I had my 30-week checkup yesterday. Everything seems to be going just fine. We went over my bloodwork and all of that is right on track. Even my weight gain is fine. Chemically, I am doing well. I’m crossing my fingers that the next 8 to 10 weeks bring me much of the same where health is concerned.
Honestly, I don’t have a lot of room to complain because (for the most part) my pregnancy has gone pretty well up until this point. Sure, I was sick in the beginning. I battled a couple of vicious migraines, dealt with an excessive amount of saliva, and I fought with general nausea – the kind that runs through your blood, the kind you simply cannot not shake. But overall, things have gone pretty damn well, that is up until last week.
My body is finally starting to break down. I can no long walk very well, instead I wobble and my hips ache 24-hours a day. My belly itches and the muscles below my breasts – you know, where my abdominal muscles are currently splitting apart to make room for the baby (yes, that happens) – feel like I went to a pilates class after being punched in the gut repeatedly by Mike Tyson. My face continues to break out and there are dark spots forming on my nose and forehead, dark spots on top of the freckles I usually have. My back hurts. Last night I woke up to a wicked muscle strain in my right calf. I read the muscle pains are pretty normal for pregnant women in the last trimester and, given the amount of weight our legs suddenly have to endure, that makes sense. (Seriously, you try putting on 22 pounds in less than 7 months.) But that calf pain is excruciating. It’s so bad, Alberto Gonzales should consider using it when he tortures people.
I can’t sleep past 4 AM and when I finally force myself back to sleep again at around 6 AM, I wake up feeling hungover at 8 AM. And the dreams! The dreams are downright bizarre. If they’re not something taken directly from the mind of David Lynch, they’re sexually explicit in nature, almost disturbingly so.
My hair is thinning and that became even more obvious recently while getting my hair done. Oh, and I feel like I smell funny.
I am having trouble breathing, which is worse at night after I lie down. I purchased some of those nasal strips and that helps. But I also forget that I have them on so when I inevitably wake up in the middle of the night (3 to 5 times) to relieve my painfully full, baby-sized bladder, I immediately think something has gone very wrong with my face. It takes me a few seconds to figure out it’s just the glue strip holding my nostrils apart.
My heartburn, already an untameable beast, has gotten worse since my belly grew bigger. My stomach no longer has the room it once had. And it doesn’t always happen when I overeat. It happens at night no matter what and it happens on an empty stomach as well. My heartburn severity advisory system looks like this:
I can no longer eat ice cream. Like, I’ll probably never eat it again. About two weeks ago, I decided to consume an entire bowl of chocolate and vanilla ice cream smothered in dark chocolate and peanut butter chips at 10 o’clock at night. I then proceeded to vomit up that bowl of ice cream in my mouth over and over again for about 3 more hours. It was like having a hot, black and white, acid reflux flavored milkshake repeatedly. I haven’t been able to eat – no, think about – ice cream since. I have almost an entire gallon left if anyone wants to come over and finish it for me.
And my heart pounds now. I read that a pregnant woman produces 45% more blood by the time she reaches the third trimester and that the heart pumps 10 more beats per minute taking in about 30 percent more blood with each and every beat. So it makes sense why my heart is working overtime. It makes sense that sometimes I feel like I’m going to faint when I stand up too fast. It makes sense that my heart races after I’m startled awake, I sit up too fast, or I spend a long day walking through the hot streets of New York City. (Hello, yesterday.)
I spoke to my doctor yesterday about my physical ailments. I said, “Doctor, my body is starting to hurt everywhere. I’m starting to have some trouble moving around and breathing – you know – stuff I need to do in order to live.” To which she replied, “If you think it’s bad now, wait until week 32. That’s when things really start to take their toll.”
The good news is I haven’t put on weight since my last doctor’s visit. In fact, I lost two pounds since my last visit. To celebrate, I left the doctor’s office, hit Balthazar, and ordered a piece of coconut cake, which made my heart beat 11 more times each minute spent loving it with my mouth.