Saturday, August 15, 2009

Whiny Pregnancy Lady : Pregancy Pains: Complaining Helps

It's been a while since I have written a post about my (pregnant) state of being. I am in my seventh month - with two months and a week until my expected due date. I did a little too much last weekend, moving small things around the house and doing a lot of bending down and picking up. We rearranged the furniture. The TV that was the center of the "family room" is now in our bedroom - that is the only television we have upstairs now. The "family room," which used to have a lot of hunter green leather furniture in it, is now a much more open sitting room. Four chairs, a wool rug and a fish tank. That pretty much sums it up. I like it very much. Sandy is very strong and good at moving large (I stress large and HEAVY) pieces of furniture. I usually try to help her, but she ends up finding it easier to work alone (my help = hindrance). I remember when she (almost) single-handedly moved all of the giant oak bedroom furniture (yes, it's big and heavy...and the drawers are cedar-lined) from the driveway into the bedroom. I'm not sure how she managed it. It seemed superhuman. But she managed it well. So it was not too difficult for her, Superwoman S, to move all of the leather furniture downstairs on her own. Still, even though I did not move the large piece of furniture, I was busy moving little things around and rearranging. I tired myself out. Then, when I was leaving the guest bathroom with Darah in my arms later that night before bed (after changing a soiled diaper), I forgot about the new furniture arrangement. I was walking straight across the room in the dark, toward the dining room window, and had forgotten about the two dining room chairs that were against the wall. I tripped over them, and I must have strained something (in my already sore pelvic/crotch region) in an effort to protect my belly and Darah from falling or crashing into the chairs. I had an awful night, tossing and turning. Or just turning from side to side, which is a monumental feat and requires much strain and effort, in an effort to get some relief.

My lower abdomen and pelvic bones were throbbing and aching all night long. Every time I had to pull myself up from the bed (or just try to dump myself over the side of the bed) to use the toilet, I was moaning and groaning. And then I started feeling, what I now believe were, Braxton Hicks contractions. My lower abdomen felt hard and I felt like I had menstrual cramps. My lower back was aching and the baby was kicking, too. It was a nightmare of a night. I started worrying that I had somehow put myself into early (preterm) labor. It didn't help that Darah wanted to spend the whole night in our bed, between us...but her calls for "mommy, mommy, mommy" usually happen every night at around two am. The next day was full of pain (of the same sort) as well. But I read about preterm labor and noticed that I never had ten contractions in one hour, so there was no major cause for concern. There isn't much that I can do about the pelvic bone pains and bed soreness at night; changing sides and emptying my bladder are the main remedies. Sleeping with a pillow between my legs has been a necessity for the past few months, but sometimes I curse the way that I was designed as a woman. The other sleep-killer has been itchiness. I itch, sometimes all over but mostly on my belly. Most of the things that are happening with my body seem terribly unnatural. My heart is troubled and stressed because it has to work harder than normal. The rest of my torso is stretched and stressed.

Why should it have to be so uniquely painful to carry a baby? Part of the problem, I realize, is that I am so short and small, but STILL. And then there are all of the pills. I am not used to this. I am taking Prilosec for heartburn. I am also on a heart medication because I was experiencing a racing heart rate (and irregular beats). I had my heart monitored for twenty-four hours on some kind of heart monitor, and the results showed that my heart rate was soaring at a dangerous level one or two times during that period. So I take a ("something-pranolol") heart pill to regulate my heart rate. The same medication is said to treat high blood pressure and anxiety. So it lowers blood pressure - but I already have low blood pressure...which means that one of the side effects of taking the medication is that my blood pressure sometimes dips and I become weak and dizzy and faint. The daily or tri-weekly episodes of weakness was already happening, so I cannot say for sure if it occurs because of the medication. The worst for me is that I have to take an iron supplement because I am anemic. It's important that I take it, but I HATE taking iron (because I HATE nausea and it causes that). I am trying my best to suck it up and take the iron. I refuse to take the pills that the nurse recommended, and am instead taking an over-the-counter, slow-release pill at a lower dose. I am supposed to take a prenatal vitamin WITH the iron, but I haven't been able to force myself to do both yet. Iron causes constipation so now I need to add "Stool Softener" to the list of pills I need to take. At least it is only for a couple more months!

Pregnancy brings on a lot of complaining in my personality - I do realize this. But it's my reality and I am just sharing it. I know that, aside from a torn, wounded and stitched vulva, my body will be feeling so much better after I deliver little baby Elanah (we're thinking one "n" rather than two now).

