As the weeks march on (32 and counting!), and as bump causes my stomach to expand at what feels like an exponential rate, I’ve found myself having to do something it pains me to do: slow down.
Having had a fairly easy pregnancy so far, I’ve not had to change much about my usually busy lifestyle so far. Weeks are made up of work, exercise classes, gigs and of course all that mundane stuff like cooking, cleaning and generally making sure the other half and I don’t starve in a hovel. So far so normal. Until about week 29.
For the uninitiated, this is around the early part of the third trimester, and basically where the baby inside me is now a fully-formed, mischief making wee human. And boy does he make mischief!
Aside from ensuring I wake at least twice in the night to use the bathroom, he’s now grown so big that my lungs and digestive tract have had to take a backseat for his current home. With that brings the joy of even more pertinent heartburn, not to mention an increased appetite I struggle to feed properly as indigestion and hiccups are inevitable if I try to eat at any normal rate. On top of that, my lungs don’t seem to be able to take the same amount of air as before, meaning I get breathless from simple tasks like walking upstairs. As you can imagine, this is problematic living in a flat, let alone one where the bedroom and bathroom are on different levels.
All of this has meant having to slow things right down; a concept I’m not really familiar with. As someone who has been blessed with being able-bodied for pretty much my whole life, there’s nothing that’s ever been particularly “too much” for me to do. In fact, I relish life on the go, buzzing from one project to the next, filling my days with a balance between work and play.
So you can imagine my frustration when my body simply refuses to squat properly, or when I have to master the precision of a military sniper to aim to pick things off the floor in one go. Even basic daily things like washing the dishes have become a battle as I stand further back from the sink, stretching my arms and soaking my belly, meaning multiple outfit changes may be required after normal household chores.
With broken sleep and full working days, I’ve found myself too exhausted to comprehend exercise after the 9-5. Even organising laundry or standing ironing has become a daunting task if I’m expecting myself to do this past 7pm.
Getting used to the changes
I used to run on caffeine and sarcasm on a weekday, now I have a single weak coffee and forget half the words of the things I’m supposed to be making fun of. It’s difficult, frustrating and has caused more than a few tears and tantrums over the last couple of weeks.
At work, I’m having to force myself to take loo breaks and fresh air breaks where I would normally power through – simply to stop back pain and relieve heartburn. Similarly at home, couch potato nights are now filled with tossing and turning and trips to different rooms just to stretch my legs and relieve discomfort. Which is an annoying catch 22 when you feel too tired to do anything more productive with your evening.
The worst part though is trying to come to terms with the fact that not everything is neat and tidy and clean at home, exactly how and when I want it to be clean. Curling up on a couch trying to find a comfy position is bad enough without spying dust on the coffee table or washing on the radiators you know you should fold and put away. But that requires digging out the duster, folding or ironing laundry and making another trip up and down the stairs. It’s an internal battle and I haven’t had anyone visit my house in weeks out of embarrassment but I’m slowly getting used to the idea that everything won’t always be perfect and I can’t do everything myself – despite being a fiercely independent individual!