OMG child get OUT of me and give me back my digestive tract!
June 2015 was the first time I ever in my life experienced heartburn. It was awful. I was at my in-laws house and had some spicy Mexican food. About three hours later, my chest and throat were destroyed by raging acids making it impossible to get comfortable. I thought I was dying. This is apparently an issue my in-laws do not have to deal with as the only antacids they had in the house were a tube of Rolaids that had EXPIRED in 2000. An expired tube of Rolaids that had been hijacked by my Brother-In-Law. I chugged some baking soda in water and sent my Mother-In-Law to the store the next day because that was not happening again.
Except that it did. Often. I think I should have purchased stock in TUMS. I have gone through at least 2 bottles over the course of this pregnancy and am about to run out of bottle number 3. It had gotten so out of hand that I was up violently sick one night and moved my prenatal appointment so I could get some guidance from the midwives. They let me know that Zantac was pregnancy safe and recommended another OTC that I could take if that didn’t work. Thankfully, Zantac did the trick as long as I followed the directions. Per the directions, I can/should take 1 pill about 30 minutes prior to eating foods that may cause heartburn (which is literally everything, including milk) in order to prevent it from happening OR as symptoms occur for heartburn relief. They recommend no more than 2 pills in a 24 hour period. I would take one at about 10:30/11 to “relieve” breakfast/snack heartburn and “prevent” lunch heartburn and hope that it would last until about 6:30/7 when I could take another pill with dinner and cross my fingers it would take me through the night. This regimen seemed to be working. There were far fewer occurrences of debilitating heartburn and I was able to pack a lunch without dread.
However, as the baby continues to grow and run out of space, she continues to impede my normal digestion. Or maybe my body is acclimating to the drugs? I’m taking pills earlier and earlier, and have started supplementing with some additional TUMS at night. I try to minimize my intake. I try to really evaluate what is happening, when I last ate, when I expect to eat again, and take pills and tablets or not as I deem necessary. But the last 4 months of learning how to manage my heartburn is totally useless at this point because nothing makes any sense anymore.
I ate cheesy peas last night. Cheesy peas and baked beans and salmon. I took my pill about 30 minutes before eating and felt fine most of the evening. I sat up straight as can be to aid in digestion. I stood up and swayed when I felt constricted. I waited three hours before I went to bed and then I stayed on my left side as much as possible and gave my belly as much room and support as possible without squishing or pinching. Within minutes, I could feel the familiar heat start to rise in my chest. I sipped some water, tamped down the awareness, and tried to concentrate on my book. The longer I read, the harder it was to ignore the feeling. I finally decided at about 11pm to take one TUMS with some water and hope that it would take the edge off so I could settle and sleep through the worst of it. It mostly worked, until about 1:30 that is.
*WARNING* this part will be gross*
At 1:30am, I shot up in bed (which just goes to show the violence of the event). My 37 week enormous belly that inhibits my movement so much I usually require a kick start or good push and strategic roll to get out of bed was impacted with such force that I sat straight up with no assistance; simultaneously coughing and spewing stomach acid across the room, choking on the bile and bits of cheesy peas that came up with it. It was pretty epic y’all, like Exorcist style.
*Gross part over*
I took two more TUMS, downed an entire glass of water and paced around the bedroom for a few more minutes. I won’t lie, I cried a little.
When I woke up this morning, I still had heartburn. How, I don’t know. I took the maximum (strength and amount) of everything yesterday and hadn’t even sniffed at food yet. I took my first pill on the way to work. I still feel the very faintest of sting at each swallow, still feel the bubbles rise in my throat. I have a prenatal appointment scheduled for tomorrow, so I might ask them again for that other pill recommendation and see if I can’t combine even more OTC meds in the hopes of making it through these last few weeks.
I understand why women hate this month. This is the worst month. This evolutionary eviction notice is definitely appropriately timed. It’s Tuesday y’all. I allegedly have only two more Tuesdays. I hope my esophagus can make it that long.