I don't think that I am a weakling. In fact, if anything, this pregnancy has proven just how much my body can endure. Let's review:
For the first 13 weeks of pregnancy, I had intense diarrhea at least four times a day and overwhelming nausea day in and day out. This may have just been due to the first trimester, or it might have had something to do with the fact that I was taking prometrium to avoid miscarriage.
For the first 19 weeks of pregnancy, I had intense migraines every single day. I saw all 3 doctors in my (former) OB practice, as well as 2 neurologists, before being able to clear these up. For those entire 19 weeks, I had to take multiple painkillers every day (which, it turns out, were actually causing rebound headaches), mostly with no effect whatsoever. 19 weeks of daily migraine--ouch.
Starting along about week 11 or 12, I started to develop vaginal varicose veins. This means that I have had to wear a V2 supporter daily for the past 26 weeks. It also means that my veins have gotten increasingly more painful by the day. They have spread down my legs, and the vaginal ones have gotten so bad that I can barely walk, and even sitting down hurts. Basically, I am in pain ALL THE TIME.
Thanks to the development of the varicose veins, I have now been on bedrest for 12 weeks. I have also been unable to drive (or ride) long distances in the car. This means that I have missed out on visits and special occassions with family and friends. In an effort to prevent the veins from spreading, I didn't get to spend Christmas/New Year's with my in-laws. I also missed out on another trip to visit them, during which the kids got to visit a butterfly garden that they're still talking about. I didn't get to go to my sister's bachelorette party. I missed a friend's wedding. I missed my sister-in-law's baby shower. I missed several special occassions with friends in Indy.
With the bedrest, I have had to sit in my bed while watching other people take care of my sweet kids. We have been utterly blessed with a long string of wonderful sitters, but their wonderfulness hasn't taken away my desire to be caring for my kids myself. I have missed special occassions and events for my kids. I have missed out on getting to see them experience the spring and start of summer at camp.
I have dealt with sciatic nerve pain for about 10 weeks. I have sat on a heating pad, searching for any position that won't hurt quite so much.
I have put up with the swelling of my hands and feet. I'm down to 2 pairs of shoes that I can wear with minimal pain. I had to stop wearing my wedding ring months ago.
I have let this baby kick and pummel me. Multiple times a day, I see him poking a hand, foot, or head out the front of my stomach. Anyone who spends time with me as also seen his antics from the outside of my belly (and I have definitely heard my share of "alien baby" comments). I have also endured countless comments from strangers and well-meaning acquaintances, asking me how overdue I am (not at all), whether I am carrying twins (no), and if this baby is going to be absolutely huge (not that I know of).
For about 16 weeks, I have dealt with disgusting acid reflux that has not responded to any medication. I've tasted and re-tasted every food that I've eaten for those 16 weeks and been unable to sleep because of the burning in my throat.
In April, I had a spot (polyp, thing, whatever you want to call it) removed from my face by a dermatologist. They would not give me any anesthaesia because I was so pregnant. So basically, this means that I got a thing sliced off my face with a knife with no painkiller. (For the record, this spot has now regrown and I will have to go have it removed again after the baby arrives.)
I have had at least three cough/colds turn into sinus infections thanks to my cruddy, worn-down immune system--one of which I'm dealing with right now.
Two days ago, my water "leaked" (not to be confused with "breaking," apparently), so I went to the hospital. There, they discovered that I was having contractions every 10 minutes. This should have been exciting, since I haven't started contractions on my own with any of my previous kids. But you know what? I am in so much pain from the varicose veins and everything else that I couldn't even feel the contractions--a fact which the nurse seemed to find freakish. And in spite of the water leaking and the contractions, they sent me home from the hospital. They told me to come back when the contractions are 5 minutes apart, but again, if I can't feel them due to the veins, how am I supposed to know when that happens?
Also starting two days ago, I developed intense back pain unlike anything I've ever felt before in my life (and this is coming from a girl who has years of experience with both chiropractors and physical therapy). The nurse told me that it is probably "back labor;" all I know is that it hurts like hell and has absolutely pushed me over the edge.
So I am not a wuss. I have put up with a LOT of pain in the last 38 weeks. But this back thing is the last straw. I simply cannot take any more. I am absolutely worn out. I have nothing left to give. I am actually really worried that whenever they eventually check me into the hospital to get this baby out, I won't have any strength left to push him out. I am in constant pain of proportions that I had previously not imagined could exist (and I was in hard labor with Liam, on Pitocin, for 12 hours with no epidural--so I know about pain). Simply put, I am DONE. Please pray for strength and hope for me. I cannot wait for this to be over.