Both pregnancies I’ve had this annoying thing that if I stand for longer than 30-40 minutes, I get lightheaded and am on my way to fainting. I don’t know why this happens, because my blood pressure does not drop very low; last time when my midwife measured it, it was a very average 120/70. Usually this is not a big deal, because if I sit down for a little bit it goes away. But sometimes there’s nowhere to sit, for example when waiting in line at a very busy restaurant that just opened. This happened a couple months ago and I was put on a chair by a colleague just before falling to the floor. Or when waiting in line at the airport, but then I can usually move my legs enough to prevent actually fainting.
Another occasion where you have to stand for this amount of time is when giving a talk about science. That happened yesterday. My talk went very well I think, but a couple minutes into the questions I felt kind of lightheaded. I was hoping it would go away but I felt myself get more and more dizzy and was hoping people couldn’t see anything… At some point, when I realized I wasn’t done answering questions anytime soon and I just had to sit down. So I did, mumbled some apology for it and luckily the two fellow post-doc moms that I knew in the audience looked very understanding. I felt embarrassed, but I guess fainting in front of an entire audience would have been worse. I finished answering questions and the PI that invited me said he was impressed that I came to deliver my talk at 7 months pregnant, so I guess it wasn’t a big deal. But I did leave the talk feeling a bit embarrassed about the situation.