36 Weeks: Permission to Rest

One month left; the countdown has begun.


In truth, this pregnancy as been remarkably easy (if you exclude the first trimester), especially when I compare it to my first two. I attribute that to my commitment to running and staying active throughout. It’s amazing how much better I felt, and how much the common and irritating pregnancy symptoms just weren’t really bugging me. Don’t get me wrong, I’m incredibly grateful for a healthy and uncomplicated pregnancy. I know not everyone is able to exercise throughout pregnancy due to complications, and that some women struggle with symptoms. And you know what? It’s our goal as moms to have a healthy baby, and that is the priority.

With all that being said, I hereby give myself permission to rest.

I had been cruising along, feeling great. Perhaps I was a bit too smug, because it seemed like the moment I hit 36 weeks, a switched turned off. The fatigue hit, the backaches arrived, the inability to get a decent night’s sleep hovered. Basically, I’m not very pleasant to be around.

I don’t say all this as an excuse to stop exercising. On the contrary, I need to make it more of a priority. Not to the same intensity, but still get my walk/runs (yeah, it’s way more walking than running), weight training, and yoga in. This past week I started slacking – you know, right around the same time the third trimester symptoms got bad. (Maybe there’s a connection there?) I also need to refocus my diet. We’ve had two birthdays in this house in the past two weeks, plus a surprise little “baby shower” from my class which translates to sugar and junk that doesn’t really benefit me or baby.

Just a little gift from my class.

Is it any surprise that I’ve been feeling crappy? Not enough exercise + poor diet = not a happy pregnant lady. Time to regroup.

As I ride out this last month, I intend to focus on the following which will hopefully allow for a happier final month:

  1. Continue exercising: Even if it’s just for 15 minutes. Even if I’m already tired. I’ve made it this far, and keeping my strength up in the last month will be incredibly beneficial to me. I know this. My runs are slowing to walks, and my weights are becoming lighter, but that doesn’t matter. I just need to keep it up.
  2. Refocus my diet: No more birthday cake! (Luckily that’s all gone, but we still have 2 quarts of ice cream. Sigh.) Especially as I run out of room in my tummy, I need to fill what little room there is with quality food. This is so important for my energy levels and my mood.
  3. Rest: This needs to become a priority, not just a luxury. I can’t perform my best as a wife, mother, and teacher (for the few days I have remaining before maternity leave) if I’m constantly rundown. I think it’s hard for many of us to stop and relax, take a nap, or just do nothing. Especially when we think about all the stuff we want to get done before baby arrives. Go to bed early. Take an afternoon nap. Put your feet up and shut your eyes for 10 minutes. The dishes will get done, the house can be a little messy, laundry will still be there. Make rest a priority. The last month is hard! I’m not saying ignore everything that you need to do, but making time to rest will allow your body the necessary break it needs. It’s working really hard! So make the time.

Hopefully, with these three things in mind, I can finish out this pregnancy “marathon” strong. The last month is a test in patience, endurance, and mental strength. We can do it! The finish line is almost here!

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