Pain in the Ribs

If there’s one thing I’ve learned through my pregnancy, it’s that anything and everything can change overnight (especially now that my belly is essentially big enough to control the tides). Just a few days ago I “slept in” until 5:30 p.m., yet the night before last I was awake until a few hours before my alarm went off due to rib pain. Eventually I did fall asleep, but not before propping myself up with pillows, stretching out as much as possible, and putting my hands in the air like I just didn’t care.

At 2:30 yesterday morning, I was in tears explaining to Minh how much my ribs hurt. I was frustrated because I couldn’t imagine falling asleep any time soon, and I had to wake up in just a few hours. And the discomfort hasn’t let up. Even as I type this, there’s what I can only assume is a foot under my right ribcage.

And who knew ribs would be so delicate considering that they protect so much important stuff! Compare that to hip bones — when Leon kicks my hips, it feels goofy and makes me giggle; when he kicks my ribs, I lose my breath for a second. He doesn’t kick constantly, but the upward pressure is nonstop.

At my 34-week doctor’s appointment this morning, I asked Dr. Roberts if there’s anything I can do to ease the discomfort. He just explained that there’s really nothing — no stretches, sleeping positions, or exercises — that will effectively and safely move Leon away from my ribs. “He’s running out of room,” Dr. Roberts explained stoically. The simultaneous jabs to my right ribs and left hip confirmed this statement.

Exactly 40 days left (!!!), and hopefully the little (but actually big) guy will drop before then. Until that point, I’ll be distracting myself by researching lactation consultants, making padsicles, and learning how the hell to use a breast pump.

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