Friday, November 4, 2011

Third Trimester

When I was pregnant with Chloë, I don't remember there being a specific day that I felt like the baby grew a couple of pounds. For some reason, the day I hit week 25 was like "oh, hello body, you must have a child in there." The tummy just felt very large, and I kept bumping it into things, and my lower back was achy in protest. Thus began the constant battle of trying the ease the constant back pain. I am so very thankful for my massage chair (basic as it may be, it does help a little), and for the back rubs (knot massages, really) that my sweet husband gives me.

Besides the back pain, I've really been doing great. I've had a couple of random bouts of morning sickness, and the occasional food aversion, but usually have a great appetite. Things like warm chocolate chip cookies and a tall glass of milk always sound good, and I actually manage to resist most days. I'm slowly and steadily gaining weight, which is good. I've had very little of the restless legs, have been sleeping pretty well most nights (credit due to the Unisom I'm still taking, I'm sure), and my complexion never completely freaked out like it did with Chloë. Shoelaces are suddenly hard to get to, and it sure isn't easy to lean over the side of the crib if I have to lower a sleeping toddler down. I seem to get minor braxton-hicks contractions every day, especially if I am on my feet a lot. So I try to do everything in spurts, since it helps the back pain, too.

I actually had another complex migraine last night (numb on one side, can't talk, blind... fun stuff), but was pretty well recovered by this morning. After talking to a couple of fellow migraine-suffers, and putting the pieces together, I decided to really be proactive about avoiding MSG. Monosodium Glutamate, an additive to many savory foods, has been a known migraine trigger for ages. I always knew I risked getting a migraine if I ate at a Chinese restaurant (always famous for using lots of MSG), and it just recently occurred to me that small amounts of the stuff may be giving me migraines. So after lots of research, clearing out my cupboards, swearing off favorite comfort foods like Cheese-Its, I think I finally figured out a big piece of my migraine puzzle. I didn't realize how often I was actually ingesting MSG, and have been astounded to learn that ingredient labels can legally hide it under other names... like yeast extract, or hydrolyzed protein, or fancy words like sodium calcinate, or even "natural flavors." Because, after all, MSG is natural. Some people's bodies just respond to it like neuro-poison. I've seen a drastic improvment in the frequency of my headaches. In fact, besides the complex migraine I had last night, I haven't had any migraines since I cut out MSG three weeks ago... except for the couple of times I ate something that I later learned had a form of MSG. Very interesting.

Week 20

Week 21

Week 24

Week 26

And now I'm at week 27. The third trimester. Just under three months until my due date... until we get to meet our little girl! Yes, this pregnancy has gone much faster. We're planning on doing another home birth, in case anyone is curious. As hard as it was the first time (is anyone surprised that I said that?), I loved being at home, and the midwives and my husband were great, and my body eventually figured out what it was doing. Maybe the second time will be (just a tiny bit?) easier.

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