Thursday, September 3, 2009

Abs-olutely miserable

DISCLAIMER: I sometimes worry that I'll turn people off (my readers, that is) if I start talking too much about one thing, or not enough about another. And then I realize that hey, this blog is about ME, and it's about my life and family/friends and what I'm going through or thinking about on any particular day. And if I want to talk about pregnancy stuff ad nauseum (ha ha, cuz that's certainly part of pregnancy), then I will. This is my outlet for my inner being, and if people want to come here to share, that's great. If not, there are a million other blogs out there with more exciting content. I don't mean to sound all hard-ass, I guess it's just my way of making a disclaimer about this post and past/future posts regarding my current favorite subject: pregnancy.

One of the things that has been plaguing me throughout my pregnancy (besides headaches, acne, and the occasional moody breakdown), probably since day one, is abdominal pain. This one has caught me by surprise, because I've never heard of women suffering so much from this as I have. Oh sure, I've heard complaints of back pain, or bloating, or the wonderful headaches (which I'm already used to, pre-pregnancy). But the abdominal pain is something I didn't expect to have so much trouble with.

I definitely expected to have problems with my abs, since there's a lot going on there with muscles growing/stretching/moving, and obviously that's going to cause some discomfort and pain (mostly pain for me). But when I ask other women if they suffered from this, they all seem surprised or a bit confused, and only say that they had a little discomfort or problems with their abs, and that's about it. I was in pretty good shape when I got pregnant, just 10-15 pounds over my "goal" weight, but with really strong abs that could do 50-100 crunches easily. So concerned, I asked my doctor about it last week. She said it's normal, and unless it feels like contractions (it doesn't) then she could only offer me advice (Tylenol, rest, heating pads) and some sympathy. I've tried them all, and they only take the edge off the continuous pain. There's not much help on the Internet either, only a few other women complaining of the level of pain that I've experienced—surprisingly, more in my second trimester, since this is supposed to be my "golden time" of pregnancy.

Pete does not seem to understand how much this hurts me, almost on a daily basis, and it's much worse some weeks than others (this is a bad week). He understands back pain, and often gives me massages (which he is used to from the Hooveritis problems I've had), but whenever I mention how much my belly hurts, he typically just says "Oh" and goes about what he was doing. I know he doesn't mean anything by that, but to not have your husband understand and sympathize with your pain is hard.

So the only thing that offers relief is when my abs decide to stop stretching so much, and I go back to feeling happy and content again. It's almost magical when I don't hurt all the time, when I'm happy to be pregnant and can feel the baby kicking down below. That's a side effect of the ab pain—I don't feel the baby kicking much at all, and that makes me hurt physically AND emotionally. I start freaking out and worry that the little bean is suffering, or not growing properly, or even dead in there, and I worry endlessly until I feel the occasional kick. It's scary, because I normally feel him/her quite frequently during my "good" days, so to feel nothing most of the day is very difficult.

I'm certainly not complaining about being pregnant, and for the most part, it's been wonderful. I had hardly any morning sickness (3 weeks of strong queasiness) and the headaches only hit a few times a week, no more frequently than my past migraines did (which were much worse). The acne? Well, I can deal with that, I certainly have in the past. A full bladder at night hurts a lot, rather than being uncomfortable, but our bed is 15 feet from the bathroom, and nightly trips are normal to me now. Even the back pain is tolerable, having dealt with that so much in my life.

But the ab pain is horrible. From rolling over in bed (the worse), to just sitting in a chair drawing at my computer, it's agony. The pain has been pretty much non-stop since Sunday, and the last time this happened, it lasted a week (which was a few weeks ago). I can only hope that in a few days (or sooner, if I'm lucky) the pain will subside and I'll be back to my rotund, waddling self, happy to be growing and changing along with the baby. I do wonder if the pains are signs of the baby going through growth spurts (certainly my uterus is), and that's a small consolation to me, something I can hang on to in order to deal with something I have little control over.

I hate to use this as a forum for complaining about something so wonderful as having a baby. But I feel like I can share with you all, and just get the feelings out there, if not for relief, then for a small peace of get all this ugliness off my chest. And yes, I'm glad to say I can feel the little bean kicking right now as I type this, so I feel a little better about things, if not in body, then in mind.

Thanks for listening, and I hope to be back to a happy, goofy, regularly-scheduled post tomorrow.

(Image from


Char said...

oh Chris...I'm so sorry. that sounds awful.

Teresa said...

So sorry to hear you are in so much pain. It does sound unusual for you to have constant pain in your abdomen while pregnant. I didn't have that with either of my pregnancies. Hope it subsides soon for you.

Claire said...

my brow is furrowed in pain for you. i am sorry chris. ad for writing about all this... please dont stop. i enjoy seeing it all through your eyes.

as for the photo... it is simple and really beautiful.