Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Pregnant in Forties equals High Risk Pregnancy (so they say)

I've spent days working on a particular post that isn't ready yet, and in the meantime, the baby is growing.

It seems like just yesterday that I noticed the hardness of my uterus creeping up past my belly button. Now it's half-way to my diaphragm. I've gotten used to that constantly-bloated feeling now. I go in for a growth ultrasound on Thursday to make sure he's the right size for his age. I don't think that's going to be a problem.

Since I'm in my Forties, this is considered a high-risk pregnancy. So far, at 27 weeks, I'm not retaining any water. No puffiness in my face or extremities. My breathing is good -- I only feel winded when I try to keep up with M when we're walking together. My blood pressure is good. Soon I'll be monitoring my urine for signs of stress on my kidneys (toxemia), and I'll go in for another blood glucose test soon to make sure I'm not getting gestational diabetes. My mood is good, especially now that M is over his shock and talking more openly about the baby. For a while there I had dark spells in which I felt very alone and stuck.

I've either gotten used to the soreness on my knees that has plagued me since the First Trimester, or it's let up for some reason. They still hurt, but not as much. Getting up from the couch and even out of bed is more work these days. I used to sleep mostly in the middle of my bed, but I've changed to sleeping on the right side of my bed, leaving the entire left side clear, which gives me lots of room to sleep on my left side and none on my right. Sleeping on my back makes my legs tingle and sleeping on my right puts pressure on the superior vena cava, and as the baby grows it will only get worse, so I'm using pillows to keep me from sleeping any direction but left. Thank God M and I have separate beds!

I'm wearing a bra to bed at night, have been for a while. My breasts tend to wake me with aches and burning if I don't. So far they haven't grown drastically in cup size... they've just filled-in, back to the firmness I remember in my 20s. If they fill in much more, though, I'm going to have to step up another cup size.

Laughing, coughing, sneezing, hiccuping, vomiting -- these things put pressure on my bladder and often result in a change of clothing. I may resort to wearing panty-liners soon.

I'm fidgety. I'm constantly changing positions. Switching between couch and chair. Laying on the water bed once in a while instead of my tempurpedic. Standing I like, so long as there is movement involved. If I'm standing in a line for more than 15 minutes my low back starts to hurt. I try to finish what I start, but I find that I'm over-estimating my stamina. I really have to pace myself, especially with regards to exertion like digging things up in the garden, etc. I get cramps and feel sore low under my belly when I over do it.

I find that I'm hungry a lot more often these days. I'm trying to keep the noshing under control by stocking the fridge with greek yogurt and snap peas and sticks of cheese, and by navigating around certain shops when I'm on my walks. I'm two and three blocks from a Cold Stone Creamery, Beard Papa's Desserts, and Fletch's Footlongs for example. A couple of blocks more and there's bubble tea places, chinese, thai, and indian restaurants, two hot pot places (one chinese and one japanese), a dozen sushi and bento places, several pizza shops, two donut shops, gelato and coffee shops, four italian places, and two organic gourmet burger joints in addition to KFC, Taco Bell, and Burger King. Yeah -- I live in a pregnant woman's food paradise -- or nightmare, depending on perspective.

On the up side, my hair and skin and nails look great. I have a good excuse to nap whenever I want to. M is more solicitous with regards to my comfort, and more zealous about my physical exertion. I get to intersperse my activities with "just being" down-time. This works well with the whole pregnancy-brain thing. I find that if I give myself time to zone-out and just be, I feel less stressed and am less likely to experience those pregnancy-brain blank-outs at inconvenient moments.

So far, and I'm keeping my fingers crossed, this high-risk pregnancy has been pretty low-key. 12 more weeks to go, and we'll be bringing a little one home. Which reminds me... I should start thinking about buying some nursery furniture and figuring out how to incorporate a newborn's paraphernalia into my bedroom.

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