Listening to My Body: A Lesson I Need to Learn Over and Over

Square

 

I have always been blessed with an abundance of energy and motivation, it seems like–I’ve always had a high drive to set goals and aim high and go for personal bests.

Overall, this is a Good Thing–in fact, I’d count it as one of the things I actually like most about myself.

But as with anything, there’s always a flip side to every virtue, and any positive trait can be turned negative if it’s pushed too far.

Throughout this pregnancy, I’ve been trying to strike a balance between trying to push myself to get stuff done before the baby comes and to keep my weight gain in check this time around (by exercising at least twice a week at my local rec center) with not pushing myself TOO much to the point where I burn out, get sick, or feel constantly exhausted.

I think that overall, I’ve done a pretty good job with it, actually—exercising regularly this time around has definitely helped me to manage stress and feel better about things (not to mention give me that energy to get those things done I want to), but lately, with me quickly approaching the 8-month-pregnant line, I am REALLY starting to feel it when I try to go at my usual pace.

But, you guys, I have been sick a LOT this pregnancy. I blame part of it on the fact that I have a toddler who brings home all sorts of stuff from play groups and the nursery at church, and I blame another part on the fact that this has been one of the worst seasons for flu and sickness that our valley has ever seen (direct quote from multiple–yes, multiple!–doctors and nurses I’ve seen over the past few months).

But I think some of it might just be due to me not knowing when I need to slow down and take a break, or ignoring those signs for too long, anyway.

Part of it is, because I know I have “easier” pregnancies compared to some women (I don’t have to go on bed rest, I’m not usually nauseated past 14 weeks, I haven’t struggled with high blood pressure or anything like that), I feel like I should be able to just go at my normal pace most of the time.

The fact seems to be, however, that pregnancy is harder on my body than I give it credit for, I think.

My first pregnancy, while I didn’t get “sick” in the traditional sense of the word (I actually never had to take a sick day during that pregnancy, which was a minor miracle), I DID see the birth of an autoimmune condition that went months without being diagnosed (and that took well over a year to go into remission), as well as major signs of physical stress after the labor and delivery process (some due to complications during the birth of my daughter, others that probably contributed to me needing to get my gallbladder removed very soon after giving birth).

This pregnancy, while I’ve (thankfully) not experienced a relapse of my autoimmune disease, I HAVE been sick more frequently than I’ve been at any other point in my life, including the 18 months I spent living in Central America as a missionary (though I did get some horrendous sicknesses while there, too).

This week, after I came down with a nasty 24-hour stomach bug shortly after we got back from a 5-day long vacation down in Southern Utah, I’d just about had it with being sick.

So I’ve accepted that, for whatever reason, my body seems to be telling me to slow down a bit more than I’m wanting to. I’ve let myself take daily naps in the afternoon instead of blogging, and I’ve even let myself start watching a little t.v. again (something I haven’t done much of in quite awhile now). I’m *trying* not to worry about all the stuff I still want to do before the baby comes, and about the current state of disaster my house is in (and has been in since we got back from our trip).

It always upsets me when I feel like I should be able to do more but can’t, but I’m also accepting that I just can’t deal with getting sick so frequently anymore, either.

So this is just to say that my blog posting might get even more sporadic than it’s already been lately (other than a post I hopefully will have up on Monday, as it’s basically almost done).

This is just to say that if you come over to my house at any point, you can expect a disaster area (and I’ll try really hard not to apologize too much for it).

Basically, this is just to say that at 33 weeks and 3 days pregnant (but who’s counting?), I’m feeling a bit exhausted.

That’s all.