Monday, November 21, 2005

PUPPs! And not the cute furry kind!

So it's kindof a joke now that I have had every non-life threatening pregnancy side effect known to woman. Now we have a new one to add to the list!

Somewhere around last Wednesday my belly started to itch something awful. Just one spot right below my belly botton which I assumed was just going to be a massive stretch mark. Well, sure, it was, but it was also more. By the time we got to birthing class last night it had spread to my whole belly from button down. I hadn't slept in three nights because the itching is really amazing. I asked Yvonne, our doula who teaches the class as well, and she asked to see it. She immediately said, "that's PUPP!". Oof. I really needed this one...

"About 1 percent of women develop itchy, red bumps and larger patches of a hive-like rash on their bellies in the second half of pregnancy, usually in the last month or two. These irritations are called pruritic urticarial papules and plaques of pregnancy (PUPPP for short) or polymorphic eruption of pregnancy. They usually show up first on the abdomen around or in stretch marks (if you have any) and then spread to the thighs, the buttocks, and sometimes the arms. They're harmless for you and your baby, but they can itch like crazy! Your doctor or midwife will want to see you for a diagnosis and will probably prescribe a topical ointment to give you some relief. In severe cases, you may need a course of oral steroids. PUPPP should disappear within a few days after delivery for most women. And fortunately, it seldom happens again in subsequent pregnancies. This condition is usually a familial one and can be traced back through the father's side of the family."

This may be the worst thing yet. I actually found several medical message board threads where doctors induced women with this because they were almost suicidal over the itching! I know, you're thinking, "it's just an itch"... oh is that the understatement of the century!

Thursday, November 17, 2005


Sometimes, when you're reading stuff about being pregnant, it's just too dead on!

Dr. Sears Says:

"You will spend most of your ninth month "in labor." Of course, this extended labor will not be as powerful as the labor you will experience on the day or so leading up to delivery. It's more obstetrically correct to talk of "labor month" rather than "labor day." Throughout the weeks prior to delivery, your mind and body will get ready for one of the most memorable events in your life – the birth of your baby.

Take all the emotions you've felt over the past eight months, intensify them, and you've got an idea of what you can expect emotionally during month nine. You may be tired of being big, tired of being tired, and very ready to get the pregnancy over with. Your preoccupation with the upcoming birth and change in your lifestyle can mean more emotional ups and downs, but the inevitability of what's ahead may make it easier for you to cope. Most women report they feel:

Many women do not want a pregnancy to end. Ambivalence over no longer being pregnant can lead to anxiety about making the transition from pregnancy to parenthood, especially if you are a person who doesn't handle transitions well. Realize that grieving the loss of your pregnancy is a very real need. Give yourself the time and space to do it now – you'll be too busy once baby comes.

Anticipate being more touchy this month, and bothered by well-meaning but insensitive comments. You may feel more irritable toward your spouse, impatient with your children, and provoked by little things that normally wouldn't faze you. It's normal to be irritated and overwhelmed by all this advice and to wish people would just leave you alone and let you have (and rear) your baby your way. You may find yourself becoming very protective of your peace. This is nature's way of protecting you from outside influences that may distract you from the higher-priority event that is soon to come, conserving your energy for what's ahead. If a bit of advice is headed your way, go ahead and temporarily zone out. Even better, stay away from people who make you nervous.

You sometimes lie awake at night going over everything in your head. In your desire to be super-prepared, you make lists so you don't have to worry about forgetting anything, but then you worry about what you may have forgotten to put on the list in the first place. (Keep a pad and pencil next to your bed so you can jot it down and relax back to sleep.) Remember, anything you have forgotten will probably turn out not be so important after all.

Even if you've prepared for this event for the past nine months, it's normal to have second thoughts. Obviously, there is no turning back, and billions of women before you have gone through labor, including your mother. If this is your first baby, fear of the unknown naturally leads to dread. Let your mind work through these thoughts early in the ninth month before your body is asked to do a very strenuous job. The more you trust that your body knows what to do, the more your mind will relax.

