During my second trimester, people would notice that I was pregnant and hold doors open for me and let me cut in line.
They’d say things like, “you shouldn’t be lifting that, let me get that for you”. I was always puzzled as they gently extricated the kicking, full-grown goat from my arms, or took the anvil I was carrying up the stairs. “I am NOT an invalid” I thought. I am perfectly capable of throwing in some laundry on my way to milk goats at six every morning and chase juvenile delinquents all day, rushing home to hang that laundry on the line and bake a pie before I got dinner in the oven so I could wrangle goats into stalls.
Then the heartburn started. And the swelling. And the shortness of the breathing. I stopped sleeping for more than 20 minutes at a time each night. Walking started to cause sharp pains (mysterious to my midwife) to stab me on either side of my belly button. I became an invalid. I don’t do invalid so well.
Then they cut my hours at work and took my coworker away and gave me her job to do on top of mine. Hmmm. I seem to not be able to breathe. Or keep my eyes open. Or write full sentences. Something has to give.
So I went to see a doctor, and he put me on medical leave until maternity leave begins. Starting now. So here I am, sitting at home, thinking about how I don’t have to go back to work tomorrow. Suddenly I can breathe a little better.