The final few weeks of pregnancy are a lot like that iconic end scene in ’90s kid flick Free Willy, when the whale FINALLY makes his big bid for freedom.
The end is in sight. There’s excitement mixed with trepidation. You can cut the tension with a knife. You’re watching the screen silently cheering; “COME ON you giant chunk of killer mammal, you break out of those shackles and be free!”
Right now, I am 36 weeks into my third pregnancy. I’m waddling towards that rocky outcrop and can almost feel the currents that whisper; ‘soon you’ll be able to tie your own shoes again,’ on the other side.
But I’m not quite there yet. There’s still what seems to be 7000 days to go with a belly that appears to grow bigger every time I so much as look at a piece of food (which I admit is probably 7-10 times an hour). Because of said belly, advanced stage of pregnancy, legal requirements to feed and clothe two other children, there’s a whole bunch of stuff that’s been tossed straight into the ‘too hard’ basket of life. The tasks that I either cannot be effed doing or am physically incapable of managing due to my ever increasing girth.
There are the obvious things you can’t do while pregnant (drink, fly after 36 weeks, stunt helicopter piloting) then there are the less obvious but just as impossible tasks. This post is dedicated to those things.
1. Reach anything below your knees
Dropped a sock? Noticed a nasty ingrown hair lurking on your ankle? Forget about them both. They now exist in no-mans land, AKA the space between your knees and the floor that is impossible to access without one of those grabbing claws that both children and the elderly find useful. You CAN sometimes use a broom to push floor items to a higher and therefore more accessible position but it’s usually #toomucheffort. I use my children as often as possible to navigate that barren landscape.
2. Walk long distances
This may be more characteristic of second and third pregnancies but when you reach the point where you actually feel as if the baby will fall out of your vagina, should you walk too fast/sneeze too violently/perform any enthusiastic dance moves, walking long distances becomes all too hard. I’m currently struggling with the twice daily walk from the car to the school playground. In my head I expect cheers and maybe a few tears from onlookers for my efforts. This hasn’t happened as yet. But I still pat myself on the back (metaphorically) and whisper; “you’re doing great, just keep swimming,” every day.
3. Roll over in bed without considerable effort
This isn’t just reserved for the late stages of pregnancy but it certainly gets worse as time goes on. I suffer from Symphis Pubis Dysfunction which makes it feel as if a horse has kicked me in the groin, repeatedly. This delightful relaxing of the muscles and joints means I share the bed with multiple pillows and rolling over is akin to wrestling a crocodile; difficult, dangerous, slightly painful and often times sweaty and involving swearing.
4. Get up off the floor without assistance
Should you happen to need to get down on the floor, getting up again is challenging. If you happen to have a child who consistently manages to get a rock in their shoe every hour thus requiring on-floor assistance, you may spend a lot of time flat on your bum on the pavement. Try and position yourself nearish a wall so that you can use that to return to a standing position. If you husband is nearby, make them haul you to your feet. They may make a sound like a crane being reversed into position but try and ignore that and instead focus on just how much extra weight you can throw behind the punch in the arm you’ll give them once you’ve been righted.
5. Put your knickers on while standing up
Balance has never been my strong point but at 36 weeks pregnant, I pretty much suffer vertigo when standing still. Attempting to put on pants of any variety while remaining on foot is impossible and most likely dangerous. I now sit on the edge of the bed to get dressed. All I really need is the aforementioned grabber and I will have entered full geriatric territory.
6. Lean the whole way forward
I had a real dilemma the other night. The tomato sauce bottle was stuck, stranded, at the end of the couch. I needed said bottle for my fish and chips. Unfortunately, my belly was far, far too large for me to lean forward more than about 3cm without injury. There was much grunting. Fortunately, my son happened to wander into the room and was able to pass the sauce. A happy ending to my story of woe. Moral of the tale? Never place anything out of reach. Like the space between your knees and the floor, it’s a waste land.
7. Generate any actual care for pretty much anything
Maybe I’m alone in this but at this stage of pregnancy, my care factor has reached the zero f**ks given point. Yes, I have bolognese sauce spattered on my boob. No, I do not care. Yes, I have heard that Mary’s mum has sold eleventy billion dollars worth of school raffle tickets. No, I do not care. Yes, I am aware that I’ve brought my own chair to the park. No, I do not care. It’s quite a refreshing way to live, really! One thing I am motivated by? The desire to nest. Oh em gee am I loving it. Everything else however requires a hell of a lot of effort and generally some sweating.
For more tales from the pregnancy front line, check out the 8 Pregnancy Realities You’ll Never Forget