Limit breaks

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I had expected to feel uncomfortable through pregnancy, but I definitely did not expect to have to constantly recalibrate what I think is uncomfortable.

One of the constant changes that happens in a pregnant woman is the increase in weight and size. Obvious. In the third trimester, we’re expected to put on around half a kilogram (about 1.1 pound) per week; about half of which is the baby’s weight gain, and the other half, water retention(!).

Armed with this knowledge and knowing that we (women) are built to do this, I religiously moisturise to allow my skin to stretch (and to avoid stretch-marks) and braced myself for the journey.

Credit: GiselaFotografie, Pixabay

As I watched my weight climb, I found that there were certain days/nights that I now refer to as growth spurts — moments where the increase happens more rapidly, and are a lot more uncomfortable. Usually in the evenings, this is when I would feel more tired, a lot heavier (out of breath, clumsy, inflexible) and most surprisingly, so taut all over my abdomen and back that I would think it was the limit to how far I would stretch. Try eating until you really truly cannot eat any more, then top it up with loads of water, take a deep breath, and push your stomach out as far as it would go. Yes, that feeling… except maybe ten times worse.

I’ve been keeping tabs on my measurements and I know that these moments do mean a physical expansion of sorts, so it isn’t really that surprising. What is though, is what happens the next day.


I would feel normal again, even though I would be as big and heavy as the night before. This cycles around again, getting more frequent as we get nearer to my due date.

What this has taught me is that our limits, or our perception of our limits are completely experience-based and self-imposed. And, what seems to be my limit today can easily become the norm tomorrow, for we humans are actually extremely adaptable animals.

So, the next time we find ourselves facing a situation that seems to be at the brink of our own limitations, we can take comfort in knowing that actually, it is highly unlikely that it is our true limit. We might feel very uncomfortable in the situation, but we would also know that we will feel differently about it after it has past.

Sky’s the limit. Credit: Dominik Schröder, Unsplash

I write about my explorations of life, as I learn what it means to be human. Follow me through my discoveries.

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