Darah has me talk like "Elmo" multiple times a day. She usually won't finish her breakfast cereal unless "Elmo" feeds her. So it's now Mummy ("Mommy"), Elmo ("Melmo"), Momma Sandy ("Momma Si"), and Darah...and Elanah. Darah has quite the sense of humor. She just threw a bunch of Cheerios on the floor of her playroom and I said, "no Darah, not acceptable" in a stern tone. She pointed her finger in the air at me and said "no, you" and then raised her eyebrows as if she was surprised by herself and waiting to get into trouble. She looked like she might start laughing, too. I guess that's like me: I have always smiled and laughed excessively (annoyingly, at times) when I felt nervous. When I was little my dad would look at me and make a funny face when he thought I was lying. If I laughed at the face he was making, he interpreted my laughter as an admission. I remember feeling so frustrated because I could not help but smile and laugh...even when I wasn't lying. But he wouldn't believe me if I smiled. I guess that's where I got one of the nicknames he had for me -"the bug"- (my Nana called me her "wart"). I always felt compelled to make my case and be heard and believed. I would stop at nothing if I felt I wasn't being believed or understood. It didn't work, but persistence and nagging were my ways of dealing with it. Darah is now standing, holding her babydoll, in the bathroom and hiding from me...she's trying to start the "Where's Darah, Where did Darah Go?" games.

Sometimes she is very loving with her babydoll, and at other times she struggles. She has strangled, smushed, suffocated and sat on her babydoll ("Bobby"). One time, she started hitting baby. She said, "ah hit, ah hit." Sandy said, "where did you learn to hit?" And, of course, she said: "ah mommy day." Very funny. There are times she starts to hit (babydoll or other objects), and we will be able to see her struggling. "Ah (I) heet (hit). Ah heet? No heet. No" Right now she is trying to rock her babydoll in her orange chair. And stuff babydoll into a bag (she actually said purse this morning when she was reading a book and saw a picture of some sort of bag). She really surprises us with some of the words she knows. We wonder, where the heck did she learn that? She picks up language very quickly. I am impressed. And she likes to be helpful. Yesterday morning I was showering and forgot to bring a washcloth in with me. She was playing outside the shower, so I thought it was worth a try: I asked her, "Darah can you bring me your yellow washcloth." And she did! This morning she said (her version of) "Hickory Dickory Dock" when she picked up the book we took out from the library yesterday (The Completed Hickory Dickory's fun). We only read it once (although she has heard the rhyme at other times) and she was able to recognize a picture of a mouse on a clock as the rhyme.

I am so glad that Darah loves trees. She's been hugging the trees around our house lately. And she feels so proud when she hugs a tree, because of my praise and my beaming face. Last night we watched part of "Ratatouille" - it was really cute. I'd consider owning that one (for Darah...ahem, yes). Darah has also started trying to wash me when I take a bath with her. It's almost as if she is trying to get revenge for having to have her hair rinsed. She pours water on on my belly and each of my breasts (I say, "rinse the belly...rinse the booby"). And then she tries to dump it on my face and head. I guess it's only fair!

So I am off now to play the part of Elmo (to talk in "Melmo" voice) in order to brush Dar's teeth (she requests it when she sees the toothbrush). I was talking like Elmo at Long John Silver's the other night (to get Darah to eat another green bean) and a girl who works there who was on her break said, "Wow that's freaky how much you sound like Elmo. My dad used to pretend to be Yogi Bear for us." I'll take any compliment I can get - it's been years since I've been on the stage. Darah and Sandy are my only audience members...the only ones that would matter anyway.


sonyagraykey said...

Jess, I am so sorry about all the pregnancy pains. I recently have had that strange backache again & thought, "what did that last child do to my insides?!" We bear a burden to bring them into the world...but of course, they are worth all the aches. I hope you can find some rest in these last weeks. Does it help at all that you can now think of it in those terms? (last weeks)

Mason McFadden said...

Oh, thanks for writing. I know what you mean about wondering how pregnancy has changed your body. Ever since my epidural, I feel occasional numbness and tingling in my left shoulder blade. And then after Darah was born, it felt for such a long time like things were still moving and bouncing around inside me. Weird. Yes, it is worth it. Ha ha. And it does help to think of it as weeks...even though nine weeks feels like a long time I know it isn't.