Thursday, June 23, 2011

Strange Pregnancy Maladies

Pregnancy has taken a turn for the weird this week.

The last four days, my belly has been noticeably bigger than the previous day. Yesterday, this happened during a nap. I've noticed little growth spurts before, where suddenly things look bigger than the previous day... but never has this happened multiple, consecutive days.

So now I'm wondering: is this going to keep happening every single day?

Because I'm suddenly getting to a place where things feel a bit crowded. The shape of my belly is a bit more like a loaf of bread (sticks out in the middle, narrower on the sides) and less like a basketball than it was before. The separation between breasts and belly seems to be shrinking, such that now I'm more of a wall o' belly than huge bosoms plus a beach ball.

Two days ago, Tuesday, my legs were a little sore when I got up before work to do a [very short] workout on the elliptical.

Sunday I had gone for a very long walk in Prospect Park (at one point, I wasn't paying attention to the crumbling asphalt I was walking on, and literally fell off the path. It was impressive. I got up, peered around to make sure no one saw the pregnant lady take a tumble (no one noticed) and dusted myself off. I have some good looking road rash now but am otherwise well.)

Anyway, Tuesday morning, I figured, with some glumness (is that even a word???), that my fitness has taken such a nose dive that even a long walk (a slow sauntering/waddling through an urban park without substantial hills) could make more sore these days. So I continued with my (easy) workout. 

At lunchtime, I went out to grab a bite, and noticed that my legs were really hurting. By the time I got back to work, my right leg was throbbing. Walking home from the subway later that day was really quite uncomfortable.

(Oh, I forgot to mention, I had already spoken to the midwife that morning, worried because the baby seemed very quiet. She didn't do her usual post-decaf-iced-coffee dance that she likes to do. One pouch of disgusting fruit punch from my clinic refrigerator later, she was back to her active self... and I was a little sheepish, though mostly just relieved.)

So I got home and texted the midwife to let her know that while The Girl was reassuringly active, my leg was really bothering me. My medical self was, of course, worrying a little about DVT, deep vein thrombosis. We pregnant gals are at increased risk for them. After a few texts back and forth, my midwife instructed me to call, which I did. I giggled and nonchalantly reviewed my symptoms with her by phone, sure I was being a total hypochondriac, but just puzzled. Nothing sounding like a DVT (heat, redness, point tenderness)... but it didn't feel like a muscle ache, either. After two and a half hours of rest on the couch, it felt better... until I got up and walked to the kitchen. Then the symptoms returned -- a throbbing extended from the bottom of my foot up both sides of my calf. 

Long story short, I made a remarkably easy trip to my employer and its not-so-local (to my apartment) Emergency Room. Membership has its privileges, yada yada yada. They whisked me right through, which was great. An ultrasound of my leg revealed.... wait for it... no DVT. I know, I was shocked too.

However, a rather pleasant surprise... the resident treating me asked if she and her student could practice ultrasound on me, since they rarely see women so far along in pregnancy in the Emergency Room (usually they are sent to OB on the third floor). So I got a nice view of the girl, the first time since 24 weeks (when I last freaked out and went to the hospital, that time for so-called decreased fetal movements... I got an off-the-record ultrasound then... have I mentioned that membership has its privileges? it's good to work for a hospital, sometimes), including.... a beautiful, head-on view of The Girl's face!!! It was incredible, seeing her facial features. She was beautiful. It made it all so real to me, that she's not just human, but a very specific human being. 

(Can I just say: it's ridiculous, how impatient I am to meet her! Then I start worrying about my magical powers, and how wishing I could meet My Girl sooner rather than later was really using them (my magical powers, dammit, stay with me here!) for ill, because who knows what sort of problems we might discover later if she comes too soon?)

I took a cab home, my leg still throbbing painfully... and woke up the next day with... wait for it again... zero pain. 

