I usually don't think of myself as a prideful person, but I have realized in the last week or two that I am. I never before realized how much I prided in my health and in my usual high level of energy. I've never had any real health issues; the closest would be the asthma that I have nearly outgrown as an adult. But even as a kid that didn't keep me from doing very much as I wasn't all that athletic.
While I am thankful that I have nothing really wrong with me - I have had several family members and friends have serious problems over the last few years who have been forced to change their lives at least temporarily, and I am in no way comparing this to their situations - I have had to face the fact that I am not superwoman. Either because of the number of pregnancies I have had or because I'm (oh, and I really hate to even put this one into words) older than I was my first couple of pregnancies, my body is just not quite the same as it was. I can't push myself to the level of activity that I can sustain when I am not pregnant, or even that I could do when I was 24 and pregnant.
This may not seem like a big deal. So you're pregnant and you need to rest more, isn't that a given? Well, it probably should be, but you see, I hate weakness in myself. I like being the strong one. I hate being wrong (just ask my husband). I like my life ordered and in control, my control. And I've been in a mindset that I have to show everyone that I can keep up with my busy routines, with all my duties both real and self-imposed, and spit out babies as if it was no big deal. And I pretty much could in my 20's. But in the last few weeks, if I keep pushing myself like I normally do I end up paying for it. I crash into a tiredness so severe, you would think I had been drugged. It is almost impossible for me to move, and I'll be falling asleep as I'm talking to one of the girls. I have trouble getting the right words out when I talk. And when I get like this, I am pretty much useless for the rest of the day. The last time this happened I had had roughly 9 hours of sleep the night before, so it is not a lack of sleep issue.
These days have been occurring more often lately, a clear sign that I am finally heeding that I need to slow down some, and rest more until the baby is born. But this has been harder for me than I thought it would be, and it's all about pride. And it's humbling, both to realize that I am not as strong as I thought and that I was prideful about it and didn't even realize it. So I am trying to look at this as a good thing, as a reminder of where my strength really comes from, and Who holds my very life and the life of this baby in His hands.
On a practical level, my plan is to make myself sit down with my feet up during the girls' nap/reading time either reading or watching a movie, something relaxing. That's usually my time to hit the to-do list, to get many things done that I can't get done during the school morning. However, I am hoping that this interval will be enough to allow me to rest enough each day to keep from getting quite so tired. This means that I am probably going to have to postpone some things on my self-imposed to-do list. So I am trying to sort through priorities, and ask myself "what really has to be done?" I'm not saying this will be easy, but maybe by publicizing it, I'll be more likely to stick to it. Hopefully.
'Cause we all know I won't be getting much rest or sleep after the baby comes. :-)