How I Do Run On.

I am more pregnant than I have ever been. 26 WEEKS pregnant. Soon I will enter a whole foreign trimester. Some of it will feel familiar to me, having been so very, very vast last time, with twins and all (in many ways, it’s been the second trimester that felt new this time), but still. This baby is older than Simone was when she was born. Screw pregnancy newsletters; I can look at Simone’s BABY PICTURES and get a reasonable idea of what Twyla looks like in utero at any given gestation from now on.

(Yes. Her name is Twyla. I let that slip on Twitter the other night. When I’m feeling particularly pleased and hopeful, I call her Twyla the Tenacious.)

The new season of Mad Men premiered Sunday night, and it sent me into something of a tailspin to realize that (customary caveat applied) by the time the season ends, I will have a new baby. A baby in my home, a baby who is a couple of weeks old, even.
Do you know how SHORT a season of Mad Men is? I do, because I complain about it every time. AND YET! When the last episode airs, I will probably be watching it while NURSING, or something.

On the one hand, it can’t come soon enough for my get-the-baby-out-alive-anxiety, but on the other…I have SO MUCH to do before that season finale airs.

I know—all a baby really needs is a boob and a clean, de-splintered drawer to sleep in, blah blah blah. This is only partially about the actual baby. We’d been dithering until about a week ago about moving, and have at last decided to stay in our apartment at least another two years. The location is really impossible to improve upon, and while it still KILLS me not to have any outside space, well, we can GO outside, and by staying here and saving we have a better chance of buying a house we really love down the line. However:
1) We have been treating this place as temporary for almost four years now (have yet to really put up any pictures, for instance), which is hardly conducive to the happy, home-y, settled feeling I am desperate for, and
2) It has gotten unacceptably grime-y (the ceiling fan blades! The windows and baseboards!) and messy (Hoarders Lite, over here).
The plan, then, is that instead of starting fresh elsewhere, we will make this place clean and lovely and more like a home. As I said, the apartment has gotten filthy in hard-to-reach-but-easy-to-be-horrified-by places, it is time to DECORATE, already, and we are seriously in need of a purge of our belongings. We are finally getting permission to paint and there is furniture that must be replaced and a room that needs to turn from Office back into Child’s Room and I have honest to god SPREADSHEETS detailing the million tasks that must be completed within the next Mad Men season because yes, it needs to be done before the baby comes. Do not tell me that it doesn’t all have to be done before the baby comes, because I WILL CUT YOU. This project is making me crazy, but it is also the only thing keeping me sane. I know that doesn’t make sense, but it is true.
You see, I have a viable baby inside me. I do NOT want that viable baby to come out early—we got so lucky with our outcome last time it seems certain we wouldn’t be again, and besides, I am quite enchanted with the idea of delivering a great big 37-weeker that I can hold the very same day—but I am excruciatingly aware of said baby’s viability, and my uterus’ murder-y history with babies, and the thought of having a healthy 30-some-weeker snuffed out by some unseen malfunction is never far from my mind. I can’t do anything but trust my doctors and hope for the best, on that front, so you can bet your ASS I am going to get this apartment whipped into shape in the next 11 weeks.

I thought I might do some Before-and-After-ing here, on this old Website of mine, but the Befores would be so, so bad—no really, so bad—that I suspect it would just be a repeat of the time I posted this entry and received hate mail for MONTHS. Worse, because sorting is already in progress, so in some cases the Befores would just be pictures of boxes and piles. (I apologize for how unintentionally filthy that last sentence was, by the way.) I promise to show you the finished product at my customary tedious length.

Scott will be doing most of the actual, physical work, because my uterus can’t seem to tolerate more than 10 minutes of activity before going AWOOGA! AWOOGA! and dissolving into panicked contractions. I did manage to sort through most of Simone’s baby clothes the other day, which led to the conclusion that we do not need any more, at least for the first six months. Which is good! but also makes me feel horribly guilty because it means poor Twyla will always be wearing hand-me-downs. I found this far more upsetting than I suspect any reasonable person would.

My emotions have been volatile. There has been a lot of weeping, but not necessarily for any specific/rational/explicable reason. On Monday I started crying as I left for Simone’s spring conference, because…I’m not sure. The closest I could figure was that it was because Scott had class and couldn’t come with me, and also I hadn’t slept well the night before, and also I wanted a piece of cake but wasn’t allowed.

I wasn’t allowed cake, incidentally, because I failed my one hour glucose tolerance test so spectacularly that I don’t even get to attempt the three hour. I passed the one hour with ease in the first trimester, and thought I had dodged that particular bullet this time, but nope! I’ve only gained a total of three pounds all told (hard to believe given my magnificent prow), so lord knows I can’t blame it on that, and I wasn’t more than slightly zaftig to begin with. I’ve been checking my blood sugar since getting the news, and every reading has been scrupulously normal (even the one taken after a celebratory meal of takeout penne and mango sorbet), so apparently the only thing that causes my blood glucose to rise to unacceptable levels is that godawful drink of theirs. Of course when I reported to the diabetes clinic yesterday I got the same lecture they gave me last pregnancy, about how I need to eat more (the GD diet, believe it or not, asks that one consume a tremendous amount of food). I tried not to become too exasperated but suspect I failed, because I am still on round-the-clock Zofran, and LADY, I AM JUST HAPPY I AM MANAGING TO EAT AT ALL.

Can I point out, as long as we’re on the subject, the absurdity of having this not eating/gaining enough problem after spending the last two-plus years salivating over food I couldn’t have because I was trying to lose weight while locked in battle with my damn thyroid? And no matter how I changed my “calories in/calories out” equation (DO NOT EVEN GET ME STARTED) I kept right on gaining—20 pounds in the six months before I got pregnant! And now I eat whatever I please (including this awfully sinful macaroni and cheese from a local restaurant that I eschewed for years out of virtue) and am about as active as your average ficus, and I am being sighed at by nutritionists.

In other news (unless you follow me on Twitter, in which case this is not news at all), we had a bit of excitement Thursday night, in the form of Baby’s First Trip to L&D.

Despite the weekly 17-P injections, I contract a lot: my pattern has been sporadic contractions throughout the day, and an uptick with activity. I get my shot every Monday morning, and by the weekend it must be wearing off, because my contracting become noticeably more regular—my response to which has been to spend Sunday afternoons in bed with a heating pad and a contraction timing app, guzzling water and waiting out the hours until my next shot. (You may remember that I started the 17-P injections almost solely as a precaution, because of uterine irritability, but with the strong, increasing contractions it looks as if we can say that my preterm shenanigans last pregnancy were likely not entirely due to Ames’ death after all.) One particularly alarming Sunday netted me a cervical ultrasound, but it showed no shortening or funneling or anything untoward, suggesting that these contractions of mine are more bark than bite. General policy since has been that as long as they don’t stay regularly in excess of six an hour with water, rest, and heat, I needn’t do anything about them beyond limiting my activity as necessary. (The stairs to our third story apartment are a particularly notorious culprit.) The extent of this limit is vague (“don’t go on any long walks” being a recent guideline), so I let my uterus be my guide. Alas, the farther along I get, the more badly my uterus behaves, and on Thursday I had several hours with more than six contractions. They were irregular in intensity but coming about three minutes apart when I sped off to triage.

The triage desk is just inside the entrance to the birth center on the way to the NICU, and standing there, signing all the forms that would allow them to care for Twyla should she happen to make an appearance (all the while mindful of the fact that I was only about three days, gestationally, from when Simone was born) made me ill. I kept tearing up and raced through the paperwork as quickly as I possibly could. I am certain my signatures were entirely illegible.
(Of course, everything was FINE, and I probably could have waited a bit before getting so verklempt, but as I have mentioned, the logical parts of my brain don’t seem to be operating at full capacity lately.)
In the room I shimmied into a familiar abdominal ace-bandage to hold the monitors and donned a gown. A nurse came in and positioned one disk to monitor contractions and one to monitor heartbeat, and I felt that odd mix of hope that there would be no more contractions and hope that there would be a few and that they would show up on the strip. Those of you who have dealt with preterm labor are doubtless familiar with this—obviously, you don’t WANT to be having contractions, but because it can be hard to pick up early contractions on the monitors, it’s difficult not to feel both desperate (because you are scared, and KNOW there are contractions, and want them to be taken seriously) and embarrassed (because if the contractions don’t show up, everyone will think you are crazy and paranoid and will be secretly eye-roll-y back at the nurses station). After a bit of adjusting, my contractions showed up, but happily there were not many of them, though there was a lot of background wiggly uterine irritability on the strip. The contractions themselves looked like gently sloping hills, and I remembered the mountainous peaks they were during actual labor with Simone, and wondered, again, how on EARTH I stood that every 3 minutes for 16 hours.

The nurse gave me a dose of Vistaril and then a shot of Terbutaline which: OW. Burny. It was remarkably effective at stopping the contractions—I only had three in the hour-and-a-half I was there post-shot—but I wasn’t fond of the Terbutaline, and have no interest in seeing it socially. I vehemently disapproved of the unwholesome jitters it imparted, and when combined with the Vistaril, the result was a paradoxical caffeinated bonelessness. A small price to pay, and all that, but it’s a good thing the nurses warn you about the “did I do a large quantity of cocaine and then forget about it?” effect, because otherwise I imagine a person would assume they were in dire need of a cardiologist and possibly a notary for thier living will.

