When in Doubt, Call Your OB

This past Wednesday, I turned 30 weeks. I meant to do a Bumpdate post, but well, I was tired and lazy and figured I would just do it on Thursday instead. Thursday morning I woke up with a runny nose and sore throat that just got worse and worse throughout the day. I came home and tried to nap, but it was 84 degrees in the house and the air conditioning wasn’t working.

Around 7:00 pm that evening, I started to have some pain in my lower left abdomen. I figured I probably stretched the wrong way, or it was just ligament pain or something else harmless. I drank a bunch of water, sat down, and waited for it to subside. Except it didn’t. It started to feel more like kidney stone pain or bladder infection pain – it was getting sharper and it hurt to stand up straight or bend over. I’m stubborn, so I kept waiting to see if it would lessen. At about midnight I realized that wasn’t going to happen and there was definitely something suspect going on. I called the after hours number and a very sleepy OB called me back and told me to head over to Labor and Delivery to get checked out. She said it was probably nothing, but she couldn’t rule out contractions over the phone.

Hubby and I got dressed and headed out. The only thing I brought with me was our phone charger, thinking that we may be there for a few hours and Candy Crush would help pass the time, haha. They set me up in a room, had me change into a gown, asked me close to a million questions, and hooked me up to a fetal monitor. Sure enough, I was having contractions but I hadn’t felt them at all up to that point. The resident OB came in to do some exams and discovered that I was about 1-2 cm dilated, which at 30 weeks 2 days, is entirely too much. I was starting to feel the contractions at that point and they were coming pretty regularly.

They continued monitoring me all night and hooked me up to an IV for fluids, thinking that maybe I was a little dehydrated and that’s what was causing the problems (added bonus to that was that all the extra fluids helped knock out my cold!). Let me tell you, it is quite comical to watch a very pregnant lady in only a hospital gown try to get back and forth to the bathroom every hour while connected to IVs and monitors. Hubby had to help me unplug from everything, shuffle to the bathroom, shuffle back to bed, plug me back in, and then I had to try to reposition myself some way that didn’t cause more pain. Every. Single. Hour.

In the morning, my midwife stopped by and told me that I would probably be going home soon and that they would follow up with me during the week. She just wanted to do a quick cervical check first. The resident did one the night before and it wasn’t pleasant, but it was tolerable. The midwife? My goodness. I felt like she had her entire arm inside my body and was trying to rearrange my organs one-handed. If giving birth is anything CLOSE to that, bring on the epidural. Speaking of giving birth, they should really soundproof the delivery rooms. Listening to a woman scream bloody murder at 2:00 am while a nurse is trying to start an IV on me and I’ve just been briefed about preterm labor/the NICU was NOT good times. The nurse told me not to get scared – that lady was also early, but they couldn’t stop her labor and she waited too long to get an epidural. She said that it is entirely different when you come in knowing you are going all-natural (or at least that you’re going to try). It’s an completely different ball game when you plan to feel no pain and that doesn’t happen.

Anyway. The midwife changed her tune once she herself discovered how dilated and effaced I was. She immediately started me on a medication called Procardia, which is actually for blood pressure and cardiac issues, to stop the contractions. It began working almost immediately. Then they broke the news that I would be staying until at the least the following morning AND that I had to get the steroid shots to help baby’s lungs develop just in case s/he insisted on making a grand entrance earlier than we’d like. I got the shot and they moved me to a new room. Hubby and I began texting everyone to update them and then we shut the lights off and tried to get some sleep.

I had a a couple ultrasounds and got to see the baby, so that was exciting! I think the old wives’ tale about the amount of heartburn/acid reflux and a hairy baby must be true because our little munchkin has a full head of fuzz already! S/he was dancing all around and is doing great. The high risk doctor came to talk to us after that and explained about preemies and survival rates and other scary stuff, but he seemed confident about getting me past 32 weeks, when the survival rate goes up to almost 99%. Luckily I have lots of friends who have been there, done that, and they have all been super supportive and encouraging the past couple of days.

I then got shifted over to the postpartum unit once it became clear that I wasn’t going to deliver within the next couple of days, and they removed all of my tubes and wires – yay! My dad and his fiancé stopped by with Wendy’s, Tums, and cough drops (all the essentials, LOL) and I filled them in on everything. They left and went to our place to feed/take care of the cat, who I’m sure was not very happy about missing her morning meal. Apparently she let them have it and told them exactly what she thought about it when they got there!

I had a few more contractions last night, but they think it was just during the in-between time after one dose tapered off and the next dose hadn’t started working yet. I was actually able to sleep, as was hubby since the nice PCT brought him a cot and a bunch of blankets. One of my OBs stopped by this morning and was MUCH more positive and optimistic than anyone else had been this far – and everyone had been REALLY great, she just made me feel much better about everything. She wrote me a prescription, told me I’m on “limited bed rest” for the next two weeks, and to follow up with the office this week to see how things are going. I got my second steroid shot and then we were freeeee! It took stopping at/calling around a dozen pharmacies to get my medication, but we finally found somewhere that had it so I am good to go.

I feel a million times better just being home in my own clothes, showered, and surrounded by my things. We’ve both been napping and taking it easy, trying to decompress from the past 48 hours or so. It could have been a lot worse. I’m incredibly glad I gave in and called the doctor because who knows where we’d be right now if I hadn’t. If you are pregnant and reading this, please call the doctor whenever you think something is not right. It may turn out to be nothing, but it’s always better to be safe than sorry. And on the bright side, we got an in-depth, VIP tour of the maternity center, LOL! We still have a tour arranged for next month, but it’s comforting to already know some names and how things work.

