survival mode

I know that a lot of women who read this site have done the whole pregnancy thing, so this question is really just for them: how, in the name of all that is sacred and holy, do you survive the last month? My due date is one month from yesterday, February 2nd. At this point, I am not at all confident that I’m going to make it.

I suppose this stomach bug has depleted my reserves more than I thought, but it’s gotten to the point where getting out of bed just seems nearly unfathomable. You know how weak you feel after a really bad stomach flu? That’s sort of what I feel like all the time. Right now I have my laptop propped up on a TV tray in bed with me, because even sitting upright makes me feel sort of dizzy, like I might fall over or faint. (And the TV tray keeps the weight of the laptop off of my belly, which is nice. I only wish the cats were so understanding.) On the occasions when I finally get enough caffeine and Vitamin Water in my system to drag myself out of bed, the pain in my hips is excruciating (and more on the left side than the right, what is up with that?) and I constantly feel like I’m going to burst into tears. Thanks, hormones! I really need the weepiness on top of everything else.

I can only theorize that this is not the typical pregnancy experience. Aren’t I supposed to get some sudden burst of crazed nesting energy right about now? I’m genuinely trying to take it easy, and I’ve set a goal (which I thought was totally reasonable and attainable) to do only one small task per day. Yesterday I went to get a pedicure, and since the supermarket was in the same shopping center, I decided to pick up a few groceries on my way home. By the time I left the grocery store, I thought I was going to have to call Dave to come get me because I was too exhausted to drive the two miles back to our house.

Dave keeps offering to help – he’s told me repeatedly to just give him a list of the groceries that we need, and he’ll go get them. But he’s working, and I’m not, and it seems like these are little things that I should be able to do myself without enlisting his help. And it’s not just the groceries, it’s all of the other dinky household tasks, like running laundry or washing dishes. It’s stuff that I never used to think was too terribly taxing on my energy level, and suddenly it feels as insurmountable as trying to scale a mountain with my bare hands.

It’s horribly frustrating to look at my to-do list and realize that I don’t have the energy to accomplish any of the things on it. And seriously, y’all, the to-do list has been scaled way, way back. It’s basically just the things we have to buy and/or do before the baby arrives. And I even put them in order of importance. Example: installing the car seat? I consider that a big deal, since the hospital won’t let us take the baby home without it. Whereas if we forget to set up the baby humidifier in the nursery until after she gets here (because my god, our electric furnace is dry), I’m pretty sure that it won’t be the end of the world.

My one goal for today? I’m trying to fill out my birth plan. My 36-week appointment is on Monday, and I want to make sure my doctor has a copy of it in my chart by then. Plus it’s one of the things that needs to be in the suitcase I pack for the hospital (another item on the to-do list that has yet to be accomplished). But I thought that filling out a form would be something achievable, since it doesn’t require me to get out of bed or even sit upright. Also, the birth plan is not as scary to me as it was two months ago. I think I’m over my little denial “la-la-la, I’ll just stay pregnant forever because I don’t want to go through childbirth” phase. Now I just desparately want this little parasite out of my belly so I can start to feel somewhat normal and human again. 

And yes, I do realize that I just referred to my unborn pweshuss widdle baybeeee as a parasite, and that right there pretty much screws any hopes that I may have had for someday winning a Mother of the Year award. Oh well. It’s probably good to be realistic from the get-go, right?    

5 thoughts on “survival mode

  1. Hey there…been thinking about you a lot. I had a really easy pregnancy, so I didn’t get to where you are right now, but I know that plenty of women do find the last month really difficult for a lot of the reasons you listed. It’s like you get that sudden burst of energy in the second trimester, and then it goes away in the third again.
    I suspect a lot of it is due to the stomach ailment — as an aside, I don’t know that being dizzy when you get out of bed is ever good, so be sure to bring that up with your doc at your 36 week appointment — but the fact that you are growing a whole other person in there has a lot to do with it, too.
    Take it easy, seriously. Do what you can, and don’t worry about the rest. And treasure the sleep you’re able to get now — you can’t stockpile it, but you’ll be happier if you go into labor/those first few months as rested as you possibly can. And remember how much extra protein/iron/etc. your body needs when pregnant and then increase it a little, if possible. Sounds like you could use some extra protein to help with the tiredness/dizzy thing.
    I think all women are anxious to just be done with the whole pregnancy thing that last month — when you feel as big as a whale and the doctor tells you “36 weeks is viable, you’re in the clear” you just want the baby out already. 🙂

  2. Don’t be so hard on yourself, darlin’. What you’re doing right now is a BIG DEAL. Seriously, I can’t even fathom doing what you’re doing. My not-at-all-experienced advice? Surround yourself with netflix and comfort food, and let Dave do the chores. You get to be a goddess for the next month, okay? *hugs*

  3. I’m drinking 3 protein shakes a day, in addition to all of the meat/cheese/tofu/nuts/etc that are already part of my diet. So I can’t imagine that I’m not getting enough protein. And I’m taking an iron supplement, not that I can tell that it’s doing any good.

    But I will ask my doc about the dizzy feeling, because it’s really strange. You know how you get a head rush if you stand up too fast sometimes? It’s sort of like that, but I’ll get them for no reason, like when I’m just sitting on the couch. It happened a lot during my first trimester, but I haven’t heard of it happening this late in the game, so it’s a little disconcerting.

  4. I think Shannon said most of what I was going to say (she must be very smart! 🙂 ). I want to reiterate that the dizziness, while probably related to the stomach bug, doesn’t sound like something you should just live with.

    In spite of my easy pregnancy, the last month was The Suck. My ankles were swollen like baseball bats, I was tired, I was grumpy, I was weepy, and I wanted that darn baby OUT of there already. I’m sure I used the word “parasite” several times.

    What got me through it was indulging my daydreaming self by reading more of my baby books and message boards, talking to other pregnant friends about how miserable we felt, that sort of thing. I think it helped. Denial is not the way to go. Tony and I also took a bunch of date nights in tha tlast month, to go eat somewhere or shop or something. You might not want to with the fatige, but maybe something less strenuous but completely indulgent would help.

    Hang in there, it’ll be over soon and this month will quickly become a faded memory.

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