Sunday, February 19, 2017

39 weeks, 6 days: An honest look at a not-so-pretty pregnancy

This is me, at exactly 39 weeks. 

I am now 39 weeks, 6 days. Tomorrow is my due date, and I'm in agony. Sadly, though I've gained less weight (under 25lbs) and been more active, my dear son is laying in my body in such a way that has caused my veins to give out. In not fun spots....

I knew, at the beginning of my third trimester, I should not be doing the job I was doing. I was teaching group exercise, which felt amazing, but I also took a job at the front desk at the gym to get extra hours in before baby arrives. Sadly, this is a decision I can never take back. 

You see, the front desk shift I was given was 7.5 hours of standing. After shift #1, my legs were so swollen and I felt HORRIBLE. I would end my shift at 10:30pm and have to be at the gym at 5:45am the next morning to teaching a cycling class. My body always felt horrible after that late shift. So low and behold, a couple weeks into this new job and I start getting hemorrhoids. At this point I was about 18 pounds above pre-pregnancy weight, active, and never had a bout of constipation. There was no explanation, except for the obvious: standing. Granted, I also believe my son is putting pressure on my a**hole in a way my daughter did not, but I also know that this standing job tipped the scale. 

Now, I've given birth before. I've had hemorrhoids. These were irritating, and incredibly painful. But then, at 37 weeks, my uterus dropped, as did my son, and as did my internal hemorrhoids... Out popped these bulbous, terrifyingly painful veins out of my rectum. EXCRUCIATING pain. From then on, every time I peed, stood, picked up my daughter, etc, I had to tuck the vein back in for relief. Well, at week 39 exactly, the vein resisted being tucked back in for good. I cannot tuck it in, and if I do, I immediately have to run to bed and elevate my legs to keep it tucked in at least through the night. My husband is having to stay home, taking unpaid leave, to take care of the kids, house, and myself. All the while having to complete his masters classes. I have been bedridden, escaping for 45 minutes the last three days to at least do some hemorrhoid/pregnancy appropriate stretching and pushups in the sauna at the gym (I am a stickler for sweating, I need to feel like I earned my shower for the day). But this is the extent of my leaving the bed. To make matters worse, because I can't exercise (let alone stand), I've been depressed, choosing to stress eat bad foods that are hard on my digestive system. If you've struggled with hemorrhoids, you know this is the worst thing to do to yourself.

The stress isn't so much from the unmanageable pain as it is the anxiety of thinking of having to push and put more strain "down there" when I deliver my baby. THAT is the source of my anxiety. I was so excited and calm about childbirth, thinking I would certainly like to go natural this time, but this has thrown in such a huge wave of anxiety that I am not sure how I am going to psychologically handle the situation when the time comes. I'm hoping to man up my mind enough to avoid an epidural, as I know this can cause for a lengthy pushing time, leading to more hemorrhoids. 

Sadly, not all pregnancies are the same. I hope to come out with a great, or at least helpful, birth story and share my recovery process.

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