The fetal monitoring portion of my stay was a pleasant surprise. You see, SOME babies, in the past—I won’t name any names—became quite testy and uncooperative at the first whiff of a monitoring session. SOME babies made a fleet of poor, overworked nurses drop everything every 90 seconds or so to chase after their heart rate, three hours a day, for weeks. Twyla, despite being the most active baby I have ever harbored, was much more cooperative than a certain (as I said, unnamed) one of her predecessors.

The worst part of the visit was the cervical check. Now, these are never pleasant, and always involve me assuming a vulnerable position (legs bent and spread, fists balled under ass as requested to give “better access”) while a nurse does an unspeakably painful Hand Jive inside my vagina. This time, though, was something special. The head of the bed—which was elevated—suddenly gave way, sending me crashing downward with someone else’s digits inside of me. The good news is that my cervix was nice and closed. The bad news is—did you READ that?

Anyhow, while they were up there they did a fetal fibronectin test (a positive got me admitted at 24 weeks last time) and it was, blessedly, NEGATIVE, which gives me something like a 95% probability that I will NOT deliver within the next two weeks. Huzzah for third trimesters!

My, this has been a whiny post, hasn’t it? Why so whiny, lucky still-pregnant girl? This last complaint, at least, is actually a plea for help:
I will give all my riches (about $117 at present) to whomever can cure me of my horrible, panic-attack-inducing Restless Spirit Leg.

Every night, I fall asleep only to wake a short time later with the most horrible feeling in my legs and sometimes more of me. “Restless,” though, doesn’t convey just how awful it is: it is a physical feeling, but I am also panicky, and feel I need to get out of my own self IMMEDIATELY—Akathisia, you know. I flex my muscles over and over and finally stumble out to the living room, sniffling pathetically, to lay on the couch while Scott massages my legs. I also take a Klonopin, which helps immensely but makes me wring my hands and feel like I am a bad mother even to the unborn, despite the fact that I KNOW it’s a low dose and there is no research saying anything damning about it in the 2nd trimester, and that last time after Ames had died they had me on benzodiazepenes for my Grieving and everything was FINE. Still. The doctors in my practice don’t all agree about benzos in pregnancy and so I’d avoided them until now. Almost without fail, after the leg massage and Klonopin I am able to return to sleep without further incident.

Further information:

–Taking the Klonopin before I try to sleep does not stop the Restless Spirit Leg from occurring.
–I have long since stopped taking Unisom, because antihistamines make Restless Leg worse.
–I AM mildly anemic (hemoglobin 10-point-something, down from 12 in 1st trimester), which I have heard could-possibly-maybe-but-maybe-not be a factor, HOWEVER I can’t take iron supplements. I am already bunches of Colace for the Zofran, and I tried a supposedly not-as-constipating form of iron supplement (gluconate? can’t remember) about a week ago and the resulting situation was so bad that I am not prepared to talk about it on this public Website.
–I ate a banana before bed last night, having vaguely remembered something about THAT helping, and no luck.

Seriously, if one of you can rid me of this affliction I will give you any of my cats you like! Your choice! Please!

If you don’t have any Leg ideas, maybe you could tell me your best Hormonal Pregnancy Meltdown story? Last time I was pregnant enough to get to the Sudden Onset Weeping stage I had actual things to weep about, so it is very weird to find my emotions swinging wildly out of control over nothing or in ways (clinging to spouse, nesting) that remind me that I am, in point of fact, an animal. An animal that needs windows that aren’t so dirty they make her want to DIE and also to find just ONE COMFORTABLE SLEEPING POSITION FOR THE LOVE OF GOD.


  1. Jul says:

    Okay, I realize that this is a bit indelicate, but so is the human body, what with the twitching and seizing and contracting and pooping and lack thereof: having an orgasm will settle the RLS right down. No, I am not kidding at all. The human nervous system: seriously jacked up for millenia!

  2. RG says:

    I am so busy. Why am I writing this comment instead of performing my Very Important Research? Slap my hand.

    In any case, my silly hormones story involves me being late to a dental cleaning because Pregnancy Brain removed the directions to my oft-visited dentist from their file folder in my mind. In other words, I got lost on my very familiar way to a very familiar place, forgot that I had the number in my phone so I did not call to say I was late, and upon my arrival was greeted by a grumpy hygienist who said – You’re late. I can’t see you now. I BURST into tears, abject weeping there in the waiting room. I was only a few weeks pg, not showing at all, so I tried to explain through hitching sobs that I had just found out I was pregnant and it was hormones and really I’m fiiiiiiine waaaaaah. The hygienist (am I spelling that right?) immediately softened, took me back into the back, and cleaned my teeth/gave me a therapy session. She was so soothing and lovely, talking about her first pregnancy, what a mess it made her, etc. She said everything was going to be fine. And for me, it was. But I still feel the hot red shame rise in my cheeks at the thought of being a grown woman, weeping uncontrollably because she was late for a dental cleaning, godsake.

  3. Laura says:

    I had two hyperemesis pregnancies so I attribute any pregnancy weeping/hormonal freakouts to the fact that I couldn’t eat anything and passed boulders in the bathroom (thanks Zofran.) However, I had the mother of all hormonal breakdowns when my first child was 5 days old. My darling parents and my MIL came over to the house for Mother’s Day and to see the child. In an act of kindness Mom and Dad brought KFC for lunch. It was the most delicious chicken ever (all food was manna now that I could eat without vomiting) but there was quite a bit leftover. I asked my parents to take it home with them, they bought it so I considered it theirs. When they left I guess they were in a first grandchild haze because they forgot the chicken. When I opened the refrigerator a few hours after their departure and saw those leftovers I LITERALLY fell to the floor and wept. Sobbed for HOURS. It was tragic that my parents forgot their chicken and sides because they wouldn’t have anything to eat for dinner! I know they have a grocery store within walking distance and a fridge full of food but the KFC was special! How could I let them starve when they had been such good parents my entire life and my Mom took care of me during the worst of my hyperemesis? This went on and on until my husband finally guided me into the bedroom, put me into bed, tucked me in and demanded I sleep. The fact that he not only stuck around but wanted to have a second child with me is a testament to his love and strong will. I still laugh when I pass a KFC.

  4. Susan says:

    When I was pregnant with my second daughter, after having put her to bed one summer evening, I went to the freezer for a popsicle. But, although the box was there, it was empty. I knew immediately that my husband had eaten them all and had left none for me. Oh, the tears! The recriminations! The loud sobbing broken by “You are SO SELFISH and GREEDY!!!” And these were the good popsicles–the frozen fruit Edy’s kind. It was so, so terrible. My poor husband was stunned and sheepish and really didn’t know what to do. Nine months later, and he still teases me about it.

  5. kathleenicanrah says:

    oh hooray for twyla cooking away. and so happy to get an update on everything!
    1- the legs. try calcium. like really, a milkshake or ice cream right before bed. if restless leg syndrome is anything like leg cramping (and they can be related), calcium could/should help.
    2- pregnancy hormones. I haven’t ever been pregnant, but I work for pregnant women– I run a pregnancy fitness company. A few months back I had a class of 15 pregnant moms, and as they did their weekly introduction the first one started crying as she explained how she was having a hard time controlling her emotions….and then, no joke, all other 14 pregnant women started crying too. It was amazing, and very quickly very very funny.

  6. Myra says:

    There is an old wives’ tale that placing a bar of soap beneath your sheets by your feet can cure restless legs. I didn’t know about that when pregnant myself. I found my RLS was much less severe (or even noticeable) if I’d had iron-rich foods like kale or seaweed… which I always seemed to crave (in the form of avocado rolls or kale soup) right before bloodwork sent the doc into a clucking fit, writing prescriptions for supplements that I couldn’t tolerate (I tried about seven of them and had a terrible reaction that has apparently never before been documented in the annals of medical history).

  7. RK says:

    I have never been pregnant, but as a younger sibling, I always really liked getting the hand-me-downs. It was really fun opening the box and seeing what cool/surprising stuff might be in there, and I didn’t even have to get dragged to the store to buy them first. So tell your emotions to hush up about that. :)

  8. Jen says:

    I am VERY interested to hear you speak of taking Klonopin. This is a drug I normally take at bedtime due to chronic insomnica and bed-time induced anxiety. It has been my saving grace for years. I found other options while pregnant with my son (namely Elavil and propranolol, with Tylenol PM thrown in for kicks sometime) However, during this pregnancy (with twins, EEEK), I am finding that combo does not work for me. I’m guessing it’s the extra-high hormones plus the OH MY THERE’S TWO OF THEM anxiety. I actually take Ambien, which the doctor has approved. However, it does nothing for anxiety and usually wears off in the middle of the night anyway. I would LOVE to be able to take a littel Klono again. I am only 8.5 weeks pg though, and I have my first OB appt with a new OB in 2 days. I am hoping he is one that is okay with a small dose of benzos….. Ugh. I feel for you

  9. nicole says:

    Didn’t read all the comments, so someone might have mentioned this already but I had horrible RLS during pregnancy and have it actually every month around time for my dot as I call it. My dr had me taking calcium supplements before bed, and they actually helped. I got these gummy ones that made me feel like I got to eat candy before bed, which was also a plus. Sleeping with a pillow between your legs helps, sometimes elevating your legs helps. Also – take two tennis balls and a sock you no longer care about. Put said tennis ball inside, tie a knot, put the other one in, and tie another knot. Use to massage over legs, it is blissful. Or you could buy this: It looks like a torture devise but it is awesome.

