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Thursday, September 06, 2007

Charlie Horse

I knew coming into the third trimester that many women get leg cramps. I watched the little videos on and read about it in my pregnancy books.

Our birthing class instructor, Michelle, even warned us about it. "What are you supposed to do when you get leg cramps?" she asked the class.

"Beat the hell out of it," piped up one husband from across the room. We all chuckled.

"That's right, massage the area and use your breathing excercises!" Michelle said cheerily.

Yesterday morning, at 6am, the leg cramps hit. Two charlie horses - one in each calve! Remembering Michelle's words, I reached around my big belly, grasped at my calves, tried to massage them and breathe all at the same time - he he he who! Instead, all that came out was - ow ow ow ow!

Until this point I've been psyching myself up to attempt un-medicated labor and delivery. I've thought to myself, "I can tough out the pain, especially armed with my breathing excercises."

But once those Charlie horses hit all I could think was, "I can barely handle charlie horses. How am I supposed to handle contractions!!"

I've been hobbling ever since. Man, I didn't know leg cramps could be so brutal!


Anonymous Lindsay said...

You can rub leg cramps, but they will be sore the next day. Stretch the cramp out, rather, and you'll hardly notice it the next day.

Contractions are so different than leg cramps, you can't even compare them. Besides, pain iwht a purpose is much easier to bear.

4:07 PM  
Anonymous Sarah F said...

I've also heard flexing your foot to stretch it works better. I just woke up with my first leg cramp last week, and stretching got rid of it right away. As far as labor pains, I'm not even attempting to be as brave as you are. I'll be requesting the epidural as early as they will allow it. :)

7:33 AM  
Blogger Jim and Jaena said...

Two things:
1) Jim rubbed my leg cramps for me when I woke up with one - it was easier for him to reach.
2) My doctor suggested stretching my calves before bed (like runners do - stand and press one leg back behind you) and it tremendously decreased my leg cramps with my second child.

2:11 PM  
Blogger Just a bit....... said...

Pointing my toes and stretching my leg worked for me. Having a baby is the most miraculous thing in the world. It is an experience I cannot even describe, except to say it was miraculous. I was not very brave though. I had the pain medicine!

7:16 PM  
Blogger Christin said...

Lindsay, my friend Rosie told me the same thing regarding leg cramps and contractions!

Sarah, how is the pregnancy these days!? Wish I could see you regularly and do all this pregnancy stuff together.

Jaena, I like that idea of stretching before bed. Will definitely try it. Thanks for the tip.

Nancy, I wish you were here. :-( I would love to have you around during the birth and afterwards!

11:16 AM  

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