Third Trimester: Monitoring and Adjusting Accordingly

I have dropped some balls during the last couple of months.  If my husband was here, he would very kindly tell me that it is not true; he doesn't like to hear me critical of my own accomplishments (or lack thereof).

But here I am, deep into my third trimester, and still so much unfinished business!  After our period of extended waiting came to an abrupt end, my husband's few days in the Gulf of Mexico in May turned into three weeks, followed by forty-eight hours at home, and now over a month in Indonesia, with the return date still fuzzy but possibly occurring in mid-July.  All of that is helpful from a financial point of view, but less so from a physical and sometimes emotional point of view.  Who knew that the end of pregnancy was so tricky?  Obviously lots of people, but not me; I can't say that I had a full understanding.  Seeing other people do something, and then doing it oneself are two very different animals.

I have had many kind offers of assistance, and it's not that any particular one thing is impossible, yet.  But everything is just slower and clumsier.  I have only one speed, and it is not the one to which I am accustomed.  It takes longer to get dressed and get organized.  I have to take breaks and put my feet up a lot, otherwise I morph into Shrek from the hips to my toes; it seems I'm one of the lucky ones who experiences edema (significant swelling of the legs and feet).  These are small things and I am grateful to not have other more severe concerns, but these things also mean that my high hopes for getting lots done before this little guy comes into the world have been edited to a more moderate altitude.

I was not a particularly gifted teacher.  Most of us that have tried teaching are not.  Like any profession, many of us were fine, having some good days, occasional great days, some bad days and lots of average days in the middle.  Lesson planning was not an area of strength for me, but on the other hand, I was usually adept at changing the course of the lesson on the fly if I could see that the students were not with me.  The education term for this technique was 'monitor and adjust' and it was something that came naturally to me from the beginning.  What's funny to me now is how much I need that skill in my daily non-teaching life.

We have to monitor our home life and adjust plans regularly, as the course of my husband's career takes unexpected turns.  I have had to monitor the impact of all of that on my own goals and adjust my decisions accordingly.  And this year, we have had to monitor our expectations for happiness, togetherness, parenthood, and financial health and adjust appropriately.  The outcomes and structure of the next couple of years are still fuzzy, but our emotional health so far remains firmly intact.  Luckily this feels like a winning adjustment.

In the meantime, some of my other activities have been monitored and largely forsaken as a result of adjusting to the limitations of late pregnancy.  One example is shaving.  Sorry if this is T.M.I. to any male readers out there, but how would you like to shave your face if you couldn't reach it or see it?  I haven't given up all the way, but I can tell that my days are numbered.  Another activity is cleaning the still happens, but very gradually, in stages.  Sitting at the dinner table or in a restaurant for very long is also getting very uncomfortable.  According to the medical people in my life, when I'm sitting up with my feet on the floor, my baby, bless his sweet soul, is cutting off the blood supply that is trying to flow back up from my legs to my heart, which is what causes the extreme Shrek-style foot and ankle swelling.  Traveling is definitively out these days, as is sitting in the sun, which also triggers the swelling switch.  

One more activity has had to be adjusted, but not necessarily just because of the pregnancy...I have slowed down a little on the bread and cooking goals for the year (I was aiming for one new loaf a week and one new recipe a week).  Turns out that being home alone with a lot of baked goods and cooked food just leads to me eating more than I should and to running out of room in the freezer.  I'm still cooking, but I just had to slow it down and not worry about it for a bit while I caught up.  Now that things are kind of caught up, it might be time to start cooking again to make a supply of meals for when we first bring the baby home.

So have I dropped some balls, or just made some appropriate adjustments?  Not sure.  But I can say that now that I'm finally putting together the nursery, there are some sewing projects for the baby that are behind schedule.  Will they get finished?  I don't know.  If they don't, I'm sure the baby and I will both adjust accordingly.