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Feeling… Pregnant

02/18/2013

Belle

Some might see this post as bitching when I should be thankful. To you I say take your soap box somewhere else. Obviously I’m thankful for this pregnancy. What kind of sicko would I be to go through two years of infertility treatments just to get pregnant and then not be thankful? 

Now that this little disclaimer is out of the way: I feel like garbage. I made it out of the first trimester and nearly halfway through the second trimester relatively unscathed. I had minimal to no morning sickness. My energy has been that of a non pregnant person. I’ve had a great appetite. I’ve been as comfortable in my own skin as anyone who is gaining pregnancy weight can be. I’ve been pooping daily like it is my job. I’ve been good!

Until this weekend.

Last week I had to reduce my water intake to that of a normal human – 8 to 10 glasses a day – because I was traveling across the state and really did not want to visit every sketchy bathroom along the way (dude, rural gas station bathrooms can be rough!). I figured I’d be fine. Ha! With all my poo problems in the past I should have known better.

By Saturday it had been three days since my last poop. That night I took a “poo cocktail,” i.e. a dose of Miralax mixed with half water and half cranberry juice (DO NOT lecture me about taking this drug during pregnancy. I take it only in moments of desperation and have cleared it with my doctor). Sunday I finally pooped but then spent the rest of the day feeling hung over. I was tired, weak, moody and just generally unpleasant to be around.

I finally drug myself up and attempted yoga at 10:30 a.m. but failed after about 30 minutes. I was so freaking weak and my belly felt funny. Like, the abdominal muscles felt tight and stretched and I was miserably uncomfortable in my skin.

After a shower that did not include washing my hair (way too much effort) the husband took my dirty mop and I out for vegan sushi lunch and it tasted gross. Next, I ran the weekly grocery run and after three of the usual four stops I was spent. I went home and rudely ordered the Professor to go to the last store. Then I spent the next three hours schlepping around my kitchen, preparing snacks and lunches for the upcoming week (I do have fun recipes to post later though!).

Finally at 7:30 I gave up and went to bed. I think even Yum Yum knew I was in a bad spot because not once did she come lay on my head during the night and ask for cuddles. This morning I feel very much the same and now have a headache to boot. Oh, and no poops today.

I, Sarah Belle RidiculouslyLongName-MoreLongName, do solemnly swear to not complain about feeling good again. I realize the error and that I should have enjoyed the weeks of feeling good and not worried and griped them away. Please, please, please let feeling good return soon.

This morning I informed the Professor that I might feel pregnant. He laughed and said of course I feel pregnant… because I am. I  pouted and stomped to the car. I want to return to my regularly scheduled non-pregnant programming. Before I start freaking out and calling my doctor, though, I’m going to alter my daily routine a bit and see if that can improve my sad situation any.

First: back to a gallon of water a day – even when I’m going across the state. I’m already 50 ounces in for today.

Second: new breakfast menu. I had been eating eggs and toast but suspect I might be needing more fiber so today I had overnight oats with chia, flax milk and dried fruit. I’ll post about this tomorrow.

Third: more protein at lunch. I have boring-ass shredded chicken in a vegan cream sauce with quinoa and steamed green beans for lunch this week and have planned protein rich dinners.

Fourth: much earlier bed time. I don’t  want to start missing my morning workouts so I’ll give up my TV time each night in favor of heading to bed an hour or two earlier.

Fifth: more gentle stretching throughout the day of my round ligaments and back. I’m thinking some mid-day cat/cows and some gentle side stretching to help with this tight feeling.

If in a week I still feel like a giant constipated turd then I’ll call my doctor. Any other tips? Anyone else have a super easy time up until 21 weeks or so? How did you press on and not become a totally unpleasant bitch?

 

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21 Comments

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  1. February 18, 2013

    It would be utterly and completely unfair to assume that just because we are infertile means that we do not deserve (as does every other childbearing female-type human on the planet) to complain about the discomfort that comes along with growing a child inside of us. Like our struggles have made us somehow better than everyone else. That is unrealistic, dismissive, and invalidating. You, too, despite your infertility, are allowed to have negative aspects of pregnancy! I hope you’re not getting too many of these comments!!

