baby proof: slowing down.

May 6, 2014

viburnum There’s a game that I play on the sidewalk where I set my sights on someone ahead of me and see if I can reach a milestone ahead of both of us before they do. It sounds more cutthroat than it really is. Mostly, I just like to get where I’m going, fast. — If you listened to the interview I posted last week, you might recall that I described pregnancy as mostly feeling like business as usual.

[Pause for laughter].

Oh, the joys of the second trimester. The exhaustion and queasiness of the first trimester had already been forgotten and the unknowable aches and stretches of the third trimester were nowhere to be seen. There was an expanding belly and some minor quandaries about what in my limited wardrobe I could still wear, but life did pretty much feel the same as usual.

At 35 weeks pregnant today, I can safely say that there’s not much about this stage of pregnancy that feels like business as usual. And mostly, there’s a need to dial back and take things slowly.

But slowing down is harder than I thought it would be. I’m not someone who thrives on stress. I’m a believer in systems and strategy that might require an extra step or two to accomplish, but that also provide a framework for attainable goals, minus the panic. For me, an all-nighter means a night when I don’t wake up once to go to the bathroom. But before just a few weeks ago, I didn’t fully appreciate how much I was trying to cram into my waking hours. How few moments I left for taking the slow kind of walks that help balance out all the speed walking or how many times in a day I let work and responsibilities trump rest and conversation and nourishment of both the physical and emotional varieties.

I’m not having a difficult pregnancy, I’m just pregnant. Which means that continuing at breakneck speed isn’t possible. And so I’m trying, trying to keep that in mind. To turn off my computer. To not treat every email like a ticking time bomb that needs my immediate attention. When I’m working, I’m very much working, but when I’m resting, I’m very much needing to rest.

I think it’s a reminder that pregnant or not we’re likely all trying to do too much all of the time….

*Related: The Korean spice viburnum is in bloom along the Promenade and not taking the time to go sniff it is tantamount to a criminal act. Roses, move over: stop and smell the viburnum.

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15 Comments

  • Reply Karen - Quilts...etc. May 6, 2014 at 1:24 pm

    I bet it sure is nice not to have to climb down that loft ladder to run to the bathroom 2 or 3 times a night now that you are 35 weeks along! so glad you were able to find a new place – enjoy your blog,

  • Reply Anna May 6, 2014 at 1:34 pm

    I hope you can find some time to slow down and enjoy just being or relaxing or doing things just for yourself. I miss that part of life before baby, but now we have a new rhythm and balance of slowing down and letting go of some things and speeding up with others.

  • Reply Erin Smith May 6, 2014 at 1:51 pm

    That sounds like a smart approach. And I play that game, too!

  • Reply DontBlameTheKids May 6, 2014 at 2:03 pm

    Yes, yes, yes. I was fortunate to be pregnant with my first baby during my third year of law school. It sounds terrible, but the school schedule allowed for naps, which I missed very much during my second pregnancy–napping is frowned upon when you're a lawyer. But I also took very long walks with both pregnancies, because that was the only exercise I did.

  • Reply Mary Schaubert May 6, 2014 at 3:37 pm

    I am SO THERE. I'm 34 1/2 weeks, and I'm just now starting to get frustrated with my inability to function as I was before. No regular yoga classes, walks are like 30 minutes because that's how long I can manage to go without having to pee, and I walk at the pace of a snail. Everything makes me tired….and yeah, I feel kinda huge and unwieldy in general. I was a little stubborn about being willing to submit to all the things pregnant women whine about – actually, it's kind of funny, this is my last week of working in the office (I'll work from home starting next week) and I was mid-meltdown when I clicked through to this post. This was just what I needed to read…a little commiseration and also a reminder that I'm not having a difficult pregnancy, I'm just pregnant.

  • Reply Christina Johnston May 6, 2014 at 4:17 pm

    This was a beautifully written piece, one that also came at just the right time. I'm 36 weeks pregnant today and have been feeling much of the same way. It was nice and almost comforting to know there is someone out there going through the same changes. Thank you for this today and congratulations!! Also- I just love that you are calling your baby Junebug πŸ™‚

  • Reply Tal Shifriss May 6, 2014 at 4:59 pm

    Two weeks behind you and feel exactly the same. Love reading your blog. Slow down, but don't stop πŸ™‚

  • Reply Rebecca May 6, 2014 at 5:04 pm

    A wonderful post. It's nice to hear you're slowing down and stopping to smell the viburnum. It's one of my favourite Spring blooms. Wishing you peace and calm for the next few weeks. Rebecca

  • Reply Kari May 6, 2014 at 5:47 pm

    My doctor told me that the need to slow down, and the getting up in the night, were practice for after the baby was born. Huh! Such truth.

  • Reply Carol May 6, 2014 at 11:02 pm

    "I'm a believer in systems and strategy that might require an extra step or two to accomplish, but that also provide a framework for attainable goals, minus the panic." i so agree. last-minute panic doesn't motivate me, it paralyzes me! can you share about what you're planning re: work/baby/life balance in the months after baby? would be interested to hear!

  • Reply The Collector May 7, 2014 at 4:55 am

    What a positive reminder for rest and nourishment, during pregnancy, and at all times. So inspiring to hear from successful people such as yourself. I wish more people would speak up about this. It's healthy! x

  • Reply Kristina May 7, 2014 at 5:12 am

    Oh yes, we ARE all trying to do to much all the time. I'm not pregnant but I feel I'm racing all the time, trying to cram as much into my days as I possibly can. It's so hard to slow down. Better it be pregnancy than burn-out that forces you to πŸ˜‰ Have a good time resting!

  • Reply Anonymous May 7, 2014 at 3:41 pm

    am sure that you have heard this from others, but "labor" is just that….and the more rested you are going into it, the better. lovely blog, btw.

  • Reply Vanessa May 7, 2014 at 7:03 pm

    Ha! I do the fast walking game also. I thought it was just me πŸ™‚

  • Reply SarahCatherine May 8, 2014 at 1:21 am

    "For me, an all-nighter means a night when I don't wake up once to go to the bathroom."

    Ha. Love the mix of humor and wisdom in each post.

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