bemybabynow

Archive for January 2012

So I have spent a considerable amount of time bitching about how women have a crashing case of pregnancy amnesia which is indeed not helpful to their pregnant sisters out there who are looking for advice, so I thought it would behoove me to keep a record of the symptoms I have experienced along the way so I too don’t fall victim to brain dump at the moment of birth.

Of course along with the normal queasiness in the first trimester, I have had the heightened sense of smell. I still have it, although I think I’ve gotten more used to it. In the beginning as I walked into rooms it felt like an alarming superpower, but now it’s become part of daily life.

The thirst! At times it was crazy. At about 12 weeks it really ramped up, and even though I am constantly drinking my lips are always dry. I know maybe some of that can be attributed to winter dryness, but I know that I am much more thirsty than I ever was before.

When I was sick a few weeks ago my hands felt sore in the mornings and it was hard to make a fist. That feeling dissipated during the day, so I attributed it to dehydration. Now that I am on the mend, my left hand is still hard to open and close. There are no visible signs of swelling; my rings are still on and spinning around. My middle finger is also intermittently numb, so I am chalking this up to a mild case of carpal tunnel.

I have been side sleeping for some time now, even though I have no symptoms of vena cava syndrome. But some of these warnings just seep in like childhood warnings of the boogey man, and even the calmest of us pregnant women are not immune. Like, “Don’t sleep on your back or horrible horrible things will happen! BUAHH HA HA HA!” When I woke up this morning my hips were super sore. Like I had run 15 miles. I have a pillow placed between my knees when side sleeping, but I think between the relaxin moving my bones and staying in one sleeping position for an extended period of time, this is bound to happen.

So I’m going to do my best to keep these memories alive. Just so you know I am singing the title of my post a la Tom Hanks in “Big” for those of you who remember.

My mom surprised me though with her memory of my brother’s birth, her first, back in 1970. I guess when I comes to horror stories,, though, most women remember. I have a little library of books accumulating next to me on the sofa about natural childbirth (I’ll talk more about it in the next post) and I just finished “Husband Coached Childbirth” by Doctor Robert Bradley of “The Bradley Method”. I hope I don’t get into trouble since I don’t know the key to place a trademark logo next to “The Bradley Method” since this seemed essential in the text of the book, but oh well.

The Bradley Method is a school of natural childbirth and the book focuses on the husband/partner as birth coach. It’s a quick read, but somewhat provincial and quaint in it’s suggestions about husband/partner behavior.”Rub her back, buy her fresh fruit daily, tell her you love her, whisper sweet nothings in her ear, etc…” Depending on your situation it may make you smile or it may make you want to punch the nearest wall/face/TV. Or both.

Anyway Dr. Bradley spends some time talking about the early days of childbirth where women were drugged, strapped to their beds and helmets placed on their heads until they got the baby out. He termed this “knock em out drag em out” delivery and it did indeed seem terrifying. Watch Betty Draper give birth to Eugene in season 3 of Mad Men. The episode is called, “The Fog” and according to my mother is pretty damn accurate.

It’s crazy to me to think that not so long ago medicine was so, um antiquated? Fucking scary? Altogether wrong? I don’t know. I guess 30 or 40 years is a long time, but to me not so long in the history of mankind. The development of maternal and fetal medicine in the past ten years alone have been astounding and have saved many lives.

I am grateful that in the event of an emergency the hospital will have everything I and/or the baby might need, but honestly right now I am looking forward to a birthing center experience with the benefits of the hospital. I really don’t want to be flat on my back hooked up to a million monitors.

Next book is “Ina May’s Guide to Childbirth”. I’ll let you know how it goes.

M

So I managed to get through the holidays pretty painlessly, or so I thought. There I was, merrily rationalizing all those cookie calories being a nice even swap for my missing vodka and blood orange juice bliss, having a quiet New Years Eve with my one glass of Perrier Jouet, and then blam.

I wake up Monday morning with a head cold. And it wouldn’t go away.

I don’t know about you, but I think that other women just don’t want to give it up when it comes to the pregnancy advice. Either they don’t remember because of “pregnancy amnesia” or there is such a wild variation of pregnancy symptoms and conditions among women, I don’t know. All I can tell you is that when I tell other women that have had children about what I am suffering I get either no response, the “really? I don’t remember that” answer, “that seems unusual” or something equally as comforting. What the fuck?

