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Renee's Pregnancy Journal

Week 32 ~ October 16, 2002
~ Such Finesse

I'm soaring into my eighth month with such finesse -- it's just wonderful! I keep thinking about how blessed I am to have never had all the troubles that could come with pregnancy -- like diabetes, the need for bedrest, severe nausea, etc. I guess I did have a weird thing happen at about this same time in my last pregnancy. Since I don't have a whole lot to tell about this week, mind if I share that story with you?

I'm not sure if it was pregnancy-related or just something that happened. But one day at the end of running errands and shopping galore, I started hearing ringing in my ears. I felt like I needed to sit or lie down and just get home to my bed. So I finished up with my groceries, headed home, ran a yellow light (one of those think quick moments of "do I want all of the groceries to come flying to the front of the van or should I just keep going"), and then noticed a police man not far behind me. He pulled me over and I just wasn't ready to accept getting a ticket the way I felt. Again, thinking quickly, and knowing that technically, you are supposed to stay in your car in a pull-over situation, I got out before he got to the car, showing my pregnant stomach first as much as I possibly could. I was hoping to get some sympathy from him. He asked why I was in a hurry and told me that there is a $250 fine for running a yellow light in California. Who knew? I just told him that I was exhausted and needed to get home, noticed the light change last minute, and kept going. He saw a few of my children in the back and told me that wasn't safe to drive them that way and let me go (phew).

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By the time I got home, my ears had plugged up. I had a friend whose ears would plug during pregnancy off and on, so I thought perhaps this was like her. The next day, one ear opened up, but the right ear stayed plugged and I found myself getting dizzy when I stood for too long. By the next day I had -- oh, what's that called when your head spins round and round if you even move? Something like Vertigo? Well, that's what I had for over a week. I had to lie down all the time and if I got up to go to the bathroom, I would walk like a drunken person and practically fall over, having to hold onto furniture and walls to keep my balance. If I read a book and decided to turn over to the other side for awhile, when my eyes returned to the page, the words would spin around and around for about a minute until my brain could focus again and realize that I was once again still. I went to see Dr. P OB and he wasn't sure what the cause was, told me to rest some more, and referred me to a hearing specialist (an ENT). I remember the morning I was getting ready to go to my doctor, I'd keep lying down while getting dressed and such. My oldest daughter came in and asked me to braid her hair. I figured I could do it if I propped myself sitting up in a corner of the room. Within minutes I was throwing up from trying to do that much. It was weird (not to mention unpleasant).

As the days progressed, my vertigo subsided to where I could walk around better, but my hearing didn't improve. The ENT told me that something had caused a change in hearing -- either pregnancy related, blood clot, or tumor. The reason for the vertigo was that the part of my ear that helps me balance went out too, but eventually my brain tuned that out and figured out how to balance with just the left ear. Weird, huh? (But oh how grateful I am that my brain could figure that out!) So the plan was to wait till after the baby came to do some testing and to go onto some steroids to possibly reduce the plugging of my ear (if delivery didn't help that). The nice part about the hearing loss was that I could take naps when I really needed them with my good ear down and not hear a thing! I was able to truly rest amongst the busy-ness of my children.

After I delivered my baby, my ear didn't unplug, nor did my hearing improve. I went in for tests (even an MRI) and they found no tumor (phew!) and just suspected a blood clot had passed. I went on Prednisone (hate the stuff) for a few weeks and that helped to unplug my ears, although my hearing has never been normal again. At first I couldn't even hear a dial tone with just that ear and now I hear a sound, but it's certainly not clear (and I don't do well trying to talk on the phone with my right ear). So that was a strange part of that pregnancy that I hope to never go through again. And I'm grateful I didn't have to pay that $250 ticket!

One note about this past week. I went to Dr. P and he did indeed say that the baby's head is down now -- woo hoo! It sure felt like it had moved into position, but I wasn't positive. And the baby's movements feel much more familiar to me in this position. I'm in the homestretch now!!!

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