Monday, April 30, 2007

Hip Pain During Pregnancy (part 2)

Wow, we have been getting a lot of hits from women who are hurting with hip pain in pregnancy. Our first post is currently #5 on Google. I hope you find relief. I know how painful and tiring it can be.

One of the questions I am hearing a lot is "How much calcium?" The recommendations I found were 1200-1500 mg for pregnant women. However, what you ingest and what you assimilate (use) are two different things. Then, there is the matter of what you lose to normal activity.

Sweating in hot climates while doing heavy activity excretes up to 1000 mg a day. You generally lose 250 mg when you have a bowel movement and 100-250 mg to urination.

The absorption (assimilation) rate of ingested calcium is something like 10-30%. 1500 mg with an absorption rate of 30% is only 450 mg. You excrete that much when you go to the bathroom!

When our bodies are assimilating so little and we are using almost as much as we take in, no wonder nutritionists are calling for the US RDA for calcium to be significantly increased. Some feel it should be as high as 5,000 mg.

Our hormones affect how much calcium is circulated in our blood, deposited into our bones and taken from our bones. If your thyroid is off, you could very easily be losing calcium directly from your bones! Along with the hormones, your intake of phosphorous, magnesium, boron, protein, fat and sugar affect calcium assimilation. Exercise and exposure to sunlight also play a role in how calcium is used by your body.

Four or five pregnancies ago (this is my 9th), I started raising my calcium intake until I could tell a noticeable improvement. I take about 2,000 mg in supplements and eat a calcium rich diet. My hip pain decreased quite a bit. I still have aches, but it is nothing like it was. I started sleeping better. The leg cramps went away. And, the "cavity per baby" stopped occurring.

Walk...or waddle :-). A lot. It helps. Avoid sitting and standing in one place too long. I try to change my position often.

I also find relief in making a raised circle with pillows and blankets and lying on it chest down with my belly in the circle. You do not want to put pressure on your stomach. Build it up high enough to support your chest and hips and leave the belly completely free of your weight. use my elbows for support sometimes too. This feels just wonderful! Just being on your hands and knees can relieve some of the backache.

There are tips for relief and explanations as to what the causes can be here and here.

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Your Usefulness to God

Throwing up for multiple times a day for months and months takes so much out of a hyperemesis gravidarum patient. When I do slow down with the vomiting, I can't fully recover my strength or stamina because the baby is using so much to rapidly develop. While I still have some nausea and vomiting, the fatigue is a constant problem. It hinders everything I try to do. Being an active person, it frustrates me to no end. Once the baby comes, I can tell such a big improvement in how I feel, you can't hold me down. I am on my feet and ready to roll.

Throughout the entire pregnancy, I have to rest a lot. Sometimes more than others. Last week, I overdid it for a few hours and paid for it with four days of total exhaustion. That gave everyone who loves me plenty of time to fuss and wag their finger in my direction. I also had a lot of time to wonder just how in the world God could possibly be using me when I am so weak.

I want to glorify Him in all I say and do although I am aware I fall very, very short of that goal. I prayed and asked God to not let me be a waste to Him even though I can't fulfill some of my normal duties. He's an awesome, loving, kind, generous God and He so deserves our best efforts. But, what if our best efforts are skimpy? What about when we are weak and can't do very much?
After that prayer, I had several people contact me to thank me for being a blessing in their life recently. Some were hyperemesis patients who found value in the things I have shared in my own struggles. Others were blessed by something I wrote last year. One told me I had been a blessing to her through her widowhood and she wanted to thank me. Another said I had been a great help in her recent struggles with her child. My oldest son, while reflecting on his quickly approaching adulthood, told me he would miss being with me as much as he is now. Four women thanked me for clothes I sorted, bagged up and gave to them. I am humbled God shared all of this at that time to reassure me.

You know what is wonderful? They were expressing thankfulness God used me in their lives, but God was using them to bless me in a time of uncertainty.

If you are saved by the grace of God and sincere in your efforts to please Him, He is using you right where you are, just as you are.

It's not what you do or how much you do. It's how you do it. He's looking at your heart and making use of your willingness to be a vessel for His work that will be done by Him through you.

2 Corinthians 12:9-10 but he said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for power is made perfect in weakness." I will rather boast most gladly of my weaknesses, in order that the power of Christ may dwell with me. Therefore, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and constraints, for the sake of Christ; for when I am weak, then I am strong.