No credit for time served

by Jen on April 20, 2008

in Does this baby make me look fat?,Rant of the Week,Teenagers make it look so easy

Julie over at A Little Pregnant came up with this concept, refuting the idea that if you’ve suffered with infertility, your subsequent pregnancy and birth should be smooth sailing. And although my first pregnancy wasn’t as tough as some women’s, and eventually had a good outcome, it wasn’t exactly a dream cruise, either.

This time around, I’ve been expecting all along to be hit by not only my old battery of symptoms and side effects, but a whole new barrage of uncomfortable experiences. And at 34 weeks 4 days, I’m still waiting.

Sure, I’ve had a mild recurrence of restless leg syndrome, but it’s been very sporadic and hardly worth mentioning. And some days my hands seem a little puffy and stiff, but I’ve avoided the carpal tunnel and ulnar neuropathy that made my upper extremities numb, useless stumps last time. The only real condition of concern is my anemia. At this point, my hemoglobin is up to 10.6, so it has been creeping upward, just incredibly slowly. And the most recent bloodwork I had done was not reassuring to the PA, who at this weeks appointment asked me to up my iron to twice a day, although she noted, “sometimes all that does is double the side effects without really increasing the absorption,” so I’ll be having bloodwork done again this coming week. She rattled off the entire results of my most recent bloodwork, but most of it meant nothing to me. The one alarming thing she mentioned and — sort of — explained was that my “stores” were at 6, when they should be over 100. I’ve subsequently been trying to figure out exactly what that means, but I can’t. (Could she be referring to the mean cell volume? I have no idea…) She did say that if things don’t look up, she might refer me to a hematologist.

I feel like I’m bragging when I check off my list of fears in the negative. Baby is still vertex LOA and at about a -2 or -3 station (“still ballotable” according to the PA); at this point my weight gain is a respectable 27 pounds (holding steady since 33 weeks); I’m BV-free and yeast-free; the fFN test they did Wednesday at exactly 34 weeks came back negative. For Pete’s sake, I’m even still wearing my normal-sized shoes. Other than the extreme fatigue that accompanies the anemia, this has been a picture perfect pregnancy. I feel pretty good most of the time. I don’t just feel like I can reasonably hope for a term baby, I’m fully expecting one.

So why does this lack of worrisome symptoms have me worried? I didn’t expect, and frankly don’t feel I deserve, such an easy time of it. So I keep expecting some bogeyman to jump out and surprise me. I have a nagging feeling that there’s something terrible lurking that I just don’t know about yet. I’m well aware that with potentially six more weeks of pregnancy ahead of me (okay, possibly even eight weeks, but please don’t wish going past due on me — it would certainly push me over the edge), there’s still a lot that can go wrong. With my blood-related concerns being the only real complication so far, I’m starting to really worry about the birth. I was expecting that if I reached this point and felt as good as I do, I’d be relaxed and enjoy it, but instead I’m feeling more anxious. I’m beginning to wish that this was over soon, that May could just get here, damn it, just so I could put my anxiety to rest.

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