Soon I will be un-pregnant. It is three weeks until the due date (and two weeks until both my sister and my midwife are in town, ready to go). I may actually be early (typically – though of course not always – once the baby has descended, the birth is two-four weeks away. According to my personal estimate, it has been two weeks already). That probably means this is the last pre-labour recitation of the peculiar things going on in my body.
Since I rarely leave the house, and do almost nothing (yesterday was a big day: I showered AND brushed my teeth, and wore clothes instead of PJs for several hours – oh, and about half an hour of light housework, too!), my hip and back pain is minimal. I’m physically very weak (I’ve had to stop properly closing my cough medicine bottle, because I’m not strong enough to open the child lock) and very unco (dropped literally ten items yesterday – and yes, I’m actually using literally in the correct sense). Turning over at night is more difficult than ever because of pain, weakness, and nausea at each stage (turning over has had stages for a while now).
Lately the nausea has grown worse, although it’s also changed (mostly for the better). I feel sick longer, and my digestive system is more screwed up than ever (it’s truly peculiar), but there’s less reflux. Clearly, as Louisette moves downwards, there is a 2.7-kilo weight on my bladder and bowel, and a little less pressure on my oesophagus (which is GREAT because I find it deeply insulting to feel so sick and so exhausted, only to feel so much worse when I lie down – and I’ve long since altogether given up ever being truly horizontal). I can definitely feel when she punches my bladder. For a few seconds I suddenly really, really need to pee – and then I don’t.
She is upside down, with her head basically inside my hips (which means that I have a new and different kind of hip pain – very much a pain in the bone rather than the muscles). Her back fills the left side of my belly, and her bum is in the neighbourhood of my belly button. Most of her movement is therefore on the right side of my belly, and I feel much sicker when I lie on my right side.
I have had two more severe leg cramps in my right calf, both of which were excruciating for a short time and then made me limp for two days. Every time I lie down, both of my legs immediately stiffen up. The muscle is incredibly brittle, and it makes me want to stretch – but I can’t stretch, because that is likely to trigger another excruciating cramp and more limping. So I’m careful to never so much as straighten either leg when I’m lying down.
The lower half of my belly has plenty of vertical stretch marks, which doesn’t particularly bother me. In amongst the stretch marks is a bubble of raised skin like a mostly-healed scar from a second-degree burn. This turns out to be a lump of muscle that has “separated”. Gross, hey? It is only mildly painful (much like a mostly-healed scar from a second-degree burn, as it happens – been there, done that), but it does feel rather weird and more painful when A Certain Someone kicks it.
About two weeks ago, my feet and ankles suddenly swelled up, and my shoe size increased by about two sizes in a matter of hours (I can squeeze into my thongs if necessary, but mostly I wear CJ’s shoes or stay barefoot). Sudden, lasting swelling can be a sign of high blood pressure (which can be Very Bad Indeed), but my blood pressure has remained low.
It so happens that I took a photo of one of my feet very early on (to demonstrate my deliciousness to mozzies), so here’s a handy comparison of then and now:
Here are some of the things I’m looking forward to when I’m not pregnant any more:
Erm. . . having a baby.
Lying down without pain or nausea. Particularly being able to lie down and read a book at the same time (for some reason, holding a book makes me sicker).
Turning over in bed without pain or nausea or planning a turning-over strategy.
Drinking water without difficulty. Also drinking soft drink, mint juleps, juice, and even a little alcohol.
Wearing my wedding ring. Wearing all the clothes I usually like to wear (including, someday, jeans). Wearing my shoes. Wearing heels. Wearing boots. Wearing my corset (. . . at some point).
Getting off all the medicines I’m now on – especially metamucil, which is extra hideous when you’re nauseous (I assume the daily metamucil dose will return to my life within a few years; it’s part of being over twenty years old, really).
Knowing what I’m in for, baby-wise (colic? bad health? a determined escapee? someone who wakes thirteen times a night?) Making plans for the near future with some idea of what they’ll involve.
Running errands – any time of day! They’ll be far more complex, but I don’t care!
Brushing my teeth twice a day, every day.
Eating – anything I want to! Bacon! Soft cheese! All the things that currently make me nauseous! Vegetables! Lollies! Nuts! Fruit! Chicken! Bread! Different types of breakfast cereal! Sushi!
Exercise! It’ll be a while, but someday I’ll be able to do more than two minutes of slow-motion exercise a week. I’ll be able to walk! At a normal speed! I’ll be able to lift groceries, and pick things up off the floor without needing half an hour to recover! One day, I’ll be able to swim again! Plus, I’ll be able to do my share of household work!
Less nightmares (although my wacky pregnancy dreams have had some good moments – I particularly enjoyed my crime-fighting dream, which is apparently what my subconscious thinks early parenthood is like).