39 Weeks Pregnant and Falling Apart!

Updated on January 18, 2008
K.H. asks from Rowlett, TX
32 answers

I'm 39 weeks pregnant - my due date is January 21st - and over the weekend, I started having circulation issues. My feet have swollen before and my legs have cramped before, but its always gone away quickly. I had a busy week last week and Saturday was busy too, so my ankles swelled and I didn't think much of it. I had foot surgery a few years ago and my circulation in my feet hasn't been the same since. Yesterday, though, my legs were killing me and my feet were still seriously swollen. I got this horrible cramp in my ankle - which has never happened before, and it turned my foot all crooked and killed. I thought I had broken my ankle, or could break it if I tried to step on it! I stayed in bed with my feet up most of the afternoon and evening, but then last night I woke up several times with legs and arms totally numb! This morning, my ankles are almost down to normal, but still slightly swollen, and even as I sit here with my legs propped up, my legs still ache.
Last week, I went to the doctor on Wednesday and she said the baby still had not engaged. I'm wondering if he could have over the weekend and its cutting off circulation to my legs somehow. The baby is still moving frequently, but differently than before. He seems to be in a new position.
Anyway, sorry this is so long, but I'm just wondering if this is normal. I normally have very low (its even been out of range low before pregnancy) blood pressure, so my doctor hasn't worried about preeclampsia before, but could it be happening now? I don't go back to see her until Thursday, so I'm thinking maybe I should just call and she what the nurse thinks.
Thanks for all the help!
K.

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So What Happened?

Thank you so much for all of the wonderful advice. I work at a school, so after my post yesterday, I went to the school nurse and had her check my blood pressure. It was 113/68, so still really low. We talked about how I had such a busy weekend after a full week of school (I had 2 weeks off just before for Christmas), and that could cause the swelling and achiness. As I continued through the day with my legs up, they got much better and I'm feeling great today...I even slept well and without numbness! Baby is still moving well, so I'm feeling good about it all. Maybe my body is just telling me its ready to have him soon! Thanks so much again!

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B.H.

answers from Houston on

HI K.! I had the swollen ankles and all at the end of my pregnancy as well. Also, my baby did not want to get in position either--- so I can sympathize!!! My suggestion is to keep propped up, and do what the doctor is telling you to do... you are almost there!!!!! I know what you mean about the changing in the movement---that means he knows that he needs to do something but will he??? My daughter never did and I ended up being induced---but she did fine and we are great--- I never did pregnancy again, though!!!! Good Luck and I want to hear all about him when he gets here!!!!

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L.F.

answers from Austin on

Call your doctor now! You may have to go into the ER. At the very least you need lots of fluids and get your pressure checked. Please don't wait.

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K.B.

answers from Dallas on

When I started to feel the way you described...I swelled up, although I had no blood pressure issues, etc...pretty easy pregnency-no problems, and everything just got really hard to do...I had the baby just days later (even though exams didn't show I was anywhere close).

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T.E.

answers from Houston on

I would call the dr. good luck w/your delivery. I don't know you but I hope everything goes well for ya'll. Please remember drugs are o.k. during labor. The brave ones GET the drugs!!
Good luck!

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W.R.

answers from Houston on

Please call your doctor!

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L.B.

answers from San Antonio on

getting a massage by someone who is experienced in lymph drainage can be very helpful!

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J.W.

answers from Dallas on

if it were me, i would definitly call - my nurse knows me very well now - i called many many times and she did not mind at all

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H.B.

answers from Dallas on

Call the nurse and see if they want to see you earlier this week. Sometimes complications can set in quickly, and they may be able to provide some more advice. I'm swelling up already at 31 weeks this time (argh) and I'm supposed to elevate my feet above my heart when I sleep to try and help that extra fluid flow back down.

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E.D.

answers from Dallas on

I hope by now you called and have a plan to be seen.
The last few weeks are uncomfy for sure... The cool thing is, it's ALMOST over... you'll see that baby soon! YAY

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J.R.

answers from San Antonio on

K.,
If ever you have any questions ALWAYS call your doctor!
I am not much of a doctor person, but I loved my OBGYN!
She was so loving and reassuring!

Good Luck to you!

