Wednesday, October 16, 2013
Ten Things I Can't Do at 30 Weeks Pregnant
Ten more weeks. I am 75% done with this pregnancy. And in honor of the ten weeks left in Tiny Turner's gestational period, I am going to share my list of ten things that I am incapable of doing at this point. Some are recent developments, and some have been plaguing me since this baby was the size of a sweet pea. But they are very real. And here they are, in no particular order... Things I can't do.
1. Sleep through the night. I am preparing for the arrival of my newborn. I get up every few hours to use the restroom, roll over in bed (this is a far more complicated process than it sounds), and to transfer from the bed to the couch (and back again, when time permits). It's glorious, really. The second I change sleep positions, my acrobat baby thinks it's time to practice for his career as a Cirque de Soleil performer. It's cute. For the first 15 seconds. And then I pray for the half Unisom pill I took before bedtime to kick in and to override the in-belly baby circus so that I can rest. It usually works.
2. Sleep without a pillow fort. I like to call this Pillowpalooza. I have a pregnancy pillow (a Snoogle, seen above... it's amazing), a body pillow (complete with silk pillowcase to prevent facial wrinkles), and a large collection of regular sized pillows. I love it. Jake loves the 1/4 of the bed he gets to sleep on.
3. Live without Tums. It's amazing. It can strike at any time. Thirty seconds after I eat. Four hours after I eat. Sometimes when I haven't eaten anything at all. Doesn't matter. Heartburn just shows up whenever it chooses. I hate heartburn.
4. Get up from my chair without the support of my arms. I don't know exactly what to attribute it to. Lack of working out so the muscles in my legs have disappeared? Body totally off balance? Either way, my arms get a workout every time I stand. Hoisting myself up from a seated position is not the least attractive thing I do at this point, but it's close.
5. Sit like a lady. Crossed legs, at the knees or the ankles. This is how I generally sit. However, due to this thirty pound belly (let's play like the belly is where this all of this extra thirty pounds has landed), I sit like a man. Not in public, I promise. It's not comfortable to have your own belly resting on your lap. It's just creepy. So in the comfort of my own home, I sit however I like, even if it's not cute. Side note: we went to a cloth diapering class several weeks ago, and we discovered a large percentage of the pregnant women in attendance chose to sit like a man even in this public setting. I felt validated.
6. Use a regular bathroom stall. Don't worry, I won't get into anything personal here. However, when I go to exit the regular-sized public restroom stall, I have issues. Standing directly in front of the toilet, facing the door does not allow room for the huge belly. There just isn't room to pull the door all the way in and past the belly so that I can exit. So I either end up leaning backwards, which is difficult when my balance is already iffy, in order to allow the door to pass or I resort to turning around and contorting my right arm around behind my back to open the door. Or I just use the handicap stall, which also has the bonus of the handicap rail (please see #4).
7. Show any range of emotion without tears. I can be happy or angry or embarrassed or stressed or scared or tired, and you will never know which one it is. Because all I do is cry. I am either completely fine and normal or I am crying. Those are the only options.
8. Be sympathetic to other people's aches and pains. Poor Jake. I am sure he has experienced illness and soreness over the past 7 months, but do I actively care? Can I care? Not really. Not right now. I love him, and I do care about his physical troubles in theory. But it seems that when he complains about his sore knee, all I can think about is how my back has been aching for the past 5 hours and how I can't get off my own couch without assistance. And I just look at him with a blank stare that says "Don't even get me started". I'm sure I am a joy to live with.
9. Shave my legs, paint my toenails, pick up anything off the ground. Basically I can't do anything that requires me bending over at the waist. A week or so ago I bought a piece of wrapped dark chocolate. As I walked out of the grocery store, I accidentally dropped it on the ground. I stood there for a good long while, trying to determine if it was worth attempting to pick up. After all, I could bend at the knees and risk never getting back up without someone there to help me. Or I could bend over at the waist, which would give me a better chance of returning to a standing position, but risk being highly unladylike with my backside in the air and increasing my chances of toppling over altogether. At 28 weeks, I chose to pick it up. At 30 weeks, I would probably just leave it. And it was chocolate. That's how you know it's serious business.
10. Talk, walk, sleep, eat, climb stairs without sounding like an asthmatic. I work as a telemarketer. And several weeks ago my supervisor called me into the office to tell me that I was taking breathing pauses in odd places. Her goal was to coach me into sounding more natural and normal. Generally, I am happy for the constructive criticism. I want to be better at my job. But in this situation I just wanted to yell at her and ask her if she happened to notice to giant baby that I am carrying that compresses my lungs to the point of near asphyxiation. And I wanted to cry. (See #7) Thankfully, I did neither. Last week I was the top salesperson in my department. Take that, supervisor. It seems that callers don't mind that I sound like I am running a marathon when all I am doing is talking and typing.
Needless to say, I am anxious. Anxious to meet this baby. Anxious to obtain some of the mobility that I have lost during this pregnancy. I know a newborn baby will bring it's own set of issues, things I won't be able to do once he arrives. But I will be able to paint my toenails and lean over to pick up my shoes and take a deep breath. At least I can do those things if I choose to. In the meantime, I will be tired, I will cry, and I will take shallow breaths. And I will be very, very careful with my chocolate.
*Thanks to my sweet friends on my December 2013 Moms Facebook group for their helpful suggestions and contributions to this blog post. I am incredibly thankful that we are all going through this together.*