Bionic Mamas

you're not losing a vagina, you're gaining a son

Heavy Lifting


Hey there, internets. How are you?

Things are basically fine around here. We’ve gotten several chances lately to spy on the bean, who seems to have arms and legs and a steady heartbeat. It even *moved* while we were watching last Monday — a kind of quick sit-up, prompting my mother to observe that it obviously has genes not from our family.
The reason we’ve been getting so much screen time is more nerve-wracking. I keep bleeding. First was the two weeks of brown spotting leading up to the wedding. Once I’d gotten used to that, it turned pink, starting just before the sit-up look-see. A few days of pink, and I was feeling pretty proud of myself for learning not to panic at every trip to the bathroom, so my body upped the ante: bright red blood, and plenty of it, in the middle of the night.
After the long wait until the OB office opened the next morning — I didn’t see much point in waking up whoever was on call, since there isn’t much they could do about it if I was miscarrying and at least one of us ought to get some sleep — another scan. Less cute time looking at the bean, more v.e.r.y. slow examination of the ute, after which Sweet Sonographer said she didn’t think there was any blood flow from in there, so it is probably my sensitive-soul cervices. (Why no one has cranked open a speculum or two and taken a look, I don’t know.)
More brown spotting, plus a new, sandpapered sensation in my upper hoo-ha regions; a period of self-imposed, er, pelvic rest. Things seemed to be settling down. And then I cut the cheese.
Sugar and I belong to a hippie food coop (*the* hippie food coop, really) of the sort where all members work. (Well, almost all members — as the underemployed member of the household, I do both of our shifts.) When we toured the place and entered the food prep area, our guide said, “this is where we cut the cheese. If you join the coop your job might be cutting the cheese.” Naturally, I signed up at once.
It’s not all fun and games. Besides cutting the cheese, I wrap it, weigh and label it, and carry it upstairs in grocery baskets. Because of summer school and the wedding, I am behind several shifts, which jeopardizes our access to Waldorf-educated kohlrabi, so I made one up yesterday. I was careful not to fill the baskets the way I normally would, but instead to go up when I had ten pounds or so ready. I had them ready at waist-height, and carried them held against my body, for minimal strain, as my back has been unreasonably testy these past few weeks.
After my 3-hour shift, I found a huge streak of red in my underpants. Slightly more controlled panic. Hovered in the public but uncrowded hallway, left a message with the nurse, did some speedy, highly disorganized shopping (extra shallots? Yes. Trash bags? No.), took a cab home. Nice Nurse called back and said that since the bleeding stopped quickly, I should just rest and stop lifting “heavy” things.
Relief, of course. Followed by a nap. Followed by some feelings of pathetic worthlessness.
I like being pregnant. I like how it feels, for the most part. But while I am hardly a tower of physical might, I am used to thinking of myself as strong enough to manage things. I don’t like not carrying things, not being able to open the stubborn window. For that matter, I don’t like being so easily exhausted that I had to stop gardening after an hour the other day, when I had planned at least two.
I can live with being lazy, but I hate being weak.

13 thoughts on “Heavy Lifting

  1. Ugh, that sounds so nerve-wracking! You are not weak, you are gestating a very tiny and vulnerable human that needs some extra care and you are in charge of providing that care. I spotted on & off almost to 12 weeks and OMG!! I can imagine how much panic and terror you are feeling. Take it easy on yourself. What's the worst that could happen? You'll re-learn to open doors and windows for yourself when you're pushing a stroller!

    P.S. I belong to that &^$%&#! hippie food co-op too, but Speedy gets stuck with the workshifts, lucky her. Maybe you could switch to “vitamin aisle” instead of cheese while you are pg. And you know you get a year for maternity leave, right?

  2. Girl I so feel you. I hated not being able to lift and run and move and push and shove and do the “hard” things I would always do. I have to admit that now I do more than I did initially, but still not the macho lifting and superwoman stuff I would do before my pregnancy. Our house is multi-level and my kitchen is on the first floor so I run up and down the stairs thousands of times everyday. Everyone here was like “oh, dont go up and down so much…” um, sorry that did not stop- maybe a little slower but we gotta eat man! Anyway at just over 10 weeks do take it easy my friend and you will never be weak, just consider yourself on a little vacation temporarily. xoxo

  3. I would be freaking out. Really? No speculum yet? I know it is hard, but take it easy. I have something going on with my kidney and it is wiping me out and work is sooo hard. Hang in there 🙂 getting closer to that 12 week marker! And I totally have to go look at where you got your ticker…I am super intrigued!

