Thursday, November 11, 2010

Taco will be teaching from now on

This morning I had a crazy anxiety dream that I was supposed to go to this concert with a friend and I was really looking forward to it, but couldn't find anything to wear. Not in a "I have nothing to wear!" pouty kind of way, but in a "There are no clothes to cover my massive abdomen kind of way. Everyone was in the closet with me, making suggestions and talking over each other and I was so frustrated and stressed I just wanted to cry. In the dream I finally found some ill-fitting floral dress in a bag of hand-me-down maternity clothes and threw it on even though it wasn't clean or my taste and still made us forty-five minutes late to the concert. Then I woke up coughing uncontrollably from the lingering cold and acutely aware of the mountain of work I had to do before my lab started at two-twenty (that didn't get done earlier because of the croupy kid in the well-child waiting room). Just how I like to ease into the day.

Combining this last trimester of pregnancy with caring for the kids and teaching my two labs has been harder than I ever expected it to be. I thought since lab will be over right before Thanksgiving Break that I wouldn't have any pregnancy issues to deal with during the semester. I waved off many offers of help after I announced the pregnancy because I really thought it would be FIIIINE. I would still have a good three or four weeks to go by that point! No problem! You'll never even know!

I was not expecting the sciatic nerve pain to be this bad. Or the way my whole pelvis hurts so bad that I have to stand up for a minute or two before attempting to walk. I somehow forgot how hard it is to bend and reach for things once you get huge. And somehow I also overlooked how physical my job really is. Just the long walk from my car to the building is enough to make me really grouchy, especially the other day when the Homecoming "courtesy" golf cart passed RIGHT BY ME picking my way along and then drove straight to my building, completely empty. WTH?

And then there's the whole issue of clothing myself appropriately. Dresses are better because there's no risk of what my friend A calls "low belly exposure". But the only place to sit down during lab where I can still see everyone is on one of the lab benches. And since I can't cross my legs, sitting on a lab bench with my knees approximately eye level with the students is a recipe for disaster. This isn't often a problem because I spend most labs walking in slow circles around the room like a prison warden, my shoes clack clack clacking on the tile. But lab is usually two hours long and that starts to hurt after about thirty minutes. Like HURT hurt. It will be coming up at my next OB visit because obviously I'm not going to be able to avoid walking for the next month.

These are minor, temporary problems that are all part of getting something great (a baby, not an epidural, but that too). I am lucky to have such a supportive family, supportive coworkers, not to mention great students who fling themselves to the floor to pick up a dropped pencil if they see me starting to go after it. But man am I ready for next week to be over so I can spend work time sitting in a soft chair planning lectures (Preferably with easily accessible food and drinks. Taco is a snacker!) instead of pacing around the lab room for two hours (or sitting on a lab table fantasizing about getting put on bedrest). My missing ankle bones wish the same thing.


Brooke said...

Oh MERCY I hear you. My feet swelled up for the first time yesterday--a day spent driving and sitting and standing and teaching and ended with me completely exhausted with elephant feet. It is such a strange sensation to get tired from carrying one's own body around. I like to think that once the semester is over, I will recline with my feet elevated, do my Christmas shopping online, and eat healthy but delicious snacks all day long. It probably won't work out quite that way, but this semester is really almost over!

sarah said...

Ugh! I'm sorry---this makes me kind of appreciate the bedrest I had!

Kim said...

Have you tried support hose? I was encouraged for both of my pregnancies to wear them and I always blew them off, thinking they were totally only for old people.

But when my mom came into town a few weeks ago to watch the kids while Sam and I both had business trips, she raved about how she and my dad wear support socks on planes because they help with swelling and jetlag. My trips to Houston really wear me out because I just go for a day really, so I thought I would give the socks a try.


Normally on planes, I am a fidgety mess. My legs and knees hurt like h*ll from sitting still and then my butt hurts, etc etc. With those support socks on, I was not fidgety AT ALL, my legs did not hurt, and I really felt fine getting off that plane.

My mom's socks were knee highs and came in different colors -- I have a feeling you could find some that would go with some of your dresses!

I really feel for you. With Aidan, I had such nerve/leg/pelvis pain (he was basically hanging out in my back -- I wonder if Taco is there for you). I ended up carrying a footstool around campus with me for classes and lectures because I couldn't stand to have my feet all the way on the floor!

Hang in there!! (And try support hose if you haven't already!)

Sarah said...

Support hose are a great idea! My dad wears them sometimes because he stands up all day at work and they help his veins and sciatic nerve pain.

I feel for you-- screw the low belly exposure and wear whatever makes you feel a little bit okay. Yoga pants and a blazer?

Hanah said...

Definitely support hose or yoga shorts under a dress. And I recommend a floor-length maternity dress or skirt to avoid the exposure issue.

LL said...

Oh my god I experienced such empathy and pain in this post. I seriously hate being pregnant and that is the biggest road block between me and the idea of baby #3 right now. I respect the miracle and I am deeply grateful that I can get pregnant pretty easily, but oh my gosh, the last few months are just so un-fun (and so very long). Doing it with two kids and a job that requires any amount of walking makes it that much worse. I hope the suggestions of other people or your doctor help. Near the end of my pregnancy with Claire I wore this one pair of super comfy long black pants with the full belly panel. I'd stretch it up over my belly, minimizing the belly exposure potential, and stick my legs in any direction that happened to feel comfortable while I was sitting. If you ever head our way I'd be happy to loan you any of my maternity work clothes!

Marianne said...

I'm so sorry you're in pain! Poor thing. I'm sure you're getting tons of advice, but I go to a chiropractor, who has an in-house massage therapist. It has helped me a lot during the past few weeks.

I only teach 1 night a week (for three hours... ugh ... and I go after work), but this week was tough for me. I actually sat down for a while during the lecture. And I showed them a 25 minute video. I have next week, no class on thanksgiving, and then two more weeks. After last night, I'm not sure I'm going to make it. And I have nine weeks to go. I don't know how you're doing it all Becca.

Kyla said...

Ugh. Sounds almost as miserable as taking organic chem lab. LOL. Seriously, I don't know how you do it. I'm horrible at being pregnant. I had a desk job and it was just killer at the end of my pregnancies.

Amy said...

You're almost there! And I agree with SMJ, yoga pants all around.