It's been tough lately watching my strength, endurance and general physical ability go downhill. I'm a small person, and despite being in good shape and being fairly strong for my size, it's always been frustrating when I couldn't do things on my own. I was infamous at my old job for always being the girl running around the arena with a cart full of heavy boxes, moving them from the loading dock to storage, and although it wasn't a fun part of the job, I did take some pride in being able to do things like that...and it used to kill me when something was too heavy for me to move myself.
Now that I'm pregnant, I'm running into obstacles like that more and more. Originally it was just an energy thing, but now it's turning into a physical issue on top of it. My energy is ok now, but I will say that the physical thing can be a bit draining mentally after a while. For example, earlier in the week my belly was feeling really tight. It wasn't pain, exactly, but it was almost like the muscles were a little fatigued from carrying around the extra bulk...and although that fatigue didn't directly affect my energy level, constantly feeling that tightness made me feel a little worn out.
This week I really started noticing how quickly I wear out these days. As I've mentioned, I've been working out this whole time. The class that I attend once a week got me into shape a few years ago, and I've been using it to keep me active during this pregnancy. I knew that at some point I'd have to modify it a bit, which I have. I now take more breaks, do more stretching, and do my chest exercises from an exercise ball rather than flat on my back. It takes a lot of restraint to hold back, but like my instructor says, "Don't be a hero!" This week specifically, I noticed that I couldn't do something that I could do (albeit briefly) last week. A plank is an exercise where you hold yourself up on your elbows and toes while keeping your back flat, in essence making your body flat like a plank of wood. It takes a lot of ab strength, and I have stopped doing abs, so I knew eventually they would get hard. Last week I couldn't hold myself up for long, but this week I couldn't do it at all...it felt like my stomach was just pulling me down to the floor. A difference like that within just a week was a little scary. I know I will have to give it up fairly soon, but I think I'm going to still go to the gym at that time and do cardio or something, just to stay in the social circle of the class. They're a good group of people.
Then last night I put together a new dresser for Craig, one that's helping to make room in our office for a guest bed. I know that furniture assembly isn't exactly an easy task for even the most normal people, but man, did I get worn out. I was very ready for bed when it was done. Weekends are actually tough for me these days, because it's a delicate balance between productivity and boredom. If I try to do stuff, it's easy to get tired out. If I spend too much time on the couch, I feel like a lazy blob. Back in the days when I worked weekends, I got used to having to fit all of my weekend tasks into a day, or just an afternoon. It's tough to get out of that mode, but I am getting better at it. I try to split up things across days, or even weekends, to at least give myself a few hours of nothing at home here and there. I'll get over the lack of productivity feeling at some point, but when it comes to baby stuff, time is limited so I can't get too relaxed!
Long story short, I am still catching myself before I get too wiped out, so don't worry. But it's tough knowing you can't rely on your energy or abilities to be what they were just a few months or weeks ago...and that it's only going to get worse. Like everything else in this experience, it's just a temporary inconvenience and will all be worth it in the long run, but it's definitely taking some adjustment.