Posted by: DD | June 30, 2008

FOCUS FETTERED BY FINGERS

I had my third NST as well as another ultrasound to measure fluid levels. Everything is still normal as far as the baby is concerned. Not so normal is the worsening of the carpal tunnel, especially in my left hand.

Imagine running your finger tips over some low grit sandpaper. At first it probably doesn’t hurt, but if you keep doing it over and over again eventually you’re going to feel first irritation, and then pain. The first two fingers and thumb tingle non-stop; flexibility is severely limited and performing simple tasks is becoming more difficult because of how weak my hand is. I can’t even insert my left ear-plug using the left hand. YOU try doing that with the opposite hand and you’ll quickly discover it’s not as easy as you would think. Additional suckage? It’s not just when I sleep anymore. It’s all day. Yesterday I sat with an ice pack wrapped around my wrist and hand to see if I could bring some comfort. Unfortunately, it didn’t help in the slightest.

My concern now is that it won’t diminish after Murdock is born, and that the damage has become more or less permanent (OB stated that if it doesn’t go away, it’s not related to the pregnancy). If my hand has become less than useful now, I’m worried about caring for a newborn if the tunnel remains blocked after the delivery. Then I will have to try to figure out when to have surgery while caring for said newborn since I’d want to get it done before returning to work in September.

It’s all speculation of course, using the worst case scenario, but what I thought was going to be a simple inconvenience has now become potentially serious.

I tell myself frequently that caring for a newborn with one useful hand is better than not having a newborn at all, right? I give myself reality checks frequently. Don’t even ask how many times I’ve worried myself almost sick about a stillbirth, especially after extended periods of quiet from Murdock. I also worry if it’s possible for an unborn to suffer from shaken baby syndrome…

I would like to write more about those fears, but something inside me makes me wonder if I’m not just trying to stroke my own ego when I should be focusing instead on the continuing preparations of the birth of Murdock and on just how lucky I am to be at this moment, especially when I am noting yet another of my shoulda/woulda due dates (Wolf) for myself, but the dates of a couple of other bloggers still either waiting or who have decided to put the painful processes of treatment behind them.

Par for the survival guilt-trip, I guess. I can’t imagine that it’ll ever go completely away.

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Responses

  1. Amen for the survival guilt trip. I feel you. And I’m so scared to even ADMIT that I’m pregnant. Does that ever go away?

    It hasn’t gone away for me, that’s for sure. I still answer, “When are you due?” with “IF everything goes right, in XXX weeks.”

  2. Unsolicited assvice here — have you tried going to the chiropractor for your hands? I know it sounds weird but I had horrible trouble with my hands/fingers going numb and going to the chiro actually did help.

    Survival guilt sucks. I don’t think it ever goes away.

    As long as I know one blogger who didn’t reach the goal they set out for in building their family, I will always feel that pang. ~DD

  3. No definitely doesn’t go in my experience. I’m coming up for one of those dates too – I feel so self -indulgent in thinking about it when I am lucky enough to have two here who could do with my full attention.

  4. I can imagine it never going away. I still can’t say “pregnant” out loud to people and I don’t much like thinking it or seeing it in print either when it relates to me. Partly it’s survivor’s guilt, but a lot of it is that things still feel so uncertain.

  5. If unborn babies could get shaken baby syndrome then both of my kids would have had it and no one said anything about it to me when they arrived. 😉
    I don’t think you ever forget the “What If They Had Made It” dates. You aren’t alone in that.
    As for survivor guilt, yeah, got that too. Neglecting my blog and many friends in Blogland because of it. You unfortunately can not get rid of me. MMMWWWAAHHAHAHAHA
    Love ya and can’t wait for the little bundle to get here.

  6. Just a quick note to say that I had pretty horrible carpal tunnel with my first pregnancy and like you I was terrified that it would never go away. It didn’t disappear immediately after delivery, but within 2 weeks or so it was almost completely gone and by 4-5 weeks it had disappeared.

  7. You may not remember this from your first pregnancy, but all of your swelling doesn’t go away as soon as you have the baby. It can take a couple weeks for ankles to return to size and wrists to return to a useful state. So, if they don’t feel better as soon as you get home, don’t panic. It doesn’t mean the damage is permanent.

  8. What does the above commenter mean the swelling takes a couple of weeks to go away?!? I want my ankles back NOW!

    I hope your wrists feel better soon after birth.

  9. I had bad carpal tunnel while pregnant. While de-pregnantized, like now? It’s worse. I’d say hi thee to a doctor to get it sorted.

    Also, for those of us non-US type folk who want to buy Murdock a little something but can only go through places that take non-US payment (unlike Target and Babies R Us), are we people you might want to email with your name and address? Like, so we can send Murdock gifties, not so that we can sign you up to adult bed-wetting support programs?

  10. If you’re getting muscle weakness, that’s more of a concern than numbness, but I guess it’s all wait and see after Murdock arrives.

    Fingers crossed it resolves on its own.

    J

  11. i don’t think the survival guilt ever fades….just like the pain of IF itself.

    i had horrific carpal tunnel during my pregnancy. so bad that i was put on medical leave a month before my mat leave started. my hands and wrists started to feel better almost immediately, but it took a couple of weeks for them to truly recover, but recover they did. i hope you have the same experience.

  12. When I was pregnant with my subsequent baby, I was always so aware of trying not to look “blissed out” so that infertiles or loss mamas wouldn’t feel pain when I passed them in the grocery store visibly pregnant. I wanted to get a shirt that read, “my first baby died, don’t be jealous of me, I earned it”. I felt guilty too. You’ve earned it, but it’s nice that you are sensitive to others.

    I hope the carpal tunnel clears up also. I had numbness that came and went during pregnancy, and nothing now. HTH

  13. My carpel tunnel was so bad that I had electric shocks when I reached for things. It is gone now. I did physio after the birth and it helped a lot.

  14. Many, many years ago, when I was pregnant with my son, I had the same carpal tunnel symptoms. They went away almost entirely within a month after delivery. (the “almost” is because, while I have no problems in day-to-day life, the tingling and weakness do come back when I drive for long periods of time — say, more than 2 hours)


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