

Your concentration is constantly interrupted by an invisible little alien who clearly doesn’t seem to be happy with the size of his home down there, so every time he wakes up from his nap (he does get to sleep), he stretches as far as he can trying to break a hole on the side of your belly.

You can’t eat dinner any more. Three bites of anything, and you’re immediately full, and then get a heartburn that must be resolved with Tropical-flavored pastillitas.

Some times you feel like the side of your belly suddenly ripped open. Like when you lean down and your pants rip down your butt (that has never happened to me, by the way). You run to the mirror completely sure that you must have just gotten a hideous stretch mark. The belly is still pristine, but the agony and suspense of the inevitable are unbearable…

Baby found your bladder. His favorite game these days is to push it or kick it, and you know he’s doing it because you suddenly feel like somebody squeezed it and you need to go to the bathroom right now. You go, and the output is three miserable drops. What a lame payoff.

But the baby feels more alive and more person than ever, and you can’t wait to meet him.


  1. On , joey wrote:

    Just to elaborate… when you said the baby might be a little big right now I said, “That’s my Boy!” Love that saying. Gonna be using that a lot.

    Hang in there honey!!

  2. On , Petie wrote:

    Sorry. I know it isn’t fun. Just keep this in mind, I did it twice (knowing what I was getting into the second time). So, keep your eye on the prize, Little Joaquin. He’ll be worth it. :)