The worst thing you can force a Type A person to do is…nothing. Type A people don’t do nothing, you see. We assess situations, we figure out solutions, and then we get things done. In high school, we stress over grades and college applications. If we play sports or participate in some other competitive activity, we spend vast amounts of time figuring out how to win. In college, we do every resume building activity possible.
What we do NOT do is nothing.
I started having issues with anemia the summer before my senior year of college. It made me chronically exhausted, but I was doing an internship in DC at the time and pushed through anyway. Once the school year started, I was working part time in addition to taking a full load of classes, being on the board of a service organization, and leading a prayer group on my hall. It ended up being way too much, and I had to drop some of my activities for the spring semester. Somehow I still managed to earn all A’s my senior year.
I got married the summer after I graduated. By then my health had started to improve slightly, much to my happiness. Having energy again was fantastic!
And then I got pregnant.
It’s pretty amazing that someone the size of a gummy bear can make you feel like you’ve been hit by a Mack truck, but that’s how it seems to work. During my first trimester, I would sleep for a completely reasonable amount of time at night and still need a nap during the day. My anemia reappeared during the second trimester, which meant that the “honeymoon trimester” and its accompanying burst of energy never happened. Now I’m in the third trimester, and the baby seems to have decided to be nocturnal.
Between being chronically exhausted and chronically nauseous, I haven’t been nearly as productive as I was before I was pregnant. For a long time, it drove me crazy. All my life, I’ve taken joy in getting things accomplished, and that came to a screeching halt.
It hasn’t been the easiest road, but now I’m down to the last 10 weeks of pregnancy and the end is in sight. Here are some things that have made my life easier during this phase of life:
- The freezer and the crockpot
These two items have become my best friends. I have good days and bad days with my energy levels, and I can never seem to predict which type a given day will be. When I have a good day, I try to do as much cooking ahead as possible. Particularly during the first trimester, freezer meals that could be prepared in the crockpot were a lifesaver. All I had to do was open the freezer, select a Ziploc bag, dump the contents into the crockpot, and let it cook all day. No standing over the stove and smelling food!
- Accepting help
I’ve always struggled with this one. I don’t want to be an inconvenience or a burden, so I try to do everything myself. However, this pregnancy has forced me to allow my husband to assist with some of the household tasks. It took swallowing my pride, but it was worth it.
- Remembering the big picture
As the saying goes, “this too shall pass.” So far no one has ever been pregnant forever, and it’s pretty unlikely that I’ll be the first person to break that streak. Little Bit, as I’ve affectionately nicknamed him, will come. When he does come, I’m sure I’ll be as tired as ever, but I’ll be happy too.
Productivity is more than a full planner or a completed checklist. It’s having an overreaching goal, and knowing what steps need to be taken to achieve it. Sometimes the steps are small. Sometimes they’re tedious. They are always worth it, if the goal is worth it. My sweet little boy will definitely be worth it.