Me: We just bought a new house. Is it safe for me to paint?
Doctor: Well, do you like to paint? Because I could say that it's not okay if you don't like to paint.
I don't know how many times in the past week I've rethought my answer to that question. Yes, I like to paint. What was I thinking? Well, I for sure wasn't thinking that we would be painting and moving in the middle of a heat wave with highs in the upper nineties all week and even a day in the triple digits. And I sure wasn't thinking that a storm would knock out our power for 24 hours leaving us painting without air conditioning.
My dad said he should have taken a picture of me that day. I'm so glad he didn't. I'm sure I must have had splotches of doctor-approved latex-based low VOC paint all over. I had on men's drawstring jersey shorts (they don't exactly sell maternity painting clothes). A wet wash cloth was draped across my neck and my hair was beginning to look rather afro-like after a few trips to the garden hose to cool down. And at the height of my misery, I tucked up my tank top so my big belly was free of any extra layers.
With help from a handful of people from both sides of the family, we managed to get the majority of the house painted, with the exception of three rooms (one of which is the nursery) that won't get used right away, since we bought a house we could grow into.
But then, of course after all the painting was finished, the moving began. And I didn't have to ask my doctor about that—he had already said at the first appointment not to lift anything over 20 pounds. Not because it could hurt the baby, but because pregnancy hormones tend to make it easier to pull a muscle or put a hip out of place.
But then again, I'm not really the type of person to sit with my feet propped up ordering movers (aka recruited family) where to put everything. I would rather pitch in and cross things off the to-do list a little faster. So on the first trip, I carried out all the lightweight boxes and stayed behind for the subsequent trips back to the old house to start unpacking all the boxes.
By the time Monday morning came around, I was relieved to go to work and sit behind a desk in an air conditioned office (luckily it was a Monday where that was possible without being sent off on some crazy assignment). My hips, already unaccustomed to carrying around the extra weight in my tummy, were screaming at me. My leg muscles felt like overextended rubber bands.
But on Monday, I was able to wake up in my own house and smile as I walked past the room that will soon become a nursery—that is, when I have enough energy to pick up another paintbrush.