Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Pregnancy Brain

True story: I went into the bedroom this evening to get some lip balm before sitting down to listen to my Hypnobabies recording, and thought I should take my calcium tablet now. Both lip balm and calcium tablets are on the same bureau in the bedroom.

I applied the lip balm, put it down, and tried to remember what the other thing was that I was going to do. Couldn't. Walked back into the living room to find my iPod, then remembered the calcium.

Pregnancy brain: it's real. I don't know what I'd do without my BlackBerry. Any good pregnancy brain stories out there?

PS: taking calcium at night as a recent blood test showed me to be a tad anemic, and I read somewhere that taking calcium and iron at the same time is bad, as they bond together and your body can't absorb them. And that magnesium, which is included in my calcium tablet, is good to take before bed to help you sleep. And I can use all the help I can get sleeping right now. Between needing to go to the loo every hour or two, and the sweaty-ness, and not being able to get into a comfortable position, I'm not sure if I'm sleeping or waking more.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Late Pregnancy Symptoms - Some Weird, Some Less So

I think I just like using the word weird.

At any rate, I'm now 36 weeks pregnant - crikey, that went by fast! What's changed since the last post on dealing with the funny pregnancy symptoms? Very little.

Both the "typically first trimester" symptoms of morning sickness and metallic taste in my mouth have receeded but not completely gone away.

One new one is that my hair or my scalp I suppose, is really oily all of a sudden. I normally wash my hair twice a week and the stretch from Wednesday to Sunday is really getting questionable. I'm not sure if I were 36 weeks pregnant in the winter, that this would be such a problem, but it's hot here and I don't think all the sweating is helping. I do think the rate at which my hair falls out may have slowed - or it may only appear to have slowed, since I got it cut in Barbados and it looks like less in the tub hair trap... Yum!

My heartburn has only gotten worse. I've also talked to enough moms who took way more than 4 Tums/Rolaids per day and ended up with healthy babies that I've stopped worrying about it on the few days that I have taken 4 before lunch... I've also finally been told that I can take one proton pump inhibitor, Xantac. Argh. I should really complain more. I think I just haven't wanted to be the whiner so I haven't bitched and moaned about the heartburn enough to be told this earlier.

Still no stretch marks. A few funny little purple veins on the belly, that might be baby varicose veins, but they don't bulge or hurt so I'm not going to worry about them. The skin on my belly sometimes looks a bit red so I keep moisturizing and it seems fine.

Potential TMI alert on paragraph below!

Speaking of varicose veins, after my bout of intestinal distress back in March, I grew myself some really nice varicose veins of the bum, aka hemorrhoids. Yuck! Unfortunately they've never gone away. Apparently as well as coming along with the constipation and whatnot, their presence is also often attributed to the weight of the baby and her accoutrement on the intestines. After the first couple weeks, they no longer itched and burned, which is alright. However, now with the size of my belly combined with these buggers, it's sometimes hard to reach to clean effectively after a BM. Hoping that makes sense without being excessively graphic?

TMI alert off.

Ooh, one new pregnancy symptom: I'm really irritable. So irritable. I get now why women take time off work before the baby comes. It's not to get the house ready or rest. It's because if you don't, something might fly out of your cranky potty mouth that could get you fired. I'm trying to keep a lid on it. Fortunately I love my job and work with great, competent people, so there's not too much of a reason to lose my grip at work. Poor DH though. He gets all my crazy, rather unfiltered.

Finally, I go back and forth on this mini-series of pregnancy symptoms / side effects / manifestions. I don't like calling them symptoms as I don't think I'm sick, nor side effects because it's not a drug... though I could make an argument for bottling and selling some of the hormones. Manifestations I only just came up with and it sounds a little woo woo out there.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

34 weeks pregnant belly photo

Originally uploaded by xxcaro
DH was kind enough to snap this last week but it's taken me this long to get my round tuit up and running to post the darn thing. Can you believe it? Ah well. I thought when I finished school, I'd have all this free time to relax, and blog, and read, and study the hypnobabies course. And I find myself flopping on the sofa when I get home from work and vegematating with my feet up.

And nesting. There's definitely some nesting going on: washing all the clothes and blankies we've been given, organizing space for it all, cleaning the apartment a little, etc.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

The Worried Pregnant Tourist in Barbados

I wasn’t sure what to expect from my most recent trip to Barbados. We’d selected it as our destination because we used to live there, and figured it would be both relaxing, and handy to have existing relationships with doctors, should I need one.

My midwife gave me a complete copy of all of my medical records since I started seeing her practice, to bring my OBGYN in Barbados up to date, should I need to see her. I bought travelers’ medical insurance for the first time in my life, though after paying for it, I read the longish list of exclusions and found that maternity care and childbirth are excluded. Rats.

I worried about staying regular and whether I’d be able to find prune juice at the grocery store there, so I bought some bags of dried prunes and apricots to be on the safe side.

A colleague got me worried about sunburn, saying pregnant ladies are more susceptible to sunburn than normal, so I bought some children’s SPF 50 sun block – opted for the children’s type, hoping it would have fewer weird chemicals. This is in addition to the lovely natural sun block product I’d purchased at Lush, which they say is approximately SPF 15.

I remembered our hotel room from last year where we were on the third floor with no elevator, and figured that would be hopeless, or rather, I would be hopeless trying to climb two flights of stairs right now. I called the hotel a month before we arrived and requested a room on the ground or second floor.

I have read that mosquitoes are particularly drawn to pregnant ladies, so I worried about contracting dengue fever again (you can get it up to four times) and considered buying insect repellent, but didn’t find any citronella based products before I left. I don’t use DEET based stuff under normal circumstances, and really don’t want to while pregnant.

In the last days before departure and the first few days of the trip, I got myself completely worked up and convinced that I was going to go into labour while in Barbados. Happily, that turned out to be wrong and I’m still quite pregnant.

Here are my lessons learned for traveling to the Caribbean while pregnant:
  • It doesn’t matter how much your traveling companion loves to have the window seat, you really need to get an aisle seat. This is not just for you to be able to get up and down to the bathroom frequently, but also for some shoulder and arm rest space: on one of the longer flights, I was stuck between my husband and a larger guy. I thought my back was going to go into spasm, I was so uncomfortable.
  • They sell prune juice in the large grocery stores, just not the little touristy ones.
  • The guy selling papayas out of the back of a van is also your friend: ask him for a large, very ripe one and make a basic little fruit salad with lime and brown sugar in the hotel. It will keep for days in the fridge and help with the digestion.
  • Mosquitoes still prefer my husband (poor guy!) to me. I don’t think I got bitten once.
  • The SPF 50 was pretty effective, but so was the stuff from Lush. I wore a hat and stayed out of the sun from 11 am to 3 pm and only got a bit singed – mostly got brown. Someone to whom I’m married doesn’t think he needs sun block or a hat, and he’s peeling now. And a lot browner than me.
  • People are nice to pregnant ladies everywhere I go. Except those that aren’t, but they’re outnumbered. I got the best customer service I have ever received in Barbados on this trip. Even the cashiers at Big B’s grocery store were sweet to me, and that’s a minor miracle.
  • Gobsmacked is kind of a wacky thing to say when explaining your reaction to hearing that someone is pregnant, but in a funny, irreverent way that I like.
So that’s what I learned on vacation in Barbados. I spent loads of time listening to the Hypnobabies recordings... or in some deep state of hypnosis where I snored, and listened to them at any rate... We had a lovely time, visited with many old friends, enjoyed perfect weather and hope to be back again soon!

UPDATE: forgot to link to the photos on Flickr. All better now.