  10. JP says:

    Oh, I do so love her name! Twyla…you and Scott are A+ baby namers.
    I remember having some issues with restless leg syndrome. I never thought of it, but it IS anxiety inducing. Unfortunately, I do not know anything about preventing it altogether, but I do know that for me stretching helped immensely during an episode. Perhaps some stretching throughout the day and right before bed may help.

    I was SO clingy to my husband while pregnant. I would have happily inserted my body into his and gone about my day, but he was unwilling to be my host.

  11. Cheryl says:

    Get a couple bars of Ivory soap, put each one in a sock and but the socks at the end of your bed under the covers . . . it really works!

    • Halyn says:

      Totally agree. Scott and Alexa win at baby-naming. Twyla. It’s so romantic and classic sounding, but with this sort of fun-loving flapper feel at the same time. I love it.

  12. Brenna says:

    My biggest pregnancy hormonal freakout. So many to chose from. I guess it would be when I got rear-ended on my way to a weekly check-up. It was NOTHING, barely qualified as a ‘tap’, but the police showed up because we were on a freeway off ramp, and my hysterical sobbing seemed to concern them. No matter how many times I blubbered to them I was not hurt or in labor, I could see them having an silent eye conversation about hauling me off to the hospital. Adding to my distress was the fact that I was now LATE! To my appointment! The horror!

    I was eventually able to calm the fuck down and go on my merry way. But still, so embarrassing.

  13. Nicole says:

    so, long-time lurker, I read your book and have been stalking you ever since. I’m so happy Twyla is growing so well!
    Anywho, I was about 24 weeks and suddenly wanted mashed potatoes for dinner. I had constant headaches through out the 2nd trimester, so there was no way I was going to cook them. So my husband was in the park playing football or some such nonsense, and not answering my calls to tell him to bring me mashed potatoes, and when he finally got home an hour later I was in a miserable ball on the couch and offering my kingdom for some effing mashed potatoes. Obviously, we just went to a restaurant and I ate the best, most glorious cheesy mashed potatoes ever cooked anywhere. But I was certain for a while there that I would never eat anything ever again, because starch or nothing.

  14. SarahB says:

    Oh, honey. Well, my husband and I have also decided to stay in our apartment rather than move to a bigger place before we try for baby # 2, so I am glad you will be here to narrate the process, first of all. As for third trimester, let me just say that I was so glad for the catheter that came with my epidural because it meant I didn’t have to get up to pee, as I had done every three hours day or night for the prior month. Good training for nursing, that. My worst tears were also after the birth. Literally, I burst out sobbing around 4 or 5 pm every day for at least a week after we got home from the hospital. It didn’t matter if I had napped or not, I just lost my mind with copious, copious weeping over some little thing. Oh, and when my husband shared a particularly gruesome comment about his colleague’s wife’s birth a week or so before I was due, I fled sobbing to the restroom of the restaurant we were in at the time. I came back to the table and then had to go back to the restroom to cry some more. My husband felt so bad.

  15. Ashley in MD says:

    I’m a lurker and don’t usually comment, but I feel compelled to share my Hormonal Pregnancy Meltdown story. My son is just five weeks old now, so pregnancy and all of its fun little symptoms is still very fresh in my mind!

    My husband and I went to an outdoor music festival when I was about 12 weeks pregnant. I thought it would be fun, but it was pretty much a disaster. The ground was muddy and it smelled like some type of manure fertilizer that didn’t seem to bother anyone else but was absolutely disgusting to my pregnant nose, it was boiling hot, it felt like everyone except for me was annoyingly drunk, and even though we were outdoors I couldn’t seem to get away from the smell of cigarette smoke.
    By the end of the day I was starving so I got in line at a concession stand. All I wanted was nachos, those gross gas station nachos with the bright yellow cheese. I fantasized about the nachos for AN HOUR as I waited in line. When it was finally my turn to order my $8 nachos I was given a plate of broken chips sprinkled with jalapenos and a solo cup of salsa. I said, “I ordered nachos, not chips and salsa,” and the cashier said, “Those are the nachos, we’re out of cheese.” I held it together just long enough to choke out, “They aren’t nachos without the cheese. Can I just have my money back, please?” Then I walked over to my husband, collapsed into his arms, and burst into tears. I’m talking gut-wrenching, heaving sobs. People were staring.
    And, because pregnancy is crazy, for several weeks afterward I teared up every time I told people about how I cried over nachos! I’d start to tell the story like, “Oh, haha, aren’t pregnancy hormones weird?” and then I’d end up crying about it all over again! I just wanted those damn nachos so badly.

    This Hormonal Meltdown Story narrowly beats out my other big pregnancy meltdown moment when, at twenty weeks pregnant, I actually tried to get into my car and drive to a hotel in the middle of the night because I was too angry to be in the same house as my husband. Why? Because he had the audacity to admit that he wouldn’t be completely thrilled if his son grew up to be an opera singer, and I couldn’t stand the idea that my husband wouldn’t accept our son exactly as he was, hypothetical talent for opera and all. Somehow he was able to talk me off the ledge and convince me that of course he would love our son and accept him no matter how he turned out, he was just saying that he would have a slight preference for a hockey player over an opera singer.

    Man, these newborn days aren’t always a picnic, but I’m so glad not to be pregnant anymore!

  16. Alyson says:

    I had restless leg when I was pregnant and it still follows me around occasionally. what helps (I think more now than when I was pregnant – for most of my pregnancy I was sleeping 4 hours or LESS per night, it was awful) – is lavender scented lotion (I use one from purple prairie botanicals – but they also have a lavender only one) on my feet and hands. Don’t be stingy, I use like 4 pumps and sometimes combine with 4 pumps of like vitamin E lotion, slather it on there while in bed, legs hanging off, and wait like 30 seconds and then slide yourself in, goopy feet and all. for some reason it relaxes me and I almost instantly sleep (although it was a more sporadic cure when pregnant). Best thing? Worst case you’ll still have restless legs BUT lovely soft feet. Best case it will help. I tried Epsom salts too – they helped a little. I think a lot of the effect is the lavender lotion on my hands which I sleep with close to my face – it makes me relax. But no lie I can feel my feet absorbing the moisture. Also taking my prenatals right before bed for the iron, I think

    And, I’m hoping should we have a 2nd child that it’s a girl so I can use all the hand me downs. LOVE

  17. electriclady says:

    I have no solutions for the legs problem but just wanted to say HOORAY FOR ALMOST THIRD TRIMESTER!!! Not enough capital letters and exclamation points to convey my excitement there.

    Oh, except this: Banana may help but will contribute to the constipation problem. And the orgasm, if my own experience is any indication, may help the legs but piss off the uterus. So I’d proceed carefully with either of those solutions.

    And I had too many pregnancy meltdowns to recount. I remember one in particular over whether or not to put pink crib sheets on my registry, and was I REALLY the kind of person who would surround a baby girl in pink, etc. (Postscript: Apparently yes, I was, and also the kind of person who will also surround a baby boy in pink because she is too cheap to buy all new stuff when the stuff from the first baby is still perfectly good.)

    • Sarah says:

      I am the queen of BH contractions (definitely BH since #2 was 5 days late, but I have them all the time and they really hurt!) and taking lots of calcium & magnesium (at least 1000 mg/day), along with hydrating really really helps. Now that I’m taking so many tums, I take straight magnesium pills, but you can use the combo pills if that’s easier. Mag is good for constipation too. You can also try epsom salt baths – you can absorb magnesium through your skin and they’re super relaxing.

  18. Clarabella says:

    Do you take baths? I know the whole “keep it under 120 degrees while preggo,” or whatnot, but baths helped me with the restless leg thing. Other than that, yeah, maybe up your potassium? I don’t really know. I’m not a doctor.
    I took a bath nearly every night of my pregnancy because besides the restless leg, I also had terrible insomnia & carpal tunnel in the last trimester. I started buying that lavender baby bath and using it. It helped with everything from my legs to my hormones.
    Good luck, sister.

  19. Becky says:

    I had horrible RLS while on bed rest and found staying really well hydrated helped. I was supposed to stay hydrated anyway, of course, to calm the contractions but found a large glass of water right before going to sleep and lots of lotion on my legs really calmed that horrible feeling down. (then I was up in 2 hours to sprint to the bathroom but that was pretty normal for me while pregnant anyway….). Yay for making it to the 3rd tri and I love the name Twyla! Hang in there!