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Bumpdate: 28 Weeks!

IMG_7167There is nothing quite like having to sleep sitting up on the couch because every time you lie down, you burp and vomit up your dinner. The icing on the cake is peeing all over yourself as you’re vomiting at one o’clock in the morning. I nearly choked on my own puke twice last night as I was trying to heave myself out of a bed during a burping/coughing fit, so I’ve notified my best friends that they are in charge of rewriting my obituary to sound heroic instead of pathetic and disgusting. Just in case.

I ended up in the ER last Thursday because I had had a cramp in my calf for over two days and I could hardly walk without sobbing. I expected my OB to tell me it was nothing, but instead she said that she “couldn’t comfortably” tell me that it wasn’t a blood clot. We ended up missing seeing the new Avengers movie at the dine-in theater, but the bright side is that when your OB calls ahead to the ER, you get the royal treatment. I was brought back to a room in a wheelchair and got to fill out my paperwork there, I didn’t have to wait more than maybe 10 minutes for someone to come scan my legs, and the doctor brought me a snack tray because I am “eating for two” even though I told her I had already eaten dinner and wasn’t hungry. The good news is it was just a run-of-the-mill pregnancy cramp and not a blood clot, AND we were out of there in under two hours. That’s got to be some kind of record.

We received our first gifts the other day. One of my high school friends bought us some blankets and a cute duck outfit that I had on my registry. I have nowhere to put them since the baby’s room still hasn’t been emptied of all the nonsense we have stored in there, so for now they are sitting on the kitchen table and I get excited every time I see them.

It is getting MUCH harder to move around and do things now. I need to get up from my desk during the day to lower my risk of blood clots and swelling in my feet, BUT every time I move I get this really fun pelvic pain. I’ve become “that person” who has called the doctor’s office just about every day this past week because some new ache or pain is constantly showing up. So far they tell me everything is normal.

I passed my glucose test! Buuuut, I’m slightly anemic, so I have to add an iron supplement along with my prenatal vitamin. I’m not surprised – I don’t eat much red meat at all, and I’ve been anemic before, pre-pregnancy. As long as I don’t have gestational diabetes or have to take another glucose test, I’m happy!

My First Mother’s Day

Today is my fifth Mother’s Day without my mom, but instead of feeling sad and alone like I have in the past, it has been a joyful day because it’s the very first time I’ve been celebrated as a mother! Our little one isn’t here yet, but I’ve still received lots of well wishes and gifts and congratulations.

We had dinner last night with my dad and his girlfriend – it was meant to be a “Farewell BBQ” at his house since he’s in the process of selling it, but they gave me a lovely card and a gift card to Babies R Us. I’m sure that will come in very handy in the near future as we start to buy the things we’ll need for the baby’s arrival.

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This morning hubby surprised me with a card and a gift – a baby book! It’s funny because I was just looking at them online on Friday and had picked out the exact one he ended up buying me.

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We then went to Mass and they always give out small pots of flowers to all of the mothers. The priests are generous and have always given me one in the past, but today was the first time I actually deserved one! After church, we went to his parents’ house and had a nice breakfast with the whole family, took some pictures, and we came back home so I could nap. We’re going to get chicken parm sandwiches from my favorite place for dinner, and then maybe head out for ice cream sundaes if I’m still awake, LOL.

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Eating for Two

If the movies and TV have taught us anything, it’s that pregnant women are constantly crying, angry, and eating. Although I’ve experienced some of the hormonal rage, the crying and eating haven’t happened for me.

When you start telling people you’re pregnant, well-meaning friends and family will often say that you need to start eating more – and they’ll encourage you to eat everything. However, when you’re dealing with a hyperactive sense of smell that makes formerly yummy things smell like rotting garbage, 24/7 nausea, and heartburn/reflux that feels like your chest is seconds away from exploding into fire, eating is hard work. Add to that the Weight Watchers mentality of unconsciously tracking the points value of every single you put in your mouth, and shifting to “eating for two” is not as easy as it sounds.

It seems like no matter what you do during pregnancy, someone will always have a comment. Gain too much? People will warn you how hard it will be to lose the weight. Gain too little (or at least what they think is too little)? People will push you to eat more and constantly question why you’re not stuffing your face. Once your bump becomes visible, it’s like everything about you and your baby is up for public discussion.

I eat when I’m hungry, and I eat whatever sounds good. If that means cereal for dinner or handfuls of Oreos as an after-work snack, so be it. When even plain water gives you acid reflux, you learn to go with the flow and follow the few cravings you do have. My menu consists mostly of carbs, but as long as my doctor doesn’t see a problem, I’m going with it. I’ve felt guilty for not eating lots of salads and grilled chicken, but I’m doing the best I can and as long as baby and I are healthy, I’m not going to stress about it.

In “bumpdate” news, I am 27 weeks today and baby has been kicking up a storm! S/he decided a 1am dance party was in order last night, so between that and the hot flashes, I didn’t get much sleep. I go for my glucose test tomorrow, and I am irrationally paranoid that I’m going to fail it. I realize there is nothing I can do to ensure that I pass, but I still know I’m going to be disappointed and full of guilt if that sucker comes back positive for GD. I’m also really not looking forward to chugging the horrific flat orange drink I’ve heard so much about, but it is what it is. Slainte!