Sunday, November 29, 2009

Can I Bitch?

Can I take a moment to bitch about my pregnancy? Is it all right, after all these years of trying to get here, for me to mark my halfway point by complaining about how hard this is?

Pregnancy is really kicking my ass. In some ways, it isn’t as hard as I imagined. Given my history of back problems and miscarriages, I thought it was possible that pregnancy would turn me into a true invalid. (It still might, but it’s looking like, if that happens, it will be in the later stages.) And I still remain fairly functional and somewhat active.

But in many ways pregnancy is much harder than I thought it would be. All of the symptoms are totally tolerable—for a week or two. But to feel like crap day after day, with no end in sight, is exhausting. And having to maintain the same level of competence at work while my body is in full revolt is daunting.

Here’s my list of lovely symptoms:

Nausea. That’s right, I’m 20 weeks pregnant and still getting nauseous. No, wait, that’s not quite accurate. I’m getting nauseous AGAIN. My doc says that this happens with a lot of women when they hit 28 weeks—it’s the pressure the baby is putting on the stomach. He thinks that it’s likely, with me carrying twins, this is what’s happening. And he’s right that it’s different from morning sickness. I now get sick after I eat, not before. So I feel ill before I eat because I’m hungry. And then I feel even worse after I eat. Actually, I’ve discovered that the only time I feel really good is while I’m eating and maybe five minutes afterward.

Heartburn. Probably higher on the list of annoyances than the nausea. Everything I eat turns to acid. And then it seems to crawl back up my throat. I’m constantly burping, and when I’m not upright I end up just regurgitating. Sorry if this seems disgusting. It is digusting. And painful. And annoying. I’m taking a zantac before every meal, which helps some, but it’s frustrating as hell.

Headaches. When I don’t eat and drink enough (such as when I’m nauseous or have hearburn), I get headaches. Ow.

Insomnia. Everything is conspiring against my ability to sleep. For starters, I can’t sleep for more than three hours without having to get up to eat. And the amount I eat seems to have little to do with this calculation. So I can’t eat twice as much and sleep twice as long. It just doesn’t work that way. And then, of course, after I eat I get the aforementioned heartburn/regurgitation, which has a way of keeping me awake. Also, lying on my side (which I now have to do) makes my hips and/or lower back hurt, which also keeps me awake. And sometimes, when I’m miraculously comfortable lying there, I STILL can’t sleep. For hours. No idea why. This generally is between 2 a.m. and 5 a.m., maybe later. I seem to do my best sleeping after 5:30 or 6:00 a.m, which really blows when I need to get up at 6:30 to go to work.

Paranoia. This coincides with the insomnia, as I am much more paranoid in those lonely hours in the middle of the night. I ended up with a surge of nausea and cramps last week, which made me so concerned that I called my doctor. He now wants me to push up my sono (scheduled for Friday) to Monday. (Which also sucks, as my fabulous OB’s office almost certainly will be booked and will try to push me off to Community Radiology again, which is where I had to go last month, and the sono tech couldn’t get the TV screen working and would barely turn her screen so I didn’t really get to see anything, and the equipment was crappy and I ended up with no pictures and I SWORE that this month’s sono was going to be in the nice place where I could actually see my babies! Grrr.) A few nights ago I was sure I felt the babies (Baby B, to be precise) kicking, though I’m still having trouble figuring out which abdominal sensations—and there are many—are the babies. Haven’t felt it since, so I spent all night last night wondering, again, if my babies had died. I tend to be a lot better about these thoughts in the light of day, at least.

Exhaustion. I do have bursts of energy occasionally, but they don’t come every day and they don’t last long. Mostly I’m just tired. A couple of weeks ago, when J was out of town, I finished my dinner and wondered whether it was too early to go to bed. I looked at the clock. It was 7:15.

I think I would tolerate these problems better if I didn’t have so long to go, and if I didn’t know it was just going to get harder. I’m feeling a little ripped off—where are the happy second-trimester hormones I was promised? Where is that “I can do anything” burst of energy I was supposed to get? Then again, I am getting two babies for the price of one, and that’s likely the reason I’m having such a hard time.

