Sunday, February 3, 2013

On top of the muffin top

It goes without saying that you're going to gain weight while pregnant. You're supposed to do that - within moderation, of course.

Doctors suggest a healthy 30 lb gain for single pregnancies. I've been warned that I can expect a 50 lb gain with twins.

But these are the ideal figures....many women are known to put on 60 - 75 pounds with single pregnancies. So you can imagine my fear as the numbers on the scale climb each week. I'm really scared of gaining too much.

I'm not a slight person. Never have been. I've always been an average size girl in most ways - size 7.5 shoe, size 10 pant, medium t-shirt and so on. Where I've differed is in my bust and hips. As the hubs likes to say, "I've got junk in the trunk and under the hood" - though it's hardly issued as a complaint. Thank goodness, too, because I have zero interest in cleaning out the trunk or the hood. I could always use some toning up and the loss of some gratuitous love pounds I've put on since being in a relationship (What can I say? The boy can cook!), but I am not now nor have I ever been interested in being what people consider thin. It's just not who I am.

Uncomfortably overweight is also not who I am, so I'm not okay with gaining so much during pregnancy that I can't get it off within a reasonable amount of time after birth. So far, at nearly 19 weeks, I've gained 10 lbs. Sounds scary to me, but everything I've read tells me to expect an average scale jump of 10 lbs. through the first 20 weeks. And I keep reminding myself that I'm carrying 2 babies, each measuring and weighing what the average single fetus would at this point, and thankfully so.

Despite the extra baggage, I've managed to keep on wearing most of my pre-preggo clothes so far. I have started wearing leggings sometimes and some maternity shirts because they're longer and can cover my rubberband rigged pants....but hey, I'm still in my old pants!

The weight gain is worrisome with twins, but that's not all that has my nerves on edge.

In addition to the dreaded "muffin top" on my waist line, I've encountered a number of other unpleasant pregnancy symptoms. I've already told you about the asteroids so I'll spare you the rerun....suffice to say, they still frequently come and seldom go (painfully so).

The  relentless hunger strikes in the middle of the night are also irksome - despite being able to eat throughout the day now that the vomiting has subsided, I constantly feel hungry. Conveniently, it hits a peak in the middle of the night....usually around 2 am.  

Sadly, I'm already awake most of the night because I have to pee. What is perhaps the most annoying about these frequent pee breaks is that the need to go seems so urgent that it wakes me from sleep, but when I actually sit down on the toilet, I manage to let out only a trickle. What gives?! I woke up to pee for 5 seconds!? I would've sworn I had a 2 liter in my bladder when I blindly waddled into the bathroom! That kind of performance isn't even worth the toilet paper!

If the stomach and bladder discomfort weren't enough to jar me from slumber, the muscle cramps surely are. Any time I move in the night to reposition (which is getting increasingly difficult with my growing front hump) I get insane cramps. For now, they're isolated to my toes, calves and thighs, but I'm told to expect the charlie horses to spread to other areas. Oh joy.

The hair growth on my chinny-chin-chin has resumed....and I have only one chin less than that description. I'm praying I don't develop a third layer of chin. I've always had blonde fuzz on my skin, but now the fuzz on my abdomen is getting darker...just in time to complement the line that's just starting to form down my middle! I'll look like an ewok before you know it. Oh joy.

And then there are the nosebleeds. They started around week 17. Having never bled from the nostrils before, this symptom took me by alarm. One day I sneezed in the shower and within moments of looking toward my feet noticed pink water in the tub floor. Having miscarried before (around the same time of pregnancy and same time of year no less) my stomach lurched at the thought that I was repeating that nightmare again. Quickly looking between my legs I caught the glimpse of a red drop falling from my head. After putting my hands to my face I realized that my nose was bleeding - very thankful it wasn't my hoohah.
I've had a couple more nosebleeds since that experience, but I've learned with each one how to stop them quickly. The tiny bit of research I've done tells me that nosebleeds are fairly common in pregnancy due to the changing nature of mucus membranes, predominantly the cervix, but also the nasal cavity. It has something to do with increased progesterone in your system (and I'm getting even more with the shots). The changes result in greater blood flow to those regions ergo more potential for bleeding - especially if you've had a cold or dry sinuses, both of which I've been blessed to experience recently. Perhaps this also explains why some mom's noses get fat during pregnancy?

Speaking of colds, one of the biggest challenges I've found in this pregnancy has been racing to chew and swallow my food before I run out of breath. As I said earlier, I stay hungry. I eat around every 3 hours. I'm not ever able to eat large amounts at a time, but if I don't eat something within a certain time frame (which oddly resembles a bottle feeding thinks these kiddos are behind this little arrangement) I start gagging and wretching. My poor kids at school have become trained to grab the trash can and bring it near when I start making that noise during story time. Bless them.

Having thrown up so much at the start of this journey,  the barfing is a routine I have down pat. But eating with a stopped up nose is quite a challenge. Complicating the matter is the fact that I'm slightly neurotic. I'm fearful whenever I can't take regular breaths....I was never that kid that enjoyed having contests to see who could hold their breath the longest in the deep end. No sir. Not me. I'd forfeit the contest within 10 seconds as images of my dying brain cells screaming from oxygen deprivation swirled through my head, pushing me dramatically to the water's surface like a breaching whale. Having grown accustomed to superglue in lieu of snot, I've been operating like a mouth-breathing Neanderthal all the time. It's not attractive to do this, I know, but it really doesn't get the best of me until it's time to eat. And then it's a race to chew my food and swallow it as quickly as I can so that I can take another breath. I can't stand when people chew with their mouths open, which would be the obvious solution to this problem, but I can't bring myself to do it....unless I'm eating steak. Have you ever tried to chew and swallow a piece of steak in 10 seconds or less? It's not easy, trust me. It's no wonder that I feel winded after eating....this little 10 second chew/swallow/breathe sprinting routine is quite the cardio workout.

And to make matters worse, I have the privilege of getting shots in my arse regularly - and the hubs gets to do the honors. My doc prescribed progesterone shots to help relax my uterus enough to accommodate the twinkies and hopefully prevent preterm labor. The shots aren't that bad really, but being the nut job that I am I work myself into a tizzy leading up to them.

Then there's the lovely rash that appeared overnight and won't go away either. Doesn't look contagious and thankfully not in areas of my body designed for public consumption anyway. But it makes it very difficult to scratch all the itches without looking like I have fleas in inappropriate places. My house nurse (aka the hubs) says it's just some type of contact dermatitis and blames it on either the variety of lotions that I'm slathering all over my growing front humps or the material in some of the clothes that I'm wearing. I, however, have a different theory and it ends with the rash being his fault. I find it very curious that he has always had incredibly sensitive skin, while I've never struggled with skin sensitivities before his progeny took up residence on my insides.  

Come to think of it, I guess you could say that all of this stuff is really his fault. The nausea, vomiting, fatigue, swelling, nosebleeds, congestion, peeing, cramps....all of the stuff on top of the muffin top started with him and his super sperm.

But then those little kicks I get to feel throughout the day would be his fault, too.

Can't get mad at him for those....they're too fabulous. They're reason enough to call a truce.

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