Having Known For 21 Weeks / At Week 27.

It’s a good thing that I’m not easily embarrassed or today’s post might have been a little hard to write.  If anything, I’m more embarrassed for you reading this than for me writing this.  So let’s just get this over with, shall we?

We’re going to have to spend our normal four-part weekly update just focusing on the physical changes (and skipping mental, emotional and spiritual updates) as there’s so much ground to cover.

Fair warning: If you’re a very visual person who is easily grossed out, we can resume tomorrow with a nice lighthearted post.  If you’re eating, save this for later.  If you’re a boy, well, I’m sorry, but we’ve got to discuss some female issues today.

Before I get horrifically honest, here’s some good news to cheer you up:

  1. My blood work came back negative for anything related to Lymes disease.
  2. My fingernails are growing like a weed!

(If you’ve made it this far, it’s not too late to turn back before delving into my “issues.”)

Issue number one: (Think you can handle this?  Don’t get too hopeful.  I’m just easing you in slowly.)  Last Friday, my toesies were in such a state of crisis that I finally wore sneakers to work.  Sneakers… with my skirt.  It looked terrrrrrrrrible, but felt so good.  I just avoided all eye contact with full length mirrors for the entire day.  The crazy thing is that in spite of the sneakers, my feet were STILL killing me when I had a good three to four hours of standing left.  Craziness!

Issue number two: The following day, Day 2 of sneakers, my aching feet were the least of my worries.  Remember a while back when I casually mentioned joining The Hemorrhoid Club and made everyone very uncomfortable with that information?  Well, strap in, ’cause the ride ain’t over.  I thought that I knew what a hemorrhoid was; I thought that I knew what they felt like.  HA!  I knew n.o.t.h.i.n.g.  What I discovered on Saturday is that a hemorrhoid isn’t just something you notice, it’s something you endure.  Why, you ask, might this need to be endured?  Well, in my opinion, it feels like having a butt rash all-the-live-long-day.  (Don’t forget what else I was dealing with on Saturday.  Imagine my amusement.)

Before I continue, just so you know that this isn’t my fault, I DO eat a diet both high in fiber, fruit and veggies of all kinds.  This is not a dietary issue, nor is it a constipation issue (which does exacerbate hemorrhoids).  This is a pregnancy issue.  Pressure from my enlarging uterus (which I’m told is the size of a soccer ball), plus increased blood flow to the pelvic area, has caused the veins in my rectal wall to swell and bulge. Essentially, these are varicose veins in (and out of) the rectum.  (True story.)

This issue highlighted the fact that now that I’m almost seven months pregnant, I’ve got some serious underwear overhauling to consider.  Listen, you didn’t want to know this about me, but Square Piece has major panty opinions.  I’ve already been briefed on the fact that I’ll need “granny panties” post delivery for a significant amount of bleeding that will be taking place.  (There just aren’t thong-suitable pads big enough that would suffice for the impending flow.)  So it’s been in the back of my mind that I’d have to invest in some new, “real” underwear towards the end of my pregnancy (once I see how big my butt really plans on getting).  But now?  Well, now I’ve had to begin the hunt three months earlier than anticipated because – Ta da! – wearing a thong over a hemorrhoid is about as comfortable as wearing a machete on your eyeball.

(You’re welcome.)

So that was the revelation I had on Saturday.  (I HATE panty lines, so this mounted an intimidating task on top of an already uncomfortable situation.)

A friend of mine mentioned that Tucks would be soothing and helpful for hemorrhoidal relief, so I picked some up this weekend.  (That’s not true.  I picked up the generic Target brand.)  The directions aren’t as specific as a newbie like me would prefer, so I had to bless my friend one morning with a text that went like this: Morning!  Would you keep Tucks in your undies or just wipe with them?

(Wouldn’t you just love to receive that text at random?)

So while I was trying to figure out how to back peddle out of this hemorrhoidal situation, I began digging around for advice online.  You know what I read?  I read that I should avoid standing for long periods of time.  So pretty much, I’m screwed.  Kinda.  I mean, I AM resting my tushy a lot when I can and I seem to be seeing a favorable difference in that arena.  In fact, there’s been enough improvement that I was able to send this text to a different friend a few days later (I’ve just got to spread the crazy around and give everyone their fair share): Exciting update: Went to the Rack.  Today begins underwear attempt #1.  Status: the almond may now be… well… smaller than an almond.

True friend that she is, she celebrated with me via text.

(Had enough?  We’re just getting started.)

Issue number three: I knew that women who have had babies can sometimes lose a little bladder control.  I did not know that women who are having babies get to begin practice before the big games.  SoOoOoOo… now I have to be extra careful when I sneeze.

Issue number four:  Up until a few nights ago, if I’ve felt leg cramps coming on, I’ve been able to ward them off with a quick flex of the foot prior to their onset.  The other night, however?  Yeah, it got me.  And the pain took my breath away.  There was nothing I could do but ride it out.  (So much for the bananas I had been eating.  Hrmph.)

