Earlier this week (my 37th week of pregnancy for my third child, mind you), I went from feeling “great!” to doubled over with lower abdominal pain in a matter of 12 hours. Four days later, and I’m still experiencing said pain. I had never encountered this kind of pain in either of my previous pregnancies. Concerned that I had contracted some sort of infection, I paid a visit to my midwife to find out exactly what I did not want to hear: “Sounds to me like a normal progression of growth and stretching for late-stage pregnancy. As baby is getting bigger, he/she is pressing on nerves and stressing ligaments, which is what you’re feeling.” Great! So, I could be feeling this intermittent (but very uncomfortable) pain up until I go into labor.
Now, I should mention here that I have had an incredibly easy and wonderful pregnancy. No gestational diabetes, no swelling, reasonable weight gain, no preeclampsia, baby’s health looks great, etc, etc. etc. So, to have to deal with a little bit of unexpected pain for the last month of my pregnancy is, on the whole, not a big deal. I realize that I have been fortunate and that this stage is only temporary. But (I am allowed to “but!”), this recent development has certainly given me pause in my day-to-day, which is not easy as a mom of two active little boys. I still have three weeks of summer left to entertain these guys! “Taking it easy” has not been a part of my vocabulary in the last couple of months. Perhaps, then, this is my body’s way of telling me that it’s time to step back, take it down a notch and rest more. I am, after all, gearing up for one of the most physically challenging events in a woman’s life — labor.
So for the next 2-4 weeks until baby decides to make his/her appearance, I will press on. Only now, I will be wearing a maternity brace to relieve some of the pressure and nerve pain, and spend more time off my feet and on my side. If taking care of myself means taking care of my baby, then that’s what I’ll do!
Have any of your pregnancy experiences taken a left turn? How? What did you do to cope?