Here’s things: I can tell you first hand that if you get a cold you will be dehydrated. Epically. Like you need to drink water constantly. Like if you’re drinking a lot, you’re not drinking enough. I was so dried out that it felt like my brain was sucking inward from my skull, like the worst hangover you’ve ever had times a million.

This symptom far outweighed any problems I had from just the nasal congestion alone.

And-tylenol doesn’t work for crap, at least for me. My go to drug of choice for headaches, excedrin migraine, is off limits due to it’s aspirin content, and taking tylenol after a certain point felt like a cruel joke. I would wake up in the middle of the night, hours after my last fluid intake of a jillion gallons with an even more massive headache, a painfully dry throat and a pounding heartbeat. This cycle continued on a two hour basis of fluids and peeing (not in the bed, by some kind of miracle, even though I had dreams of using the toilet). My normally composed self fell into a crying heap, and poor Dan didn’t know if I needed an OB or a psychiatrist.

As a last resort I scuffled out to CVS to get a humidifier. I wandered aimlessly about with a cart in CVS. I actually should have done this earlier since my advanced maternal age diagnosis has been making me feel old. I was the youngest person at CVS using a cart-this is normally reserved for the 70 and older set of women who are shopping for depends and denture supplies.

I got home, plugged it in and zonked out.

And by some miracle, I felt, human the next day.

The headache was gone. It was like when Mia Farrow’s morning sickness left her in Rosemary’s Baby. I put all thoughts of having Satan’s child out of my mind and rejoiced in the fact that I could place one foot on the floor in front of the other without fear that my head would indeed explode and enjoyed not sleeping with a bag of frozen peas on my eyes. (This incidentally makes a great eyemask-I recommend baby sweet peas. They mold well around the eyes and nose and cook up very deliciously in a skillet with butter, shallots, prosciutto and sage.)

So my words of wisdom today is that pregnancy will make you thirsty. Your blood volume increases by 50%. You need water. A LOT of water. And if and when you get sick you need more. I actually recommend coconut water too since it hydrates super well and it is very low calorie. I believe that water will stave off a myriad of pregnancy issues-constipation, swelling, skin issues, etc…none of which I have had.

Eight glasses? Bleh-try twelve. Try always drinking something. I know, I know, you will spend your life in the bathroom. I’m sure this is the case anyway. I’ve kind of come to terms with it.

And a humidifier is worth a shot. I always thought that they were for the sickly, allergy, hypochondriac set. Of course I registered for one to go in Baby Basmati’s room as a matter of course, but I never thought much of it otherwise. Here on Long Island the summers range in the 196% humidity range. But winter can be drying, and the thing on high cranked out water like nobody’s business.

On a similar note, I manged to make it to my midwife appointment in the midst of my illness. I told the receptionist (who has a son) about my cold and my thirst. She asked if I had been tested for gestational diabetes. I was getting the results back at that appointment, so I didn’t know, but I didn’t think so. I thought it was weird that she didn’t think my constant runny nose and my body fighting a cold would necessitate more water intake, and that I must be diabetic. I know thirst is a symptom, but whatever.

Turns out that after ingesting that orange syrup, my blood glucose was low. Hypoglycemic low. Apparently my body has ninja like abilities to fight and reduce incoming sugar. And since I am otherwise healthy, my midwife told me I should eat frequent small meals, and not let myself go too long without eating. This explains why I feel the desire to rip somebody’s arm off and beat them with it when I’m sitting at my MIL’s house on Thanksgiving before dinner for three hours and there’s nothing to eat except crackers and wasabi peas. This year was brutal in particular, and the arm in question was my poor husband’s.

In my defense I told him we shouldn’t have gotten there so early. We stopped by my parents’ and I stuffed my cheeks like a squirrel with prosciutto, mozzarella, chicken wings and shrimp. I should have put them in my purse.

Today I’m 29 weeks, and since I hadn’t been to to the gym in a few days, I got a good sidelong gander at my belly in the studio mirrors last night. Holy cow-pun intended. I think I popped in the past 10 days! Luckily my slothness didn’t pack on the pounds too badly as my last weigh in at the midwife was comforting. I can’t bring myself to weigh myself at home, so at least I have a break from that kind of insanity.

Onward and upward!



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  • babyforbutton: Congrats on Naomi! My baby was born March 15th! Amazing how fast the year has gone by!
  • babyforbutton: update please!! :)
  • reilly873: I've somehow managed to ease the pain the past few nights, but only with some serious, ridiculous pillow arranging. Which is a royal pain in the ass w