Monday, July 13, 2009

22 Weeks!

126 days until my due date!  I'm still feeling generally great and enjoying this break between morning sickness and the discomfort of being huge.  I have, though, had calf cramps for the first time in my life, despite the banana in my daily protein smoothie.  I was planning on researching leg cramps in pregnancy to see what I might be able to do to prevent them, but then in my inbox this morning was my weekly pregnancy update from that included this: 
Surprisingly, those excruciating leg cramps that have you waking up in the middle of the night clutching your calves may be caused by your back and aggravated by changes in the circulation in your legs as your uterus enlarges. To compensate for supporting the increasing load in the front, the curvature of the spine changes during pregnancy so that the lower portion of the back is pushed forward. This posture frequently pinches the motor nerve which runs from the spine down the leg — and that pinching is what causes leg cramps, according to Mark Taslimi, a professor of obstetrics and gynecology at Lucille Packard Children's Hospital in Palo Alto, California. Prenatal yoga or any gentle stretching of the back and hips may help ease the pain.
This would explain why the bananas aren't working- it's not a lack of potassium!  Even if I don't have a pinched motor nerve, simply the change in posture explains why I might have tighter calves than normal.  I think it's really interesting to learn about how and why my body is changing.  When the changes have meaning, it's easier to appreciate them instead of just dealing with them.  The leg cramps are a perfect example- they aren't anything horrible and I was dealing with them (and considering myself blessed to not be dealing with worse!), but now that I understand why they're happening, I can really appreciate that they a part of a much bigger picture.  
Hmmm...  I just got back from a walk down the block to the vegan fast food restaurant to get a non-dairy milkshake- mint oreo cookie.  Yum!  (I added some brown rice protein powder when I got home to up the nutritional ante.)  I also stopped by Walgreens to pick up classroom supplies and 7-11 to use the ATM.  And now that I'm home again, I realized that apparently my belly caught a bite of my dinner that didn't make it to my mouth.  It's all down the front of my shirt.  Note to self: do a quick self-check before leaving the house from now on...

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