You can’t always get what you want

There’s a running theme when you’re pregnant, and the Rolling Stones song says it best. With hot tubs, raw fish, deli meats, soft cheeses, alcohol, caffeine, horseback riding, Rollerblading, contact sports, and every OTC drug save Tylenol off-limits, pregnant women not only can’t always get what we want — we can hardly ever get what we want! Craving some Feta on that Greek salad? Can’t have it. Planning to hit the slopes? Think again! Have cold and want instant relief? Not gonna happen.

And the real kicker is that if we get a cold, we’re going to suffer (sans drugs) longer because a pregnant woman’s immune response is somewhat suppressed so that her body will not reject the pregnancy. Thus, this past week, a slight tickle in my throat quickly turned into a flu, which rapidly morphed into the worst sinus infection known to woman.

Within two days, both nasal passages were completely clogged — enough so that taking a large bite of food became a flirtation with asphyxia. As if that weren’t enough, the infection pounded from my forehead to my teeth, and my eyes threatened to pop from their sockets from the intense pressure. My lips were parched and my throat raw from breathing exclusively through my mouth since there was no blowing out what Chris called the “snotcrete.” However, since I didn’t have a fever and couldn’t blow out any mucus to see what color it was, I convinced myself that I couldn’t be sure it was an infection (which would be treated with safe antibiotics, rather than those naughty multi-ingredient OTC meds).

However, on the fifth night of my illness, much like my lips from all that mouth-breathing, I cracked. Sleepless for nights after being awakened the instant I’d fall asleep by my own labored snoring and drooling — and exhausted by day after caring for a toddler whose idea of fun involves leaping from furniture item to furniture item like a wee, topheavy orangutan and occasionally pausing to try to clamber onto the mantel from the sofa arm — I decided that one little packet of Neo Citran couldn’t possibly be that bad. After an hour on the BC Nurses’ hotline, a transfer to the pharmacy hotline and an automatic callback after it proved to be even busier than the nurses’ line, I got the all-clear to take the medicine for one day only. I got six hours of broken sleep, and it felt like the best sleep I’d ever had.

Oh, and apparently if you feel a sinus infection in your teeth for more than eight hours, it’s OK to go to the ER. So I essentially wasted three days wondering whether I actually had a sinus infection at all, when in fact it was a fairly serious infection.

The next day, I went to the walk-in clinic and got a prescription for amoxicillin. A day later, I went from feeling as if mucus-induced suffocation was imminent to feeling like I had a really bad cold. Today, I felt like I had a moderate cold. If I’m lucky, tomorrow I’ll feel like I’ve got a slight cold and soon I will be better again.

The ironic thing is that the one thing that really helped, the amoxicillin, was the one thing that is actually considered safe for pregnant women. But after seven months of self-deprivation, it’s easy to assume you won’t be able to help yourself without harming the baby.

Fortunately, I can get what I want currently. That thing is a good night’s sleep without snoring, drooling, or waking up because I can’t breathe. Tonight, I’m hitting the hay early and luxuriating in relative wellness until Maddi’s 6 a.m. wakeup.

And here they are — the Week 32 belly shots!

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