I know I shouldn’t complain. And I am so unbelievably relieved not to be trying to get pregnant anymore that I am, for the most part, handling this difficulty well enough. But occasionally—like the day before Thanksgiving when the headaches came to the cramps/nausea/heartburn party—I just break down and cry, because I have no idea how to take care of myself anymore. I’ve lost all control over my body, and my desperate attempts to keep myself in line (yoga, acupuncture, chiropractic, walking on treadmill) often seem futile in the face of this overwhelming change.

So lay it on me, folks. Am I the only one struggling through this?


Sue said...

I've never understood the people who enjoy the experience of being pregnant. I had a relatively easy pregnancy and it was not fun or pleasant. You have every right to complain. It IS hard, doubly so for you and I'm sorry you're experiencing so many uncomfortable side effects. Here's hoping you feel absolutely fabulous once those babies are out and in your arms.

Newt said...

Yep, pregnancy is hard enough with just the physical stuff. When you add in twins and a history of reproductive complications, you get a potent little cocktail of misery and anxiety. Ugh.

Don't feel like you have to suck it up. Complaining was one of the only things that kept me going in those days :] Keeping you in my heart through this upcoming ultrasound. Thinking good thoughts for two strong little babies growing big and fat in there. Big and fat. Big and fat.

Kate said...

I have the regurgitation, and the waking up every 1.5-2 hours wondering if I need to pee, or did I just have a little contraction, or am I just uncomfortable. Had bad rib/right-sided inside-the-belly pain for a couple days last week.
Thankfully, I'm only pregnant with one, and I don't have the nausea to deal with. The anxiety about it all has sure meant no honeymoon second trimester for me though. Tightenings since 16 weeks, terrified I'd lose the baby before viability, still worried I'll end up with a micropreemie. Ugh. Not easy.
But I'm so grateful to finally be at this point, cause it had been 4 long years of trying and loss. I'm sure we all whine a little, and then suck it up and keep on going.

Piccinigirl said...

I don't come here as often as I should, but here I am today.
First many many congratulations on the pregnancy, (better late than never right? :)

I didn't have the m/cs but I couldn't get PG and when I finally did with the IVF I knew that things might be "off"...boy, I threw up for 35 weeks...every single day, at least 5 times a day and that was GOOD days, bad days..let's not talk about it. The heartburn and the exhaustion wow, they were horrible and me being on bedrest by 24 weeks ...I can tell you that being PG was NOT a rosy, glowy, WOW kind of time for was a "OMG, I'm never going to make it" kind of time.

what I'm trying to say (*and not doing well at it*) is of course you can complain..of course. You did work hard to get PG, you do love these babies more than life, you DO know what a miracle they are...but you also have every right to say "THIS STINKS, I cannot enjoy this miracle inside me " .

for me the sleeping did come, I was told early on to take an OTC sleep aid every night to help with the nausea and I did , from 6 weeks to the day they were born, I put myself to sleep every night and slept. It was wonderful...really. Cause I haven't really slept since. LOL

thinking of you, and sending lots of "I get it" vibes to you.

Lorraine said...

It's not fair to insist that you "enjoy" every minute of pregnancy just because it was hard to get pregnant in the first place. That's like insisting that someone never complain about their husband after they waited so long to get married - yeah, there should be an added element of appreciation, but it's still a real experience, with ups and downs, etc.

I am also just grateful to be pregnant in the first place, but have some terrible back pain and intermittent heartburn, plus I'm exhausted pretty much all of the time. And without espresso to fall back on I'm basically doomed. My skin is hideously dry and flaky and my boobs are already having that creepy let-down feeling (although no milk - yet) and my husband isn't one of those really lovey-dovey ones who will rub my neck and put lotion on my feet (which I can still reach but it's uncomfortable) or even ask how I'm doing. So, yeah, I'm happy , but I still have plenty to complain about.

At least the newborn problems will be different, but we'll probably need to be able to complain about those, too!

Good Egg Hunting said...

I hear you, sister. And I can't agree more with the other comments -- there is no reason why we need to act like everything is perfect just because we worked so hard to get here. Complaining doesn't mean you don't appreciate it or think it's worth it -- you're trying to cope with the very real negatives associated with *major* body changes taking place. I actually didn't start to feel all those positive feelings promised during the second trimester until the very end of it (right before I was put on bed rest, ironically). All I can say is that while all your symptoms probably won't go away completely, what probably will happen is you'll get used to them and they'll fade to the background. I truly hope that things get easier for you from here. But know you're not alone!

