Oh, what a weekend I’ve had… Lest you worry, Chick and I are fine. Okay, CHICK is fine. I am fairly convinced my insides are going to fall out any minute.
Thursday evening was my 24 week check-up. As I drove to my appointment, I felt this strange burning pain right at my breast bone. Nothing incapacitating, but also very odd. Good thing I was going to my check-up, eh?
As I lay down on the table, I explained to the midwife what was happening. The usual “Does it hurt when I do this? What about this? Or how about this?” ensued. To which I responded, Yes, no, and no. Acute pain, but mostly localized to a 1 inch square. The midwife seemed worried.
“You see, that’s where your uterus is…”
“What? How did it get all the way up there?”
Concerned looks, either because I have no concept of pregnancy anatomy or because something terribly wrong is going on with my insides.
After conferring with a few others on staff, the midwife sent me home with instructions to rest and call immediately if things get worse. This is not something one wants to hear from a medical professional, though admittedly it could be worse.
At this point, the pain was really really real. I hobbled back to my car and went home for some rest. Though the pain didn’t get worse, it didn’t really go away either. Additionally, it traveled down slowly over the course of the evening until it landed right around my belly button.
Meanwhile, Chick was moving like a prize fighter. Had this not been the case, I wouldn’t have slept through the night. Ironic, isn’t it? My baby punching my insides made it easier for me to sleep.
Come morning the pain had not gone away. Midwife wanted me to come in for an ultrasound to make sure Chick was alright, and the soonest I could get in was 1:30.
Again, not something one wants to hear from a medical professional.
Holy balls– do you have ANY idea how long the wait from 8:00 to 1:30 was for me? As fortune would have it, I had a therapy appointment with Dr. Macaw that morning, and spent my entire 55 minutes crying. Though I rationally knew this would probably be fine, irrationally I could not handle one more fucking thing in my life breaking down.
Ladies and gentlemen, I have reached my limit for very bad things. No more. Not open for business. I wish I could say I’m some strong, courageous bad ass who can handle any and every speed bump with a smile. But let’s be real. This camel is one straw away from losing her shit.
Strangely, it felt really good to admit this to another person. Outloud. In earnest. Through lots of snot and tears. Between my mom’s death, my dad’s slow climb toward normalcy, my siblings and their own stuff, the completely unnecessary drama from Mr. O’s dad, and upheaval at work, I need this pregnancy to be okay. Perhaps the Universe would listen to me this time when I’ve said I have had enough.
The next several hours at work were totally surreal. I had an “important meeting” that I couldn’t get to because it was smack in the middle of my ultrasound. Had a moment when I thought about conference-calling in, then realized that was completely stupid. I made my excuses and arrived back at my doctor’s office for the second time in 24 hours.
The ultrasound tech was the most beautiful, decent human. She was chipper and reassuring. With every snapshot she took of Chick, she’d say something like “Now we’re looking at the kidneys, which look totally normal…. This is the heart, which looks absolutely healthy…” And so on and so forth until we established that Chick is still fine. (And still very shy about their face. Someone is not ready for their close-up, Mr. DeMille.)
At this point, it was time to meet with another midwife (my dr/midwife duo weren’t available at this time, which was fine with me.) After looking at the results and examining me, I have been diagnosed with…. Diastasis Recti, or separated abdominal muscles. (Do not google this. It is gross. Or at least it is gross when you realize it is happening to you.)
Truth be told, I sort of forgot what the midwife was saying after she confirmed Chick was okay. I heard “Baby is okay! Mumble, mumble, Diastasis Recti, mumble, mumble, one finger apart, mumble, can get up to three, mumble, mumble…:”
Deep breaths. No one is dying. I’m just experiencing pain like a burning zipper up and down my abdomen. No big deal.
I spent the rest of the weekend wincing around my apartment, and having to ask Mr. O anytime something had to be lifted up or put down. It was tedious, and led me to one or two bouts of feeling sorry for myself.
My abs, once my pride and joy, have separated about one finger width apart. This is not uncommon in pregnancy– approximately two thirds of pregnant women experience this to some degree. It is, however, uncommon so early in a pregnancy or women carrying my size baby. If this were my third trimester or if I was carrying Gigantor, it would make more sense.
No one can quite figure out why this has happened when it did. As my loyal readers will know, this annoys me to no end. I want “Why?”, but it seems my body only responds “Why not?!” One speculation is that my muscles were so tight to begin with, there was little stretch in them. (I had similar lower abdominal pain weeks ago, which one nurse thought might also have been intensified because those muscles were well-developed. This is what 8 years of running does to you.)
I hope this doesn’t sound like a humble brag. Because I am sooooo not into this. Had I know that being in excellent shape with well-defined abdominals prior to pregnancy would lead to tearing? BLECH. I would have cooled my training and eaten more ice cream.
In the meantime, I have no idea what I can/can’t do anymore. From my midwife, I can keep running until my body says no. (But this isn’t no? What the hell does this mean? Talk about completely unhelpful advice…) She also suggested I ditch the pilates and take up yoga, but I’m still convinced this will just make matters worse. Maybe I should just become a bedridden shut in… In my most paranoid moments, I don’t want to breathe too deeply deeply because I’m pretty sure my organs will fall out. Which is shear nuttery but that’s where I live these days.
Just when I am on the brink of crying because I feel tender and sad, Chick tickles me from the inside out.
It is hysterical and glorious.
It is the yin to this weekend’s yang.