Be ye warned: this is one of my longer posts.
For several nights I was plagued by terrible heartburn, a relentless gassy heat in my throat that persisted in every possible position and made falling asleep a long uncomfortable ordeal. I've used TUMS with past pregnancies (heartburn is a typical pregnancy complaint for me, usually in the third trimester) but the problem with TUMS (for me) is that it relieved the heartburn for just a couple of hours before returning and waking me up.
In my third pregnancy I learned to eat my dinner 4 hours before bed and drink my last bit of water 3 hours before bed. Just a small sip of water before bed would give me heartburn, but obeying these rules I found I could avoid it.
Not so this time. :-(
Not wanting to begin the TUMS cycle of repeated night-waking I tried to just tough it out until finally falling asleep. Ugh! A couple of nights ago I was ready to give in to the TUMS, but I don't have any in the house! I did have a bottle of Mylanta, cherry flavor, which I have never tried. Oh... Wow! It really works! And I didn't wake up in the middle of the night! It's been two nights in a row now and although I don't like to take any sort of medications I'm thankful to have found a way to sleep comfortably. You KNOW I need my rest.... 3 kids and pregnant with twins!
Lesson Learned: Mylanta WORKS!
My next Ah-ha! moment was after a couple of mornings of terrible back pain. I woke up stiff, sore, and feeling like the best place for me was on the couch for the day -- not possible of course. Why did my back hurt SO bad!?
I thought it might be because I now have to sleep on my side and I'm not used to it. But then I took a closer look at my posture (common cause of back pain) and realized that with my belly suddenly huge I was not carrying myself well. The tendency is to let the belly hang forward and down and lean back with a little extra arch in the lower back. Bad!
I paid attention to my posture for a day -- using my abdominal muscles to hold my belly up and in, keeping my back vertical and my shoulders relaxed... and guess what? Next day NO back pain, despite sleeping on my side.
Lesson Learned: Bad posture = back pain; Good posture = extra energy
Because I'm carrying twins I'll be purchasing my first belly support belt when I'm in Encinitas next week. The standard kind that just velcroes around the belly is not a very good support. I'll be getting one with shoulder straps that takes some of the weight off of the lower back. Here's one. www.prenatalcradle.com/prenatalcradle.htm
Dr. Biter is a partner of a boutique in Encinitas that caters to moms-to-be and their babies. They offer birthing classes and prenatal yoga, I think they have Mommy-and-me classes, etc. It's called Babies By The Sea. I haven't been in there yet and I'm interested in seeing it next week. He tells me that his store carries the over-the-shoulder style maternity support; so far I haven't been able to find one anywhere else and I've only seen a couple of them online.
I just measured the belly and my circumference is 38.5" with muscles relaxed (hanging out there) and 37" with abdominal muscle support. At 23 weeks, I've gained about 12 inches from pre-pregnancy!