I am very fortunate to say that this pregnancy has been pretty uneventful so far. Other than my hyperemesis gravidarum (something that I expected to happen since I’ve had it with every pregnancy,) which forced me to go on a portable IV for a couple of weeks, the baby and I have been very healthy.
As I entered my second trimester, I started to notice that my varicose vein that was present during the very last part of my last pregnancy had started to show up again. I didn’t mind it at first because it didn’t give me trouble with my last pregnancy and I could easily cover it up during these winter months. That was until I started to notice that the vein started to spread around my knee and more veins started showing up around my calf. Not only were these veins extremely unflattering to the eye, but they were also very painful.
The veins continue to worsen each day. The lower part of my right leg looks battered and bruised. My ankle is no longer present because it is so swollen it’s the size of my calf. The spider veins have moved into my foot, and I have started to feel a numbness and tingling feeling in my leg.
All of these symptoms started to worry me. I know that most varicose veins are purely cosmetic and should go away after the pregnancy, but I’ve never had the pain, discomfort, or numbness associated with it. Especially since it’s only on one leg and not both. I mentioned these concerns to my doctor today and she immediately sent me over to the ultrasound office to have my right leg looked at. While she didn’t think of it as an emergency, she said that it does have some characteristics of deep vein thrombosis (DVT.)
According to the Mayo Clinic, DVT occurs when a blood clot forms in one or more of the deep veins in your body, usually in your legs. Usually the condition can cause pain, but many times it happens with no symptoms at all. Many times DVT occurs to those that are sitting still for long periods of time. I just got back from a trip to Los Angeles last week and was on a plane for over six hours. When I returned from my flight was when my leg was at its worst.
Of course being sent over for an ultrasound right away was unsettling. My doctor said the worst case scenario was that they would send me to the emergency room for blood thinners to help alleviate the clot. It wouldn’t directly affect the baby, but really anything that happens to me is affecting my little guy.
Thankfully the ultrasound technician found no clots in my leg. She followed the large vein that has been giving me trouble and looked over it several times before giving me the okay. I was told to keep my left elevated and keep active every once in a while to keep the blood flowing.
Unfortunately the veins will probably only get worse and more painful as the pregnancy goes on (and I still have 11 weeks left,) but I just have to remember this is all temporary, and soon this will all be over and I’ll be holding my baby in my arms. Knowing that day will soon come makes all of this worth it.
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Read more from Lauren at her personal blog, A Mommy in the City, where she chronicles her life living in New York City with a suburban mentality. For more updates, follow Lauren on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram!