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Yes, I’ll have some cheese with this - Elizabeth Unexplained
Lots of data but no answers
Yes, I’ll have some cheese with this
In the weeks and months following my much longed for and hard-won positive pregnancy test I was much less than sympathetic about woman who complained about pregnancy symptoms. Morning sickness was no big deal, in fact it was welcome confirmation that I was still pregnant. Likewise the hip soreness, etc, was all pretty much expected and well within my ability to cope. I have also completely lucked out of the gestational front with a pregnancy that has been about as complication-free as anyone can reasonably hope for. I understand this, and I have largely enjoyed and savored being pregnant. Please keep this in mind while you read the remainder of this whinepost.

As it turns out, the last month of pregnancy is just as bad as any woman has ever whined about it being. OK, maybe that’s slight hyperbole, but still... From where I am sitting it seems that the last few weeks are specifically designed by nature to make the woman actually look forward to the process of pushing a 7+ pound baby through an orifice that is normally a snug fit for a tampon. Believe me, I can’t wait, and I’m planning on doing it without pain meds. Of course my rational mind keeps reminding me that the fetus needs to stay put for another few weeks while it’s lungs and brain finish getting ready for the whole breathing thing, but the rest of me is pretty sure I’d jump for joy if labor started this very minute.

Things had been bad a couple of weeks ago when the fetus was still breech and attempting to colonize my ribcage. Then the fetus turned around and for a while it stopped feeling like the fetus was about to erupt through my breastbone like in the scene from Alien. I felt a lot better. Sadly, the feeling better part is rapidly going away. I’m pretty sure the fetus is still head down, but it is not getting any shorter, that’s for darn sure. Part of my problem is that I am sadly lacking in the torso department. Standing up I am on the tall side for a woman, but sitting down on a fixed-height chair I am noticeably on the short side compared to others. Combine that with the fact that the fetus seems to be above average on the size charts, and you have a recipe for crowded conditions. I am feeling the squeeze. My ribs ache, and my right hip (which hasn’t be able to stay in it’s socket since the start of the second trimester) hurts pretty much constantly. I also seem to have recently developed restless legs, which is not exactly an ideal symptom to pair with a funny hip. I periodically have to take limping laps around the building at work; it’s no wonder random people keep asking me when I am due. I also get random back spasms. I suspect some of the more sudden ones are due to the fetus scoring a direct hit on my spine. That brings us to the issue of my poor, crowded internal organs. I can’t climb a flight of stairs anymore without huffing and puffing like a heavy smoker. The heartburn isn’t so bad as far as actual discomfort, but it is completely unpredictable. It has absolutely nothing to do with what I eat. I had extra-spicey Chinese food at Mary Chung’s yesterday, including most of an order of refreshing bean sprouts, and not a bit of heartburn. A few days previously I had eaten only mild things and had heartburn keep me up half the night. The cause was very clear -- at one point I felt the fetus kick upward and the next thing I knew I was feeling the acid spurting up my esophagus. All I could think at that moment was there needed to be an announcer with a heavy European accent shouting “GOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOAL!” It was indeed an impressive direct hit. In grosser news, there are the intestinal issues. Having a fetus taking up the space that your intestines used to be in will cause issues. This past weekend I learned the hard way that as unlikely as it sounds, it is possible to have both constipation and diarrhea at the same time. Not only is this just as appealing as it sounds, matters were made even worse when I had my first noticeable Braxton-Hicks contraction whilst sitting on the porcelain throne attempting to expel the boulder that was stopping up the works. There’s more, but you get the general idea.

The major bright spot in all this discomfort has been how supportive Warren has been. He has been fairly even-tempered when I turn surly for no apparent reason. He has shivered in silence for the past few weeks that I’ve had the AC in the house set on deep-freeze. He has picked up the slack in my household chores. He even made a special trip last night to get gas for my car so that I could be sure to get to the gym in the morning. Of course the last was partially enlightened self interest. It turns out that the drain in our shower is now clogging up if I even look at it funny, so either I shower at the gym or Warren gets to have his shower while standing in several inches of cold, slimey water, not to mention the couple of hours of work it takes him to attempt to restore something approaching reasonable drainage. The other reason I am still getting to the gym in spite of the increasing level of discomfort is that anecdotal evidence still indicates that the discomfort is worse if I don’t go to the gym, lame as my “workout” may be at this point. The woman at the gym who recently asked if I was having twins may think that I am hard-core to still be going at my present bulk, but it really is my only viable option. I am also hoping that the treadmill time will help the baby drop sooner, but I know better than to count on it.
7 comments or Leave a comment
From: ext_89076 Date: June 3rd, 2008 12:45 am (UTC) (Link)
Yes i here you and second that
chenoameg From: chenoameg Date: June 3rd, 2008 03:38 am (UTC) (Link)
Sorry you're suffering.

