Saturday, May 24, 2008

Not a fun way to wake up

For some people waking up is never fun. It doesn't matter if you're surprised by the cute puppy jumping on the bed or woken to the singing of the blue jay outside of your window. Some people just aren't programmed to function in the wee hours of the mornings and need a few minutes (sometimes hours) to fully "wake up".

I am not one of those people. I can spring out of bed, start singing a tune and begin my day within minutes of being aroused from my slumber. Ask anybody who has ever had to sleep in the same house with me or work with me in the early morning hours. I'm a morning person through and through.

This last week has been an exception for me. Oh, I was springing up from the bed alright but simultaneously I was screaming in pain, thrashing around, waking up the entire building and begging my husband to have mercy on me and help me. Another fun side effect of pregnancy that many people don't know about...

Leg cramps!

I've always been plagued with the occasional leg cramp in the night but for the most part I can sleep soundly. Maybe once every 3 or 4 months I would wake up with a cramp in my calf that would fling me out of bed in seconds.

This past week has been total leg cramp hell. And it's not just in my calves, I get cramps in my feet, calves, inner thighs and shins...pretty much my whole leg. Sometimes I get them all at the same time!

I've been so good at eating my bananas for my potassium which is supposed to keep these suckers away. I eat at least one a day and sometimes two. I take a multi-prenatal-vitamin so I should be getting enough of everything, all my vits and minerals. I've been reading the magnesium can help keep the cramps away but haven't tried that theory yet. You can bet your ass I'll be doing so today! I've even taken to stretching out before bed like I'm getting ready for a run not for a long nights sleep. Nothing is working.

I really can't pin down which one is the worst. The inner thigh (running from where my leg begins down to my knee) was a surprise for me. I didn't even know you could get a cramp in that muscle! And I REALLY had a hard time figuring out how to get it out! The cramps in my feet are odd but fairly easy to work out. The shin cramps are painful but work out within a few minutes. Yeah, I guess that leaves the calf cramps as the winner of the "sucky cramp" award.

Last night was the kicker with the calf cramps. I slept like baby all night long but was woken up at 5 howling in pain. Actually I was screaming and I quote "OW! OW! OW! OW! OW! Marco please help me! OW! OW! Marco, please please! OW! OW! I can't get it out OW! OW! OW! OW! Marco help me!" Superman did fling himself to my feet and help me get the cramp out but it did take some time. He, half asleep, wasn't as the right angle to push my foot straight up. I also think he underestimated the power and stubborness of a cramped calf. He was pushing my foot up, trying to stretch the muscle but he was sleepily sitting at a strange angle (imagine that) and was pushing my foot up and to the side causing the cramp to move to just one side of my calf yet started another cramp in my shin. At the exact same moment I received the gift of a third and fourth cramp in my other leg in both my shin and my foot.

As I continued to yelp in pain and give instructions between OWs (yes I know, I'm a control freak) I finally got it out that he was pushing my foot crooked and with one final fed up and adrenaline filled attempt he straightened up my foot, pushed it to the ceiling and alas my calf was free. I hobbled out of bed immediately as to keep my foot at a 90 degree angle, staving away the cramp. Standing and a few slick movements later, all the cramps in both legs were gone. Ahhhh.

Of course who can sleep after that? Then you get what I like to call "ghost cramps". It's like aftershock of an earthquake where your leg starts back down that bloody darkened path to cramping just enough to remind you of the pain but not enough to send you into a rubbing, shouting frenzie quite yet. It's also just enough to keep you awake. All my thrashing, hooting and hollering also woke up the baby, who happily kicked and punched me for the next 20 minutes.

I don't know what I'm going to do about these cramps. I'm afraid to go to sleep because I don't want to accidently stretch, cramping up my muscle and starting the cycle over again. If any of you have any suggestions I'll gladly take them! Now today I feel like my legs have been beaten and are bruised. Good thing I only have 58 days left (give or take!).


Leslie said...

hmmmm - are you really hydrated? I have found during my pregnancies, that if I don't drink enough water, that I'm more apt to get the cramps in the night. Totally NOT FUN!!

Susan said...

I'm confused. I thought that this was a weight loss blog. But it seems more like a pregnancy diary.

Angie said...

I never had leg cramps during my first two pregnancies, but I had terrible ones during my third. I asked around what the cause would be and solution and I found the only thing that helped them, was to have my husband urinate on my calves. I know it's gross, and I don't know if it will work for everyone, but it did for me.

GeorgieGirl said...

Ohmy goodness! OWIE... hopefully those leg cramps don't continue.

(bills)clare said...

i've heard that standing up right away and drinking some tonic water will fix them, but for prevention: bananas, water and milk.