Sunday, February 20, 2011

Tales from the Bronchioles

One of the things I've learned during this pregnancy: I am just one of those women who's going to spend her pregnancy fighting one virus after another. In the grand scheme of things, it could be worse. I could be a woman whose body is convinced the baby is a foreign invader, or whose body are pretty sure 24 weeks is enough time to cook a baby...but it's kind of unpleasant.

With Gracie, it was sinuses, and it was nine months straight. I do have to say that I made it through most of this pregnancy without the non-stop viral invaders. With the exception of a really awful head cold back in October, I made it to the very end before my entire respiratory tract decided to lay down their weapons and cede to the enemy. That's great, but seriously? I have been sick for the last month, solid. Mostly head colds and sore throats, the kind that wake you up all night long, as you swallow razor blades and marvel at the amount of snot one human being can produce. The last cold finally seemed to be clearing, with the exception of a lingering bad sore throat, until last thursday, when my sinuses were suddenly filled with lead weights and I developed a funny tickle in my throat. Within a few days, my sinuses cleared, but my larynx was suddenly filled with tiny particles of dust, hell-bent on choking me to death. Or something like that. Last night, I coughed and spluttered and choked until well after midnight. I tried EVERYTHING- I took a hot shower, I drank water, I sucked on Halls, I cranked up the humidifier. Nada. At one point, I was reminded of that really amazing Atul Gawande article in the New Yorker about the need for improved palliative care in the US (this one, not the one where he acts like that doctor had a revolutionary idea when he started practicing medicine like a nurse. that one was monkey crap. anyway.), because the article centered on this woman who found out she had terminal lung cancer when she was 37 weeks pregnant and oh my god what if I don't have a cold at all, what if I have lung cancer and I'm going to die?

(ignoring, of course, the fact that Stephen is also sick and the fact that I have plenty of other viral symptoms to explain this hideous cough. I never claimed to be a rational person under the best of circumstances. Throw in pregnant hormones, sleep deprivation, and hypoxia, and I can't be held responsible for my train of thought.)

Dudes. I am miserable. I am really trying hard to enjoy the end of this pregnancy, the last kicks and shifts and the final preparations (and by final preparations, you know I mean preparations, right? Since I just put the cradle together two nights ago and dug out the pack n play today, and Stephen's doing the rest of the furniture today...picky, picky), but various viruses are thwarting these efforts. I've been trying to make up for it by eating everything that isn't nailed down, but so far that just makes me queasy. Don't worry though, I' m not one to give up easily. I'll keep on trying.

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