Weeks 26 & 27
~ A Third Trimester Beach Adventure
My immediate family goes to the beach nearly every year. With the economy the way it's been lately, we haven't all been out there in three years . . . not since Cody was four! My parents decided that enough was enough, and that we were going this year. So my husband and I packed up our SUV with Cody and a week's worth of the non-perishable groceries, my parents packed up their car with my brother and a week's worth of frozen and refrigerated food in coolers (not to mention beach chairs, toys, umbrellas, and everything else you need for the coast) and we were off on Saturday, July 24th at 8 a.m. The one thing we didn't pack was vinegar . . . but I'll get to that.
We had a really, really good time . . . except no one warned me what it was like to be six months pregnant at the beach. Maybe none of my friends wanted to rain on my parade, but a warning would have been nice! It wasn't even that hot . . . but the trek to the beach and back to the house several times a day was EXHAUSTING! And we had an ocean-front house!! I can't imagine being several blocks away. Walks down the beach, even short ones, completely wore me out and caused ligament pain and brought on Braxton Hicks contractions. I barely moved off the chaise lounge that my husband/dad/brother/son dragged down to the sand for me every day. Fortunately, I have a great family and they practically waited on me hand and foot.
On Thursday, we had a terrible storm on the island that knocked out power for hours and apparently (unbeknownst to us) stirred up all the jellyfish and brought them in. So on Friday, when I finally decided to swim out into the ocean past my (ever-enlarging) waist because the water was as wave-free as a lake, I got a nasty surprise. I was floating on a shark raft with Cody and had just decided to get off of it and start pulling us back to shore a little bit when all of a sudden I felt a blinding, white-hot pain from my left knee all the way down my leg. I instinctively kicked my leg hard and felt a similar pain on the back of my right calf. I started screaming at the top of my lungs, thinking a shark had just ripped my leg open. I screamed at Cody to swim to shore, and I swam/clawed my way in as well, hoping to keep the shark away from him.
The pain was searing and I couldn't stop screaming. I looked up to see my family running in towards us and half the beach residents standing up and walking over to see what the commotion was all about. My husband and a stranger reached me at the same time and dragged me out of the water while my dad and brother got Cody in. It was then that I was finally able to see my leg and realized that I hadn't been bitten, but stung by a vicious jellyfish. I had long, red tire tread-like marks snaking and spiraling all the way around my leg. The wicked thing had smacked into my knee and literally wrapped itself completely around the length of my leg all the way down to the top of my foot. When I kicked, it snapped off but flung one tentacle out, slapping the back my my right calf. I went into a sort of shock from the pain, and some good Samaritan beach neighbors ran up to their house to get some vinegar, which they soaked a towel with and wrapped around my leg while my husband held it on for me.
Kids, let me tell you: I have been through a labor and delivery already, and it simply did not compare to the pain brought on by that jellyfish. I hope I never have to go through that again. I cried near-hysterically for a solid hour. The stinging pain became a burning, terrorizing pain and after vinegar and meat tenderizer didn't help much, Justin helped me back up to the house where we finally broke down and peed in Solo cups and poured them all over the burns. Believe it or not, it worked the best. Urine's ammonia was the best pain-neutralizer for the jelly stings (FYI!). Nearly a week later, the marks have faded but are still visible, and are beginning to itch as they start to heal. I'm not sure whether they will leave scars or not, yet. The whole time, I was scared silly that somehow the jelly's venom would cross the placenta and affect the baby, but I was continually assured that it would not. Little Milo's kicking and rolling around was also a good assurance that he was fine in there.
Anyway, despite the events of the last day, we had a great time and everyone made it home just fine. Tomorrow (August 5) is my 28th birthday and I'll be spending it doing my glucose screening (YUCK), getting my Rhogam shot (I'll explain this one next week), and having another ultrasound to check on my placenta. Fingers crossed that it has moved the necessary 2 cm to prevent a scheduled c-section! Can't wait to see my little guy on that screen, tomorrow.
Until next week, friends!