Anyone who truly knows me --- knows I’m busy.
When I met Will I was working an office job 8-4, a restaurant gig from 4:30 to 11 and I had just wrapped up a charity theater performance in Yonkers.
If we hung out on a weekday it was in the city after my Monday singing lesson.
If we met on a weekend it was for coffee after my Saturday double shift.
Sleep was a rarity, food was an afterthought and my body somehow miraculously kept up.
Now I’m lucky if I can make it through a supermarket without needing to sit down. And unfortunately, I’ve spent much of my pregnancy in solid denial of this fact.
Last weekend is a prime example. Will and I had a list of to-do’s and decided we’d knock them out in one day. The itinerary seemed simple enough: Home Depot, Home Goods, Michael’s and Kohl’s. This would have been child’s play to pre-pregnancy Alex. Which is probably why Will was shocked when I had to tap out only half way through our journey.
“Will, I think I’m done.” I panted; bent lifelessly over the cashier counter.
“Oh come on!” he joked. “Just two more stores! You can make it.”
“No – I’m sorry – I can’t. I can’t take another step. My legs are killing me.”
The cashier smiled with acknowledgement. Will now had an audience to play to and he knew it.
“WELL! You had no problem asking me to carry a bench from one side of the store to the other.”
The cashier giggled. As to not make him look bad I played along.
“First of all, no you didn’t.” I laughed. “And second of all, I’m just really tired babe. I’m sorry.”
Once in the parking lot I burst into tears. Will was flabbergasted. He had no idea his harmless jokes had hurt me so badly. The truth is I wasn’t angry with him – I was embarrassed and frustrated with myself. I couldn’t believe I had set us up to fail so spectacularly.
Rationally, I know this exhaustion is a function of my pregnancy weight; that my body will return and with it - my tolerance for a fast-paced life. But for now, pregnancy is an exercise in slowing down and taking care of me.
Since the events of retail-gate I’ve taken a pregnant pause. I’m saying no to things I can’t do and factoring more down time into my personal routine. When baby Jesus grants me a burst of nesting energy I take full advantage by cooking a couple meals ahead or pushing through the laundry a day early. But when my body says ‘stop’ – I do. Because I have one job right now; and that’s getting me and my son out of this thing alive.
Frankly, everything else can wait.