    As far as the rest goes, your plan looks solid (forgive the poo pun). I can’t speak to the discomfort of middle pregnancy (yet!), as I’ve never made it that far. But, complain one day I will. Can’t wait to see your recipes!

  2. February 18, 2013

    It sounds like a good plan to me. Running around the state and getting knocked off your regular routine probably wore you down. I would guess it’s the main contributor to you feeling crappy.

    One thing I’ve noticed during my second trimester is that, even though I’m feeling better than I did in the first and almost as if I’m not pregnant, I do tire much more easily. If I overdo it, I pay the price later, so I’ve had to learn to pace myself. It’s actually a good thing to be a little bit lazier than normal at this time. 🙂 Rest up and take care.

  3. February 18, 2013

    Well, I haven’t hit the 21 week mark, but I’ve certainly hit the poo issues, which can absolutely leave you feeling bloated, stretched, and worthless. After one horrible bathroom experience about 3 weeks ago, I felt exactly like you did–lethargic, and “hung over”. I know this may be “taboo” (judge me if you will!), but I have found that about 1/3 a mug of caffeinated coffee “clears up” the issue in about 10 minutes. It’s been a miracle for me, and for the last couple of weeks, I haven’t even had to use caffeine–it’s almost like my body got jump started and it’s now feeling better to poop. I’m a horrible water drinker, so I can’t say that increased water intake is what has done the trick for me. I think with pregnancy, it’s totally normal to have your energy and moods fluctuate from high to low. I have been in a pretty energized place the last couple of weeks, but did too much running around yesterday and crashed and burned around 3PM. It’s definitely a fine balance.

  4. Melanie #
    February 18, 2013

    Oh my, you made me smile…the poop problem was my mine from day one till the end…I tried about everything, prune juice was my best friend! Don’t worry to much, you are making a chicken with all of your body and mind. Ask your pharmacist, there are some medication that are completely fine for baby. I tried benefibre (wich is a big farting bootle) and more effective medication. The rest will come back to normal after a couple of days of regular poop… I’m a celiac, with IBS and poop is usually my main subject of conversation and I always say that if the poop goes everything goes… Hope you can go, soon! 😉

  5. heatherwallen #
    February 18, 2013

    Oh dear, the poo problems are mutual here. My husband actually said to me last night “Where does it all go to if you’re not … going?” He’s also developed the response to my ongoing whining about how I feel “Well, if you think it’s bad NOW …” or “It’s not going to get any better in the next 16 weeks …” (um, THANKS!). I’m just getting really uncomfortable with my bulk – up 28 lbs. at 21w2d and I can barely heft myself off the floor these days. One of my coping strategies is that I have a little wipe-board on our fridge that says “_______ weeks pregnant, Babies weigh ______ & _______ (I just guesstimate at this point based on their 20 week u/s weights and a fetal development chart), ______ weeks until viability, ______ weeks ’til term. It cheers me up every time I go to the fridge to see those stats — like OK, maybe this is a marathon but the end of it really is just around a few bends …

  6. Magpie #
    February 18, 2013

    I haven’t had any constipation with this pregnancy (before you hate me, I got the opposite problem-violent diarrhea complete with hemorrhoids the size of asteroids), but I have had terrible exhaustion from day one. I’ll be 18 weeks tomorrow, and for the last three weeks, Mr. Wonderful (my DH) has had to do all the shopping alone. I haven’t yet found a solution to the exhaustion issue, so I just sleep 12-14 hours daily. I guess I have no useful suggestions, but I just wanted to offer my support and let you know that I think it’s perfectly fine if you want to complain about constipation and exhaustion or anything else. Yes, pregnancy is a blessing, especially when you fought so long and hard to achieve it, but that doesn’t mean you have to sit there like Pollyanna and feel blessed that you feel like crap. In my mind, your Chicken and your feelings of malaise are two different things, even if they are related. Let us know if the increased fluid intake helps and if your energy levels return (I am so envious of your energy levels!!!)

