Sunday, March 25, 2012
Let me point out a few things about the picture above to you, in case you didn't notice them on first glance. First, I am huge. This is perhaps not surprising, as I have been immense with all of my previous pregnancies as well. When I was pregnant with Bryn, random people accosted me all the time to ask when "the twins" were due. When the school year started in August, a teacher who actually had twins of her own took one look at me and said, "Whoa, when are you due--today or yesterday??" Um, not til November.... another 2 1/2 months, thanks. And so it has gone with each pregnancy, and this one is no exception. Well-meaning friends and acquaintances look at me and assume that I'm due in April. When I correct them and say, "No, not til June...", their eyes widen and they unconsciously take a few steps back. Scary, I know. Yet in every pregnancy, whenever the OB measures my gigantic belly, they reassure me that it is right on track for whatever week of the pregnancy I'm currently in. So I think the actual reason that I get huge is because I have a really short torso. I mean, I'm short in general--only 5'2". But my torso is especially short (which causes problems when buying clothes), so my babies really have nowhere to go but straight out. Hello, gigantic belly.
Another thing to notice: This baby is carrying really high. I thought that boys were supposed to carry low and girls were supposed to carry high? Or at least that's what many, many random women told me during both my pregnancies with Bryn and Shay. Both of them carried extremely low, which caused the aforementioned random women to stop me in public and congratulate me on my "baby boy." When I would correct them, saying, "No, actually, it's a girl," they gave me incredulous looks and told me that they were certain the doctor had gotten the ultrasound wrong because, after all, girls never carry so low. (This led to many middle-of-the-night panic attacks on my part as my due dates approached and I wondered if maybe I was about to birth a boy instead.... but no, both of them really were girls.) So my girls were low and now my boy is high. Huh. Apparently my body does it backwards. Which is fine by me, since the lower this kid gets, the more he presses down on my varicose veins, and OUCH.
Which brings me to point #3 about this picture: my super-sexy compression hose. They actually don't show up as well as I was expecting in the photo, which is somewhat of a relief. I now have to wear these awful compression hose every day. They can't repair the damage that has already been done to my veins, but they might possibly be able to prevent the veins spreading. These are the same orthopedic hose that little old ladies wear, and they are pretty hideous. In order to hold in the veins, they are incredibly tight. It takes me about 10 minute to struggle into them every morning, and then it feels like my entire leg is in a tourniquet. They also tend to bunch around my ankles and my knees, which really adds to the overall super-sexy effect. While I am very grateful for the current run of beautiful weather, the sunshine and warmer temperatures have already left me sweating heavily inside the skintight hose, so I can only image what it will feel like in, say, May or June.
And that's not all. What you cannot see in the picture (or hopefully in real life) is that over the hose, I also have to wear a V2 supporter. These hideous torture devices are made specifically for women with "vulval varicosities" (read: vaginal varicose veins) and are pretty close to the female equivalent of a jock strap. It is incredibly tight and incredibly uncomfortable and leaves huge welts on my skin where the straps cut. But I do have to admit that it makes the vaginal veins slightly more bearable.
Next, my ensemble. Thanks to the V2 supporter (which I have to wear over a pair of shorts, to keep the straps from slicing too deeply into my skin) and the compression hose (which are incredibly hot and itchy), I already have many layers on bottom before I even start to think about my clothes for the day. (Side note: you know how pregnant women have to go to the bathroom like every half hour? It takes me at least 10 minutes to get in and out of all these layers each time I go. I feel like I spend my whole life in the bathroom.) Combine all of that with my aforementioned hugeness, and I'm having a very hard time finding clothes that fit over both my gigantic belly and all my bottom layers. So for the time being, I am wearing dresses every single day. The fabric is relatively comfortable over my belly, and they don't add another layer of heat to the bottom. But since I previously wore dresses maybe once a month (and that's a generous estimate), this is taking some getting used to, for both me and friends who do double-takes when they see me. Oh, and dresses really show off the super-sexy support hose to their fullest advantage.
When considering my ensemble, we also have to look at my shoes. Obviously flip-flops are out, thanks to the support hose. In fact, anything open-toed is out, since the hose have awesome dark thick tips on the toes and heels. Also, I cannot wear anything that requires tying or positioning in any way, since I can barely reach my feet. Which leaves me with these awesome old-man house-slipper type shoes that I found on clearance at Walmart. Oh, the classiness.
I am also no longer wearing my wedding ring, because my fingers are too swollen to fit it on. (In case you're wondering, my ankles are also quite large.)
The above picture was taken on the day that I did my glucose test (and the site of my needle prick then bled through the bandaid). Thankfully, I passed the glucose test--no gestational diabetes for me! On the down side, the test revealed that I am severely anemic. The nurse suggested that I start taking a daily iron supplement.... and when I told her that I already do that, she was rather flumoxed and suggested that I now take it up to 2 a day. The same blood test also revealed that my TSH (thyroid hormone) is also out of whack (again) and led to another adjustment in my dosage, meaning that I am now on more synthroid than I have ever been before.
So all in all, I'm kind of a mess. Particularly considering that my OB wants me on bedrest because of the veins (which I will post about later). BUT, the really important thing is that no matter what goes wrong with me, I am thrilled to report that this baby is 100% healthy. He's growing exactly like he should, with a nice strong heartbeat. So while I'm definitely ready for all of these medical problems to go away, I'm aiming to hang on for another 13 weeks and have a healthy, safe, perfect little baby.