Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Heartburn is going to be the death of me

For several weeks at the beginning of my 2nd trimester I was plagued with heartburn. We're not talking any sort of normal heartburn either. This heartburn starts in my sternum and then emanates to my back and then up into my shoulders and even down my arms. It hurts and that's putting it lightly. There's no finding relief from it once it starts. Tums didn't work, a glass of milk was a no-go, all of my normal remedies, which generally take care of it, failed. This is my 8th pregnancy and never have I had heartburn like this before, ever.

Then we went searching for info online and went to the store armed with information. We picked up a different flavor of Tums (our bottle was several years old and definitely expired) and we found some Gaviscon. Between the two they covered all 3 types of heartburn relief and seemed to do the job. Then I went to the Dr and they informed me that the one product which was actually helping me (the Gaviscon) was on the unknown list for pregnancy. This was explained to me to mean that it had been tested on animals with results that weren't favorable and either there is nothing known for human consumption during pregnancy or women who have used it during pregnancy have reported abnormal or unwanted results. The basics were that they didn't recommend that I take it and they said if I continued to have issues to let them know and they'd see what they could do to help. Well, the heartburn let up so there was no need for it or anything else.

Then this last weekend it started back up with a vengeance. Saturday morning I had a bowl of cottage cheese with fruit and we headed off to rehearsal for the primary program. At 11:30 it hit me and it hit hard. We had to leave early and head home. I took some Tums, had a glass of milk, layed down, stood up, sat down, and tried every position before I finally gave up and took some Gaviscon. When it still didn't let up I decided to try a bath and as the bathwater was pouring I finally had some relief. I sat in the tub anyway and then took a nap. I got up and felt fine for awhile, had something to eat and then started to make dinner for the family. The heartburn started up again and this time it was worse than the AM. I tried everything all over again with no relief at all. I suffered through it, I cried, I changed positions, I sat in the tub 3 different times-nothing. Finally about 3:30am (yes, it really did last that long) I felt the need to vomit and it came up. The food I had eaten before 5pm was all there leading me to think that maybe this is more of a digestion problem which is causing the heartburn? Just an idea. Anyway, within about 20 minutes the pain subsided and I was able to go to sleep.

Sunday I was fine pretty much all day but I was careful what I ate and how often I ate it. Then about 10PM it started up again-I was not looking forward to another night of pain. I tried to fight it-I moved around, got up and twisted things around and even tried going for a walk around the block. By the time I got back I could feel the need to vomit again and actually looked forward to it so I could get some relief. Now, I'm not one of those people who can willingly stick my finger down my throat in order to get that result so I was trying to figure out what to do. I was leaning on the kitchen counter feeling helpless and crying while trying to think of what I could do when I had this thought. I had posted about my heartburn on Facebook and many friends responded with ideas to help and one of them was to take a spoonful of vinegar. I did try it once and the result was that everything immediately came back up-this is what I wanted tonight. I needed the relief from the pressure and it was already nearly in my throat anyway so I cleaned out the sink (the one with the garbage disposal) and got out the vinegar. I took the spoonful and waited. Nothing. I walked around the kitchen, started to pack the kids' school lunches and started to think "maybe I should drink a glass of milk-then the vinegar will make it curdle and have my result". But as I thought this I realised that the pain was gone. I waited a few more minutes and started to feel good. No more nausea, no more pain, nothing. Not exactly the result I wanted but hey, it actually worked! It was midnight by then so I went upstairs and gladly went to bed.

Cue Monday. Monday was good, I was on my regular schedule-ate food, walked Rebekah to kindergarten, ran errands, had a late lunch and then picked up kids from school. Josh came home and let me take a much needed nap and I got up in time for dinner, which I had prepped right before I layed down. As I went to the table it started up again-I'm really starting to hate heartburn. Josh suggested a giant pickle (which is essentially bathed in vinegar, right?), which sounded much better than a spoonful of vinegar, so I got one out. I ate it and waited. This time it took about 20 or 30 minutes and just as I was about to give up, the pain subsided. It actually works, I don't know how or why or what the science is behind it, but it actually works. It doesn't taste good and I don't recommend it with milk, but it works and I'm so not complaining.

So, the moral of my really long story is that heartburn is going to plague me and I'm not sure that having a baby with a head full of hair is worth the pain, but I'm so glad to have found something to work (for now anyway) to make it go away. Thank you to Regina for suggesting it (even though I doubted you at first) and I'm so glad to have had the courage to try it twice to figure it out. So next time you're having killer heartburn and you think you're going to die, give it a try and let me know if it works for you too.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Winning is Fun

Especially when you didn't know you were entered to win.

I got a phone call this morning from the vice principal at the kids' school. The only times I've ever talked to her is when there are concerns or problems about one or more of my kids so with her calling I expected the worst. So she starts out thanking us for attending the school's literacy night a couple weeks ago. This was a night where they explained to us how they grade our kids on their reading and how their program works. We wanted to go because the school and teachers have expressed concerns about all of our kids and their reading, we thought they were doing pretty good. Their program is so much different (and a little messed up if you ask me) than any other school or program we've ever dealt with and we wanted to know how it works.

Then she says "the other reason that I'm calling today.." this is where I expected to hear all about problems with one of my kids. Instead she goes on to tell me that the PTO put together a gift basket of learning games, treats and gift cards and then chose from all the parents who attended that night and our family was chosen. And those were the only reasons she was calling today. Talk about a pleasant surprise. Not only was she not calling to reprimand me as a parent (again) but she was also calling to tell us we won something nice and see when we could pick it up. This is what we got when we gotpicked it up after school:

It has a brain Quest game, Boggle, a dictionary, a Thesaurus, pretzels, gold fish, popcorn and a gift card to Barnes and Noble (there are probably some other snacks but they're buried in the basket and I don't feel like getting up to go look right now).
So we won a gift basket of nice things in a raffle we didn't know we were entered in for attending a parent information night where we learned about how our kids are expected to read at this school. For once it pays to have an unfair advantage of 4 kids, meaning 4 entries, in a raffle. For all the crap the school has given us this year, it's nice to finally have something nice for once.