  20. erin says:

    My most dramatic moment was when I was fairly certain that my (then) eight year old was going to die after hitting her head by falling in the shower. I had been talking with my mom on the phone earlier that day about the book “Rage of Angels” by Sidney Sheldon, and how tragic it was the main character’s child died of a head injury….then, Rowan hit her head and I was convinced it was a sign. I had a huge meltdown and was sobbing and flailing on the floor (I am pretty sure that Steve, my partner, thought I was certifiable at that point), which freaked Rowan out and…oh, it was bad. We ended up going to the ER for peace of mind and she was, of course, fine, but YOU NEVER KNOW.

  21. Jennie D says:

    Hi Alexa! Long-time reader, first time commenter. I haven’t ever tried this, but another blogger mentioned having restless legs recently and said that putting a bar of soap under the sheet down by your feet works: (she used Irish Spring but apparently lots of people have a thing for Dove). I have no idea why such a thing would work, but she said it did, and instantly.

  22. Jessica says:

    Yay for a viable baby! It’s amazing that the photos of Simone would give you a clue as to what Twyla looks like.

    I don’t have a super great Hormonal Meltdown story (yet, but I’m 29 weeks so I’m sure I have time) however, I did actually break down and start crying this week when I thought that Chris was going to stop at Sofa Mart after our Dr. appointment instead of taking me home to let me go to work. I knew he was kidding, but then he slowed down to make me think he was turning into the parking lot and suddenly I was crying.

  23. Badger says:

    Several friends and acquaintances of mine swear by a bar of Ivory soap, unwrapped, at the foot of their bed (under the sheets) for the RLS. Hope that is helpful to you.

  24. Swistle says:

    I love “Twyla the Tenacious”! I think she needs at least ONE new shirt, and it can have that printed on it.

    She will have some of her own clothes, she will! She will! (Do I fancy myself psychic? Okay, maybe she will not.) She will likely get them as gifts, and certain items may be irresistible when seen in a store, even if not needed (“She looks so wonderful in this color!” “She LOVES [some thing Simone was never into]! She has to have it!”)—but also things start wearing out rapidly somewhere around size….3T? Something like that. The early baby and toddler stuff could probably make it through fifty children if it wasn’t for the poop/barf stains, but after that the resale shops have almost nothing except pilled sweatpants and ugly character t-shirts, and it’s because everything wears out. And there is the mystery of Clothes Put Away: they look fine when put away, and then later you unpack them and they are so worn out! how could they have been packed away? have fairy children been wearing them secretly?

  25. Kristin says:

    Congrats on making it so far! You are doing great and are not whiny at all. Seriously–you are not having an easy pregnancy. I know before it was much worse, but that does not mean that you can’t complain a little about what you are dealing with now.

    I am 33 weeks pregnant with my 3rd child. I have had gestational diabetes and RLS with all of them, so I feel for you! My GD sounds a lot like yours, spectacular fail on the test but then not a real problem treating it with diet. However, I will tell you that it typically gets harder and harder to control as the weeks progress. You’re just at the start and you might be able to eat what you want now, but in my experience at some point you will have to measure out carb portions and walk right away after you eat in order to keep your blood sugar on track. The good news is that you don’t gain very much weight which is awesome after the baby is born and you can fit into all of your clothes right away, but annoying when you are super pregnant and all you want is a stupid piece of cake. Or some fritos. Or a donut for breakfast…I’m making myself cry now.

    As far as RLS goes, I know it sounds crazy but the soap thing really works for me. My doctor was the one who told me about it. And you can actually use any soap EXCEPT Ivory ( I don’t know why.). I like Dove because of how it smells. Anyway, you put a bar of soap under the fitted sheet of your bed, near your calves or thighs–wherever you get the cramps/tingling sensations the most. Just having the soap near my legs is usually enough, but sometimes I rest my leg on it. It is so weird, but it really works for me.

    • Jennifer says:

      My dumb meltdown story. So my pregnancy was quite easy overall – and, generally speaking, I’m not a very over-the-top emotional kind of gal about anything (that is my husbands job actually!). In about the last 6 weeks of pregnancy my feet swelled to the size of basketballs (I kid you not – I’m kind of a big girl anyway but there was zero definition around my ankles and feet – I literally had no ankle bones. I can’t even call them ‘cankles’ because my legs were thinner than my ankles). Anyway. this was probably my number 1 discomfort of being pregnant (apart from the standard not sleeping etc etc) as it was kind of painful. but I had hope! as soon as the baby was born I would have ankles again!

      Imagine my irritation and tears when a day or two after having my son I had the SAME DAMN ANKLES as when I was pregnant! Oh the tears! I was so so soooo mad about that, that I would be leaving the hospital in the same oversized, stretched out, gross blah shoes I was wearing when I went into the hospital (that hit the garbage bin at the earliest not need time).

      For the record, it took almost 10 days for the swelling to go down. Rationally, I get it. The circulartory system had to go grab all that free water just sort of sloshing around down there. But I serioulsy thought having a baby would cure my basketball ankles immediately.

  26. Katie says:

    I’m packing up Baby Spouse’s newborn clothes and crossing my fingers I’ll be able to hand them down – I have tried to get entirely unisex clothes too, partly as I hate gendered baby clothes, but also because I’d love to hand them down.

  27. Heather says:

    I am so glad you are doing well (as can be) and that Twyla is still in there and doing her thing. Give the banana thing a try for a few days, it takes a bit for the potassium to work. Have you tried compression socks? They might help too.

    As for the meltdowns, I didn’t have many with my first (that I can remember) but with my second and third they felt like they were almost every day. I would cry at the thought of anything sad, heartwarming or anything in between. There was one time that I wanted ice cream and we were out, and town is a good 30 min away, I think I cried for a good hour. I blamed my husband that we didn’t have any even though he never did the shopping.

    Good luck and prayers for you!

  28. Amy says:

    I have heard the same as the first commenter, Jul – that masturbation (or any orgasm-inducing activity, I presume) is more effective for RLS than any medication. Never heard the soap thing. That’s interesting. I have had bouts of it with this pregnancy. Never so bad that it wakes me up, but it makes lying on the couch to watch TV at night supremely annoying. That said, orgasm would probably also trigger contractions…? Shitty dilemma, that one.

    Okay – meltdown. In the first trimester when I was still fighting nausea every night, my husband offered to go pick up Penn Station for dinner. I always either get a cheesesteak or the artichokes, and while I definitely had my mind set on artichokes, I apparently never actually verbalized this, and he didn’t ask. So he came home with a cheesesteak. I was devastated. DEVASTATED. It cracks me up now, but if it happened again I would probably still cry about it!

  29. No good advice to share, just sympathy on wishing for only enough to contractions to prove my sanity to L&D nurses, the nightmare of restless legs, and the joy of cervical checks.

    My worst pregnancy emotional meltdown: I decided one day to rouse myself from tears long enough to put in my contact lenses. Surely I would feel better once I could see clearly and the world was no longer a depressing fog. I went into the bathroom and put in one contact. Then paused for a few minutes to weep into the sink before inserting the second.

  30. Laura says:

    Love, love, love the name Twyla! Got nothing for you on the restless leg thing, but I would also caution on the orgasms. For constipation, I ate five prunes every night before bed, and it worked really well. (Then again, I could do that because I never had morning sickness with my twin pregnancy. I know.) I was lucky enough to have made it to 34 weeks, and I remember how relieved I was to make it to 26 weeks, and then 27, and then 28…etc. I am THRILLED that you are at 26 weeks!

    Hormone meltdown story: When my twins were 9 days old and in the NICU, they had to be moved to another hospital because of insurance contract issues. I went insane, certain that my babies were facing untold harm if they were moved by ambulance to this new NICU. Now, I am a nice, quiet “good girl” who doesn’t want to bother anyone, ever. Yet there I was, screaming at everyone, crying BUCKETS, and lactating all over myself in the halls of the hospital. When a higher-up was brought in to help “mediate” and to tell me (very nicely) to calm down, I screamed at him to “SHUT UP!” It was oddly empowering and cathartic to be totally out of control in public. Anyway, my babies got moved despite my hysterics, but they were fine and I ended up liking the new NICU much better. We were only at The New and Improved NICU for 3 more days, and then we came home and lived happily ever after.

  31. Ali says:

    Another lurker unlurking. Huuuuge contragulations to being so pregnant. Cannot wait for the new squishy baby photos.

    I couldn’t choose between my hormonal pregnant lady stories and they still make me cringe so we’ll skip over that. But I will say that one story involved a craving chips (fries) from a take away counter that has not existed since I was about 13.

    As for the restless leg thing… my husband suffers from it (and oh boy will he be happy to hear about the orgasm thing…). If the supplements and ivory soap don’t help, there is some evidence that a tens machine for an hour or so before bedtime can help… and then you’ll already have it on hand for labour pains bonus!

    Good luck for the coming mad men season ;) xxx

  32. Sonya says:

    Lovely to hear the baby is still actively engaged in kicking your uterus from the interior. For restless leg, suggest taking a calcium and magnesium supplement (with food) before bed. Make sure it is a high quality one – Thorne’s is very good (Calcium Magnesium Citramate provides 80 mg of each per capsule, take 1 cap to start, if helping work your way up to 3 caps). I also suggest you take 2000 i.u of vitamin D at the same time.