  4. Bleugh, spotting and bleeding is so freakin' SCARY!! Just take it easy for now and rest assured that your super powers right now are used up to grow a little human. Big hugs!!

  5. I had the same scary bleeding, followed by seemingly-endless spotting throughout my first tri. One scan showed nothing, and another finally found the reason – a sub-chorionic hemorrhage. It did resolve, and all is still well (with no spotting) at 18 weeks. But I was put on full pelvic rest, and no lifting, pushing, pulling or other exertion until 2 weeks of no spotting at all. And honestly, I'm still cautious.

    Hang in there, and take it easy, on yourself and your uterus. Your body is doing a LOT right now, and very strongly, I might add. Being pregnant is one of the true displays of female strength, in many ways. Embrace it!

  6. ugg, how scary! It IS nerve-wracking! We had a few early scares too, and got some extra photos out of it as well. I hope that things “settle down” once you hit your second tri!

  7. Here in Britain they are extremely reluctant to go look at a cervix in early pregnancy. They only looked at mine once I was a) totally miscarrying unmistakably and b) having a go at bleeding to death. Because, if the cervix is bleeding, there's not much they can do about it, and it's not a big deal (yes, I know, it's a BIG FAT HAIRY DEAL to the woman who's bleeding), and they'd rather not poke about in there and annoy anything. Pregnancy makes cervices softer, more prone to bleeds, and they *cough* move lower. Given that the ultrasound is showing no obvious bleeding inside the uterus, it's almost certainly a cervix. And you have two cervices. And the medics are probably thinking, what if they hit one of them with the speculum on the way in? And made it worse? What if they have to dig about to have a good look at one of them and set off a bout of cramps? AIGH!

    Though they could have explained this to you themselves. Eh. The medical profession, bless them, so used to dealing with the hard-of-thinking they forget to do Proper Explaining for the Intellectually Deft.

    Anyway, you have a nice lie-down, and I will keep every spare digit I have crossed for you. Because pregnancy is NOT for the weak, and saying 'actually, I have to lie down,' is the Strong, Brave thing to do.

  8. Oh Bionic…what an ordeal. I'm sorry about the repeated bleeding episodes. So effing scary. When I was bleeding about 3 weeks ago, they did see a small sub-chorionic hematoma on the scan. This past scan, though, it seems to have reabsorbed. But it is VERY good news that there is no sign of uterine bleeding. I agree it sounds like an angry cervix (are you on any prog. suppositories right now?) And, ironically, the extra wandings are probably adding a bit to the bleeding right now (while simultaneously providing proof that all is well.)

    I hear you on feeling weak. I have been feeling that way too and I HATE it. I just don't feel like myself at all and it is a very foreign feeling.

  9. That would have scared me too. Hope your body decides to cooperate and quit scaring you.

  10. So sorry you're dealing with this instead of just enjoying the pregnancy. I can imagine all the changes to your body and what you can and can't do is crazy-making, but hopefully the bleeding will stop soon so you at least won't have to worry about that.

  11. Hope the bleeding stops soon. Hugs to you.

  12. Traumatizing. ((((hugs))))) That is so scary and I am so relieved everything is A-OK. You are getting through this and so is that bebe!

    You have an amazing zen about you despite the circumstances you've endured lately. I am so sorry you've been going through this. C'mon BODY, be cool! I hope the bleeding has officially stopped. And that you aren't going nutso with your mandated chill out mode. xo

  13. I'm very sorry this is being a scary experience. I know the fact that many happily ending pregnancies do this is probably of little comfort. Boo. Stop bleeding, cervices! Cut our girl some slack.

    Waldorf-educated kohlrabi = much laughter. A friend once said to me as he was considering teaching in a Waldorf school. “I want to be a teacher…but I don't want to be a dipshit.”

    Also, GORGEOUS WEDDING PHOTO! The hair arrangement reminded me of my great hero, Ozma:

    Are you secretly Ozma of Oz?

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