The Pregnant Life: Swimming With a Baby Bump

Lizzy's PoolWe did it: We hit the road (well, the train tracks) and traveled down to LA, despite my sister’s worry that I’d go into labor on the train as I pass the Week 34 mark. She even made me call my insurance company to make sure I could go to Cedars-Sinai if necessary -- and I dutifully did, though I did specify that it was my silly sister who was making me ask. They gave me the all-clear (as did my doctor to make the trip, saying, “It’s a major city, not a cabin in the woods!"), and we had a very fun little jaunt down here.


Between my stepkids, my nieces, and my baby-crazy sister, I’ve barely seen Penelope since I got here. I nap, I work, I get my toes done, and she’s in hog heaven with someone ready to take her hand anytime she lifts it up. This is what I miss, being so far from most of my family. I don’t want to drag out the old “it takes a village” trope, but it freakin’ does. And what it does to my heart, to see how she gazes up at my sister, or remembering my nieces at this same age and loving how they're now the big girls who care for her. Makes it difficult to remain an old cynic.

Meanwhile, the pool! I find that I don't have the energy to actually paddle around. It’s a salt-water pool, great for the environment but not always so warm, and frankly I just don’t have the energy to do laps. But I did slowly ooze my way into the water, bit by bit, and my sister slowly convinced Penelope to do the same, and soon we were hopping around like two little manatees.

And boy, did it make a difference. Just taking the pressure off those leg and thigh muscles -- it was blissful to feel everything lift and float and not be in pain for a while. The effect lasted long after I got out of the water, too. And it was totally hilarious to see Penelope kick, kick, kick, while the baby kick, kick, kicked and I bobbed around like a tremendous crouton. So why aren’t I back in the water now? There’s something just so difficult about wrestling myself into the suit and easing back into the water. I’ll go in a bit.

Later, though, the sun and the smog and maybe a little dehydration took a toll. I’d been fighting a bit of a headache all day, and at 2:30 a.m., it hit with a vengeance: I was awake, sitting up, and rubbing the back of my neck to no avail. After an hour of this I woke Randy and sent him out to get Tylenol, having googled “how bad is Advil in the third trimester” and gotten the big fat scary NO! He was a trooper and found an all-night CVS, and by 4:30 I was (according to him) snoring (he says very daintily) and blissfully no longer in pain.

Before you worry, I don’t think it was a preeclampsia headache. My blood pressure was slightly elevated at my last appointment, but a pee test came back clear, and I’m not overly puffy. Plus I’m pretty sure the Tylenol wouldn’t have worked if there were a larger problem. I slept in, since I have the aforementioned village raising my child, and have been feeling marvelous today. Tomorrow we get back on the train and return to our misty northern climes. It’ll be sad to lose our retinue -- but it’ll be good to be home, too.

And oops -- we forgot to bring our progesterone-shot supplies! Hopefully a few days won’t undo the good we did by doing it (sort of ) on time for the past 10 weeks or so.


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