    For the nausea and gestational diabetes, make sure you are getting a good amount of protein (of any form) throughout the day in addition to the usual advice on refined carbohydrates.

  33. Renee says:

    When pregnant with my first son, I once went into a full sit-on-the-floor and weep because my husband ate all of the delicious Breyer’s icecream sandwich flavored icecream while I was at work and did not buy any more. I remember starting to weep re: the icecream and then continuing to weep at how very cliche I had become.
    My mother-in-law has restless leg. She sleeps with a bar of never-used Ivory soap under her sheets and drinks a tablespoon of apple cider vinegar everyday. Both apparently help some.

    • Megan says:

      Another longtime lurker here (BIG congrats on viable baby!)… I have read elsewhere that apple cider vinegar is also helpful with lowering glucose levels. Is there any chance of a re-test? If you’re already taking apple cider vinegar for restless leg, it might have the side benefit of getting you through the GD tests. (Though, it turns my cast-iron, non-pregnant stomach every time I try it…so be warned on that end)

  34. Lizneust says:

    I had RLS that would go away whenever to took Tums for the heartburn. I was in my second pregnancy before I figured out that the Tums was impacting the RLS too. There are probably better was to increase your calcium and magnesium consumption, but that worked well for me

    My younger daughter LOVES wearing her sister’s hand me downs. She thinks it is the coolest thing ever. Also, there are some clothes the older one never cottoned to that the younger one really loves. It all works out – honest.

    Worst pregnancy meltdown? We missed the turn into Costco and I was supposed to be navigating and I cried for HOURS. No joke – still hiccuping and sniveling through dinner. We’ve all done it, and if we haven’t yet, we will.

    Take ours of yourself and your beautiful family. Love the name Twyla.

  35. jadine says:

    Oh, I have so many comments!
    1) as I say every time I comment, I love your writing. You write like I would write if I could write.
    2) Restless legs…freaking awful. I’ll be reading comments to see what’s suggested. I’ve tried the banana…but you have to take potassium with calcium, or zinc, or uranium, or kryptonite, or something. And Unisom?? No one told me that could make it worse :( Sheesh.
    3) I live in Hoarders-Moderate, and my pictures laugh at your pictures (from 2009). And why the heck would you get hate-mail about that post??
    4) the bed collapsing?! OMG.
    5) Thyroid? Me, too.
    6) Congrats on making it so far! A wonderful, nerve-wracking accomplishment.

  36. jadine says:

    7) Twyla’s a beautiful name. Really pretty.
    8) Worst pregnancy meltdown? Not really any bad ones, but I do remember suddenly bursting into tears (I had almost never cried until then) while looking at a menu at an Outback Steak House. Then burst out laughing at my silliness. Then crying again. Lather, rinse, repeat. Totally confounding.

  37. Chelsea says:

    Iron is the only thing that ever helps my RLS; they ended up putting my grandfather on Parkinson’s medication when his was unresponsive (pernicious anemia). :( I’ve had good luck with Floradix Iron + Herbs; it’s non-constipating (apparently) and didn’t bother my notoriously sensitive stomach.

  38. Sarah says:

    Have you thought about taking plain old magnesium for your restless leg? I’m not sure how it would mix with other medication you’re on, but it actually reduces premature contractions. I hope that helps. ;-)

  39. Brenda says:

    Congrats on moving forward to T3!

    My worst hormonal moment: Since I was hopelessly barren before using donor eggs, I had compensated for my “mothering” instinct by adopting all sorts of small rodents. My husband consented to this, as they were small and caged. However, we also had a cat. Apparently one evening after cleaning a hamster cage, I forgot to shut the cage door. I suppose all hamsters like to explore, but these hamsters were particularly adventurous and tiny–just the right size for a cat’s mouth. (you can see where this is going, I’m sure). So after leaving the cage door open for the night, I get up in the morning and am getting ready for work when I notice the open cage. I gasp! I count the hamsters…1…2….Oh no! We were missing one. I checked around the house in likely hiding places. I called my husband who somehow convinced me that she was hiding and we would find her before the cat would. So I went to work and hoped for the best.

    Upon return from work, more fruitless searches turned up no hamsters, until…..I pulled out a stand on which one of the hamster cages was located. And there, on the floor, was A SINGLE HAMSTER LEG! I started wailing and crying inconsolably! I had sentenced my hamster to death! I couldn’t catch my breath. I was crying so hard that I started to wretch, and I had to carry around a bucket so that I could vomit in it between sobs. I walked around the house for 20-30 minutes alternating between barfing and sobbing. My husband quietly told me that dinner was ready if I was feeling up to eating, and then he hurriedly dashed off to the kitchen to escape the wailing woman.

    In case you are wondering, he took “care of” the leg. I’m not really sure what he did with it……

  40. Marie Green says:

    You know I had irritable uterus w/ my last two pregnancies, and starting at effing 13 WEEKS with Olive, right? Man, it sucks SO MUCH. Pretty much ANYTHING I did caused contractions. Any little thing at all. Ignoring the contractions was my only choice some days, but then I’d pay for it my evening, when the contrax would ramp up and become “timeable” and make me NERVOUS. My OB was so very calm about it though. I saw him weekly for an ultrasound to check cervical length (ALL done by HIM, and all done abdomonally; he says anyone “good” at u/s’s can see just as well by belly as by transvaginal BLESS HIS HEART). (Yeah, I was also seeing a midwife during that time and planning a homebirth… I was very prenatally cared for. :) ) Anyway, I’m just telling you this because I wanted you to know that I get how much is sucks.

    Also, I too had a Ha-uuuuuuge list of “To Do Before Baby” and I ALSO felt it drove me crazy/kept me sane. It felt so good to have SHIT TO DO, yo, but also to have that stuff done… And to have things to focus on, goals to accomplish that didn’t have to do with gestation and worrying about contractions was what kept me sane. Also, pretty much NOTHING has been done around here since then, so it DID need to happen before baby.

    Finally, I think bananas sometimes help with restless legs because of potassium. So maybe a potassium supplement? (Has someone already said that? I confess to not reading the other comments yet.)

    Finally-finally… if you need a distraction, let’s meet for lunch/IKEA/whatevs, mmmkay? It would be great to do that before school’s out, anyway, as it reduces the number of children I’m responsible for by half. :)


  41. Marie Green says:

    Ooops, I wasn’t done after all! One more thing: The great thing about Twyla having mostly hand-me-downs is that she won’t NEED anything, so then you’ll be free to blow a bit of cash now and then on that super-awesome-adorable-perfect dress/shirt/outfit/blankie. I’ve loved looking for those “special” things, things I probably wouldn’t justify buying if the baby had anything she really NEEDED. Plus, it’s super fun to go tripping down memory lane as she wears Simone’s stuff.

  42. Melissa says:

    Pickle juice for the RLS. Really and truly, there’s even science that says it helps. Congrats on almost baby #2!

  43. Alexicographer says:

    I am no help other than to say everything you are describing sounds perfectly sane (considering) to me. And that “considering” bit is really just “considering the pregnancy hormones, stress of preparing for a new baby, and so forth — not (even) your history, though you are of course welcome to include that too.

    That is all. Here’s to more, like, hopefully in the double-digit range, weeks of gestation, and a smooth and healthy arrival for Twyla.

  44. I have no hormonal pregnancy stories as yet (no pregnancy either, I should add) and I WISH I had a cure for Restless Spirit Leg because I get that too and it SUCKS. The only thing that “works” is to climb up and down my stairs 10 times, which sounds like it would not jive with your persnickety uterus. And even then, it only works SOMETIMES which is horrible, because then I’ve done 10 rounds of stairs in the middle of the night.

    But I did want to say that I’m so glad Twyla is staying put and I’m thinking of you both with loud and ferocious STAY PUT thoughts, and also I love – LOVE – how bathos and pathos exist simultaneously in your writing.

  45. Kirsten says:

    My youngest is 9 years old and I don’t remember a specific pregnancy related meltdown. Except that in the mad panic to drive to husband’s place of work to show him the positive pregnancy test because I KNEW HE DIDN’T BELIEVE ME I completely, totally, and utterly lost my car. Was unable to find it for hours.

    I had horrible leg/calf cramps throughout my pregnancies. This went away after delivery. Until I started marathon running, and now whenever I’m in the midst of serious training I get them several times a night. They are much better if I take a “endurance electrolyte” supplement, which has calcium, potassium, and magnesium in it. I found it at the local health food store. You probably ate a banana because people (wrongly) believe they are rich in potassium. What’s really rich in potassium is coconut water (not milk) and orange juice. Other good sources of potassium are kiwi and potatoes. If you are pukey still, I recommend coconut water.

  46. Kristen says:

    Oh my gosh. The hamster leg would have sent me over the edge even when not pregnant. Ack.

