Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Limitations

I used to be one of those people who sort of denied that as the body got older it experienced physical limitations. I'd see older people taking the elevator instead of the stairs, or struggling to get out of a car, or grumbling about bending over to pick something up, and I'd quietly tsk to myself and think, "Use it or lose it, grandma," before taking the stairs two at a time, as usual.

As someone who has been in anywhere from decent to amazing shape her whole life, the third trimester of pregnancy has been extremely humbling so far. I can barely bend down to pick something up, and mostly just end up squatting. I cannot get in and out of a car in one fluid motion anymore. My hips hurt sometimes because I am carrying 1/5 again my total body weight. I get winded climbing even a few stairs, and yeah, I'll take the elevator 60-90% of the time now. I cannot sit straight up in bed because my upper abdominal muscles are so stretched. They literally tear (more than they already have) if I try, so I don't try. I roll over like a sea lion until my feet make contact with the floor and then I push myself to standing with mostly the strength of my arms. Putting on shoes has become a balancing act. Putting on pants, even more so.

I know. I'm making pregnancy sound like a horror movie. It's not. I am still strong. I am still fit. Sometimes I amaze myself with the things I can still do even as I experience more limitations. For crap's sake I'M GROWING ANOTHER HUMAN BEING.

A month ago, I was really unhappy about some of my limitations. I couldn't understand why my body wouldn't move the way I wanted it to, and why there was always something that sort of hurt or was tight. But we humans are amazing and resilient and can learn to carry on. Have things gotten less uncomfortable? No, if anything they've gotten more so. Right now, for example, the baby has been moving almost constantly for the last twelve hours. (Yes, throughout the night. And yes, it disturbed my sleep. A lot.) He has not only completely changed position but he is exploring all the possible ways he can stretch out his small, watery home. Does it hurt sometimes? Hell. Yes. Does it hurt all the time. No. The movement is never what I would call "comfortable," but I've learned to just live with it most of the time, and to be grateful for what it means: Baby is alive.

Anyway, what I'm trying to say is I respect people's limitations now. And while I do think you "lose it if you don't use it," I understand now that things happen to our bodies, whether it be Time or pregnancy or what have you, that create limitations we have no control over. I will be much more sympathetic of those limitations from now on.

Coconut Stats:

Gestation: 32 weeks (7ish months for the lazy)
Estimated due date: July 27
Baby's weight: just under 4 lbs.
Total weight gain: 21 lbs
Cravings: WATER. So thirsty...
What I feel: LOT'S of pressure for a day or so interspersed by a day or two of reprieve. (Baby is growing fast.) More interrupted sleep. Same old rib/top-of-belly pain. Return of some of the gagginess I felt in the first tri, probably because my stomach is being pushed on. Desperate need to pee every time I stand up. Sciatica. Braxton Hicks several times a day. Baby hiccups 2-3 times a day.

Here you go, Jill. :)

hoop-de-do