  7. Romy #
    February 18, 2013

    I was ok until around 16 weeks. I had been constipated before then too but it wasn’t too bad. From 16-19 weeks I developed quite intense pains that freaked me out but turned out to be round ligament pain. I had no idea those could hurt so much. I also was unable to go to the bathroom anymore and when I could finally go I was in excruciating pain. Then at 19 weeks 3 days my belly popped overnight and everything got a lot better. Still constipated and RLP does still happen but now it’s manageable. Maybe your belly is going through a growth spurt too? My GP offered no helpful advice 😦 just told me to eat prunes and that they are better than prune juice. I hope you’ll feel better soon, it’s crazy how you just take things for granted until you can’t have them anymore! I will certainly appreciate my bathroom regularity more once it returns after pregnancy 😉

    • Romy #
      February 18, 2013

      And don’t feel bad about complaining! I was so desperate about my low blood pressure a few days ago that I made a post about it on Facebook to see if anyone had any tips. It sucks having to leave stores because I can’t stand in line and doing presentations sitting down.

  8. February 18, 2013

    Haha, I had an easy time up until the 2nd trimester when constipation hit with a VENGEANCE. I tried every constipation trick in the book and they all seemed to help to some degree but no matter what about once a week I would get super constipated for 2-3 days and then all back to normal for 6 days and repeat over and over again…I never found a magic constipation elixir that always worked but chia seeds (in water, not sprinkled on food) ginger tea and magnesium before bed (didn’t learn about that one until postpartum, so check that magnesium is safe during pregnancy) worked the best.

    Good luck, you’ll feel better once the belly pops!

  9. February 18, 2013

    It’s interesting what Sunny is saying about getting into a routine with a bit of coffee each morning, and then eventually not needing the coffee at all. I’ve had the same experience — looking at your sitch, I would bet that it wasn’t so much the lack of water or the second trimester being the culprit for constipation, but rather being on a road trip (ie. sitting for long periods of time) and having your routine shaken up (your body just goes into protective mode, which involves holding everything in). I’m sure you’ll find that with morning exercise and plenty of fluids and getting into a proper routine (and MAYBE even a hot beverage to calm your innards), the pooping will come back easily. 🙂

  10. February 18, 2013

    I had a really tough first pregnancy with hyperemesis and trips to the ER for that in my first pregnancy, and my morning sickness was almost as bad this time around. I don’t have advice on how to make pregnancy easy! Lol! It can be so hard physically, and then of course all of the emotions come into play. All I can say is that it is worth it in the end, and thinking about my baby and connecting with this little being keeps me going. Also what really helps are supportive understanding people to help get you through. I am having constipation now as well, so I feel ya! And your favorite foods not tasting good, doesn’t that suck? My heartburn is sooooo bad too but I heard papaya pills wil help, I hate taking tums.

    You will have good and bad days, but just take it a day at a time and meet your needs. It helps me to cry in another room lol, it helps me gets rid of stress and that blue feeling. And you have so much support! I forgive myself for being bitchy and thankfully so does my husband! You are doing a great thing by writing this stuff down too. Pregnancy is an ocean of emotions and physical change, you just gotta ride that wave! Hang in there!

  11. B #
    February 18, 2013

    Start taking liquid Cal-Mag. It will help with your poop troubles as well as the aches! Also as a fellow poop problem having infertile who is one week postpartum, I highly recommend taking Cal-Mag or other stool softener like the second your baby is born. I had heard horror stories of the first postpartum poop but then I forgot to start taking something right away. I had a home birth free of fear with a 7.5 lbs baby yet was TERRIFIED to poop. It ended up not being terrible for the record, but still be proactive with that shit. 😉

  12. Maria #
    February 18, 2013

    I remember the HORRIBLE constipation. I had it all through my pregnancy! After a miscarriage, 3 years of trying and endless procedures, I just found out this cycle of IVF worked, I’m pregnant! Your blog has been my companion through this crazy journey of infertility, so I thought I would let you know my news. From my pregnancy with my son I had constipation from the very beginning and what made the biggest difference for me was water and prunes. When I fell off the water wagon, it would get so much worse. Travel made things worse also. I slept soooo much and I really feel like when I tried to push myself even a tiny bit, I would regret it. So what worked for me wa lots of water, rest when I needed it and prunes 🙂 talk about feeling like an old lady. I think for me, it was the only time in my life I didn’t have body image issues and I’m grateful for that, because a changing body can be hard for people like me.