    My silly hormone story involved me driving around the University of Minnesota campus for DAYS (okay, a half hour, it just felt like days) because they were doing construction (yeah, when is there NOT construction at the U) on East River Road and I couldn’t figure out how to get into my contract parking garage. I called my husband while driving and in hysterics because I was convinced I’d never figure out how to park the car. I did finally figure out the detour, but looking back I really should have just considered the day a wash and gone home.

  47. Shavahn says:

    Ok, here’s my crazy leg advice… Put a bar of soap under your sheets.

    Yes. Seriously.

    Really! Just try it!! What do you have to lose?

    I did it while pregnant and it helped my leg cramping immensely! The cramps went from about an 8 to about a 2 and they went away quickly if I just pointed my toe up toward my head when I first felt them. My husband was having regular leg cramps too and they went away immediately after putting the soap under our sheets. If they come back, replace the bar of soap and they should go away again… Good luck!!

  48. Shavahn says:

    Ok, I obviously didn’t read the comments before I posted that last comment – so everyone is telling you to try soap. It really works!

    My hysterical pregnancy story: I was pregnant with my daughter, but I was only about 6 weeks along and we hadn’t told anyone yet. Well, my husband’s cousin was having a birthday party, so my husband picked out a build-it-yourself model tractor for him and I got elected to bring it because my husband couldn’t make the party

    So I was at the party and the cousin opens the present, very obviously not excited about it. Someone asks him about it – specifically when he’s going to have time to do that and he says something like NEVER. They chuckle, and that’s that.

    Well, I don’t know why, but I was sooo upset that he didn’t like the present. I knew that I didn’t really care, and I knew that I shouldn’t be upset, but I just couldn’t control myself and ended up huddled up in the corner of the ladies room bawling my eyes out.

    So I’ve been in there for about 5 minutes and these two women come in and very nicely ask me what’s wrong and who I’m there with, so I respond that I’m there with my mother-in-law. They immediately start going on about how HORRIBLE mother-in-laws are, and how much they DESPISE their mother-in-laws – and at that very moment – guess who walked in the door?

    Yup, my mother-in-law (who I adore)! She very obviously heard the comments from the ladies, and so I’m sitting there bawling trying to convince them that I *really* do like my mother-in-law. I’m still not convinced that she believes me about what really happened that day!

  49. Kez says:

    When I announced on Facebook at 32+4 that I was “now more pregnant than ever before” a number of people who didn’t know of my previous premature delivery (mainly long lost cousins) assumed that I meant a heretofore undiscovered twin had suddenly materialised.

    Twyla is an absolutely gorgeous name.

    As for inappropriate meltdowns – I’ve just spent two hours crying because I ripped my big toenail off this afternoon and that means I won’t be able to do a 5km fun run on Sunday (which I was actually dreading). And I am not even pregnant nor premenstrual.

  50. I had RLS with both my pregnancies, starting about halfway through. Infuriating, but I did find a sure cure, although sometimes it was miserably hard to implement — drag my body out of bed, even if I’m half-asleep, and go stand in a hot shower for at least fifteen minutes. (Shifting back and forth on your legs and trying to tense and relax the muscles may help the process along, not sure.)

    I have no idea why this works, but it works — if you go back to bed and go right to sleep, the leg won’t bother you. (If you spend an hour online after you go back to bed, no guarantees). I had to do that almost every night towards the end, and it was so annoying, but better than trying to endure the horrible legs.

  51. smark says:

    Oh, it’s not pregnancy until you’re scrubbing the pantry cupboards in hysterical tears. Buy something pretty for Twyla – I know, she has all Simone’s clothes, but it’ll make you feel good.

  52. Mandi says:

    For my hormonal pregnancy moment, this happened in the first trimester for me –
    I was so nausous, so very very nausous, and the only thing I could eat was fruit and beef. While grocery shopping one evening (a task I will refuse to do next pregnancy, god grocery shopping is so horrible while pregnant) I just wanted to get my fruit and go home. I wanted a big fruit bowl, pre-cut, so I could just eat it. Well, I could not find said fruit bowl in the store, they were not where they usually are, and I burst into tears, opening crying in the middle of the produce section. Eventually, through my tears, i saw that I was in the wrong aisle and there, shining down from teh heavens, was fruit bowls. I almost knocked a lady over to get my damn fruit :) Not my finest moment.

  53. Fran says:

    Personally, I loved the Real World post and pictures. Haters will hate or something like that.

    Hang in there. When I was pregnant, gestational diabetic and hypertensive, I cried and wailed about have to eat another damn egg. All the time, those eggs. My family didn’t know what has happened to me. Happy one minutes, sobbing and angry about eggs the next. Not to mention the worrying about the unborn. Fetal checks were 3 times a week (no probes) where they would try to use a pen shaped taser or something if the baby wasn’t active. And they wondered why by BP was so high!

  54. Rebecca says:

    Magnesium supplements absolutely did the trick for my pregnancy-induced RLS. Also, my doctor told me to use Miralax for the regularity issues and it is a LIFESAVER.

  55. Katie says:

    Mother’s Day. 2007. 37 weeks pregnant with my daughter. My nearly four year-old son and I had been watching a Robin couple tend their eggs for a few weeks and, days before, the eggs had hatched. They were in a low branch of the tree so I could lift my son up and let him peek inside the nest and I got so much joy from watching my son be amazed by those tiny wobbly straining necks and the miracle of (bird) birth. The night or early morning before Mother’s Day, some mean crows knocked the nest out of the tree and all the baby birds died what I imagined to be slow and painful deaths–wet miniature carcases strewn under the tree, bulging eyes not yet open. And as I sat in the backyard quietly weeping and wondering how to tell my son (a/k/a destroy his youthful innocence) the mama bird came back and kept trying to sit on the spot in the tree where the nest had been, looking confused and bewildered. And then I COMPLETLEY LOST IT and sobbed and grieved those baby birds for the rest of the day and perhaps longer. Actually, now that I re-tell it, it is still sad, though I concede that hormones may have played a role in my reaction.

  56. sam says:

    for some reason my phone will not allow a dash in the website line. hmph. i say orgasm and drinking an ensure or boost brand drink. the one safe for gd will not work. has to be full sugar type.

  57. susie says:

    Ahh, late to the party as usual. I didn’t have RLS during my preg, but I DID have terrible awful leg cramps, multiple times per night, and occasionally even when awake and standing up and walking. There is something special about giving a presentation, and having to stop talking for several minutes while you walk in circles yelping through a cramp. Never figured out a cure, except for birth, alas.

    I had several ridiculous hormonal meltdowns, but perhaps the silliest was when I was weaning my daughter. I knew fully that I was floating in a hormonal fog, totally aware of my irrational behavior, for several weeks. Regardless, I found myself have a very serious discussion with my husband about how I felt the baby didn’t like me. I told him at the outset that he couldn’t laugh as I knew it was absurd, but nonetheless, I felt very much convinced that our sweet, smiley girl just… didn’t like me, not at all. Oh, how I cried. Fortunately the fog lifted shortly thereafter, as being aware of the absurdity was really just insult to injury and another thing to cry about. What fun!

  58. Amanda P says:

    No RLS suggestions, but about 10 days after my daughter was born (OMG – that’s 361 days ago!) my parents, who had been here for 4 days, were leaving and my in-laws, who were going to be here for 4 days had a 2 hour overlap. When my husband was getting ready to take my parents to the airport, I just sat on the couch and cried and cried and cried. I was sent to bed. It helped.

    7 months later, my sister-in-law called me on her 2nd night home with her newborn. I answered the phone and was not greeted with “hello” or any variation thereof, but with “Breastfeeding is ha-a-a-a-aaaaard”. It was all I could do not to laugh at her pain, since I was only 7 months out from the very same experienced!

    For the GD diet, I also spectacularly failed my 1 hour (over 200), and they wouldn’t let me do the 3 hour, so I jabbed my fingers 4x/day for the next 14 weeks. I still hate that monitor! Personally, I found that as long as I had protein, I could have more carbs. I even had cake at my shower 4 weeks into monitoring (I just had the cake immediately after testing and told myself it was ok :) ).

    As for sleeping, I just gave in and bought a u-shaped pillow. My husband graciously (or not – I didn’t care at that point) let me have 2/3s of the bed. The pillow is now being gratefully used by someone with gout, for what that’s worth!

  59. Wiley says:

    I do always find the produce descriptions as odd, as having been in the NICU, each gestational age means a physical baby that I can pull up in my mind…

  60. Not whiny! Not whiny at all! Irritable, contractile, AWOOGA! uteri are stress-inducing, to say the massive least. I know just what you mean about the hospital visits. I used to turn up hoping that the bleeding had stopped, but that there was still juuust enough there for the staff to see that I wasn’t making it up. Look! Here are my bloodstained knickers, Dr! Look!


    Also, Harry’s fetal distress took a frustratingly long time to manifest itself on a CTG trace: whilst not precisely wanting his heart to start skipping beats on my command, I was a trifle exasperated with the midwife who told me that the irregularity on my doppler was likely my own abdominal sounds. If I met her in the street even now, I would have to restrain myself from wedging the probe up her wrinkled-at-me nose. Bah.

