As I sit here in Panera, waiting for my busy weekend to start (4 hours of piano lessons, a birthing class, an engagement party and a bridal shower, a marriage blessing ceremony, not to mention all of the normal amount of church!) I felt the need to follow up my bemoaning about the 3rd Trimester nightime horrors with a positive note.
Let me first excuse some of my ranting yesterday:
The third trimester is a completely different animal than the 2nd or 1st. I’d been told this, but there’s never something so convincing as living it. The first trimester passes quickly because you find out you’re pregnant 6 weeks into it. It’s like having a head start! Sure, the morning sickness can drag on forever, but there are so many exciting things to do and find out– gender, possible names, etc. It guess to some people, it could seem like forever, since many wait until the very very end to announce it to people. But I think that makes it exciting– like you have this special secret that no one else knows!
The 2nd Trimester is a tricky little thing, because it fools you into thinking pregnancy is fun. You barely have a bump, but it’s made the transition from “she ate a box of donuts!” to “when are you due?’ quite nicely. You get all your energy and appetite back from the first trimester, and you feel like you can take on the world. You get all the glow without the bloated feeling!
Something crazy happens the moment 27 weeks hits. EVERYTHING, and I mean everything, aches. Food is not a commodity, it is a NECESSITY. So are frequent bathroom breaks and help carrying anything and everything. Also, THE FATIGUE returns. I can sleep 11 hours in a night/morning, and still feel ready for sleep again at 9pm.
And don’t get me started on hot flashes– if I get overheated near the beginning of the day, I never cool off. Never. On Wednesday morning, I substitute taught a piano lesson for my old company. The family was Indian, and maybe it’s cultural, but I have frequently noticed that most Indian families are hesistant to use their air conditioning. It was at least 85 degrees in that house. By the end of the 45 minute lesson, I was DRIPPING sweat. It took all of my energy to keep from slurring my words and running out the door to the air conditioning in my car. For the rest of the day, I could NOT get cool! I was sitting in a nicely air conditioned piano lesson later that afternoon and all of a sudden started seeing black spots, I was so hot!! So, I basically never let myself get remotely warm, which is quite a challenge in 104 degree heat. Our house is at a constant 65 degrees inside (hello, high air conditioning bills!! I could CARE LESS). Jesse frequently needs a blanket just sitting on the couch in the evenings– I am fanning myself and thinking, “This is definitely how God wants the world at all times”.
The third trimester is also a weird limbo stage, because it’s not time to give birth, but neither can you just continue your life/plans as though it isn’t going to happen. It’s like having a huge deadline looming over you, affecting your thoughts at every moment of the day. And, if you’re a multi-tasking-accomplisher-always-getting-ahead person like me, it’s infuriating not to be able to get some sort of head start on things. Which is why I am super excited about our first birthing class tomorrow!
But this actually ends my long-winded defense and takes me to the positive side of things. Being pregnant has taught me a lot about myself, and helped me grow in many ways. For instance, I cannot BELIEVE that I had a whole day off yesterday (a WHOLE DAY– I didn’t even have an air conditioned car, since Jesse took the Toyota to work!). And I didn’t do a thing. Not a SINGLE productive thing. No art projects. No dishes. No schoolwork. No gardening. I even forgot to feed the dog, poor thing.
What did I do? I slept in until 10am, let myself take 4 different naps throughout the day, swam in the pool, ate home-made chocolate chip cookies and worked out at Curves. When Jesse got home, we sat on the couch to watch the So You Think You Can Dance finale and finished off the evening with a leisurely walk in the gym.
Would I ever have let myself do this a year ago? No, definitely no. And if it happened on accident, I would have been stricken with guilt and remorse. “How could I have let a whole day pass, without some sort of productivity? What have a let myself become?” I would have asked myself unceasingly.
But now? Gregory is teaching me that it’s not only okay to slow down and take it easy, it’s a necessity. A productive life is important, but it’s not my priority right now. Growing a healthy baby is my priority, because it’s one of the most essential things I can give to him. I have never been able to slow down because I need it, but I’m learning to do it when the health of my baby is on the line.
And you know what? Slowing down actually feels kind of good. Really, I’m surprised by it!! I don’t think there’s a danger of becoming addicted to lazy days, because I still had quite the moment of panic when I walked into the kitchen and saw that not everything was as it should be. And Jesse was pretty flabbergasted to find that I had completely forgotten to feed the dog all day. I’m also looking forward to all the money I’m going to make today giving piano lessons (Shh, don’t tell, but I still make more $ than him, working less than 20 hours a week!).
But it was good to be taught a lesson by a 30 week-old baby not-yet-born. Slowing down actually can be good. Who would’ve thought it?