Yesterday, though, was horrible, because I was so damn tired from my long night. Even though I got a decent amount of sleep, by pre-pregnancy standards (and probably a great night by the standards of a lot of other pregnant women... just not mine, because I am spoiled), about 7+ hours, only it was very frequently interrupted (by the sun and my internal alarm clock) from about 5:30 AM on. I was at work, where it's dead quiet, because the high school students are done with classes and the younger ones are mostly off on field trips... and I was just so miserably tired that I finally just left. Our administration does not approve of this, and we're supposed to walk to the hospital (somewhat near my job) to get cleared by employee health... but I called my friend in Employee Health, who almost certainly doesn't know this rule, and she thought that was dumb. I couldn't reach my administrator, so finally I called my medical director, who likewise doesn't know this rule, and she told me to go home. 

Thus cleared, I went home and took a two hour nap. Then I met a friend in the city for an early dinner, and went to bed very early again. I had such a strange night, waking up multiple times. I woke up at 3 am with reflux aka heartburn. I don't get it. First, this has never happened to me before. Second, and this is true with me and heartburn in general... aren't you supposed to get it soon after you eat??? I only seem to get it hours after you eat. In this case, I ate dinner starting around 6:30 or a little later... so why would I get reflux eight hours later? 

Do you get reflux (heartburn) when you're hungry? Because I felt like I could've been a little bit hungry by that point. But what sounds appetizing at 3 am, anyway??? 

I popped a few papaya enzyme tablets (new discovery, and SOOOO much better than Tums! try them!) and went back to sleep until the next wake up call.

I felt fine today, except despite getting up early, I couldn't convince myself to work out (I took yesterday off as a precaution against Throbbing Leg Syndrome). I'm usually pretty good with exercise, such as it is these days, so I don't know what to make of that. "Work," if you can call it that, was fine. I went to the 8th grade graduation and then went out to a very long lunch with my former, and totally awesome, co-worker. Those kept time in my actual office to a brief minimum. In the afternoon, a few kids showed up, so I gave an asthma treatment, filled out a college forms, and dispensed some Plan B and condoms, and called it a day.

I got home, after a SLOW trudge from the subway station, and my mom called. She kind of irks me on my best day, but talking to her today was particularly annoying. The bluetooth connection was hard to understand (she only calls from the car... why waste her free time at home on a phone call? but already-wasted time, such as on the commute home... what better time to call? my sister's even luckier... she gets the calls on the way to work. Because who doesn't want to chat about her day as she's trying to get the kids out the door to school?) and it just felt too loud. My mother reminding me that first time babies "usually come late" and that "just because my babies came early doesn't mean yours will" just annoyed me. Is it the fact that she's my mother that everything she says bugs me? Or is she really that annoying? Or maybe both??? It's hard for me to put my finger on it. 

I've been cranky ever since. The fact that my cursor picks up and moves to a new spot in this mess of a blog post every thirty seconds or so isn't helping. (If anyone knows why this happens, or how to fix it, PLEASE let me know.) I finally took a nap at 7 pm, just to take a break from myself, even though I know it's likely to mess up my sleep tonight. I need to tidy up because I have company coming tomorrow, my cousin and her daughter, but have zero motivation.

What is happening to me? Suddenly, in the last four days, life feels different and harder, and certainly more tiring. I have FIVE, count them FIVE days of work left. (Then summer break starts, not my maternity lenave.) Please let me get through them easily and graciously. 

(If any of you made it through this whole post, you deserve a medal. Seriously.)

In other news, a relative (through marriage) just confessed to a fourteen year habit of bulimia and anorexia to her husband, my relative that I am close to. I have talked to him several times in the last week, and I'm really sad about this. It's also giving rise to weird body insecurity, mostly wondering: if she thinks her (gorgeous) body is so bad, what must she think of mine???

1 comment:

  1. Hang in there!! I remember wondering how anyone stays married at the end of pregnancy because I was so grumpy I could barely stand myself. :)

    As for the leg pains, that sounds scary! I am glad it all checked out ok.