Shinejil said...

Bitch away! I'm with you: Pregnancy sucks. The crazy newborn period is great by comparison. Seriously.

kate said...

Oh, friend. I'm sorry you're feeling so sucky. Maybe we should be chatting late night, because I seem to be awake during those hours, too. The falling-asleep-at-8:00 thing, combined with the insomnia-from-3-to-5 thing is enough to make a girl crazy.

I don't know how (I'm not questioning it, period.), but I haven't had much at all in the way of nausea just yet. I'm ten weeks (tomorrow), so I don't know if I'll get any morning sickness type of nausea or not. I have had some heartburn, and (MAJOR unfair...) I seem to have developed some residual gallstones even though I HAVE NO GALL BLADDER. WTF. Yeah. So I go in for a scan to see what's going on-- if not the gall stones, it could be my liver in the early stages of failing. Or something far less dramatic, like pain from scar tissue from previous surgery... Whatever reason, I get a bit of heartburn, then I get intense gas pain, then the gall stone-ish pain, then pain along the waistline and belly button. And then I get up in the morning and it's gone.

I get the headaches, too, usually related to dehydration.

And yeah, the best part of the insomnia is the way it affords you time to run over and over and over every stupid or anxiety-inducing thing that has ever happened to you or ever could happen to you. Gotta love that paranoia...

Ah, well. What a prize at the end of all of this. Pregnancy may suck, but luckily, with twins, dumbasses won't be bugging us about when we'll be having the next one, right? No societal pressure to have to do this pregnancy crap all over again...

Of course, aside from everything I mentioned here, I'm really not feeling so terrible yet. Surprisingly for my whiner temperament, I really am dealing with the symptoms pretty well so far. Call me in ten weeks, but for now, I feel pretty great, all things considered.

peesticksandstones said...

Oh yeah. This all sounds pretty familiar. I was definitely the Heartburn Queen -- was always having to duck into pharmacies for Emergency Tums. They do have this amazing new flavor, though. The brown ones are chocolate and the white ones taste like marshmallows? Weird, but it works.

For me, the pregnancy also went on for like 10,000 years. Never in my life has time eeked on so slow. It pisses me off, though, that the cool part -- the awesome fun baby -- goes by faster than anything ever has in my life. Talk about not fair!

Hang in there, lady! Not too long from now you'll be ready for the next frontier: post-partum complaints! All I can say is enjoy as much normal pooping as you can now while there's still time...

La La said...

I've been such a bad blogger - how did I miss that you are having TWINS!!! Congratulations!

I got the nausea later in pregnancy, but only with my singleton. I had it bad in the beginning, then it went away, then came back around 18 weeks. NO fun.

Have you tried lots of small meals?

Hope you feel better soon.

Barb said...

Nope you're not.

I said "Yup," to all of it pretty much. Now you see why I support the right of any woman to complain about pregnancy issues. It doesn't detract from your happiness about the FACT. It's just a very very hard job despite the cool stuff.

Don't worry so much about it "just getting worse" though. For me at least, there are period of much worse and period of much better even at this late stage. It seems to depend on how he's lying, what my hormones are doing and how exhausted I've been. Every day though I have to force myself to go to work. It's getting soooooo hard. I'm on my feet doing a physical job caring for animals, so every day I'm afraid it's the last day I can take it. Without the sciatica, it would be marginally better, but only marginally.

Tip: Don't stretch your legs with your toes pointed. Good way to get the most painful leg cramp (the most painful ANYTHING) you may have ever experienced. Stretch with the heel down.

Barb said...

p.s. The crap for me was much easier to take once I started feeling him every day. :)

Nanyambo said...

Lol! You are not alone. I totally did *not* get said burst of energy in the second trimester either. On the plus side, you are past the halfway point now. Yay!

And, to respond to the is-it-alright question at the top of your post: YES! of course you can take time to complain about the less-than-fantastic parts of being pregnant. Just because you want your babies and you worked really really really hard to have them doesn't make heartburn feel less like heartburn.

Hang in there and look forward to the forgetting-about-the-pain hormones that are supposed to come after the birth.

Laila said...

Meet my new love Zantac! hahahha...
It cures all the stomach acidity and reflux when I was pregnant. Got it at ZANTAC my friend, ZANTAC! It works wonders and always keep it handy at all times.