Friday, August 8, 2008

Ailments de jour

Now that the nausea, and to a lesser degree the tiredness, are abating, I am being blessed with a range of new symptoms that I thought I might share with you, as strange and weird symptoms are a fascination of pregnancy and we all want to know if what we're feeling is normal.

Symptom No. 1: Stuffy/runny nose and sinuses
This is incredibly irritating. Some days I have blocked sinuses and feel like I'm wandering around with my head in a goldfish bowl. Occasionally it gives me a darned awful headache. Thankfully Dr Stokes said it's quite alright to use my trusty nasal spray on such occasions. When my sinuses aren't blocked often my nose is, and if it isn't, it's probably runny. I've been sniffling and blowing like you wouldn't believe. I am relieved (I think) to report that this is all normal in pregnancy and is thanks to progesterone. Progesterone has got a lot to answer for if you ask me.

Symptom No. 2: Light-headedness and faintness/dizziness
This one is more debilitating and I still haven't established the cause. Possibilities are:
  • low blood sugar
  • low blood pressure
  • tiredness
It often occurs at mealtimes whilst I'm preparing food, the result of which is a race to complete the preparation of my meal before I get so faint that I either fall over or have to sit down. Sometimes I have to sit down to finish getting lunch ready; sometimes I have to have a break and come back to it but often I just make it. This suggests it could be related to blood sugar.

However, it also occurs when I've eaten recently enough to have reasonable blood sugar levels, like last night in Big W, whilst I was waiting for an assistant and had to lean across the counter and take deep breaths to relieve my dizziness. I should have taken it as reason to leave but I kept on with picking up the bits and pieces I needed. When I got to the checkout the lad serving me kept making small talk and I kept responding with one word answers, concentrating on my breathing and remaining conscious and thinking "when is he going to realise I'm not in the mood for a chat?" I had to sit down for a few moments on leaving the shop and on getting to the car required another breather before attempting to drive. I got home, left the shopping in the car and headed straight to bed.

This could have been due to tiredness as I was extremely tired yesterday. Whilst I've been sleeping better this week I probably haven't been getting enough sleep. It could also have been low blood pressure, which can occur in pregnancy anyway due to the increased amount of blood circulating around my and the baby's systems, but could have been exacerbated by slight dehydration. Due to increased blood circulation it's very important that a pregnant lady gets enough fluids and it's possible I didn't get enough yesterday. Whatever the reason it's damn annoying. Faintness is something I'm prone to anyway but I do hope this isn't going to be a trend for the next 6 months. It's probably genetic - I remember my mother fainting in Savacentre when she was pregnant with my sister.

Symptom No. 3: Tubbiness/lack of comfortably fitting clothes
I briefly looked at maternity clothes last night but they're all way too big for me so I just don't really know whether to bother buying anything new just yet. This morning I had a fashion crisis. I just couldn't find anything that I wanted to wear that would fit me comfortably. I decided to wear a top my mother sent over for my birthday last year, which nicely hides my tummy and hips. It goes quite nicely with cropped trousers and I cunningly thought I could fasten them together with a hair elastic. It so didn't work. My belly isn't quite big enough to warrant an extra inch on my waist, plus it wouldn't lie flat and I looked like I was smuggling some strange shaped thingy in my waistband. In the end I resorted to the use of a safety pin. Don't know why I didn't think of that earlier, which leads me on to the next symptom.

Symptom No. 4: Vagueness
Otherwise known as placenta or pregnancy brain, vagueness is annoying. It's supposed to abate slightly in the second trimester but so far I've seen no evidence of that. It's all about lack of concentration and focus, poor memory, disorganisation. The other morning I scraped the paint of the garage door frame, reversing the car out without thinking. It was early, I was late, Toby had parked the car and he always parks it differently to me. I forgot this and just drove out as I would had I parked it. I felt a bit of resistance and as I looked back to check the door was closing noticed a mark on the paintwork and thought "huh! never noticed that before. Did I do that?" so I got out and checked the wing of the car. Sure enough, there was the paint. Two weeks ago I forgot the name of my street. Twice.

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