Issue number five: Last, but not least, we need to revisit the leg situation.  In this post, I horrified everyone with the sight of my terrible, veiny legs.  But those veins were bulging.  Now I’ve got a new breed of veins to contend with.  These aren’t risen.  Instead, I look like I have a thin flower bursting into bloom on my right shin.


 Well, that pretty much covers this week’s new developments.  I’m not complaining, nor do I feel overwhelmingly discouraged; I’m just observing.  It’s all for the cause, right?  Now do me a favor and don’t leave this post with the sounds of crickets chirping.  I can’t possibly be the only pregnant woman to have ever been hit with these issues, right?  We can still be friends, right?


  1. July 27, 2012
    Margaret Treadwell

    I am a fan of hemorrhoid cream….not as annoying as tucks in your undies! And the bad news….though they will diminish post baby, they will never truly go away. Sorry!

  2. July 27, 2012
    Nicole K.

    Oh I remember those leg cramps…horrible!!!

  3. July 27, 2012

    I feel your pain. You might want to try A&D ointment, as soon as you feel something start to burn, it works for me. I used it for my babies too!

  4. July 27, 2012

    Oh Suzy I want to give you a hug. I had to use tucks after I delivered. Put witchhazel in a squeeze bottle and spray it on a pad. Put the pad in the freezer wear it over night. It will really help.

    Be encouraged that not every pregnancy is the same. Your next one if you are planning on having more children might be a breeze. but for now let’s just focus on this one. If you want to sit while you cut my hair and can manage it then please feel free. Praying for you!

  5. July 27, 2012

    I like the witch hazel tip, we use witch hazel for homemade face pads (with tea tree oil), not irritating to the skin and the coolness of being in the freezer should be soothing. 🙂

    The bladder control issue … yeah, I remember that one …..

  6. July 27, 2012
    patricia fitzgerald

    Wow! You really are having quite the pregnancy! Lucky you… although I will second the post that every pregnancy is different. Also, target has awesome boy short undies. I think they’re gillian o’malley? I love them and the work well for post-delivery…coverage.

  7. July 27, 2012

    For the entire year before we decided to get pregnant with Ross, I read ALOT about pregnancy. It was then that I pleaded with God to give me every mality in the book, just keep us both healthy and PLEASE- NO HEMRROIDS! I was very grateful that He came through for me on that one, but I think my postpartum pain made up for it. You’re a trooper and seem to be taking it all in stride. The urine leakage was not a huge problem for me, but gas leakage was another story. Just be glad most people around you are unaware of it. 🙂 Everyone at my work was well aware of my problem. (Standing on your head working on dogs and picking heavy ones up tend to make it very evident.)
    You’re doing great!

  8. July 27, 2012
    Janice Cline

    If your medical team approves, Preparation H is rather soothing. And I had these with all 3 of my babies and can report that they resolved, for me, soon after delivery. But then soon is relative. 🙂

  9. July 27, 2012
    Brittaney Banks Lucas

    Oh Suzy! God Bless you….. yep, along with the veins, I got “pregnancy spots”- mini red spider veins- on my arms and face due to high estrogen. Most are still there. And check with your doc, but I used good ole preparation H after labor. Lather it on before bed and it really works! Best of luck!!!

  10. July 27, 2012
    Jessica Croft

    I don’t know much about hemeriods. I did have some after birthing Titus but I am not sure which pain was worse:
    The hemeroids or the stitches from tearing or the general pain of recovering from birthing!

    HOWEVER…the whole bladder thing killed me in both pregnancies. Once I was laughing so hard (at something absolutely ridiculous too) that I puked and peed at the same time. Oh, the joys of pregnancy!

  11. July 27, 2012

    oh goodness, I remember ALL of those lovely things about pregnancy. And after 5 pregnancies, cashier work (standing forever!) and carrying around an extra 100+ pounds for 15+ years, my legs look like an entire FLOWER GARDEN! hmmm, maybe one day I’ll draw in the green stems and leaves and pretend like it’s my “half-body tattoo” LOL

    you are a blessing!!

    • July 27, 2012

      what a great idea!!!

  12. July 27, 2012

    I don’t know anything about hemorrhoids as a result of pregnancy, but I know someone who got internal hemorrhoids as a result of stress and standing for long hours at a time. She found miralax helped to soften her stool and ease the pain a bit. Unfortunately it does take a long time to heal, and stress on the body can make them flare up again.

    As far as bladder issues go, that’s something I’ve heard about from my mom for years, “I had 4 children! Give me a break!” Pads for potential leaks are becoming trendy, right? Didn’t the Kardashian mom endorse a product?

    You’re going to be a wonderful mom Suzy! Thanks for sharing the inside scoop of pregnancy with this never-been-pregnant reader 🙂

  13. July 27, 2012

    Suzy, my hemorroids did go away. The need to stand still, close my eyes (for concentration), cross my legs and sneeze as tiny as possible, however, did not. My husband thinks it’s hysterical. Me, not so much…

  14. Try Calcium Gluconate for your leg cramps. You might have to get a prescription for it. And drink lots of water. This worked for me during my pregnancies and lessened the leg cramps. Blessings on your day!

