Which is, how do you say: not. good. at. all.
It was the first clue that I had preeclampsia (or pregnancy induced hypertension).
The cure is to not be pregnant anymore. In other words, delivery.
But the immediate band-aid—to lower the blood pressure so that the mother doesn’t seize and so that she and her nugget inside don’t kick the bucket—is to be put on the Mag Drip. Otherwise known as an intravenously steady push of Magnesium Sulfate. Otherwise known as epsom salts. Otherwise known as a mineral that relaxes your muscles lovingly in the bathtub, but renders you unable to lift even a finger when it comes in via needle.
The weirdest thing, though, was that it made me hot. I was as red as a lobster and I felt like I had hot tomato soup running through my veins.
After Sophie came out and my blood pressure dropped and the IV was removed, it all (the muscle incapacitation and the tomato soup) went away.
For days and then weeks and then months and then years, I’ve experienced a random hot flush of tomato soup up my right shin. Not my left leg, not even my whole leg. Just my right shin. Like a phantom.
It still visits from time to time. Like today. Sitting at my desk. Working. Stressed. Heart pounding. Chest so tight, I think maybe the two sides of my rib cage might be trying to fuse together.
And there’s the phantom flush. Fairly steady all day. Like a whisper over that sharp bone—the one that you’ve rammed into the same damn coffee table at least 15 times, the one that hurts so bad tears hit your eyes every time. And it says, slow down—breathe—learn and move on—keep going—trust…or this soup won’t just be in your leg.
Image credit: Daniel Slaughter