And I know you know what I mean when I say I would be happy to be suffering myself.
greyautumnrain From: greyautumnrain Date: June 3rd, 2008 10:22 am (UTC) (Link)
Yes. I have another month of this to go at the very most and then I get a baby out of it. That makes it infinitely better than the endless waiting wondering if you will ever conceive.
From: (Anonymous) Date: June 3rd, 2008 04:02 am (UTC) (Link)

Third trimester

I hear you. I am now recalling how much my third trimesters sucked. I remember the heartburn keeping me up all night. The absolutely NOT being able to catch my breath. Being so huge and in pain. Yup. The good news is it fades from your memory (I really don't even remember the horrible itching of the cholestasis I had with Alex anymore) and it won't be too much longer.

I hope you don't go too much post term. I was always early, but the pregnant women I saw who were post term were so miserable - the waiting is stressful by itself.

Take all the help you can get. Anyone who offers, let them!

I am guessing the baby hasn't dropped yet? That relieves a lot of the symptoms, although it made me feel like I was carrying a bowling ball between my legs.

Did you get the doula sorted out? (I saw the no pain meds part, and I think a doula is a great thing!)

BTW, should I be sending baby clothes with treptoplax? I didn't want to send them too early either. Let me know if you need anything in particular, I need to get rid of everything now.
greyautumnrain From: greyautumnrain Date: June 3rd, 2008 10:33 am (UTC) (Link)

Re: Third trimester

My OB won't let me go more than a week past due since we know down to the hour when this kid was conceived. I used to be upset at the idea of evicting the baby even if she was post due, but not so much anymore. Now if I'm still pregnant at my July 2nd appointment I'll probably welcome the pitocin.

You are correct that the baby has not dropped yet. We did get the doula situation sorted out, though.

Baby clothes would be welcome if you want to send them along. I currently just have the minimum aside from hand-knit stuff. We still don't know the gender for sure, so I haven't been tempted to buy anything, not to mention I've been so hot that it's hard to imagine anyone else wanting to wear clothes.
jaedian From: jaedian Date: June 4th, 2008 11:05 pm (UTC) (Link)

Re: Third trimester

Sorry that ended up posting as anonymous. I guess I got logged out.

Yay for the doula. I hope the baby drops son. You will feel better.

I think evicting the baby when you KNOW when you conceived is OK. The issues arise when you think you are post term but really aren't, like when you date using ultrasound. Although the births are usually easier if you aren't have to induce. I had pitocin for Juliette but I opted for the epidural with that. (wasn't going to if they could get labor started, but I didn't want to with the pitocin.) But it wasn't too bad.

OK, I will try and sort through them. I think I have a little of everything for gender, non specific and some boy and girl. A lot of the non specific is long pant, long sleeve cotton knit. But babies seem to need that layer if it isn't super hot, so I will send you a few of those. I also have a lot of blankets, lap pads and other smaller pads (only using the larger ones now - and probably don't need as many as I have anymore) I can certainly send you more gender specific stuff once you know for sure. I have to admit, it is hard to have too many clothes for the first 3 months. They often dirty 2-3 outfits or more in a day!

baronet From: baronet Date: June 3rd, 2008 09:34 pm (UTC) (Link)

Sympathy and tricks

You have my sympathy.

On the intestinal front, once labor gets anywhere near starting, I recommend getting as much mass out of the system as possible. I think vorpalbunny said that was a one of the good practices that she'd pass along.

For the labor itself, a hot bath really helped with the pain, as did being able to get up and move and do those exercises that they teach you in birthing class (which is another reason to avoid/put off the pain meds that don't let you walk or stand).

Good Luck!
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