Wednesday, October 2, 2013



There are a lot of discomforts and issues during pregnancy. Thankfully I didn’t have any series issues, but still some concerning ones.

There’s a lot of blood work done in the 1st trimester, but that slows down later. The main thing they check for is a blood count. Now I have had chronic problems with anemia for years so I really wasn’t that surprised when I was told to start taking iron pills early in my 2nd trimester. I was, however, surprised to get a phone call early in my 3rd trimester saying I was anemic. It’s common at that point apparently, but having already been on iron pills, I was concerned. Anyway, I just ended up taking two pills a day and I was fine. It helped with my energy levels some, but it’s really not something that you notice all that much outwardly.

There are some other very common ailments that a pregnant woman is more susceptible to. I had a UTI (Urinary Tract Infection) once in high school and it was miserable. It hurt to pee, but I had the urge to literally every 10 minutes or so. Well guess what? The doc will ask about those symptoms, but they won’t necessarily present that way.

About 20 weeks into my pregnancy, I woke up and felt a little twinge that developed into full blown pain in my abdomen. After calling the doctor, they had me come into the hospital to get checked out. I’m freaking out thinking I’m miscarrying. It took several hours of monitoring, an ultrasound, and a couple tests to conclude that I had a UTI. I was really surprised because I didn’t have the constant urge to pee with nothing coming out and it didn’t hurt at all to pee. I just couldn’t move without abdominal pain that doubled me over. So some pills and a few days of taking it easy later, I was feeling much better.

In the third trimester, you get what’s called a Group B Strep Test. They swab the vagina and anus to test for Group B Strep, which doesn’t much affect you, but would require IV antibiotics during labor to protect the baby. Other than that, I don’t really know anything about it. Anyway, while they did the swab thing, the midwife noticed I looked a little red and irritated. I hadn’t really noticed any irritation and couldn’t see to notice the redness. Turns out I had a yeast infection. There were no signs that I noticed, just what the midwife saw. So I asked if it was the typical treatment of one of those horrid creams. NOPE! There’s a pill now. And it gets better! She brings in the prescription and I glance at it before asking if I just take them all until they’re gone like most meds (which in hind sight was kinda dumb, I’ll admit it). She goes “well, there’s only one pill, so yes…”. NOT ONLY IS THERE A PILL, BUT IT’S A SINGLE DOSE! It’s weird and silly, but I was really excited about that and wanted to share that with all the women I knew, because what woman doesn’t know what it feels like and hate a yeast infection? So it was good news to pass along.

Another obstacle that is ever present from beginning to end during pregnancy is constipation. It’s not a fun or pretty topic, but it’s a fact of life. It could be from the prenatal vitamins, the iron in your diet, the iron pills if you’re on them, or even the sheer amount of protein you need to eat while pregnant. There are options, like fiber tablets, those dissolvable powders, and all that, but I really didn’t want to fuss with any of that. I went with diet. I tried to incorporate a lot of fiber to keep up with the protein intake. I still had the occasional problem, even popping a blood vessel near my cervix once, but overall it helped a lot. This is just one of those things that is trial and error with some advice from your doctor if necessary to find a solution.

The final obstacle I want to talk about is headaches. I’ve gotten headaches for years. I started getting migraines my senior year of high school and tension headaches in 2010 following a car accident (damned black ice!) that messed up my neck. Some pregnant women get more headaches than they did before, and some less. I can’t really say either, as I just kept getting headaches. It’s tough because all you can really take while pregnant is Tylenol, but that just doesn’t cut it for the level of headaches I was prone to. There’s a debate that in the 3rd trimester you can take stronger prescription meds. Doctors say it’s cool, but I personally was uncomfortable with the idea of any strong meds, believing that none are truly “safe”. That being said, I started getting some bad migraines daily for about a week and began considering meds from the doc if they continued, but luckily they dissipated (DRINK LOTS OF WATER!). Headaches on top of all the other discomforts of pregnancy can be almost intolerable and may require medication. It all depends on you. My drug of choice was sleep and/or quiet/darkness.

There are undeniably more obstacles in pregnancy out there that I was blessed with not having to deal with, but those are the main ones that I faced. Even once they were under control or handled entirely, there was still the fear that they would become an issue again. I feared getting a headache during labor and breaking down asking for drugs. I asked the doc to check for a UTI a couple times because I was paranoid of experiencing that abdominal pain again. I feared even the two iron pills weren’t enough to sustain me and the baby. These hiccups are a pain in the ass, but they are a fact of life that must sometimes be dealt with, and I can assure you from experience that you are not alone, and while it might suck, it is tolerable and you will get through it.

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