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In preparation for birthin’ babies and because my doctor had been insisting that I spend more time in bed with my feet up
for the previous six weeks, I started working from home on March 31. See? I listen. Eventually.
And in return, that’s the day the itchies started. At first it was tolerable. But then it was flirting with annoying. So at my April 3 appointment, I mentioned it to my doctor. And she suggested I try an over-the-counter 1% hydrocortisone cream. I was already using Caladryl but found that drying agent in that was counterproductive to my daily-expanding belly.
IT WASN’T HELPING. By Sunday April 6, I was waking myself up in the night having scratched my belly raw, bleeding. At that point, the point beyond intolerable, I was trying Caladryl, 1% hydrocortisone, Aveeno bath wash, wet wash cloths, ice packs and prayer. Every two hours, twenty four hours a day. I was getting rare 5 minutes of relief in each section. I told the Beloved that I was demanding delivery.
So on Monday, April 7, at our doctor’s appointment, I mentioned the symptoms and then lifted my shirt. I ended up with nurses coming in JUST TO SEE THE CONDITION OF MY BELLY. We did the non-stress test monitoring, and thankfully, the RJBs were doing GREAT! But my blood pressure had crept up to 140/90 (no doubt in part due to the tension of the itchies). I actually cried at the doctor’s office. SO UNLIKE ME.
Doc thought it was PUPPPS. OR…my liver was shutting down. And I was all “Oh, that? no, that’s just my SANITY.” So she had some blood drawn. In the meantime, she gave me a prescription for a topical steroidal ointment, as well an oral 6-day pack steroid. The topical would pass through to the RJBs, but she told me that a low dose steroid, for a short period, would not harm them. Sure, I said, they’ll just come out 7 pounds, hairy, and talking. But I was willing to try anything if in return it meant that we kept them in the oven a little longer. We agreed, though, that we’d touch base again on Thursday, April 10, and if need be, we’d deliver on Friday, April 11.
On Tuesday, they called to tell me that we’d have to re-do the blood work because the lab didn’t prep the sample correctly. I still wasn’t feeling better. AT ALL. And every time I put that topical steroid on I felt guilty for giving the RJBs something after having gone this far without so much as a Tylenol for a headache.
In my day job, one of the things I do is risk management. And we’re in renewal period right now. And I’m in contact with brokers locally, and, through them, in negotiations with underwriters both domestically and overseas. People actually listen to me – CRAZY! Even our Counsel. So one would think that I could convince a 5’2″ physician to deliver me, right? Not so much. She was set on term delivery at 37 weeks. And, of course, so was I, provided she could get me some relief.
So I had to go in yesterday morning to have more blood drawn. Except by yesterday, I was actually feeling better. So my argument for delivery was not so compelling. I did, however, convince them to let me see the available doctor (mine isn’t in the clinic on Wednesday’s) and get my what-would-have-been today’s appointment out of the way to save me a trip. Agreed.
I’m happy to say I’ve been scratch-til-I-bleed-free for two days. Which equals a 1000% improvement over four days ago. Oh, it still itches and burns. But nothing some over-the-counter Sarna and Aveeno Anti-Itch lotion can’t handle to make it at least tolerable. I think after this morning, I’ve officially weaned myself off the topical steroid ointment and will only use it under acute circumstances. I saw my acupuncturist today, too – to “remove heat” and something about “the winds”. Um, ok, so long as it helps me stay off the topical steroid.
All I can say is that if I had known enemies, I wouldn’t wish this upon them. And bless those women who have to deal with more severe versions or those who do not get relief and go weeks with the condition. I experienced ten days of it and was prepared to deliver the RJBs myself if necessary.
Here’s a photo two days after I wasn’t itching/scratching as bad. And those aren’t stretch marks down there on the bottom of my belly, those are scratch/nail marks where blood has pooled at the surface. Like I said before, pregnancy ain’t all pretty.
After some meds and relief, this is me in the final approach to delivery:
In your dreams, when you are running as fast as you can from that thing chasing you? But you look down and see ants moving faster than you are? And they’re carrying mint chocolate chip ice cream in waffle cones? And you want some? But in Belgian Cholate instead? And then you remember that thing? And look back? But now it’s a giant clown fish? With teeth? And scary movie background music? And dangit, where do you remember that music from? And then you re-realize you’re not running fast enough? And the ants are giggling? And you hope that your alarm clock goes off before the end of this scene?