  13. February 18, 2013

    Traveling ALWAYS brings on constipation for me, even before becoming pregnant. It’s like my body refuses to poop anywhere but at home. So that combined with drinking less water could have definitely made you feel lousy. I think your plan is good, especially going to bed earlier. For me it has really helped with the exhaustion. That and continuing to exercise even if I don’t feel like it, which you are also doing. Hopefully this is just a little bump in the road and you’re feeling like yourself again in a couple of days! Oh, and you’re totally entitled to complain! I’ve done my fair share, but I can relate to feeling like I shouldn’t complain because I worked so hard to get pregnant.

  14. February 18, 2013

    Good luck! But there is a chance the discomfort is here to stay. I wanted to hop out of my body so badly so many times while I was pregnant, even though I did enjoy being pregnant most of the time I think ??? If you do manage to get yourself feeling better again, I bow to your problem solving and prego-symptom-defeating abilities!

  15. mylifeisaboutthejourney #
    February 19, 2013

    You kind of already said it, but I think the best things are definitely keeping up with the exercise. Even when I am so tired, I try to make sure that I get in a walk of at least a few miles. I feel soooooo much better after doing so. Another thing that has made me feel so much better (and this may just be because of my GD), is the low carb diet. I have a love/hate relationship with it. I miss having a treat every now and then, but eating all of these healthy foods all the time makes me feel great. I feel so much better than I did when I was in the 1st/2nd trimesters. Constipation has been my foe off and on. I feel like there is no rhyme or reason! I definitely use Colace more than I should., but you are right, drinking a crazy amount of water helps. 🙂

  16. February 19, 2013

    I was the complete other way round – I felt like hell on wheels right up till about 2 weeks ago and still have the odd day feeling “off”. Sadly,there is no real cure for all of this (that I have found). Just loads of rest – your body is going through some AMAZING changes and the chicken is growing like crazy,especially now so that will take its toll on you more so than the beginning did. Lots of water, try some fruit juice – mango and apple helps me when Im having problems in the loo department. I know exactly what you mean about being uncomfortable though, it feels like Im being attacked from all sides internally and everything hurts 😦 Only 18 weeks to go though so Im trying to stay positive!

  17. jak #
    February 19, 2013

    omg, hahaha, “digestive cocktail”. do you really call it that? because that is almost exactly what i used to survive the first trimester. every night, after choking down my dinner, i’d move slowly back to the kitchen so as not to feel like ralphing, and i’d make what i called a “digestive cocktail”… except it was cranberry juice and metimusil. thas sum good shit.

    my tactic for long car rides (had a 2x 4h ones this weekend and no pee breaks) is to bring a large bottle of water with me. when i am halfway there, i start sipping, slowly. when i’m about 30 minutes from my destination that houses a known clean bathroom, i start chugging. then when the clean bathroom is in sight, i’ll be ready to flush my system. alternative – learn to pee in a coffee cup and how to dump it out the car window while going 70 mph without getting any on your hands. not telling you how i know that;)

    i just started feeling ‘actually pregnant’ about a few weeks ago as well. its finally harder to do things, like use my core to sit up from bed, or tie my shoes. not much longer to go though!! keep telling yourself that, i sure am!!!!

  18. February 19, 2013

    I don’t really have any tips because I’ve had the opposite experience of you; I’ve felt like crap the whole time, constipation and unpleasant bitchery included. I just had to say, though, that I love your disclaimer at the beginning. AMEN to that. Just because we struggle to get here doesn’t mean we shouldn’t be able to express the same complaints that “normal” pregnant women get to express without judgement from others!

  19. Shinara #
    February 20, 2013

    Eat two grapefruits per day. One in the morning and one in the evening. Keeps me ‘going’…..hahahahaha. Found out, too, that if I don’t drink enough water, I feel like crap and am sooooo tired.

  20. March 2, 2013

    I hope you’re feeling better, Belle.

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