WHAT YOU DIDN’T EXPECT: 06 – THE THINGS THAT NOBODY TOLD YOU ABOUT BEING PREGNANT…

I fully agree that being pregnant does not by any standard mean that you are sick, but sometimes it sure does feel that way.

Up to late in my second trimester I had the perfect pregnancy.  I never had morning sickness, or any of those yucky things.  My only symptoms were being tired (and I love nap naptime), and a hearty appetite.  The latter didn’t do my waist as many favours, but totally taking advantage of this one nonetheless.

At this point let me just reinforce again my occupation.  I’m a chef.  I stood ‘woman alone’ in my stomping ground for many a year with only the coming and going of a few random Raggedy Anne’s encouraged by Jamie or Nigella.  You quickly realise that if you want to get somewhere in this environment you have to be more of a hard-ass than the men you work with if you want to ascend through the ranks in-between burns, broken ego’s, knife’s being thrown, illness, pain and discomfort.  I thought I was as hard as any of them.  I definitely put up with and could handle a lot more than some of them.    Until I was 29.  This is still young by any standard!  But it came to the point where all the insults, the abuse, burn marks on arms, legs and soul and inevitable ill health from working 17 hours a day, commuting for two and then having insomnia from living on coffee and cigarettes all day just wasn’t cutting it anymore and I made my move out-ta-there!

Yep, I thought I was a hard-ass, obstinate little girl who could do and handle anything.

Fast-forward 18 months to 28 weeks pregnant and I will never think that again.

Pregnancy was suiting me so well.  I had just quit smoking, quit a toxic job, was eating balanced meals sitting down and getting plenty of shut eye.    I was healthier than I had been in years, baby was doing great and then the moment I started to show it became difficult.

Then the nasty started.    After working a double shift in the kitchen I thought I had somehow stepped wrong or did something silly to make my hip hurt.  Went to bed after dosing up on some paracetamol.  It was worse the next day, but come the Sunday I could stay in bed the whole day and it went away.

I was however cheated into a false sense of wellbeing.  It was the start or a recurring pregnancy nightmare.  Something that I hadn’t come across while reading various books, websites or forums.

Baby had taken a liking to chilling out on my left side for most of the day.  This in turn had somehow caused pressure on my sciatic nerve.   The simple low down on this one is that the sciatic nerve is the longest and widest single nerve in the human body (Ta wikipedia) and the really fun part is that when you’re pregnant there’s pretty much nothing you can do about it.

The options for dealing with the discomfort and pain is very limited as mentioned.  When it started the following did help somewhat though:

Hot baths with epsom salt – I still think its more a case of any pressure or tension being removed than the salts doing anything more than easing some swelling.

Hot water bottle – Not always, but it gave a lot of relief on the areas while it was there.

Paracetamol – After women being pregnant since the dawn of time how have the medical profession not come up with a better option yet?!

Lying down – Catch 22 right here.  It’s actually not the best thing you can do when stuck with this problem, but after a while you don’t know what to do.

Acupuncture – Baby was lying transverse as well at 32 weeks, so she used Mugwort for Moxibustion to encourage the little one to change position.  The acupuncture did in fact help a lot, but the pain (I’m past referring to it as discomfort) actually moved.  I think this is my own fault as I didn’t tell the acupuncturist that it was affecting the groin as well, but she was focussing on so many different, seemingly unrelated places that this might have been one of the ones she couldn’t treat?

What most definitely didn’t help me any at all was using the pilates ball and extra Calcium and Magnesium as suggested by the midwife.

I would be interested in hearing other’s opinion or experiences on this one, especially if it went away or persisted after birth.

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