I’ve reached the grunt stage in my pregnancy when bending down, putting on shoes and other previously facile tasks are becoming extremely arduous and have a guaranteed (if involuntary) sonic accompaniment, which I imagine is akin to a hippo getting up from lying down on its back. Since I am always chasing around my son, sometimes because hearing him laugh when I do is the best feeling in the whole world but mostly because I am saving him from impending grievous harm or a possible fatality as well as simply accomplishing what must be done without easy access to a teleporter (oh, how I wish I could order one and on Amazon Prime!) such as carrying him when he refuses to me (yes, even up the four flights of stairs when no amount of Elmo bargaining will work), the grunts are pretty frequent so that if I were in an Homeric poem, “she of the grunting bursts” would be my epithet.
I’m also waking up to a buzzing mental alarm at 5.45 each day, just when my son is sleeping a little longer. By the end of the evening - particularly when I have to put him to bed alone - my mental capacity is skeletal at best. I’ve read that the inability to sleep is meant to be ease us into nursing and caring for our soon to come baby and change our brain patterns to slow us down into our more natural rhythm. Does everyone have the same natural rhythm? My natural rhythm is a peripatetic frenzy, so this is quite unnatural for me. However, while I am still trying to get as much done as I can before baby is born (taking appropriate time for baby and me time - swimming, yoga and baths! otherwise, I would probably go insane), this time I am determined to attempt to take a break for 40 days. This is not only meant to be a spiritual time, but I’ve accepted it is required for the body to rest. For first time mums, if no one has shared this piece of info with you - be aware - the first 2 weeks you may find it difficult to walk. In the first week you may find yourself needing to just be in bed and going to the bathroom is a process to say the least (witch hazel was my best friend at that time). As sexy as granny pants may be (yes, I’ve also reached the stage in my pregnancy when my undies are bigger than some of my pre-pregnancy shirts), you can look forward to adult diapers as your uterus flushes it all out (or compensates for the 9 month break you thought you were lucky to have without a period). That was the best piece of advice my good friend gave me right before I gave birth and I would believe that it would universally apply - after all, pads are insufficient and who in their right mind- even aside from the patent health dangers- would want to use a tampon after giving birth?
While I know I must rest more than I did - albeit in truth part of getting back into the grind was due to circumstances above my control- I don’t trust myself. So I have asked my husband to ensure that I do not sneak work in during the 40 days and to try and sleep during the day and will appropriately scribble the rule in big block letters on offensively colored paper which I will stick to multiple places on the fridge to attract my attention and keep me in line. At least this time I’m not leading a multi-plaintiff litigation against opposing counsel that had a religious fervor respecting holidays but pressured me against taking maternity leave. Oh, and we’re not moving out of state - last time we had the brilliant timing of moving from NY to SF within 3 months of Luca’s birth. If you’re thinking of a big move, I suggest not doing it with a newborn, particularly your first. One grenade going off in your life will be plenty to challenge your faculties.