It’s summer alright
So, today I learned another thing about pregnancy: doing the Bay Walk in thirty degree heat will, in fact, lead to pretty severe heat stroke.
Let me back up a bit – after swimming at Balmoral Beach the other day, although using those muscles I haven’t used in months meant I was aching the whole day after, I felt absolutely incredible. After the swim it really dawned on me how strong, fit, healthy and physically ready I want to be for the birth of my son.
This morning, Pete got out of bed early to do some work in the garage before it got too hot and my thinking was that while he worked, I would take myself on my favourite walk. It was still pretty early in the day and the Bay Walk is along the water and I wanted to feel good and move my body and be outdoors.
There was no breeze today, none.
The morning seemed to bring with it about three extra degrees every time I took a step.
Little man has dropped further into position, readying himself for birth, which means that he is extremely heavy.
And my fingers swelled to the point where there was no space in between them and I could barely hold my phone in my fat grip.
I got about halfway around the seven kilometre walk and thought to myself, “I can’t do this.” My breathing was laboured and the amount of energy that it took to carry me each step I doubted could last for another three and a bit kilometres. I focused on my breathing and pictured the feeling or the air conditioning hitting my face once I made it (hopefully) back to my car. I took slower steps and kept at that pace while my feet started to swell in my shoes. The sun was relentless as I realised how little shade there is along the Bay Walk.
Whenever people ask me how I am handling summer and the heat so far the best way that I have managed to describe it is that it feels as though I am hot from the inside out. That sentence could not have been more true today as I trudged slowly along the walk while trying to remain positive and breathe and remind myself that I am doing something good and active and healthy for me and my child.
Strangely though, I wasn’t sweating. My organs felt as though they had melted and evaporated, but I wasn’t perspiring.
Eventually I made it back to my car – swollen, disorientated and thirsty – and it was only once I sat down and started driving that the sweat started pouring from every single part of my body. On the walk, my face got re-burnt and was luminescent and glowing fro the heat. I looked an absolute treat. When I got to the cafe, Mum took one look at me and said, “Let me get you some iced water,” which I downed, and then another and another. I sat down and tried to breathe slowly to try and regulate my temperature, but as I began to cool down (marginally), I realised how faint and nauseas and ill I felt (and still feel as I type this).
It was too hot for me to be out there today.
Yesterday morning I did the grocery shopping and meandered around the shopping centre for a little bit. When I got home, I made Pete and I breakfast and conceded that it was too hot for me to do anything outdoors. Today is the same. I knew that it was already too late in the day and too hot for me to do a walk, let alone a seven kilometre one, but I can’t help but feel a little out of sorts. It’s summer and normally I would be relaxing with my friends and family over cocktails and cheeseboards and spending my time in the sun, but that just isn’t possible. And more than that, it’s dangerous. I feel so fatigued from the walk and so nauseas that once again, I have been usurped of all of my energy – and what little energy I have I am using to stay awake and type this.
I’m still not used to the fact that I can’t do even the simple things that I am used to doing. And to be honest, even though I have zero energy and being out in the sun just is not an option, I feel guilty and lazy to just be sitting and trying to stay cool. And I know that that is ridiculous, I need to keep myself safe and hydrated and rested for Bub, but I can’t help but feel that I should be doing something – cleaning, baking, writing, anything!
I feel awful that I put myself in the position that I did today. I wanted to prove to myself and to Pete that I was doing all of the right things – I was exercising and keeping fit and doing everything I can to look and feel like myself again. Instead, I feel awful. I feel sick and I put myself in danger. It may seem as though I am being morose or dramatic, but I cannot stress to you fellow pregnant mamas how important it is to completely surrender at this stage. I need to take that advice as well. Nothing will fit you properly, your swimmers will look foreign on your beautiful, plump body, you will be desperate to feel like yourself again, you will want to do all of the things that you normally do, you will be well and truly over feeling heavy and hot, and you will feel unattractive and as if you are a stranger to yourself. Or maybe you won’t feel any of those things. But I do, and I promise you that the only thing to do is to make peace with the fact that you are in the final stages of growing an ENTIRE human – do you know how fucking boss that is? So what if my legs have lost some of their muscles, I know that I will get it back when Bub is born. So what if I can’t go and go and go all day, soon enough I will be back at work and wishing that I had some downtime. And yeah, so what if I spend a few minutes lusting over my clothes aching to be able to wear them once more.. in just over a month, I will be able to.
So I implore you – look beyond what your ego is demanding of you. Be healthy and stay fit in whatever way your body allows you to. For me, I think that means swimming in our family friend’s pool and retreating to the shade (and then repeating nine or ten times).