Nature often provides you with a nice burst of energy to go along with the urge to prepare your home for the important newcomer. A day of yielding to this energy spurt may provide you with a healthy diversion from the boredom of those endless last weeks. It puts you in control and gives you a sense of accomplishment. But don't overdo it. Even though this nesting instinct may be common among females of the animal kingdom, human mothers don't really need a clean and sanitized nest. Don't let yourself get carried away; you'll end up overtired. Many of these tasks can be done by someone else or gradually after D- day, with baby snuggled in a baby sling sleeping peacefully.


You may find the muscles in your abdomen hurt from working so hard to support your belly, or that your crotch and thigh bones ache when you walk. In the first week or two of the ninth month, enjoy your bigger silhouette in the mirror because your baby will soon be dropping lower into your pelvis, and the bulge will change. You may wonder how you are going to lug yourself around for another month.

Many mothers find themselves physically exhausted this month. You may be tired of dragging a top-and-front heavy body up and down stairs. Even getting up off the sofa can leave you out of breath. First-time moms will be getting used to a pattern they've never experienced before -- light sleep. Nursing the baby, seeing that older children are covered with blankets, comforting during nightmares, sitting up through illnesses, reassuring a wakeful one – all these things dictate light sleeping for a number of years.

Even though your baby may gain a couple pounds during this month, your weight may increase only slightly, stay the same, or actually drop by a pound or two. Weight loss in the final month is usually due to a decrease in the amount of amniotic fluid, as hormones begin shifting fluid around in your body. You produce less amniotic fluid, and the increased frequency of urination may lead to an overall drop in total body water, and therefore a decrease in your weight.

You may not be able to get comfortable – anywhere. You're not comfortable sitting, standing, or lying in one position for more than a few minutes at a time, and have great difficulty finding the right position for sleep. Short, frequent naps are a necessity this month. So are the relaxation techniques you've been practicing.

Two of the more common annoyances of earlier months, breathlessness and heartburn, often ease during the ninth month. Yet you'll need to urinate more frequently as baby's head begins to press more on your bladder. And while the upper digestive tract may feel better, the crowded lower tract may once again feel constipated and bloated.

As your baby descends into your pelvic cavity, you may find yourself prone to sharp, stabbing pains at the base of your spine or in the middle of your pelvic bone, making it uncomfortable to walk. The increased pelvic aches and pains of the ninth month are most likely due to the relaxation and stretching of your pelvic ligaments in preparation for the job to come. You can ease these discomforts by changing positions. Continue to exercise gently every day. If you cannot walk or exercise without pain, a chiropractor experienced in working on pregnant bodies can give you some gentle pelvic adjustments to get your hips back in balance. It is our personal theory that chiropractic attention in pregnancy not only helps avoid or relieve back pain, but also can affect your labor by helping your back and pelvic structures be better prepared to handle the stresses of labor and birth.

Babies move even less in the ninth month than they did in the eighth, but what these movements lack in frequency they make up in power. You may feel hard kicks in your ribs and punches in your pelvis. Sometimes it may even feel like baby is moving his hands or feet into your vagina – a very odd sensation.

During the ninth month some women feel stiff all over, the way they imagine that arthritic, elderly people feel. Baby's head pressing against the nerves and blood vessels in the pelvis may also cause cramps in the thighs. Like the pelvic aches and pains, these changes are due to the influence of pregnancy hormones on the ligaments of all of your joints. The overall loosening of your ligaments has been known to cause the knees and wrists to feel weak, too, making even light lifting tricky and walking less inviting. However, movement keeps your body tuned up and once you get started on your daily walk the aches and pain will diminish.

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Still Pregnant...

So I'm still pregnant...that's about the most interesting news I have!

My feet are so swollen that they look like nasty hobbit feet and I feel like an elephant. My back is killing me and for some reason the position I have to assume to drive and not have my belly bisected by the steering wheel sends me straight into contractions. I can't sleep for more than an hour at a time and I just feel like crap in general. Oh, and none of my maternity bottoms fit anymore. Actually, they fit, but my stomach skin is so sensitive that I can't stand anything touching it so I've been living in sweatpants (just my crappy old ones) that I can wear below the belly.

I am having some early labor symptoms that are a bit too gross to share, so here's hoping that this babe does make an early appearance! Of course, they do say that early labor can last two to three weeks...