    • July 27, 2012

      She does not need a script for that, and if her midwives approve I will share from our stash … calcium gluconate is awesome for cramps!

  15. July 27, 2012

    I’m praying for you; sorry, I can’t offer any helpful tips :(.

  16. July 27, 2012

    Ooooo yes I’ve pee’d on my self before lol

  17. July 27, 2012

    Pregnancy is such a beautiful thing…. right??! LOL! I remember loving so many things about pregnancy, but the daily “out of my control things” happening to my body were more than I could handle some days. Your body is not your own, that’s for sure. I never really delt with the hemorrhoid thing during pregnancy, luckily, however after giving birth it felt like I’d never be able to sit down the normal way again!!! My butt hurt for MONTHS! EVERYTHING down there hurt!!! Recovery was something no one could have prepared me for. Directly after delivering, I felt on top of the world and so amazed with my body for the miricle it had just performed. But, the first time I got a shower after giving birth, I remember feeling so fragile. I wanted to be so delicate with my body… believe me, it definately deserved the TLC. My body certainly didn’t feel like my own. The skin on my belly looked and even felt like someone elses. (As odd as it felt staring at this new, tinier, softer version of the “beached whale” I felt like I was a day ago, I was oddly proud of my body for the first time in my life. I felt like a woman. A warrior!) When I came home, that little water bottle they gave me at the hospital became my new BFF! We had many great moments together!! And the tucks were heaven sent. I’m a thongs girl too, so the “granny panties” were a bit hard to get used to. I guess it felt like my last tiny bit of sexiness I had left was just thrown out the window. They are certainly needed during recovery, but they were never comfortable. Take it from me, the day you can finally go with out all the tucks, water bottles, granny panties and what ever else you NEEDED to get through the day, is a moment when a little piece of you comes back! A day of “freedom”. You’ll cherrish it! Yes, pregnancy IS a beautiful thing… but, it’s no easy task. I love my body so much more now though. I appreciate it. I’m proud of it. And even though some of the changes you’re left with may stay forever, they are ten-thousand times worth it!!!! You’re gonna be an awesome Momma! Congrats!!!

  18. July 27, 2012

    Welcome to the club! 🙂
    It is all so completely totally worth it.
    Funny that I don’t even remember much of those things until someone mentions them – the joy just swamps it all. Hemorriods – got them with baby 3 and they did NOT return with baby 4 nor 5. Mine was terrible – i tried all of the above but the greatest relief was from suppositions – stored in the freezer. See you Wed! Enjoy the ride! Love and blessings to you!

  19. July 27, 2012

    Awe, the fun! And there are still 13 weeks to go:) When I went through this the first time, I remember thinking…I can’t believe women do this more than once. Who would honestly set themselves up for this another time? Well guess what? As soon as that little baby is put in your arms, your mind erases and you forget all these little things. It’s the most unbelievable thing. And that’s how you end up pregnant again…4 months later:) Hang in there – there is light at the end of the tunnel!

  20. July 27, 2012
    Rachel Johnson

    Wipes and cooling gel! Suppositories are there for use too !! Welcome to motherhood!! Xx

  21. July 27, 2012
    Mary Kaye

    Forget about the tucks and get some Preperstion H wipes. They are amazing. Aloe.

    For the legs and feet/toes. Danskos, Danskos, Danskos. Go to the Walking Store at Dulles try some on. They will support your legs and feet and you can walk all day in them without your legs or feet hurting . Ask anyone you see wearing Danskos how they like them and why. You will be able to stand all day wearing them after the baby and be comfortable while pregnant. Better than sneakers.
    Wait until your milk comes in. 🙂 it’s all worth it. These last few weeks will be interesting to say the least.

    • Ok, I’ll check ’em out. I didn’t think anything could be more comfortable than sneakers though. Also, t figured that if I’m planning on being honest about the last few weeks and the delivery, I might as well keep my posts as up front as possible now.

  22. July 27, 2012

    When u have a leg cramp stick ur thumb in where it hurts the most and rub. Yes it hurts but it will help. And dont point ur toes down! !! Keep ur foot flat. Middle of the night surprise ones r the worst

  23. July 28, 2012

    ALL normal…which is only kind of comforting. I would recommend “boy cut”. They allow better circulation. I just read in Real Simple about best work out undies and I think they might also be best pregnancy undies too. This is the site recommended in the mag http://www.wearcommando.com hope this helps.

  24. August 1, 2012

    An old woman’s suggestions:

    1. If you can keep from sneezing and control your bladder, wear no underpants at all. Most comfortable.
    2. Use organic baby wipes in yellow container from Wegman’s.
    3. Stand up immediately if you have a cramp and stretch vertically. Never remain lying down or even sitting.
    4. Your shin veins could definitely pass for a faded tattoo. The ‘artistic side’ of pregnancy.

    Hope you keep all of these blogs so you can publish a guide for expectant mothers in the future. Very valuable information to share.

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