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T.L.

answers from Beaumont on

Ask him to check your potassoium ASAP---like tomorrow morning call his office. About 5 months ago, the same exact thing hapened to me but I was not pregnant. I could not feel or even move my hands. My hands were in the fetal position and would not move. I could not feel my head, legs, etc. The ambulance took me. Of course, I had the smart young paramedic who told me to just calm down I was having an anxiety attack. I lost my religion with him. When we got to the ER, my potassium was 2. FYI--optimum is 5.5 They told me I had an hour and a half to live if I had not come. I went to cardiac ICU because they can only give you potassium so fast because it effects your muslces and your heart is a muscle. I pray that I am wrong. But I urge you to push the doctor to check it. I know he is the doctor but you know your body and trust your instincts when something seems wrong. Best of luck. You are in my prayers.

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G.L.

answers from Abilene on

call and go the the dr or er immediately, you could have low potassium levels and that is serious for you and the baby. It can cause heart attack and strokes! I have the problem taking water pills for my high blood pressure, so please see the doc right away.
God Bless you and yours

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L.M.

answers from Longview on

I would so call my doc to get her opinion. They might just want to check you out. Remember it's better to be safe than sorry. Hang in there you're almost to the finish line

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T.B.

answers from Houston on

I dont want to scare you, but this exact thing happened to me...it is serious and you need to go to the doctor...do NOT wait till Thursday! It sounds like you could have high blood pressure and they MAY need to induce. By waiting, you are only putting yourself and the baby in danger...at this point in your pregnancy, it is always best to be sure than to wait and see.

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S.L.

answers from Dallas on

I have 3 kids and with my second I had that problem. It sounds like your baby is sitting on you siactic nerve. I'm not sure if that's the correct spelling but that can cause alot of pain in your legs and all the way down to feet. The swelling could be an onset to preeclampsia, if it's that bad. I had PIH with two of my kids and I had the high blood pressure and swelling real bad. Do you see stars like when you get up because that is also a sign. Also you can kinda tell if your blood pressure is up because it can cause headaches and breathing is alittle harder. You should call your doctor and ask because you are 39 weeks so you could be getting close and your body might be telling you it's time. Hope this helps.

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K.R.

answers from Houston on

Wow, if I didn't know better, I would have thought I would have written this myself. I had my fourth child last year and this had never happened before. At 39 weeks my doctor said that she thought the baby was still not 6 pounds and that she wouldn't induce even though I felt like killing someone or myself. She said the baby was on a nerve and that everything I was feeling would go away in a day or so. I have low blood pressure and circulation issues, too, but it had nothing to do with it. It lasted another two days until I went into the doc's office and yelled at her to strip my membranes or I would find another doctor. She reluctantly did and I went into labor in the middle of the night - giving birth to a 9 lb 6 ounce baby. Her large size probably had something to do with the lack of room and crowding in on my pelvic nerves. As soon as I had her, the electric shocks went away. Keep in there - it sounds normal to me, just exceedingly unpleasant.

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L.M.

answers from Dallas on

Hang in there...I was swollen like tick!! If you really have concerns, it's always best to call your doctor. Just a few more days this misery will be over and you'll have your sweet little bundle in your arms! God bess you and your baby.

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T.O.

answers from Dallas on

K.,
The last few weeks of pregnancy SUCK! That's nature's way of convincing us that labor is a good thing. We can't be glowing and feel wonderful the entire time. Otherwise we might want to hang on to the babies as long as possible(especially once you know how much work they are outside the body!).

The numbness happens, I had it and it's awful. Just try to stay horizontal as much as you can. It'll be over soon enough. Drink water, rest, call the doctor's nurse for advice and rest some more.

Good luck!

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J.A.

answers from Houston on

Yes! I would call her especially if you are having any vision disturbances. I always say go with your gut feeling and it never hurts to check and make sure it isn't anything serious. I would call right away.
----Best of Luck!
J.

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D.B.

answers from Dallas on

I would definitely call your doctor. Preeclampsia is not something you want to risk. Most doctors would rather see you and make sure it isn't something to worry about. Good luck!

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S.

answers from Dallas on

Call your doctor and let them know that you want to come in....They should have no problem fitting you in and it will totally ease your mind.

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B.P.

answers from Dallas on

call! i learned that this close in if you feel even slightly funny or even question wheather you should call, call. it could very well be that the baby has engaged and is putting all kinds of new pressure on new places, you'll be much more comfortable if you know for sure.
by the way my feet and ankles looked like footballs for the last 2 months of my pregnancy and my son and i were just fine, it probably isn't a thing to worry about, but do call. good luck, -samantha

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K.F.

answers from Waco on

Hi K.,
I would probablly call the nurse & see what she thinks. You can't be too cautiuos. I swelled and did'nt have blood pressure problems till I went into labor. So just call that is what they are there for!
Good luck & God bless,
K.

