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Photo of the Week 8/21/06

sausage toes
Originally uploaded by megalonychidae.

I love the reality of this photo; sometimes our mother-bodies are shaped by things well beyond our control – complications, preeclampsia, health risks… It’s amazing the things our bodies can survive. In some cases, the marks are left for life, like the rings of a tree. We can look at the scars on our bodies and they tell our biographies for us.

in Featured Photo

20 comments… add one

  • Anonymous Monday, August 21, 2006, 10:11 pm

    OMG could there be some other woman who bloated more than I??Towards the end of my twin pregnacy my party trick was making huge indentations on my upper ankle with my fingers. Freaked them out every time ;) Ahh pregnancy, not for the faint of heart!

  • Megan Tuesday, August 22, 2006, 5:38 am

    I had the same indentation ability. I was soooooooo happy once the ankle thing was over. It was like 70 pounds of water left my body in under a week and I was cankle-free.

  • Jenn Tuesday, August 22, 2006, 8:48 am

    Those ankles could be mine!! Great picture!!

  • Fidget Tuesday, August 22, 2006, 12:43 pm

    my feet looked like that with my 1st pregnancy. We had to cut my flipflops off of my feet!!

  • Mama2B Tuesday, August 22, 2006, 1:11 pm

    He he …. when I first saw the picture I thought it was of cute pudgy little baby feet! I’m only 5 months along at the moment but I’m sure I have pudgy feet to look forward to!

  • Katharine Tuesday, August 22, 2006, 1:26 pm

    I had ankles like that with all three of my full-term pregnancies.

  • Manic Mom Tuesday, August 22, 2006, 2:59 pm

    At first glance, I thought those tootsies belonged to a pudgy little baby!I bet the swelling went down immediately after birth!

  • Leah Tuesday, August 22, 2006, 3:49 pm

    The day after my son was born (my first baby) I looked like this. I didn’t gain much weight while pregnant (12 lbs) and I’d done a lot of reading, talked with friends, etc. and no one told me that I would swell to gigantic proportions AFTER the baby was born. When I walked I could feel the water jiggling in my feet. The nurses just shrugged and said “that happens to everyone” and “the day that swelling goes down you’re gonna PEEEEEEE”. And I too could do the indentation party trick (pitting edema) and it freaked me out completely. I was so horrified and I still can’t believe that no one thought to mention this to me!

  • Melanie Tuesday, August 22, 2006, 4:50 pm

    I LOVE the analogy of tree rings! That gives me a completely different perspective on my aging body, let alone anything that might happen to it due to pregnancy. Thanks so much for sharing!:-) Melanie

  • Erin Tuesday, August 22, 2006, 5:02 pm

    Oh my GAWD – I thought those were infant/toddler feet and thought how cute, look how pudgy that baby is!

  • Kris Tuesday, August 22, 2006, 8:32 pm

    I thought they were baby feet too!! Mine looked like that during my first pregnancy but not my second. Severe swelling and pitting edema was of major concern to my doc and I was told it was toxemia, better known as preeclampsia. They watched me like a hawk. K.

  • Moley Tuesday, August 22, 2006, 10:10 pm

    Those are my feet. I had preeclampsia. Now, a month later, the swelling is finally gone but the groove marks remain as well as half a shoe size, and my legs are, for lack of better word, lumpy from damage caused by the immense swelling. My feet and legs were sore to the touch for 3 weeks.

  • carrie Wednesday, August 23, 2006, 1:45 am

    My feet looked like that AFTER my 3rd pregnancy, sitting in the hospital, hooked up to an iv of something-or-other and a good case of POST ECLAMPSIA! Ugh!

  • Rachael Wednesday, August 23, 2006, 1:21 pm

    I remember looking into the mirror for the first time since being admitted to the hospital for pre-e, and did not recognize the face I saw in the mirror, because I was so swollen. It was very scary and I started to cry.(I was able to avoid it for my second pregnancy.)

  • Anonymous Wednesday, August 23, 2006, 9:07 pm

    I have a similar picture. I have pictures of when I am holding my daughter after she was born, and my arms are swollen, legs are swollen, face swollen. At least, my eyebrows were done! LOL!

  • The Shape of a Mother Wednesday, August 23, 2006, 9:54 pm

    I want to say that preeclampsia/toxemia can very often be controlled by diet. For those dealing with this now (or for future reference, I suggest looking into the Brewer Diet.

  • Anonymous Wednesday, August 23, 2006, 10:35 pm

    Love the blog. Great picture, too–great in the way all the photos here are great; a glimpse into the dramatic places pregnancy can take our bodies! I would like to point out, though, that preeclampsia is not a simple disorder, and that there is no evidence that a diet alone can control it (women have developed the condition while on the Brewer Diet). It is complex disease that can be caused by a number of factors including immune system and blood clotting disorders or undiagnosed existing high blood presure, for example. While an excellent diet is always a good idea during pregnancy, no single diet has been shown to prevent preeclampsia, certainly not ‘very often’ (if it were only that simple!), and it is now believed that PE begins at conception, and that the disorder lies with a breakdown in placental function for a host of reasons. http://www.nytimes.com/2006/03/14/health/14preg.html?ex=1299992400&en=c42a90bf2dbfa818&ei=5088&partner=rssnyt&emc=rssKeep up the good work!

  • The Shape of a Mother Thursday, August 24, 2006, 8:33 am

    Interesting info, Anon. Admittedly it’s been a few years since I studied childbirth education and I had not heard (or possibly have forgotten – d’oh!) the info you mentioned.I do still think the Brewer Diet is something worth looking into and can be a part of a healthy healing plan. I did not mean to imply it was the ONLY way.

  • Anonymous Thursday, August 24, 2006, 2:20 pm

    Sure! There has long been confusion and conjecture surrounding preeclampsia, and in my opinion, has made many women feeling terribly guilty about choices they made during pregnancy. No one is capable of giving herself preeclampsia, period. I guess my reservation about stating that it “in many cases can be controlled by diet” is that the statement might be taken to mean that once symptoms appear, they can be reduced by diet. This is patently false–if a woman has PE, what she needs is quick and experienced medical intervention to monitor her symptoms, and delivery of her baby if necessary. Preeclampsia, PIH, and HELLP syndrome can appear suddenly, and can be fatal for both mom and baby. Again, I agree that a healthy diet during pregnancy is a great idea. http://www.preeclampsia.org/forum/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=3919I think it would be a really interesting topic to cover here–what a lot of people chalk up to ‘normal’ pregnancy water retention and swelling can actually be a sign of something more serious. Preeclampsia is not uncommon, nor is it a sign that a mother-to-be did not look after herself. It is, however, a serious health issue that affects many thousands of women worldwide. Thanks for posting my comment. This is a topic very close to my heart.

  • Anonymous Friday, August 25, 2006, 5:30 pm

    i can honestly relate to the swelling. I had swelling during my pregnancy with my son. I hit the hot summer of 2002 and went up two shoe sizes. Yes it does feel uncomfortable and mine did go away right after his birth i was lucky

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