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Rest(less) days

A high level of anxiety during last stage of pregnancy is normal,but keep the doctor in the know if it's severe.

NO office to attend,no copies to edit,no pages to make,no deadlines to maintain,no breakfast to fix,no dinner to serve and no other work at home. I have been told to enjoy this “enviable” situation “till it lasts” and make the most of it,but if only I could.

I try to enjoy the sensations inside me – the nudges,elbow and knee bumps – but with the level of discomfort increasing,thanks to further reduced sleep,an itchy belly and the everyday struggle to choose clothes to wear,I am eagerly waiting for the final delivery date,which my doctor hasn’t given me yet.

As a first-timer,fear of the unknown is another reason for my anxiety. Any pain in the lower abdomen,on the sides or the lower back and I sit up,thinking it’s time. I am tired all the time and cannot make out what to do with my restless heavy legs if I am trying to rest. Common during most pregnancies,“restless leg syndrome” is characterised by crawling,tingling or burning sensations,when you feel an urgent need to move your legs. In my case,like many others’,the sensations spread to feet,arms and hands too. Stretching the legs helps for the time being. Massage,hot or cold packs and warm baths are also recommended to cope with the problem,which my doctor has assured will go away soon after the delivery. Another suggestion is to get in bed only when you are sleepy,because the longer you lie still,reading or watching television,the more likely that you will get restless leg syndrome.

Among the few things that can be done to make this time a little easier is regular exercise,under the guidance of your doctor. Fluid intake should be high during the day but reduced before bedtime to ease stress on the bladder. Eat small meals and take naps during the day. If suffering from heartburn,keep your head adequately elevated while sleeping,using more than one pillow. This,however,did not work for me due to my spondylitis and I had to seek medicinal remedy.

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Experts say a high level of anxiety during the last stage of pregnancy is normal,but one should keep the doctor in the know if it is severe.

Waiting for the delivery day to arrive soon as I find the days stretching beyond their allotted 24 hours,I am simultaneously worried that there is so little time left and so much work to be done. Always a lazy bone,I surprised myself last week with the urge to scrub clean the kitchen slab,empty out the chest of drawers to make space for the baby’s stuff and dump all discarded clothes. This “nesting syndrome” apparently takes over a pregnant woman at some stage or the other. While this “primal instinct” is mild in my case,others may suffer from an overwhelming sense of setting things in order,as many can be seen vigorously cleaning,packing and unpacking the baby stuff and rearranging the nursery. Those suffering from the syndrome,however,need to be careful while using the cleaning products and opt for the safe ones.

If occurring late in pregnancy,the nesting urge can be seen as a sign of the onset of labour,which gives me hope that the day is not far when I will be able to see and hold the tiny thing that lived inside me for nine long months. I will be a mother,getting a new title and shouldering new responsibilities. Fantacising about the newborn – another common trait in all pregnant women,especially the first-timers – I am trying to enjoy these restless days of waiting while I take the much advised rest.

First published on: 09-08-2011 at 14:57 IST
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