Wednesday, May 22, 2013

The Dreaded Charley Horse: Leg Cramps in Pregnancy

Last night I terrified Christian.

I woke up to excruciating pain in my calf muscle. I couldn't seem to stretch my leg. I couldn't seem to do anything. I tried to wiggle my ankle around - my toes - anything. Everything was painful. I was gasping and crying out as anyone does in extreme sharp pain.

This of course woke up Christian and he proceeded to freak out. After all, what if these were abdominal cramps? What if I was experiencing preterm labor? He kept asking me what was wrong. When I was able to hear him asking, I realized how bad it must have looked, and how terrified he must have been.

Quietly I replied that it was my leg cramping. He asked which one. I thought he would have massaged the thing if I'd let him. Of course, the problem was I had to pee (just my luck). Thankfully when I put my foot on the floor, the pressure helped the pain to subside. I hobbled to the bathroom. When I came back to bed, Christian was much calmer. I let him know the pain was mostly gone.

After doing a few impromptu in-bed stretches, I slowly went back to sleep.

This morning when I woke, my leg was still sore. It was clear I needed to read up on leg cramps.

Apparently a lot of the same things that cause leg cramps are related to swelling. The same things you do to prevent swelling, are those you can do to prevent leg cramps. Things like drinking water and stretching are important, as well as making sure you have good circulation. Clearly I'm never crossing my legs again (at least not until after September) and will be stretching my leg muscles every 30 minutes until this baby is out.

As I write this my ankles are crossed.

I'm already failing at this game. Damn.

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