What is with the charley horses? Many mornings in my second trimester I woke up with a charley horse (leg cramp) in either one or both of my legs. I have had these before, mainly in high-school, which begs the assumption that it is from either sports or growing or both. These are different. They are not as intense thankfully. God knows it would be super difficult to shoot straight up in the night to grab the cramped leg and try to relieve it. Instead I lay there trying to use my other leg to pull my toes toward me, even when the other leg is cramped too. Obviously the cramp is bearable enough that I can manage this. As far as I have ever known, this is the best way to stop the cramping immediately- to get your toes flexed up toward your shin, stretching that back calf muscle that is cramping. It works every time.
Why does this happen? Numerous sites say that it is not really known but possibly caused by the weight of the uterus and growing baby on the blood vessels in the spine. This makes the most sense to me because whenever it happens, I am awakened lying on my back. The weight of the baby and everything else seems to restrict blood flow enough to cause the cramping. It is much better than waking up with the pins and needles of two legs that are asleep!
Why do I feel dizzy? I am in my second day of feeling a little dizzy. It started yesterday when I got to the gym but was not so bad that I couldn't work out. I am also feeling it a little this morning. When I googled dizziness during pregnancy most of the answers came back the same. Causes could be dehydration, overheating, lack of protein or proper nutrition, getting up or moving too quickly (yeah, sure), restricted blood flow due to specific positions or anemia. The only one that makes remote sense to me could be hydration, but otherwise I'm not convinced. The first thing I thought of when I got dizzy was my sophomore math teacher (what was her name???) wearing something around her wrists. I hadn't even noticed these black bands until she told us all that she was wearing them because it helped with her equilibrium during pregnancy, and she had not in fact tried to slit her wrists. Funny. I think they were magnets or something to that effect.
This makes sense! When the body all of a sudden has something sticking out in front, why wouldn't it throw off a person's sense of balance? Even a search into "equilibrium during pregnancy" didn't produce much for explanation. The best explanation I can find comes from WebMD: "During your second trimester, you may feel dizzy or light-headed. Your body is now shunting more blood to your uterus and growing baby -- and less to your head and upper body. Your body also needs more food. You may have dips in blood sugar if you don’t eat enough, which can make you feel light-headed. Finally, your blood vessels are relaxed and widened in response to pregnancy hormones, which lowers your blood pressure. In total, these factors can bring on a dizzy spell."
It's not the answer I was looking for but it explains a little more than the others. This may be a question for the midwife.
Is that why my hair and nails look amazing? Because I just have naturally beautiful hair and nails, of course? Well, no... not really. The pre-natal vitamins are to blame for the healthy flowing mane and fast-growing nails. I had noticed early in my pregnancy that my nails seemed to be growing much faster than I could anxiously pick them. This had me starting to think that I might actually have something to manicure at some point! A friend pointed out that it was because of the vitamins that everything was looking splendid and healthy. Alas, every time I was a day away from scheduling a manicure, I would break one of my nails and as far as hair grows, nobody enjoys "five o'clock shadow" in their armpits. I literally checked my pits one morning on the way to the gym and by the time I was getting out of the post-workout shower I was blinking in disbelief that I already had significant stubble. Maybe I pushed a little too hard during those thrusters!
What is wrong with my eyes? I am squinting like crazy and it's driving me NUTS! I have been wearing contacts for years and haven't had a change in prescription since I got them. Now I find myself blinking and squinting, holding my hand to shade my eyes at night and just struggling to see as if I never put the contacts in. This really bothered me and it is something I googled immediately. Yes, your eyesight changes when you get pregnant. It gets worse during the pregnancy (I noticed it in the middle of the 2nd trimester) and will not improve until the birth, up to 6 months afterward or not at all. The chances of it not correcting itself are slim, but who wants to worry about that? It's annoying and is probably the cause of many pregnancy headaches, but just not worth the trip to the optometrist for corrective measures.
Did I just pee myself? No, that is the joy of pregnancy discharge. It's not a ton, but enough to wonder if there is a wet spot showing on the outside of my pants. Sorry to be graphic, and this is something guys will never understand (having a hole that leaks every once in a while). If it really seems like an excessive amount, you may actually have a yeast infection. I take probiotics and know that they prevent things like yeast in your system, so I'm okay in that department. Thankfully I have the joy of changing my undies every once in a while and knowing that it's perfectly normal.
