i am officially in the third trimester now. there is some debate about whether the third trimester starts at 27 weeks or 28 weeks or maybe somewhere in between, but either way, we’re in the home stretch. i’m not sick of being pregnant yet but i’m getting there. i have had some mild swelling for several weeks, mainly in my hands. i have a mild case of pregnancy-induced carpal tunnel syndrome, which isn’t a problem i have ever had while not pregnant. my right hand is tingly & numb 100% of the time & i can’t really grasp stuff with it anymore. which means i have a hard time writing anything by hand, because it’s difficult to grip the pen. this is very frustrating to me, because it means i can’t really write in my journal, & i am banking on not having a lot of time for journal writing once the baby is born & this swelling situation resolves itself.
in boston, i noticed that my feet were swelling as well. actually, i had a pretty serious elephant foot situation happening in boston. even loosening my sneakers as far as they would go, my toes were still crowding each other & it was difficult to walk. i didn’t have nearly enough opportunities to elevate my feet, & i am always bad at staying hydrated when i travel, which didn’t help things. by the time i got back to kansas, i could hardly walk. my feet were so swollen, even my slippers were too tight. my socks no longer fit. i had a prenatal on friday morning, the day after i flew home, & i went in just a pair of jared’s socks because nothing else fit on my feet.
it wasn’t a great appointment. i had to get another rhogam shot & i wasn’t really prepared for it. needles don’t bother me, but it’s never fun getting a shot. especially a shot in the ass. good thing i no longer have any dignity about stuff like that. my first blood pressure reading was atronomically high. the nurse tried again with a bigger cuff & it came back with a far less terrifying number, but it was still on the high side. she took my pressure again ten minutes later & it was even higher. combine that with the sudden swelling & the fact that i’d gained about sixteen pounds in a single four-week period (twice the amount they like to see) & basically i was showing a lot of risk factors for pre-eclampsia, which is my worst pregnancy fear.
the doctor sent me to the lab for some bloodwork, & i was also given a lovely jug & told to collect all my urine for 24 hours so they could look for elevated protein levels. it was definitely one of those situations where i was really thankful that jared is away doing research. you have to keep the urine jug cool, in the fridge or on ice, & it was just a lot less embarrassing to deal with the whole thing with no witnesses aside from a cat who doesn’t give a fuck what’s going on as long as she gets fed in a timely manner. though i am now blogging about it, so…i figure this is just one of those sucky pregnancy things people should be aware of going in. i suffer so that my constant reader might not have to.
i returned the jug 24 hours later, & also after fasting for like twelve hours or something so i could do my glucose test, which screens for potential gestational diabetes. i don’t have any symptoms, but it’s a routine test in the states, & the fact that i have a family history of diabetes puts me in a risk category. the glucose test is arguably the most dreaded routine pregnancy test. it involves being forced to chug a disgustingly sweet, syrupy beverage & then sitting around doing nothing for an hour, & then having your blood drawn. if you fail, which is to say, if your blood sugar comes back too high, you have to do the test again, but this time it takes three hours. so picture it: you’re in the third trimester & probably enormously pregnant. all you want to do is eat your way through your daily routine like the episode of “the simpsons” where homer imagines being transported to candyland. but you have to fast, & the first thing you’re allowed to eat or drink (aside from water & black coffee, which are both permissible) is this totally horrifying cup of syrup. & then you get blood drawn, which is a horror all its own to a lot of people (not me so much–again, needles don’t bother me).
i got tropical punch flavor. i hate tropical punch even when it doesn’t come in the form of pure glucose in a styrofoam cup at the hospital. i really i hope i pass. i do not want to do that again.
my doctor also accelerated me to every-other-week-appointments a month early to keep an eye on the blood pressure situation. if i do end up with pre-eclampsia, either now or at some point later in pregnancy, the only cure is to deliver the baby. if left untreated, it can shut down my kidneys or liver, i could have a stroke–all kinds of awful stuff. so basically, maybe i should stop telling people i’m having an easy pregnancy. i mean, everything is more or less copacetic at the moment, aside from the symphysis pubic dysfunction, third trimester nausea, pregnancy-induced carpal tunnel, swollen hands & feet, toothaches, congestion, i could go on. apparently my definition of a “complicated pregnancy” is being out on bed rest at the hospital. it’s almost kind of sick that i have all these issues with my own comfort & well-being, but as long as the baby is kicking away & measuring well (& it is–i can even SEE it kick now, which is really cool), i am happy. i guess i really am going to be a mom.