Taking Peeper to the Tulip Fest outside Woodburn earlier this week was wonderful (more on that later!), but it carried a very unwelcome realization: I’m getting too pregnant to continue doing everything I want to.
When lifting my 20-some-pound toddler off a swing at the festival, I pulled some of the round ligaments in my belly, the muscles that stretch to accommodate my soccer ball-sized uterus. On top of that discomfort, I felt crummy and overextended the rest of the day—a condition not helped by Peeper’s skipped nap. (Ugh, why won’t this child sleep in the car like a normal kid?)
I was utterly spent. The exhaustion I felt by the end of the day plus recalling that I’m mere weeks away from my third trimester overwhelmed me. What’s more, a good friend was recently put on bed rest when her baby tried to make a very early appearance, which pushed me to consider the possibility we could have an early bird, too.
So though I’m still rocking the ease of the second trimester, I need to scale back a bit. That is not easy. Take, for example, the afternoon after the Tulip Fest.
While Peeper filled her wooden push cart with dolls and stuffed animals, I lay down on my side on the carpet, trying to snatch a quick rest while she was occupied. Almost instantly, she ran over to me, threw her body on top of mine and rolled off, giggling. The WWE move became her new favorite game. And later, when I just. couldn’t. anymore, I popped in Disney’s Cinderella, hoping for a moment or two of respite. In reality, the movie bought me precisely eight minutes of quiet—which I spent making her dinner.
Beyond wrangling a toddler with boundless energy, it’ll be a challenge limiting my own commitments. As a freelance writer, my income is erratic and largely dependent on hustle. So it’s not only difficult to turn down an assignment; it’s scary. After all, I’ll need to take time off once Kiwi is born, so we’ll need a financial cushion to last us through those newborn months when income is scarcer. Trying to stockpile savings when I’m already, ahem, spent is not the most far-sighted strategy, but still.
These limitations also come when my nesting instincts and baby to-do lists are pushing me to do it all! Put up shelves! Print and frame photos! Go through Peeper’s baby clothes! Research baby monitors! Sew that baby quilt!
I know I’ll have to set aside many of these aspirations. If this pregnancy is like my first, I’ll spend much of the third trimester with
morning all-day sickness—a lovely addition to feeling like someone stuck in one of those inflatable sumo wrestling outfits you see at the state fair.
Being pregnant while I have a toddler is no easy task, and despite my body utterly wearing out some days, I still want to take her on walks and wrestle and throw her into the air—not to mention put food on the table and work and snuggle my dog and support my husband etc., etc.
How to do all these things and still be a good mother to this unborn child growing inside me?
Besides finding my own fairy godmother, is there some magical way to bippity-boppity-boo my to-do list away, or at least occupy my toddler while I mellow out my activity level? If you have kids, what advice can you share?