Combining into one post since I was out of town last week & didn't get to post anything.
We had a huge 8-day road trip over these weeks and I discovered that my stamina is definitely not what it usually is. I would CRASH in the evening and fall asleep very quickly. That actually was kind of nice; usually I have trouble falling asleep but most nights I was lucky if I could make it past 10:00.
I tried to be very careful and not overdo it, but a couple of the days I could tell that I probably had. By the time I'd get to the hotel room in the evening I was having lots of pain & even some contractions. Resting on the bed & drinking lots of water seemed to be all I needed however.
I must be looking significantly more pregnant now too, because I had lots of comments during the trip. I'm not quite used to it! And it felt weird being offered some special privileges on one of our tours but by the end of the tour I was glad I'd said yes. I climbed up the 54 stairs at the first tour stop, but took the elevator down and used the elevator on the other stop. There were only a few of us allowed to use the elevator, but I'm glad I could (and I probably shouldn't have climbed them the first time; it wore me out and I had a heck of a time catching my breath!)
It was also somewhat strange to do so much less than normal when it came to loading & unloading the truck when we left & when we'd stop for each day/start up again in the morning. L has a really bad back so usually I try to not leave him with too much stuff, but this time he did most of it. And yes, when we road trip it we don't travel especially light. We each bring a pillow (makes it so much nicer when I have my favorite pillow), I always have a sack full of books to read, he's got his laptop, etc. etc. etc.
One thing I noticed and was slightly concerned about was that I had a number of occasions of feeling really light-headed, almost to the point where I thought I'd faint. I discussed it with my doctor after my return and she said it could have been my blood sugar if I hadn't had enough protein at my last meal. Considering how difficult it was for me to get protein at every meal (carbs are so much more easily accessible, especially for breakfast and snacks), that sounded very likely to me to be the cause, and it reinforced for me how much I need to concentrate on getting enough protein. For someone like me who dislikes many sources of protein, this can be a challenge. I should have brought a jar of peanut butter with me on the trip; I've done it in the past and it would have been a great idea. I also don't know why I didn't think of packing some almonds or walnuts or something similar - they would have been another easily transportable choice.
Still having the heartburn, but the nosebleeds seem to maybe have gotten better. I hope that continues! (I started drafting this email on Thursday evening, and a couple of hours after writing this, I had one of my worst nosebleed ever, since that was the first time I've ever had it where I discovered it by noticing the blood on my shirt. Sheesh, type too soon or something??)
I've been having increasingly bad back pain, and my ob-gyn referred me to a physical therapy clinic. I had an appointment with them this week as well (Wednesday was doctor day for me; I ended up not going in to work at all because of the spacing of my two appointments). Apparently my extremely bad knees (stupid genetics) have led me to have some bad walking/sitting/standing/living practices when it comes to using my leg muscles vs. my back and abdominal muscles. Usually this compensating behavior isn't noticeable for me, but as my abdomen grows bigger and those muscles are otherwise engaged, it's putting more strain on my back & hip muscles which can't handle it. And it's manifesting in severe lower back pain. Or at least that's what I think he was saying. The good news is the doctor was very confident that he could help me, and I'll be visiting him twice a week for four weeks, then probably once a week for another 2 - 3 to learn stretches & exercises I can do, as well as receive treatment. After the baby arrives & I've recovered, I'll probably go back for a few more weeks to work on strengthening some of my underused muscles and stop compensating with some overused muscles. But, it doesn't sound like an unfixable problem or something that would mean never-ending doctor visits. So yay for that.