That’s my pace these days.
Belly Shots at 34w0d.
Taken at 26w0d on January 30, 2008 .
Because nothing says “kicker” in Texas like jeans and a white shirt. And nothing says “woman” universal than an inappropriate amount of flesh showing.
OK, this was not my work attire on Friday. This is just the only full-frontal belly foto that will be published. Ever.
A special thanks to robalyork, one of our 2 1/2 husbands, for the borrowing of the shirt.
We’re visiting Grandma right now, but I managed to open up the Beloved’s Mac laptop long enough to unsuspectingly steal broadband from some unsuspecting neighbor. But hey, it’s for a good purpose: Wishing you and yours a very Merry Christmas!
- Since we were in Mexico, we were late in taking a belly picture, too. Usually we take those on a Sunday evening, but this one had to be taken on Wednesday night which just so happens to be exactly 19 weeks old. And since I forgot to post this post when I meant to, I’ve also included our regular Sunday programming photo at 19w4d.
- I’ve noticed that my forehead doesn’t get oily like it used to. It used to be that someone might be able to reapply lipstick using the sheen of my afternoon forehead as a mirror. Now it’s not. I guess this is what it’s like to have “normal” skin.
- I’ve been getting physical therapy and massages for the issue primarily located in my piriformis muscle, the muscle mass that extends from the bottom of my tailbone (sacrum) to the hip/femur connector, otherwise known as the source of my left-side ass pain. We located the source at my last PT session and worked to “reboot” the muscle, so my pain has been more of a 5 today instead of the usual 7 or so. I can’t wait to see the massage therapist again and have her work on that spot specificially. Nevertheless, it’s all a small price to pay in pain for growing healthy twins.
- Why is it that people want to tell a pregnant woman their horror stories about labor, birth, or pregnancy? I had to cut one young mother off at Christmas Party when, she started to alarmingly tell me how she and her brother were twins and when they were born he couldn’t breathe and almost died.
- As my pregnancy progresses, the heels I wear become shorter, and the (maternity) pants I have get become longer. So two weeks ago, I took two pair to get altered. I picked them up last Friday. I put my black pants on Sunday evening to wear to a Christmas party. AND THEY DIDN’T FIT. WTF?
- I have learned not to wear socks with strong elastic at the top. Ugh. Maybe I’ll post a picture sometime. Let’s just say it looked like a crime scene.
- Regarding underwear: yes, there are the (under the belly) maternity bikini panties that sell well at maternity stores. I bought some. But they tend to ride up the crack, hear me? I much prefer my Jockey cotton bikini cut panties in a size larger than I used to be. Comfy.
- Speaking of a larger size…at a Christmas party on Saturday night, my stepmother-out-law and a friend of hers told me that they were going to get a sign for me to wear that said “Wide Load”. Nice. And my sister told me of some extended family members that told her they were going to get her a t-shirt that said “I’m not fat. I’m pregnant.” WHAT IS WITH THESE PEOPLE?!
Time is starting to go by quickly. I think more due to the holidays than being pregnant. It always happens this time of year: a ton more to do with seemingly less time. But it’s all good.
My used-to-be-innie is now half-way-outtie. And my belly has POPPED! It seems like I get bigger every day and I feel pregnant in a different kind of I-feel-pregnant-kind-of-way. Not so much the bloaty, thick and tired experience of the latter half of the first trimester, but now more of a I-think-that-might-have-been-stomach-bile, I-actually-look-pregnant, I-can-park-in-the-grocery-store-Stork-spot-without-getting-glares experience.
And I can occasionally and ever-so-slightly feel the RJBs now, and each time it renders me speechless, but with a little sly grin like I’m in on a secret no one else knows about. Or like the grin you’d wear when you just won the lottery but went to the office anyway.
I discovered the belly band this week. I’ve always known about them, but it didn’t occur to me to try one out until I had to start wearing that SI belt contraption. The belly band is a good maternity support belt hider. Now I want one in every color.