Tuesday, August 28, 2007
Backstory 5: Tunnel of Pregnancy
I snapped this photo of Big A not long ago. She's running through a pedestrian tunnel at a bike path entrance screaming, "ECHO ... ECHO ... ECHO ... NO MORE PICTURES, MOMMY!" I was laughing when I took it. But later when it downloaded to the computer and I saw it on a bigger screen, I felt uneasy. The photo reminded me of ... something. Some other time. It was later on that I realized it brought me back to being pregnant with Little A last year.
Lots of people feel poorly in routine pregnancies. Hell, I felt shitty during Big A's ever-so-normal gestation due to nausea in the first 20 weeks and killer heartburn and leg swelling in the second 21. While not pleasant, it paled in comparison to what I experienced while carrying Little A. With her there was bronchitis that hung on for several months in the first and second trimesters. I would hack, hack, hack, and that would trigger my gag reflux so I would puke, puke, puke. And I discovered that even if you kegel like nobody's business, once you push a baby out then your pelvic floor, she ain't what she used to be. Subsequent pregnancy + violent coughing - virginal nether regions = pee on the floor (and serious mortification).
But, it was more than just a bad cough and peeing accidents. I felt so incredibly exhausted and ill even after the bronchitis finally cleared and everything was supposedly going well in the second trimester. I could hardly get dressed and take Big A to the babysitter most mornings without feeling like I needed a 48-hour nap by the time I got to work. Nights were even worse -- wrestling Big A into the car seat would expend the remainder of my daily energy reserves. I couldn't carry her upstairs from the garage when we got home, which upset Big A's toddler sensibilities greatly. She'd scream and fuss while I fought the urge to pass out as I nuked her something prepackaged for dinner. And then I would have to lie down. No choice about it, just had to. I would turn on the TV to occupy my little girl and pray for DH to come home as soon as possible. I knew I was being a terrible parent. Like in the picture, Big A was a blur of energy, of wants and needs, and she was pulling away from me so fast. I could not catch up.
I was failing her, and it pained me to see the failure so clearly yet not be able to change it.
Plus, there was another pain. It began near the end of the second trimester without any particular event having caused it. Once it began, it never went away. Still, it was not a terrible sensation. Just an ache. If there had been round ligaments or ribs near the location to blame for it, it wouldn't have even rated a blip on my pregnancy crap-o-meter. But there was only one thing the site of the pain corresponded to, and the hair stood up on the back of my neck whenever I thought about it.
It was my scar. The place where the surgeon had accidentally punctured my uterus during my botched termination surgery. Something was happening to my scar.
(Continued soon ....)