    Anyway! Twyla is a absolutely beautiful name, and I am delighted at your superstar gestational progress! So sorry about the RL thing. And mightily fascinated by all this talk of… soap?

    The weepies… ah, now, the tragi-comic weepies. Sobbing like a toddler outside the deserted door because Starbucks had shut, depriving me of my daily, much-prized decaff latte was a particular highlight of mine. And I was completely unable to read about birth, or even consider it much, without dissolving into tears of panic about the whole OMG pain or OMG knives aspect. I was a heaving mass of pathetic, soggy, abject misery on the topic; quite disproportionately so, there was simply no talking to me about it. Clinging to spouse I don’t remember occurring, but I DO remember melting down in spectacular fashion when, after a left-in-hall suitcase incident, he semi-jokingly suggested it was all a ploy to obtain new maternity clothes. It was a holocaust of weeping, rage and righteous indignation from which he was lucky to emerge alive.

    Keep on hanging on in there, sweetheart. Twitter moves a bit quick for me, so it’s lovely to have an update!

  61. mellie says:

    You had me nearly at Hormonal Pregnancy Meltdown emotion levels a half a dozen times with this post! Not complaining–just happy for you. It doesn’t help that I am half-way through Half Baked so it’s fresh all over again.

    Looking forward to you keeping a safe distance from contractions while directing the nesting. May I suggest trying to work in a temporary banquette/window seat arrangement? So delightful for relaxing, coffee or tea drinking, and writing, and probably riggable with stuff from the big-boxed Swedes. It just needs to be deep enough, have a cushion and pillows, and ideally have a corner to lean into….you’d probably need to anchor it to the wall though…but the holes can be patched and the whole thing relocated to a future address.

  62. Andi says:

    Sleep with your legs at a 90 degree angle from your body, stretched all the way out. Your husband will be cranky about it, but your feet, they will be mollified.

    And, oh, the name – love it.

  63. Sarah says:

    My cocktail to move along the constipation that comes with a high dose of cymbalta is prunes and senna tea liberally (I’ll have a few servings of both a day) and milk of magnesia sparingly when things get desperate. It seems to work most of the time.

  64. Mojra Logsdon says:

    You are NOT whiney!!! Pregnancy is miserable, it is amazingly awful considering how much many of us have yearned for that state, and given how wonderful the end-product is. But pregnancy itself- YUCK.
    RLS: I think if you can stomach the calcium supplements (particularly the ones with magnesium) it is worth a try. I love the gummie ones. Used to like the little caramel candy ones, but lost a filling so I had to lay off those. There are also some “petite” ones these days that I think only have half as much Calcium as those giant ones do, because the directions say to take twice as many in a day. But they are also easier on the stomach.
    There is also a homeopathic medicine my local big-box store carries. (yes, homeopathy in Ohio, go figure). It works great! Has quinine in it, so you would need to talk to your OBs. It goes by some name like “leg cramp medicine.”
    Hurray for Tenacious Twyla!

  65. Valerie says:

    I would be happy to send you some of the essential oils that a friend mixes up for me because I suffer HORRIBLE RLS, especially while pregnant. I have tried EVERYTHING and the only thing that has helped are these oils that you put on the soles of your feet. I go from going crazy-out of my mind from the electricity surging through my legs to instant relief. Just shoot me an email if you’d like to give me your address or PO box to send you some :)

  66. Meredith says:

    Long time reader here… I’ve been suffering from RLS for most of my life (hereditary among the women in my family) and it was amped up a thousandfold during pregnancy, so you have my sympathy! Anyway, in addition to increased calcium and water intake, I did some stretches before bed and any time I woke up with a flare up. Basically you stand facing a wall with your palms flat on the wall (like plank or push-up position) and lean forward while keeping your feet in the same place until you feel those hamstrings stretching. I spent many hours with the wall holding my half-asleep self up! Do 5-10 “push ups” on the wall and crawl back into bed. Good luck!

    • Meredith says:

      Ps…I usually take tablets with quinine to control my RLS, but its not safe during pregnancy. I didn’t take any chances even thoughI was miserable!

  67. fraujoolie says:

    I have terrible RLS all the time (24/7), that skyrocketed with both pregnancies. I chuckle at the home remedies… I take actually a low dose of Methadone for it (traditional dopamine-agonist meds stopped working on me and made my symptoms worse- into my arms, etc).
    So, I tool my meds throughout the pregnancies and my kids were fine. No probs. In low doses, Methadone is a cat B drug. Mirapex is a cat C, mostly because the studies haven’t been done. Some studies showed an increase in cleft palate, but that’s a 1st tri concern, not now. So talk to your OB about getting into a sleep specialist, if you’re really miserable.
    Some supportive therapy that might help: massage (a good electric foot massager can distract the symptoms), ace wraps or sprained ankle braces, heat, ice, or a bath. NO antihistamines or OTC sleep meds (they will absolutely make it worse). How’s your iron levels? Low-ish iron can make RLS worse. has a forum for patients, and my recent pregnancy is completely chronicled there. Lots of good folks there to chat with. My sleep doc is “THE” RLS guru and does work with patients long-distance (he’s in LA). Contact me, if you have any Q’s about the RLS! And congratulations, bring on the third tri!

  68. Andrea says:

    As others have mentioned, calcium helps with RLS.

    None of my hormone meltdowns were very funny (more morbid, I think) but delivery is another matter. My body roundly despises labor of any kind and my children were all expelled by sheer quantity of pitocin. Despite the pain of induction I just couldn’t come to grips with the idea of getting an epidural when the “best” thing for my baby was delivering naturally, despite all of the unnatural things my body required to even labor in the first place! The first dose of pain meds to which I consented made me so drunk that I spent a whole hour begging the nurses to understand that I was a nice, normal person who likes to play board games and wouldn’t dream of bothering such nice nurses with silly things like giving birth. The completely pitiful image of a woman both voluminously gravid and seriously inebriated finally dawned on me, and I meekly requested an epidural so I could sleep it off. Yeah, I had some therapy after that one.

    Good luck, hon. And I love reading what you have to share.

    • Andrea says:

      Also, related to the RLS, I tend to get it more when I have either very recently shaved my legs or it’s been (mumblemuble) days since I’ve done so. Something about the feeling of leg stubble against sheets gives me the wonkety-willies.

  69. Cris says:

    Is someone able and willing to put up a paypal site so we could donate a cleaning service session? My husband has been out of work for six months and my house is a mess, but I’m willing to contribute 10 – 20 bucks to help this woman out (having read her blog the last couple of years). Anyone?

  70. Melissa says:

    Hi! Long time reader tho I never comment but you asked for advice and I do so love to give advice. :) My husband suffers from terrible RLS and he swears by the Hylands Restless Leg pills. I dont know if you can take them while pregnant but they have nearly the same ingredients as the old Hylands Teething Tablets for babies had so it might be worth asking your dr about. I know you can find them at Whole Foods or your preferred local organic-y type grocery store.

    And my only hormonal story was from being post partum with both my babies. Both times, for about 10 days after delivery, at the same time each night, I would feel the Tidal Wave of Weeping heading my way and I would announce to my husband “Honey! I am going to cry now” and i would just dissolve. Every night. I guess at least my hormones had the decencey to be organized and timely. It was ridiculous.

  71. Corrine says:

    Meltdown story: during my first pregnancy, while working full time, we were struggling to make ends meet. We splurged and bought a ROAST, a real beef ROAST, like from back home, and I was salivating at work all day long over a real ROAST with brown real ROAST gravy. When I got home my loving husband had roasted the real RAOST, and then in an ill-advised fit of creative cooking, made this white sauce flavored with Tarragon from the meat juices. I burst into tears and ran into our room and cried and cried over the loss of the brown ROAST gravy that I was craving badly. To this day 25 years later I cannot stand the smell or taste of Tarragon. How is that for freak-out!?

  72. kathleen says:

    Low iron levels are definitely associated with RLS. If the alternative approaches people have been recommending don’t help, then sometimes iron can be replenished intravenously. I imagine it would be much better if soap works.

  73. Dara says:

    I had horrible leg cramps while pregnant with my twins…and the 16 weeks of bed rest while twitching were simply horrendous. I didn’t learn of quinine until after they were born so I do not know if it is ok to take during pregnancy. But – once I had my body back to myself, and the RLS continued – the quinine pills helped tremendously. I went from having dozens of episodes per night to maybe a handful. So – if the soap doesn’t work (I wish I had known to try that!) it may be worth asking your doctor about. I wonder if tonic water would help, it has quinine in it?

    Oh – and the terbutaline jitters? I had a pump that kept me at a steady level around the clock and when the contractions broke through I gave myself more. Christmas cards that year were completely illegible. I was a shaking mess.

  74. tadpoledrain says:

    OK, for the Restless Legs. This may not work well for you if you’re all bound up because of the Zofran, but: try pooping. Just try. Even if not much… happens, I’ve found that it can settle the restlessness down. I don’t know why, I don’t want to know why.

  75. Slim says:

    First, can I say that I have no idea what those hostile e-mailers were on about, but just thinking of the phrase “Ooh la laundry!” makes me giggle.

