Week 23: Constipation and other fun second trimester goodies

By Published On: July 1st, 2016

Now that I’m fully entrenched in my second trimester of […]

Now that I’m fully entrenched in my second trimester of pregnancy, my body is responding with a whole new gaggle of not-so-fun symptoms. While I do feel pretty good the majority of the time, new challenges have surfaced during this stage of pregnancy to make things even more interesting. That pregnant glow that I’m just now starting to get, with help from an adorable growing baby bump, is often short lived due to unglamorous things, like constipation and swollen feet. Yes, it truly is a magical time.
Aside from the occasional upset tummy, I’ve never really struggled with digestion issues until now. A few weeks ago I started to realize that things down south were no longer regular—to put it delicately. I would lose the ability to make a bowel movement for two to three days at a time. Then, all of a sudden (and usually at the most inopportune time) I found myself rushing to the nearest restroom. A pattern of intermittent constipation has unfortunately become my new “regular.”
However uncomfortable constipation can be, it doesn’t compare to the sharp pain of leg cramps. My pregnancy apps have been warning me about leg cramps for months now. I just assumed it wasn’t something I would likely have to deal with as I had yet to experience any. A few weeks ago I was rudely awakened in the middle of the night by an excruciating cramp in my right leg. I groped around and grabbed on to my leg as I wiggled and moaned for about 30 seconds or so until the pain stopped. My husband awoke startled and concerned, and then just rolled over and went back to sleep when I told him what ailed me. After that first cramp, my calf was sore for two days. With a second cramp plaguing my left leg a few nights ago, I fear these nasty stabbing pains will become more frequent.
image1Feet are something most people take for granted. We don’t really think about how much we depend on them until they fail us. My feet are no longer the work horses they were pre-pregnancy. These days it doesn’t take a whole lot to make my feet succumb to aches and pains. Like some of the other symptoms, I assumed achy swollen feet would come much later in pregnancy. Of course, I was wrong—again. After two and half hours of walking around the mall, in what I would consider comfortable shoes, I felt like I had walked around Disney Land for three days in a row. For the rest of the weekend, my feet hurt whether I was on them or not.
To add insult to injury, the go-to piece of advice for taming all of these symptoms is to drink more water. Water is just about the only I can drink guilt-free, so I’m pretty sure that I’m getting plenty of it. There is nothing more irritating than being told that lack of water is what’s causing those uncomfortable and sometimes painful pregnancy symptoms, when water most likely has nothing to do with it. I’m smart enough to know that I will have to suffer through things like constipation and leg cramps whether I drink 10 cups or 30 cups of water. All I’m saying is, give it to me straight.