5 months today! It’s my first week as nurse Katie to my husband and can I just say for the 100th time this pregnancy… I need a drink. Andy had his surgery on Tuesday in LA and got back on Thursday. I’ve only really been caring for him for 4 days but it is a lot of physical stress. I thought emotionally I would be more of a mess but honestly, I’m just exhausted. The last time Andy had surgery on his triceps he was physically doing a lot more but, obviously, this time around we have to be extra cautious to make sure everything heals correctly. This means no cooking, no lifting, no helping around the house and certainly not picking up, carrying, or any physical help with Lily.
I feel like we women have this incredible ability to turn off our needs when its necessary and give all our effort making all of our loved ones happy. For example, on Sunday I was EXHAUSTED, my body was achy and I desperately wanted a nap but I couldn’t stand the thought of Lily having to sit around all day, so I drove her 40 minutes away to a pumpkin patch, came home and cared for Andy while she napped, then took a quick shower and brought Lily to a fall festival in the 80-degree heat. I am at this crossroads of wanting to soak up every last second of her being my only child but needing to care for the baby that is growing inside of me.
If I wasn’t pregnant, all of this would be so much simpler. There would be no excuses for physical rest and we would truck through the next 3 months as needed, but the jobs around the house that Andy used to do are just too much for a woman who is 5 months pregnant. We have those big glass filtered water jugs that need to be changed weekly and I changed one by myself last week and had belly cramps for almost 3 hours. I feel like I am wired to be the “no, no. I got it” type of wife and mom but my body is finally saying “enough.” Between the never-ending physical duties to the morning breastfeeding sessions causing contractions, I can’t say that I’m not at least little worried about pre-term labor. My OBGYN told me that he wouldn’t worry much about it since Lily was past her due date, but every time I feel those contractions I start wondering “what if?”. I plan on weaning Lily completely within the next 2 months (yes, it is still painful as hell) so I can lower the risk of nipple stimulation bringing on labor. As for the rest of the physical stress, I have to force myself to remember that I am not resting for me or because I’m lazy. I have to rest for this baby because he deserves the same type of love, care, and attention that I was able to give to Lily while I was pregnant.
While I don’t have the choice to just kick it on the couch all day when I’m feeling crappy, I think I can try to limit myself on those tougher days. Maybe take Lily to an enclosed park where I can sit and watch her play, or order some to-go food so I don’t have to cook, and I supposeeeee there is always the TV if I just need 30 minutes to put my feet up! If you’re also a preggo mama reading this, I want to tell you that being pregnant isn’t a reason to eat whatever you want and lay around all day but it IS a time to listen to your body and to think about your baby. Try to eat the best you can, force in some extra veggies before you eat something you probably shouldn’t. Get a workout in during the part of the day when you’re feeling up for it and take a nap if you’re so tired you can’t function. Treat yourself to a prenatal massage (they’re like heaven especially late in your pregnancy), get on a chiropractic schedule & ask for some help when you need it. If it’s hard for you to give up control or to take it easy, remember that this isn’t about you anymore. Remind yourself that your body isn’t just yours anymore and until that baby has his or her last sip of breastmilk, what you do to and for yourself is also for your child. Hopefully, I’ll be able to listen to my own advice and join you, because we never know how many chances we’ll get to grow a child and it really is an amazing journey.