Monday, August 19, 2013

Still going strong

I've now reached 28 weeks of pregnancy, which is the start of the third trimester. I'm getting huge. Like, hippopotamus huge, at least in the middle. Seriously. I found the picture I took at week 18, then compared it to the one I took yesterday. I'm about twice as big as I was. And it's making things more difficult, there's no doubt about it. I count the small victories now, such as being able to put on my own socks. Shaving my legs. Grabbing a bowl from a high cabinet. (You'd be amazed how much a baby belly gets in the way of that last one, especially if you're short like me.) I'm taking solace in these small victories because, really, that's what I have left to hang onto as I go into the home stretch. As easy as my pregnancy has been, I can't wait to get my body back. I don't mean my figure, I mean my body. It really does feel sometimes as if I've been invaded by a little parasite which has taken over. It's making my body do strange things which I have no control over. I want to feel like me again.
I do have a couple of large victories, however, that surpass all the others: at 28 weeks, I'm still using walking and biking as my main forms of transportation. Yes, it's getting harder. But not as bad as I feared, at least for walking. I honestly thought that biking would be a bit easier but it's the little things which I didn't anticipate that are turning out to be the biggest problems. Such as the fact that my bike is made for me to lean forward. Normally, this is quite comfortable. Now, however, it makes me feel like I'm being slowly suffocated because my belly pushes up and cramps my lungs even more. So I spend a lot of time with just my fingers gripping the bike handles, palms pushed away to give me just a little bit of extra room. It's either that or lower my bike seat, which would make pedaling that much harder, because my handlebars don't move.
I'm also paranoid about my safety when it comes to biking. I'll see a bump in the bike path and end up thinking, "If I got tossed off my bike there, I would almost certainly land there, and at the very least it would break my arm...." A bit of this is because my balance is off (that tends to happen when your center of gravity suddenly shifts) so I need to assess risks in a different way, but also partly because I understand how bad a fall would be for both of us right now. It's the constant knowledge that my safety means her safety too.
Finally, the biggest challenge is simply to not overdo things. I'm used to having a certain amount of stamina, to doing a lot in a day and not having it really slow me down. I can't do that anymore. I spent Saturday in a flurry of activity: getting chores done around the house, running errands with a friend, yoga, taking the dog for a walk, biking first to a restaurant and then to a friend's house for birthday celebrations, and not biking home until around 1a.m. Even though I got a lot of deep sleep that night (I slept until 10:00), and despite taking naps on both Saturday and Sunday, I spent all of Sunday feeling sluggish. I just didn't want to do anything. Other than taking the dog for a short walk (about ten minutes) and finishing filling the dishwasher, I really didn't do anything all day except lie around and read. Even so, the exhaustion has carried over into today. Although, that might be more because the dog kept waking me up last night than for any other reason.
I am pleased by what I got accomplished on Saturday, though. Among other things, I froze some more local food for winter. I bought two bunches of celery at the farmer's market (comparable prices, better taste, compared to store-bought) on Saturday morning so those got chopped up, blanched, and frozen. This makes life so much easier over the winter. When we need celery, rather than buying one bunch from the store (which will most likely start to go bad before it gets used anyway) we can just dump what we need straight from the freezer bag into the dish. I'll do the same thing with carrots (there weren't many at the market yet) and combine the two in a few cases so that I have what I call my mirepoix starter kit. A little work now to reduce stress and work in the future. I know we'll be especially glad of this once baby arrives.
I also bought two large zucchinis, adding them to the one L gave me on Friday evening, so that I can shred and freeze those in 1 cup portions. It's crazy to me that I actually had to buy zucchini this year, for the first time in four years. But you do what you gotta do. My own squash plants are just starting to put things out, just in time for the frosts to start. (Any day now.) I've got one itty bitty pumpkin, one small zucchini, and three small yellow squashes all just starting. I think I'll move them all inside after the first frost, so that I can at least get my small harvest of them.

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