For the past couple of weeks, I have become convinced that other smiling, happy third trimester pregnant women must be the best fakers in the world because for me, it is complete and utter misery. At my recent thirty-one week appointment, however, my doctor informed me that my inflated feet, racing heart, severe headaches, and spotty vision is not the norm for most pregnant people. I am one of the lucky five percent of women who are diagnosed with preeclampsia. I usually strive to be unique, but this is the one time I wish I could be normal.
I began experiencing symptoms three weeks ago, and since then, things had gotten progressively worse. My feet look like two inflated hospital gloves and no longer fit into any of my shoes, except to newly purchased sneakers, and they ache so badly that I am unable to sleep at night. The fluid build up has recently become pitted, so when I take off my stylish sneakers, the imprint of the laces are left behind. Walking up up the small flight of stairs in my house to the restroom feels akin to summiting Mount Katahdin and often makes my heart race, my lungs burn, and my body sweat. Each time I have to urinate a long debate between my supremely swollen feet and my bladder occurs.
I know I should have been upset by my new diagnosis, but instead, I felt strangely relieved: I had felt that something was amiss in my pregnancy, and it turns out that I was right. My doctor’s recommendation was essentially to become more lazy - I should put up my feet whenever I can, stay hydrated, and sneak in a nap when I feel tired. After hearing these suggestions, I decided that I plan to thoroughly enjoy using my office chair like a wheel chair during my planning periods at school, walking around with my a water bottle that looks like it could second as an adult sippy cup, or napping in the sun on the couch like a cat in the middle of my slightly messy (okay, really messy) duplex. If anyone questions my activities, I am going to tell them I am just following my doctor’s recommendation. After all, if I have to look like a Michelin man, I am definitely going to have a little fun with it.