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?