I am so glad to not be pregnant anymore. The last few weeks were really uncomfortable. I developed some weird pain in the top of my swollen foot along with a multitude of weird pain inducing and sometimes gross symptoms. But now Avery is here and I’m feeling a little reflective. This pregnancy was very different from the first one birth physically and mentally and I definitely learned a few things about myself and pregnancy:
1) Being dehydrated can cause preterm contractions. I went into the hospital 2 weeks ago because of contractions. They didnt hurt and I had been having them for a few days so I chalked it up to Braxton- Hicks contractions which are not a big deal and no cause for alarm. I was told that I was having contractions because I was dehydrated. (Of course I am Doc, I’m peeing every ten minutes🙄)You see,
Your uterus is a big muscle and, just like any other muscle in your body, it can cramp up when you don’t have enough water.
When someone is pregnant, their blood volume increases by almost two times its usual amount, she explains. If they become dehydrated, blood flow to the uterus is reduced, causing uterine cramping or contractions due to the lack of hydration. “The uterus’s response to the lack of blood volume and fluids is to cramp, which can result in menstrual-like cramping or contractions”- Shannon M. Clark, M.D.
I was encouraged to drink 10-12 glasses of water a day for the rest of my pregnancy and sent home. The water did make the pain disappear.
2)Asking for help is a must. When I used to see pregnant women being treated like a handicap person it made the feminist in me enraged. I was determined to be able to do all my normal tasks just as I had always done. Once I hit 7 months, I realized I just couldnt do things. I was too ashamed to admit that I needed help especially after I had been all “I am woman,hear me roar” the whole time. My brother came to me one day and said he had overheard me on the phone complaining about cleaning the house all by myself. He apologized for not realizing just how much assistance I needed and vowed to take out the garbage and clean the litter box for me. He did.
3)Lamaze breathing really does work. Avery’s birth was a scheduled c section but I was feeling more intense contractions and 2 hours after being admitted my water broke. I got nervous because I knew the contractions would only get worse. I immediately flashed back to Amani’s birth and the excruciating pain I experienced during labor. This time,I wanted to be more in control so I took deep breaths as the contractions hit. Surprisingly to me,they really helped. Focusing on my breathing helped distract me from the pain,which on a scale of 1-10 hit a 7.
All in all, I had a great pregnancy. Yeah I had a huge belly and painful edema but I learned that pregnancy is a delicate process you’re body goes through and asking for help not only takes the already heavy load off of you,but it helps bring together family for the preparation of a baby. I’m proud of myself for managing my pain and labor and delivery was quick(5hrs,15 minutes). My first pregnancy experience was full of shame and sadness. I couldnt enjoy watching Amani grow inside me but this time I was filled with overwhelming joy. I encourage all expecting moms to embrace the journey and listen to your body.