Sunday, January 25, 2009

Chicago Redeemed

I've been pretty up-front about my feelings concerning Chicago. The bitter, bitter cold is a significant factor in this. Within the past few weeks there was a record set for how many hours in a row the temperature (temperature as in not the wind chill) remained below zero (not freezing but zero a full 32 degrees below freezing). People were literally getting frostbite--we actually accidently picked one of the most very bitter days for me to take the train downtown to Grant's office building and see where he works before having a little date. Like we've said here before, holy cold!

I hate the cold. I'm a summer baby--and now I feel like I should apologize to my mother for being one.

I've only just started swelling up in my last month of pregnancy. Not gaining weight but retaining water to a noticeable and sometimes startling degree. My feet and legs are usually okay in the morning but it's always only a matter of time before they turn into startling shapeless elephant trucks. My hands and wrists are pretty much swollen (but unlike my feet, my hands really hurt as well, especially when I clench my fists) all the time. Luckily, my watch, wedding band, engagement ring and snow boots are all a size too large, so I'm still comfortably able to wear all of them.

This is where Chicago gets redeemed.

The times I've gone out to run errands, I've come back feeling soooo wonderful. Why? Because the cold (especially when it's not super bitter and in the nice normal, upper 20s, lower 30s [but still not above freezing this year, not that I'm counting]) totally shrinks me down to size in a wonderful, beautiful way. My feet come out of my shoes almost normal (my ankles will go up and down but the part by my toes is always weirdly puffy) and my hands feel so cool and refreshed...I love it. I wash my hands in the ice cold water that comes out of our sink because the blast of cold feels soooooo dang good. Earlier this evening, I even put on a cardigan and flip flops and Grant came with me to stand around outside for a few minutes for some sweet, sweet relief. And it worked.

I think Grant and I should time it so that ALL our babies are born in cold weather. Somehow, I don't think I'll be that lucky though. I feel like I'm barely earning my stripes with this amount of swelling.

Sometimes, despite all my whining, when I look back on this pregnancy, I feel like I'm barely earning my stripes at all. It has been grievous at times...but the stories I've heard along the way have frightened me. And ultimately, I know that I have had it sooo much better than pretty much every woman I've talked to.

So I'm trying to be grateful for my dumb luck and for the darn Chicago winter that helps me find relief from the ridiculous swelling my body is suddenly capable of.

**Fun fact: on average, we lose 2 pounds overnight. You always are at your skinniest after you've slept the night. That's partly because we get a bit dehydrated throughout the night and wake up and urinate a lot out as well. Just for kicks, I've been weighing myself at night and in the morning for comparison. Instead of the average 2 that I've seen many times in the past, it's been 6 every time I've checked. SIX.


Jacqueline said...

It is almost over now. Glad you can find some relief. I suppose you are seeing your doctor weekly now or so? I became so sensitive to salt in the last stages of pregnancy. It makes you retain more water. Pretzels one night made it impossible for me to make a fist the next morning.

Danielle said...

That's why I weigh myself every morning, after I've peed, after Grant has nursed and before I've eaten. :)