THE DREADED V. V.
The varicose veins they don't talk about
Have you ever heard of vulvar varicosities? If you've a strong stomach, Google it. Be careful who is around if you Google-Images it, though, it is EXPLICIT.
Five seemingly-quiet percent of pregnant women are afflicted with vulvar varicosities--guess who fell into that small percentage?
We've all heard of varicose veins, which I did end up getting as well but not to the degree that some pregnant women anguish from. These are the bulging blue veins that pop up out of nowhere and are tender to the touch--I read one woman had to use crutches for the ones in her legs, can you imagine pregnant on crutches?? I feel for you!
Vulvar varicosities, however, only show up on your labia in the form of two or three gray-blue lumpy veins that get worse the more you sit, stand, lay, walk, basically do anything. I would come home crying and asking my husband if it was always going to be this way, what if they never went away, couldn't I get them removed!
Luckily, there are a few things that can be done to help the pain of vulvar varicosities. A belly band was a life-changer (and oh, how I regretted it if I left home for the day after forgetting to put it on), also warm (not hot) baths with epsom salt and lavender essential oil (I'm not even close to a doctor so check with yours before doing this).
I did attempt using kinesiology tape on my stomach instead of the belly band but just wasn't very good at it. However, my bike shorts were a life-changer. My pediatrician reccomended I get compression shorts to help relieve the pain but the cost of those gave me a heart-attack. My bike shorts worked just fine although they've never be the same again for the actual sport.
These were far from fixes for VV, but it did make the day-to-day a little more bearable. The veins showed up during my second trimester (the bigger the belly, the bigger the veins kind of thing), so I had to find some relief.
The veins did disappear right after delivery, thank goodness.
I'd like to end this musing by enforcing the fact that IT WAS ALL SO VERY WORTH IT. I am ranting about these things because I was not warned and was blindsided and disappointed I could not find the energy to float around in a happy soon-to-be-momma bubble. But, look at that little angel I produced! I wouldn't change it for the world because she is so very perfect. But you can be damned sure I'm going to tell her all my sufferings when she hits her teens years and drives me crazy.