Shrinking Stomach and Leg Cramps, Among Other Things

I ate too much. Again. It happens frequently now, and will probably continue for the next four months. Baby Girl is growing, and as she grows, I grow hungry. And also, as she grows, the space for my stomach to expand is shrinking. So I am ravenous, I eat what I think is the right amount of food…and then I am groaning and staring at my growing belly and wondering what possessed me to behave like such a glutton. So I just had lunch, and it was not an abnormally large meal, but it feels like I ate the entire contents of my refrigerator. And I wish I hadn’t done that. The other problem that has returned (pun alert) is heartburn. I had awful heartburn when I was pregnant with Alex, and it’s happening again. So I try not to eat within a couple hours of going to bed, because that’s when it’s the worst – after I’ve gone to bed, and then I wake up at 2 in the morning with my entire esophagus in flames. And before anyone suggests them – Tums don’t work. They merely change the taste in my mouth from horrible burning and overall yuckiness to chalky fruit-flavored burning and overall yuckiness. Believe me, I chewed enough of them two years ago at this time to know. Water doesn’t really do much either, but I drink it anyway, because at least it won’t cause more heartburn. Isn’t this fun? Another fun activity is the random middle-of-the-night cramp in my leg. I have had 2 so far, this time around. One in my calf muscle – which is the only place I’ve ever had a leg cramp before…and the other one, a few nights ago, in some long thin muscle that runs down the side of my shin and grabs at the muscles or tendons in my foot. I woke up with my foot flexed and frozen in place. I could not point my toes or move my foot in any direction at all. I sat there grabbing at my leg, trying to massage this skinny muscle and coax it into letting go of my foot. At one point I was finally just so frustrated by the whole thing that I just snapped my foot into a pointing-toe position. Hurt like hell, but I did it, and it seemed to loosen the rest of my leg up…until I had the stupid idea that everything was okay, and so hey, I think I’ll flex my foot again just to prove to myself that I am all better. So I did, and there I was again, foot frozen perpendicularly to my leg, everything tight and painful again….Dope. I sat on the edge of the bed and whimpered. On purpose. I needed sympathy. I whimpered again. Bill mumbled something that was probably "what’s the matter?" and I said, pathetically, that I had a leg cramp…an arm came out of the darkness and rubbed me on the back for a little while. I think the rest of him went back to sleep…but the arm hung out with me for a few minutes while I massaged and tried to talk myself into walking it out. But walking it out would hurt, and since I was already in pain, why add to it? The arm returned to slumber after a little while, and finally, finally, finally I felt the muscle start to relax. I could move my foot again, which I did slowly and fearfully – afraid that if I got too happy about things the muscle would tighten right up again. But it was really over. I could point my toes all over the place now. So I pointed them back under the sheets and blankets and crashed back to sleep. I am also feeling somehow bigger and ungainlier and awkwarder (I know those are not real words. I don’t care. They fit.) than I did when I was pregnant with Alex. I don’t know if it’s just that I notice it more in trying to get down on my hands and knees and peer under furniture for little plastic balls that Alex is pointing to and cannot reach himself, or because I’ve just become a bigger, more blobby pregnant chick than I was the first time. Maybe it’s because I don’t have time to bask in the "glow" of pregnancy the way I did last time. If I could bask maybe I would feel differently. But there’s precious little time for basking. I suppose I could stop typing and go bask right now, while Alex is taking a nap, but there’s a very good chance he’ll be waking up soon, so my basking would be cut short. I just had to go look up "bask" to make sure I was spelling it right. I used it so many times in that paragraph that it started to look wrong. Like saying "bicycle" over and over – it starts to sound made-up. They say (no, I don’t know who they are – probably the old wives, inventors of tales, who are always telling you weird things) that when you are pregnant with a girl, you lose your looks – or, rather, the baby girl just reaches out and takes them. I don’t know how true that is – and to be honest, I don’t feel like I’ve got a whole lot for her to take anyway. BUT. When I was pregnant with Alex, my hair was more…luxurious or full or something…and my nails grew faster and were stronger. They say that’s because of the vitamins you’re on, but I’m on the same prenatal vitamins, eating the same basic stuff I’ve always eaten, and my hair – to me – still seems more like the "before" picture in a shampoo and conditioner ad. It is neither bouncing nor behaving. It is just hanging there. Oh well. I need a trim – maybe that’s the problem. And as for my looks…I think I look more tired, but that could be because of the toddler factor rather than the pregnant-with-a-girl factor. Oh this is way too much dwelling on my appearance for me. I can’t do it any more – I sound vain and self-absorbed, to my own ears, anyway. I’ll be going now. Have some laundry to put away, some things to iron for the week, and I think it’s time to cover up all the mirrors in the house…at least for a few months.

5 thoughts on “Shrinking Stomach and Leg Cramps, Among Other Things

  1. Try ice cream for the heartburn. That was the only thing that EVER worked for me. Plus, it is yummy. Maybe it should be Ben and Jerry’s. YUmmmmmmmmmmmmm.

  2. “They” say when you are having a boy you get heartburn. The only thing that work for me was the liquid Milanta. I would wake up at 2 and reach for the bottle and just chug a couple swallows and then go back to sleep. I hated it, but it seemed to work.

  3. Thank you!

    Beth – I ate a TON of Ben & Jerry’s when I was pregnant w/Alex – I still had heartburn, but at least the ice cream was a nice end to my day (before the night of dragon breath…)

    And Kris – you can take Mylanta while you’re pregnant? I thought it was just Tums…hmmm…have to check on that. Thanks.

    Sheila – yes – the disembodied arm is all that wakes up in the middle of the night, usually. That and the sleepy voice…

  4. Check with your doctor first, but perhaps the herb mullein will ease your heartburn. I have acid reflux from stress, and mullein soothes it. I have to take 8-10 per day instead of the six per day that the directions say, but there’s nothing poisonous in it (speaking as a non-pregnant person).

    I was surprised that a demulcent (hope I spelled that right) helped heartburn, but apparently it both relaxes and coats the stomach. Anyway, it’s been a big help to me. But the usual warnings apply: pregnant women and nursing mothers need to check with their doctor first.

    I hope you get a good night’s rest!

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