Saturday, May 10, 2008

Wild (Charley) Horses

I am now 17 weeks along. Baby J is a whopping 5 1/2 inches and at this point I'm carrying around an extra 5 pounds. Apparently, those few extra pounds have brought on a new phenomenom of the second trimester - Charley Horses. For the past 5 nights I have been waking up in the wee hours of the morning writhing in pain and biting my pillow to keep from waking my husband.
According to BabyCenter.com, either my legs are tired from carrying around "all that extra weight" or my expanding uterus is putting pressure on the blood vessels that return blood from my legs. Whatever the reason, it kinda hurts!
Ironically, I just finished reading Childbirth Without Fear by Dr. Grantley Dick-Read, in which he explains the "fear tension pain" cycle common in labor. In other words, fear causes tension which creates pain which leads to more fear which in turn creates more tension resulting in additional pain and so on. Sounds simple enough when you read it. But the past few nights have been a "wake up" call, if you will, to what this cycle is really all about. The other night, in the midst of trying to massage away yet another knot in my calf, I couldn't help but think, "If I'm having this much trouble relaxing during a muscle cramp, how in the world am I going to manage labor?" So far, I don't have an answer for that. What I have concluded is that if eating a banana a day isn't going to solve my 3am problems then I'll simply take advantage of this opportunity for the next 5 months to practice relaxation and pain management techniques. Now if only I could convince my husband of this perfect occasion to work on his coaching skills ...

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