It's a fancy name for retaining water, and not really in the sense of "oh, wow, I feel fat today" but in the sense of "the climate is confusing my body so bad that my fingers and knees don't bend properly because of how edemic I am." The more you drink, of course, the less trouble you have with this problem. The human body is a funny thing. Somebody's RN mother explained to Joseph that my getting dehydrated could cause premature labor, and he asked me if that was why I drank so much water. I said yes, but if I got so bad that that was an issue, there was a serious problem. I'm still stuck, I told him, at the stage where I drink lots of water so that my fingers stay skinnier than my ankles.
Also swelling, by the way, is the number of people my very own age (or younger!!) who are having babies, going to have babies very soon, or have had a baby within the last six months. Among those I know in the college classes immediately above and below my own, I can name over a dozen mommies without even thinking--and a bunch more if I dig deep. This is cool, and wierd, and wonderful, and wierd. Joe said that he realizes a lot more just how un-normal it all is, though, from being around the other Marines. One of them told him the other day that we "were the first people he really knew personally, his own age, who were having a kid." Wow. And for us and our school perspective, we're actually "behind" the curve by about four months. How funny.