Monday, September 20, 2010

Feeling faint

Yesterday I took an 18-mile bike ride, probably my last until next spring/summer, and felt great. I smelled the scent of decomposing leaves and cool air, I felt my body move with ease and I was grateful to still have this physical capacity as I near the third trimester. I started to think I could keep riding for a long time more.

I rode to work this morning and while I was pokier than usual, I made it without incident. But shortly after arriving at my desk, I felt faint. I have a history of fainting and I know the signs--the dizziness, the blurred vision and the slow movement towards a loss of consciousness. Usually this happens while standing and the best remedy is to sit down and put my head down. But I was already sitting.

I got up and closed my office door, because I was afraid I was about to faint at my desk. I put my head down for a while. The fainting sensation eventually faded, but I was left with a feeling of nausea. My motivation to be productive was reduced to staring blindly at my screen. A wave of intense fatigue overcame me. I hoped it would pass, but worried how I’d get home if it didn’t. Taking the train would involve a 40 minute walk. Biking would not be easy.

So I decided to catch a ride with Mark while I could and head home right away.

During my last pregnancy I fainted (on the front steps of a Bolivian grocery store), but that was in the first trimester. When I googled fainting and pregnancy, I saw some possible causes at this stage in pregnancy could be veins being pressed upon, lowering the blood supply, and low iron levels. Both could be possibilities for me.

So I slept several hours, trying to stay on my side, and I planned to get some iron – shrimp with baked potato and broccoli tonight, followed by pumpkin pie; big grilled steaks tomorrow. Mark noticed a change in me after dinner. Who knows whether it was the iron, the rest, or just a much-better-than-usual dinner. But I’ll take the treats that come with pregnancy when I can get them.

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