Diary of a Preggo: On what it feels like to become helpless
Lately I've had a hard time putting my shoes on, painting my toenails, or even stepping into pant legs. My uterus will be the size of a basketball in about a week, and that makes my back less flexible and bending over uncomfortable. I find this particularly annoying, and again, a symptom that no one ever seemed to mention pre-preggo. Being that I'm 5 and a half weeks, that means this is going to get much worse as my baby grows. So I can totally picture having to ask my hubby to help me put my shoes on later on in pregnancy.
Which brings me to the current topic at hand. I really don't enjoy feeling helpless and not being able to do some of the things I did before. Sure, I always found it nice and manly when a guy would hold open a door for me or lift something heavy. But it was just that - nice. It excused me from having to exert myself. But in most cases, except when something is really heavy, I probably could have done it myself. I mean, a door? Sure. I haven't found one I can't open yet. But as I get further and further in my pregnancy my body just seems weaker, and I'm definitely more off balance. The other day I was carrying something and tried to open the door at the same time and I pulled something in my already-painful back. Yea, I know, that's pathetic, but it is reality now. Sometimes people jump to try and help me with things, and I feel bad or embarrassed. I'm finally coming to terms that I do need their help, though.
Let me give you one example. For work I had to visit and oversee the videotaped interview of a 95-year old priest. He is nearly blind and walks with a cane and asked for some help getting back to his office. Surely he couldn't tell I was pregnant, but that didn't matter as my head sometimes forgets that my body is not in the best shape to be helping people around. So of course I agreed. He placed his hand on top of my shoulder and put a suprisingly heavy amount of weight on me and my knees locked in disagreement. As I shuffled around a couple of corners toward his office I felt increasingly off-kilter and even ran into the corner of a table (ouch). I had pictures running through my head of me collapsing, along with that table and the poor blind priest. Lucky the man above was on his side and that didn't happen. But, that's what I get for trying to help out. Something like that would have been no problem pre-preggo!
Then yesterday, it was the first nice spring day and I was off work for Good Friday so I decided to take the dog around the lakes on campus. That was going to be my workout for the day so I thought I'd run around the lake once (1 mile) and then walk around it the second time. I didn't think much about the fact that pretty much my whole pregnancy, the little running I've been doing has been on a treadmill, which is very different than road running. I was just so happy to be able to run outside again, and I had one of those belly support belts so I thought it would be no problem. I started out fine, but towards the end my quads felt numb and my knees hurt bad. It's just a different type of impact and uses different muscles. Then when I got home and got in the shower, I looked down at my feet and they were all purple and veiny (sorry, gross). I was totally shocked and it freaked me out. That went away after a while but my ankles hurt and then when I went to the mall after, my feet hurt like crazy as if I'd been standing for ten hours. I decided I should either stick to the treadmill or at least work my way up again to road running slowly. I know eventually I will have to stick to power walking, but at least for now I'd like to continue running for as long as I can.
I guess the moral of the story here is that pregnancy is a total out-of-body experience. And it does make a woman completely helpless in some cases. I guess coming to terms with that is hard for me. I wanted to believe I'd be able to do everything I could do before, maybe just a bit slower. But I was wrong.
It's amazing how fast it's gone by. I am officially more than half of the way through, and before I know it, I will be holding my baby, rendering me even MORE helpless. So to those guys that hold doors and carry things, I say thank you. I need you now more than I ever thought I would. :)