    Also, calcium helps my muscle cramps, but for RLS I’ve got nothing.

  76. Slim says:

    And I am not going to tell you the story in which I cry in public about the absence of corn muffins, even though it contains an impressive dash to an elevator to remove myself from public view (the dash is impressive for its speed and the fact that while dashing, I did not trip over my enormous feet and swollen ankles).

    PS No corn muffins!

  77. Carla says:

    Bananas. Seriously! I have the whole restless leg thing going on with both pregnancies and having a banana midday made all the difference. I am also still very careful to not eat sweets after 7 pm, which can make it act up. Oh, and a warm bath right before bed is nice, too.

    But if a massage from Scott works, then keep that up. Just make him come into the bedroom and provide the massage.

  78. Lesley says:

    I have a Restless Spirit Leg sometimes, too…but only if I wake up soon after falling asleep (like in the drifting off stage). So my fix has been to make darned sure I stay asleep for at least a time – and I do that with Melatonin. It may be a placebo effect. I don’t care – it works. I take 5 mg. Melatonin when I turn out the light.

  79. MSW says:

    Hormonal Pregnancy Meltdown:
    I’m currently 28 weeks with my second. About a month ago my daughter put her favourite stuffed animal, Dizzy, in the oven. I turned the oven on. By the time I noticed an odd smell, Dizzy had a hole in his head and was rather toasty down one side. I snatched him out of the oven and hid him from Blythe. Then I burst into tears. And I sobbed and sobbed and sobbed. And sobbed. About an hour later I decided I had to try fixing him so I clipped off his melted ear and stitched a piece of terrycloth over the the hole in his head. I sobbed as I stitched. When it was time for Blythe to go to bed she asked for Dizzy and was quite upset with his new appearance. She wouldn’t even take him to bed with her. So I sobbed some more. And then I went to bed and continued crying. For quite a while
    Fortunately the next day, after some discussion about Dizzy’s owie he was accepted and is once again Blythe’s favourite stuffed animal.
    But yeah, it was an awful lot of tears over a stuffed dog.

  80. Therese says:

    I can’t help you with the leg issues but I can share an uncontrollable weeping session during pregnancy. I was about 34 weeks or so along in my 1st pregnancy when I woke up to discover that some jerk had gone through the neighborhood destroying mailboxes over night. I LOST my mind. I called the Sherriff’s Office, the Post Office, everyone! I was hysterically crying on all of these calls, it was ridiculous. I just could not deal. My husband was out of town for work and I really freaked him out. Now, as a non-pregnant human being I can see that yes the mailbox destroying was annoying and inconvenient, but no reason to spend the morning hysterical…

  81. Irene says:

    So delighted that the pregnancy is continuing. Your detailed post on your first pregnancy made me cry so much as it was so like my experience on my first pregnancy which ended at 22 weeks and badly.
    Folate is brilliant for RLS, and cured mine immediately, a supplement will probably work best and is safe during pregnancy. Also on the constipation (and sweet baby Jesus the constipation I had after my first C-section was BAD, thought I was dying), put a tablespoon of flax/linseeds into a glass of water before going to bed. Cover and drink first thing in the morning. It goes sightly mucilaginous and tastes quite nice and would move mountains. Do it every day to keep you regular.
    Pregnant meltdowns: Before I realised I was pregnant (long time infertile, sick of buying HPTs when my period was late), I spent the night in hospital with my 18 month old who was having an asthma attack, in a foreign country where I speak the language. Despite the doctor having asked that my daughter be nebulised every three hours all night, the staff refused, on the basis that I misunderstood. I survived the night but the next day, when the hospital management arrived to apologise for the “misunderstanding” and even though my daughter was now fine, I burst into floods of tears. They thought I was very strange……
    Less poetically I was in a nesting frenzy before my now four week old was born and despite having quote “practically no cervix left” at 32 weeks and being warned not to lift anything, I spent a morning trying to motivate scared husband into cleaning stuff off the upstairs landing, by hurling boxes downstairs and alternately screeching like a banshee and sobbing hysterically… I provoked action alright but feel that this one may come back to haunt me!!
    Best of luck with everything my dear. i love your writing.

  82. joeyd says:

    Perhaps try chiropractic care? i had muscle spasms in my back and down my legs, and the only thing that helped long-term was chiro. so happy you’re doing relatively well this time around!

  83. Laura says:

    My sister in law was taking plates out of the kitchen cupboard and suddenly screamed. Third trimester pregnant me rushed over to see her huffing and puffing because stuck between two plates near the bottom of the stack (which we did not normally touch since it was just my husband and me most days) was a flattened baby mouse curled up in a tiny mouse-y fetal position. I mourned that baby mouse for days, worrying about how his (her?) mother was feeling.

  84. Cris says:

    Everything okay? Just worried as your twitter on your blog hasn’t updated in 8 days. Not stalkerish – just wishing you and the family the best.

  85. Meredith says:

    No need to apologize, I’ve been reading since you were pregnant with Simone and Ames and you do not need to apologize for being anxious or uncomfortable. Pregnancy is not fair, at all.

    In reading about your restless leg it brought me back to my pregnancies (4 in total, I have two babies). I had horrible restless leg and cramps in my calves. This might sound up surd, okay, I know it is but anyhow I’ll tell you what I did. I put two bars of irish spring bar soap at the base of my bed (under the sheets). I don’t know why, and from where I got it from they don’t know either) it helps some people with restless leg and leg cramps. I don’t know if the type of soap matters or what, but it worked for me. I still got a few leg cramps, but not nearly as bad. Anyhow, if it helps it could help, if you are just a silly woman with soap at the end of her bed, it won’t hurt. I still have the soap there, and I still have no leg cramps.

    So.. just wanted to share, something simple that could possibly make you more comfortable while you continue to incubate Twyla (LOVE THE NAME!!! I was a modern dancer, so I don’t know if you mean the connection, but it’s awesome).

    Cheers to almost third trimester!!!


  86. Angella says:

    I was JUST talking about the leg cramps with a coworker, who is 6 months into her first pregnancy, and is dealing with the leg cramps. I didn’t have the “restless” feeling, but I’ve heard that bananas help. Something something potassium blah blah.

    I have no advice, but am SO happy that you’re at 26 weeks. Whee!

  87. Heather says:

    I think I’ve blissfully wiped out all memories of meltdowns. There was the calling of multiple midwife offices to find a new office (we’d just moved) and rejecting one office because the receptionist was snippy and insisted I needed prescription prenatal vitamins. I was indignant! And then there was the post-partum freak-out over my son’s reflux and a drs recommendation that we stop nursing and start adding rice cereal to bottles (OMG – I went on-line and found white papers – WHITE PAPERS – saying the dr was wrong).

    Mostly I relate to your apartment dilemma. Your old pictures? Are pretty much how my house looks today. Plus we just added a puppy to the mix. I wish we could still afford a cleaning lady, ’cause that really helped. I had to manage my piles of paper and clothes, but she did the actual wiping down of surfaces, and that was awesome. You’re right to get it done BB (before baby), because it’ll never get done AB. I am living proof of that. Or rather, my house is.

    Might help to have one good session with a professional cleaning crew, if you can swing it. Easier to maintain the place once it’s clean, and leaves energy for improvement projects.

    Luck of the angels to you! You’re managing a lot of icky symptoms and doing SO WELL. Hooray for 30+ weeks!

  88. Lisa says:

    Hello – I haven’t checked in on you in a long, long time. We were pregnant with twins at the same time in 2007, and I read your blog and followed your story regularly. But life has gotten ahead of me (two sets of twins later), and I rarely catch up on blogs any more. Something made me think of you today, and here I came – and I am so, so happy to find that you are pregnant again! Congratulations! And extra congratulations on now being more pregnant than you’ve ever been – keep up the good work!

  89. Suzanne says:

    TWYLA!! I so very much wanted to name my daughter Twila, but could not for the life of me get my husband on board. I’m irrationally happy about the name going to good use.

  90. Natalie says:

    For the constipation I found this fine-to-take-in-pregnancy supplement called Osteoguard by a brand called Lamberts. I think you can find it or an equivalent in the US. Basically it is calcium, with some vitamin D and K and it is good for you and helps keep your bowel movements more regular but normal, nothing like a laxative. It also helps keep water retention down. I am soooo sooo happy for you. I have followed you for so long now and am delighted you are so far along. Re. the house situation, mine is also in chaos and it gets me down regularly. I think we have to just take sorting out etc. one small step at a time, chipping away until you can suddenly move around! Much love from London. xx

  91. Laura says:

    Alexa, update, please! I’m losing my mind with curiosity, wanting to know how you’re doing! Good thoughts and prayers are being blasted at you daily.

  92. Mama Fuss says:

    Avacado/guacamole for the restless legs/cramps. Same basic principle as the banana, so I won’t hold my breath, but something to try anyway. You can also chug liquid potassium, but that stuff tastes so nasty it’s likely to counteract the Zofran.

  93. Bobbi says:

    I’m a worrier. I find things/people to worry about even if they are most likely fine. I am worried about you.

    Are you okay?

    (Totally not stalking your blog and/or Twitter feed for updates).

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