How am I supposed to remember that? Don't get mad at me because I didn't remember what you wanted for your birthday, or the conversation we had a week ago, or even the food I ordered yesterday. I have no recollection of those words even coming out of my mouth and in fact, I'm pretty sure I've never said anything like that in my entire life. No, this is not me turning into my dad. I seriously cannot think straight these days as you may be able to tell by the fact that I forgot where I was going mid-sentence. While I am pregnant I am, as some say, developing new grey matter and other's would say losing it. It is a common fact. Whether it is because the blood is not circulating oxygen to the brain as effectively or because the entire body is working on something else, it is sometimes called "pregnesia." I'm fine with that are you?
This little blurb is only one of the many supporting articles to this fact and also suggests that it is possibly caused by increased hormone levels. Although I have made myself look a little bit stupid while trying to teach a class with a significant amount of "dead air," I don't seem to be forgetting stuff that pertains to the new addition to the family. I am just hoping that I am not reading all of these baby books for nothing, because I would hate to forget all of the great stuff I have learned.
These are just things that we are thinking about and looking into now that I am so far along in the pregnancy.
Homebirthing Class- My husband has signed us up for a two day class on "Out of Hospital Birth." It is on Saturday and Sunday January 26th and 27th in Brooklyn, NY and is best to be attended by both parents. He will be leaving town on the second day, so I will have to go alone. However, I am looking forward to it and am very curious what kind of info our $350 will buy us. We booked through Tribeca Parenting which was recommended by our midwife. We are all about learning in this growing family!
Circumcision- This was something that came up early on in the pregnancy when we started to discuss what the sex of the baby might be. Everyone's opinions are different as were mine and my husbands. He was against it and I was for it. His view is that it is barbaric mutilation and completely unnecessary. He also happens to be Jewish which means it is a traditional part of the religious background he comes from. My concerns were those that came from what I gathered from other people. Not having it done could cause humiliation, discomfort, infection, confusion... etc... and all of the other stuff people say. I was even concerned that his own family members might have a reaction infront of him and possibly cause some emotional damage. After speaking with a few of my close and trusted friends who have recently had boys, I feel much more comfortable with not having my son circumcised. I respect their opinions more than the foolish ones I've formed from social standards. I can wholly admit my reasons were superficial and dumb. I plan to do my best as a parent to spare him the physical trauma of circumcision as well as any possible emotional insult for not having it done. I am somewhat ashamed that I let my insecurities get the better of me and am glad that we (my husband and I) addressed this topic early enough for me to prevent any mistakes or further conflict.
Vaccinations- Do you or do you not want to vaccinate your child? You also have the option of doing some vaccinations and leaving others out. While my husband does the scientific research and reading, I do a little of my own gathering of info from these same women I respect and trust about their personal choices and reasoning. Not to mention the fact that injecting anything unnecessary into the body of a baby that is a day old is absolutely ludicrous to me. We have friends that have forgone vaccinations entirely, followed a slower timetable with them and some who have stopped halfway through because of their own regrets. I trust my husband's extremely thorough research and whatever decision he draws from it, but I absolutely do not want anything going into my child until he is at LEAST 6 months to a year, if at all.
Pediatricians- Through Tribeca Parenting we have found a pediatrician that not only takes our insurance but works through a “less medicine is often the best medicine" approach. To us, it makes sense to not be pushed into a routine of bringing our child to the doctor for every sneeze and sniffle. What can I say? We really are into the caveman lifestyle....
Swimming Lessons- This is just something that I want to mention that is available and something that we will probably take advantage of in the summer when the baby is about 4-5 months old. The infant swimming resource has instructors that teach babies of all ages how to flip over onto their back and stay afloat if they should find themselves in deep water. I have a friend who's daughter was in the hospital after having fallen into the family's koi pond. It was a terrifying thing to hear, but the 2 year-old made a full recovery.
Baby Communication- Remembering that my same friend had taught her children to sign as a helpful form of communication before they could fully speak, I registered for a book called Baby Signs: How to Talk with Your Baby Before Your Baby Can Talk. I loved it and highly recommend it to anyone who is expecting! It makes so much sense for you and your child. Some people believe it will slow the learning for regular speech but the opposite is true. Babies who start signing before speaking are more likely to speak sooner, among many other benefits. We have already started to practice some of the signs even though the baby will most likely not grasp the concept until around 6 months old. They say that as soon as your child understands the sign for waving bye-bye, he/she will be able to understand the use of other signs.
Some great things to think about!
I did get a workout in on Thursday...
20 pull ups
20 front squats #65
20 toes to bar (I did toes-to-as-high-as-I-could-get-them)
20 power clean #65 (I did hang cleans)
for time: somewhere around 35 min.