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S.E.

answers from Austin on

Hi My name is Sam I am a midwife. I am not going to tell you you shouldnt see or call your Dr, If you are concerned you should. But i would like to tell you that preeclampsia DOESNOT START at 39 weeks. That swelling is not the same. WWWHYYY big sigh of relief because eclampsia is life threatening. You may need to increase your calcium/mag or you may need to go ona liver helper like chlorophyl and activated charcoal. If you would like some info call me I would behappy to give you some info. HANG IN THERE MAMA! You can only have this baby 1 time! Sorry for typos Im getting used to my new MAC/
S. E.
wholistic Midwifery
###-###-####

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B.G.

answers from Dallas on

Have you gained more than 5 lbs. this week? If so call your doctor now and let them know. Either way call you doctor, that's what you are paying them for!!!
B. G

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M.R.

answers from San Antonio on

Just wondering if your doc checked you for a blood clot. A little scary- i know but treatable -it just needs to be caught right away. I had a blood clot in my leg with my third baby and everything turned out just fine. Good Luck!

A Little about me:
34 years old, married for 11 years with three children 10, 7 and 4- all girls.

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C.T.

answers from San Antonio on

I had the same thing. No preeclampsia (all tests normal) and low blood pressure also. Yes, your circulation is being cut off. Stay off your feet and keep them elevated. My feet are now mottled (blue and purple) with permanent nerve damage. My feet still hurt and my child is 10 years old! Too late for me, the damage has been done. good luck.
C. R.N.

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S.W.

answers from Amarillo on

You are in the final stages of pregnancy. Question, were you able to bend over and not see your feet and now you can? If you can see your feet, the baby has "dropped" into position for delivery. If you have had extra activity inside, then the baby probably did drop and you will feel a bit sore. When you do a lot of activity near the end, you will swell and be tired, your body is carrying 2 people around. Get as much rest as you can and prop the feet up when possible. Call your doctor if it will make you feel better. My other question is, do you feel like a puppet in the leg joints, they sometimes feel very loose? If so you are preparing for the delivery and it shouldn't be too much longer -- only baby knows. S.

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C.P.

answers from Austin on

Dear K.,
I am a nurse.It is not uncommon to have leg cramps or some swelling. But If propping your legs and still having leg cramps, you need to see your Ob/Gyn. It could also be
pre-eclampsia,a serious condition, and needs to be treated immediately or it could just be leg cramps. You are carrying around some extra weight these days. But to be on the save side, see your doctor.
C. P.

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T.W.

answers from Amarillo on

CALL THE DR!!!! I was maybe a little too worried about everything when I was pregnant, but this could be serious!!! That is what the dr. is there for! You've never been through this before so you don't know what is normal and what is not. The good thing is, if it is something, like preclampsia, you are far enough along that the baby will be just fine if they take it now. PLEASE call the the doctor now! Let us know how it turns out!
T.

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E.M.

answers from San Antonio on

K., you should be resting two to three times a day. The last days of pregnancy are the hardest. If you lay down do it on your left side that is so your blood circulation flows better and you are helping your heart as well. When you sit down try to put your feet up. You should always call your Doctor if you have concerns. I hope this helps. Take care and good luck.

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A.H.

answers from Dallas on

I don't mean to alarm you, but you need to get to the doctor. Swelling like that can be very serious. I had prefect blood pressure through out 2 pregnancies and then the last month of my 3rd, everything went bezerk! My blood pressure problems even came back 2 weeks post partum and I my 4rh pregnancy was fine, but I still have blood pressure problems 3 yrs later.

If you have any vision issues- seeing spots for instance- get to an ER quick. I would definately be calling the doctor's office tomorrow for a nurse visit if nothing else. It can seriously change over night.

My 2nd child got on my sciatic (sp?) nerve a lot and it was like a sharp pain down my leg. I even had carpal tunnel symptoms with my 3rd, with the numbness and tingling. Try sleeping on your left side, it helps with circulation and gastric issues too.

I hope everything turns out well.. I have had early babies and late babies, my first was a week late! congrats and good luck!

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