When I first went into full-blown "preterm labor" over a month ago, my first thought was "I've gotta keep him in there and keep him healthy, at all costs!" and my second thought was somewhere along the lines of "I've never experienced pregnancy before, I want to make it all the way til the end so I experience everything that comes along with pregnancy". Little did I know, these parts of pregnancy are less than thrilling. My body has gone through way more than I ever thought possible, things people have NEVER mentioned to me about pregnancy before. You mean to tell me I've still got a MONTH to deal with all these things? I know I've always been a bit of a "hypochondriac" or in my words "in tune with my body". But there is literally a new symptom every day. One day there is a rash covering my arms, the next there is a poison ivy like rash all over my belly, "blood bruising" on my legs from swelling, something I like to call "lightening crotch" that literally feels like a lightening bolt right to the cervix. The first time I ever got it, even though his head is engaged, I was sure that there was an arm or leg sticking out. It felt like a knife cutting right through. I even asked Phillip if anything was hanging out because obviously, I cannot see those parts of my body.
I got skills:
-Learning to manuever my body plus 30 extra pounds out of the bed every 30 minutes for a bathroom trip. You literally have to roll off the bed, putting your feet against the wall so you don't roll too far, lying there for a second because that took alot of effort and your already tired, trying to lift up or roll up without getting a contraction because that can stop you for another minute if your in pain. You just pray not to get a charlie horse in your calves because those last sometimes for minutes at a time and if you really gotta go then those few minutes are crucial. HA!
-Waddling to the bathroom holding your hips because your sciatic nerve is KILLING, stopping in your tracks to grab your "lightening crotch", trying to keep your legs closed because it feels like a bowling ball is about to fall out and to prevent anymore "LC". When you finally get to the bathroom you only "trickle". After you get back to bed it isn't THAT bad. I have a routine of tums (because even water gives me heartburn) and rehydrating, repositioning the heating pad to another part of my aching body, getting back comfortable (the hardest part of getting back into bed), and resting my eyes until the next episode.
-I'm not working anymore (Yay, early maternity leave), but I still get cankles. Not just cankles, full blown balloon ankles and sausage link toes. I haven't tried to put on a pair of real shoes since I can't remember when. It's flip flops 99.9% of the time, since they just slip on. It's a chore just shaving my legs and putting on lotion, much less trying to paint my toenails. One minute my rings fit fine, then the next I can't pry them off.
-I don't even attempt to get dressed anymore. There's no point, even the maternity clothes are snug. Trying to put on a pair of pants or underwear definitely takes skill. Thankfully, Phillip helps me when he's home.
-The biggest skill I've mananged is refraining to punch people in the throat when they offer unwanted pregnancy advice. I want to be a hermit crab these next few weeks, not hear another comment about MY pregnancy or the way I chose to do things, and not leave my house where there temp is set to 65 degrees. No one cares if I'm dressed and I get to eat all the food my pantry can store. I know thats wishful thinking and I will have to get out at some point, but it sounds so promising. :) I'm really not THAT bad, but there are days when I feel this way.
I'm sure I've aquired more skills over this pregnancy, those are just some of the most recent ones. Its definitely an invasion of your body, but I wouldn't trade it for the world. I know the moment I meet him, all these pregnancy pains will disappear. I'm just so ready to hold him and kiss little baby feet. I love sitting in the nursery, smelling all of his clothes, and wishing he was already here! I'm still planning a natural labor and I've been preparing for this in many ways to get my cervix ripened and pelvis ready for a quick and fast delivery ;) At 37 weeks, I'll probably start walking moderately and trying some natural induction methods. They won't work anyway unless he's ready to come, but if he is ready hopefully they'll speed things along. I've even considered getting membranes stripped (OUCH!) because I don't want Pitocin, at all! I'm 2cm and 75% effaced, but I could stay that way for a while. I'm actually hoping she won't check at my appointment tomorrow because its SO uncomfortable and it doesn't really tell you that much anyway. His head is engaged at a -2 station, so he's still got some dropping to do, but not much.
Well, I'm off to the birthing ball and drinking my cup of Raspberry Leaf Tea. I still owe an update on his nursery and our last two showers, but I'll get to it eventually. :)