The hardest adjustment to being pregnant has probably been altering my pace of life. I’m action-oriented and tend to spend my days moving around a lot, getting shit done. I like to go to bed with the house clean, the dishes done, my to-do list items crossed off.
Even during the first trimester when I took a nap every evening, I could still keep up the fast pace. Hell, I planned and managed my nonprofit’s biggest fundraiser of the year last fall while secretly throwing up in the office bathroom most mornings. I thought my body was just used to this lifestyle and I wouldn’t have to adjust much as my bump got bigger.
I was wrong.
It’s only in the last few weeks that it’s really hit me, but damn it, I cannot keep up with my old self anymore. I get tired just walking to the bus station from our office – a 10 min walk. We do not wash the dishes most nights before going to bed. We have small piles of mail that still need to be sorted laying around the house. We caved and have started paying our neighbor (who owns a landscaping company) to maintain our yard. We have lots of gorgeous flowers and rose bushes in our front and backyard and initially thought we’d have fun maintaining it. And I do hope to one day take care of it myself. I love gardening! But we were just letting it go to shit and not finding the time or energy to prune or mow. So now we have someone doing it every other week. Money well spent.
S has taken up a lot of the slack around the house, but she works long hours and can only get so much done in the evenings. I cook dinner most nights (while sitting on a stool we keep in the kitchen. I get tired even standing the whole time I’m cooking!) and then I’m spent. I can only lounge on the couch with my feet propped up and watch TV or read a book.
But reality really set in and kicked my ass on Monday. My nonprofit hosted an outdoor event for our volunteers. As the events manager, I handled all the logistics and was onsite from 6:45am for vendor deliveries until 4pm when the last of clean-up was finished. I went into my default Events mode and was running around all day, answering questions, helping move items around, keeping the speaking program on track. I sat down every once in awhile, but usually just for a few minutes. I nibbled on lunch in between working. Tried to remember to drink water.
Once the event ended, I found my ass had been kicked. At 2pm I realized I hadn’t peed since 6 that morning. Cue the chugging of water. My body was so tired, it was painful. While the last of the crew was cleaning up, I could only sit and watch while stretching my achy muscles. I stuffed my face with food and tried to feel human again. It wasn’t until I got home, was in my pjs and curled up on the couch with S and the cats, that I felt OK. I spent all evening worried that I had overdone it and pushed myself into premature labor, halfway expecting contractions to start that night. They didn’t.
But I learned my lesson. Slowing my pace doesn’t make me lazy. My body is actually very hard at work all day just baking this baby and I need to respect that. So now I care less about dishes. Our house is reasonably clean and that’s fine. I’m no longer stubbornly insisting on carrying items myself. I’m asking for help. And I’m slowing down.