I just got my first steroids shot today, and will get another one tomorrow. The 'roids are making me hyper, I did a whole hour of yoga, mainly lying down, but it was very good for me. I am developing a lot of lower leg edema, and I am pretty sure that it is a steroid effect as well, combined with having walked and been vertical a lot, with the appointment at the OB's office. I am measuring 29 weeks, despite being only 26w5d, but the fluid and the baby are good, and so was the cervix at my last ultrasound on Friday, 5.3 cm. The OB said I should not weigh myself anymore, as the water retention will upset me and skew the results. I am pretty sure I have gained at least 26 lb by now, and he thinks I am shooting for 40 lb, which he said is normal for a first completed pregnancy. Apparently 20 lb come off easily, the next 10 lb require work, and the last 10 lb are the killer, many women don't lose it.
I told him that if we (actually I!) am worried about weight, then it means I am not very worried about the pregnancy, i.e. everything is stable and I have good hope that it will end up with a live chubby term Emma. I love being so hopeful and full of life. I HAVE NEVER BEEN HAPPIER IN MY LIFE all in all as I have been since 21 weeks onwards in this pregnancy. The little life fluttering in my belly makes me happy all the time, like a constant intravenous drip of serotonin.
Speaking of weight, here is the pretzel recipe for Jenny: make a mixture of half cup warm water, 1 tbsp flour, 1 tsp sugar and 1 tbsp yeast (dry). Mix and let it bubble near warm spot. When bubbly, add to it 3.5 cups flour (all purpose), 1tbsp salt and another cup or perhaps more of warm water or milk. The dough should be just like a bread dough, or like a flexible plasticine, not sticky and watery, but rather a bit firmer. Add oil, about 1/3 cup in small increments as you are kneading. Let it raise. When ready, form the pretzels (use imagination) by taking small amounts of dough (half handful) and rolling it into a long stick, then bending it in half and twisting the two halves against each other. Or whatever you like, you can even make them straight thin sticks if you like. Let them raise again until about doubled. Bring a large pot of water to boil, and boil four at a time for 1-3 min (experiment, they get softer with less boiling and more crispy with more boiling), then put them on a pan that you smeared with butter or oil, and put sesame seeds and salt on them. Bake at 425 F (or 400 F if your oven tends to dry things out too much) until they look golden, about half an hour or so. Enjoy hot or cold, they are dementedly good either way.
And back to my cankles, the lower leg edema and the jambes lourdes as the French call it (heavy legs), I found a temporary solution. I took a cold bath from the waist down. The water was as cold as summer rain (literal Romanian expression) and I read in it for about ten minutes, after which I finished with an ice cold shower below the knees only. By the end of the whole thing, my legs had no more feeling so at least that was an improvement from the feeling of my skin being stretched out and my tendons swollen and painful. Now my legs are regaining their sensation as I am sitting here typing, and they are much improved. I am going to continue my cold baths daily, I think it will help prevent hemorrhoids and vulvar varicosities, another nightmare in late pregnancy. At the very least it will make me feel like I am doing something positive towards improving my edema, along with drinking lots of water and not eating salt (I had soy sauce today as well, and believe me that will be the last time!) (I think I said that last time too...).
On a more important topic, today is my wedding anniversary and I need to publicly thank MrH for being the best husband on Earth. He has supported me through my mad quest for a baby, joining me in my desire, fighting alongside me, crying with me when we lost Adrian, being a great listener far beyond what most other men would be able to tolerate, and having the patience of a saint through the next five IVF procedures and my ensuing mental acrobatics on hormones. On top of that, we learned together how to let each other live, how to support each other in our individual endeavours and hobbies, and how to carve time during the day and during the week for hugs, dinner, going out. We made our marriage better and better every day. Marrying him brought me immense happiness and more love than I ever thought possible, and I would do it again in a heartbeat. Happy Anniversary MrH!