So many seemingly simple activities of daily life are taken for granted by non-pregnants (yes, I just turned that into a noun). It isn’t until you become a third-trimester-pregnant that you realize and appreciate how easy your life was before. Forget about the big things; I’m talking about the daily life tasks that for most people take little to no effort but for women like me, they take every ounce of our exhausted, swollen, starving because we can’t eat more than a few bites, bodies to accomplish.
1. Putting on shoes
I’m a personal trainer, and I consider myself pretty fit. But you certainly couldn’t tell that by how difficult it is for me to put on shoes these days. Slip on shoes — no problem. I’m talking about shoes with some assembly required, so basically as I’ve come to realize, all of the shoes I own.
First I have to get the shoes out of the shoe closet, which is a task in and of itself because the organization of the shoe closet is essentially every shoe that my entire family owns thrown into one big pile in the closet.
After the shoes have been successfully retrieved (with the first sweat already appearing on my brow), I walk over to one of the floor cushions or the Bosu ball in our living room. My attempt to gracefully lower myself to the floor turns into a not so graceful plop.
Then I pretzel twist my body into a variety of positions to get the shoes on and tie them or fasten the straps.
By this time I’m exhausted and I still have to get up. I like to channel those hilarious men in the gym lifting weights by grunting as loud as I can as I struggle to stand.
Finally the shoes are on. I can’t see my feet, but I’m pretty sure they’re on and fingers crossed they match the outfit I’ve managed to wiggle my body into.
2. Falling asleep
I’m tired all day; at times it’s hard to keep my eyes open. Then when I finally crawl into bed after the three-hour process of putting my toddler to bed, I can’t fall asleep.
Ever been so tired and so awake at the same time? I am every night. Then once my mind manages to calm the *bleep* down, my precious alien princess fetus decides it’s time to party. No third trimester fetus party would be complete without a few kicks to the ribs and at least one to the cervix for good measure.
3. Turning over in bed
Non-pregnants toss and turn in bed throughout the night without any effort at all. Must be nice for y’all.
Meanwhile, I’m the beached whale over here desperately trying to turn over because my entire side is numb. I try and try and try … sometimes actually succeeding. But when I do flip, I remember my toddler climbed into my bed and since I don’t have a belly shield to protect his unborn sister from his ninja kicks, I begin the long process of flipping back over to the numb side.
4. Eating a normal-sized meal
Oohh a sandwich — that sounds good. Non-pregnants eat the sandwich, enjoy it, and usually even have room for something else like fruit, chips, or a salad.
Third-trimester-pregnants take two bites and immediately feel stuffed. Like after Thanksgiving dinner stuffed. Unable to move or do anything stuffed. This feeling remains for a good couple of hours until, without any warning, we’re STARVING. There’s no in-between. Stuffed or starving, that’s it.
Just finished the sandwich when you’re starving, you say. We don’t want the sandwich anymore. The sandwich is disgusting now. We need something else. Something that requires a trip to the store or takeout from a restaurant. NOW!
5. Getting into and out of a public restroom stall
Much like my 2-year-old, I’m not a big fan of public restrooms. But given that in my current state I find myself needing to use them multiple times every day, I have a newfound appreciation for them. I’d appreciate them a lot more if it weren’t so difficult to actually get inside of the stall.
When nature calls and I’m out in public, I sigh and roll my eyes. I can’t even help it anymore — it’s become an automatic reflex because I know what’s about to happen:
I enter the restroom and stand in front of the stall.
I take a deep breath to brace myself.
Imagine Catherine Zeta-Jones from Entrapment as she twists and turns her body to avoid the lasers. That’s me trying to get inside of the stall, except I can’t seem to avoid the lasers and instead of looking hot in a jumpsuit, I’m a hot mess in my pregnancy leggings with dried peanut butter from my toddler all over my legs.
Maybe I should start using urinals.
6. Being around anything with a scent
Take a deep breath. What a gift it is to have a sense of smell. A gift for you … a curse for me.
When you’re pregnant everything smells. Everything. And that’s not usually a good thing. Things that once smelled good to you can all of a sudden repulse you when you’re pregnant. Things that you didn’t even know had a scent all of a sudden have the strongest, most disgusting scent ever.
You know those water filter pitchers? Those don’t smell like anything you say. WRONG! They smell so repulsive that I had to remove it from the fridge and the only acceptable form of water for me right now is bottled water.
Am I looking forward to being a non-pregnant again? You bet. Do I think that my life will be easier? HA! This isn’t my first rodeo; as moms of two, three, four children know … when you have young children, the struggle is always real.