Two days ago, I nearly didn’t go to my OB appointment. I had a REALLY bad weekend, depressed and in pain and just wanted to ignore everything baby related. Mark was trying to get me to go, and he was even going to take time off work to come with me, but I just felt that it would be pointless, and I wanted nothing more than to ignore it and just get ourselves ready for our trip to Utah the next day.
After a morning of decidedly angry thoughts and a bout of laying in the fetal position behind the sofa (I’m so grown up, aren’t I?), I finally grabbed the keys and walked out the door, ignoring Mark’s parting words of, “I love you….”
I got in the car and drove myself 20 minutes to the doctor and cursed silently when there was no parking available out front. I am not very good with the town of Celebration and have been lost repeatedly, despite it being like Mayberry. I finally found a spot a couple of blocks away, though signs all around warned that any cars left there past 2 PM that day would be towed. My appointment was at 11:40, so I wasn’t too concerned and walked back to the office to see my doctor.
My plan for the visit was simple – I needed to talk to her about the depression I’ve had and the pain. I wanted also to see if she might have a recommendation for something I could take for the anxiety I was feeling about our trip to Utah. I am not a good traveller, so I figured it best to ask for help on this occasion.
In the back of my mind, I was also a bit nervous because I am coming up on 30 weeks and that’s when a lot of the problems started in my last pregnancy. I was determined not to bring up the fact that I went into labor at 33 weeks last time, as I wasn’t sure she would be appreciative of our travel plans if I reminded her.
Of course, none of this mattered. Once I’d done my obligatory urine culture, I was sent to a room to wait for my OB. When she came in, her first question was “Are you still having pain?” Obviously a couple of weeks ago, I’d called in for an appointment due to the pains I was having, and I’d been sent to the Labor and Delivery ward for tests. They’d all come back negative, and I was sent home and told to relax and it was just regular pregnancy pains.
I responded that yes, I was still having pains, but I was dealing. She asked if I was having contractions, and I again said yes, but that I knew from before not to freak out, as they were just Braxton Hicks. Even though some of them were more painful, mostly they were just uncomfortable.
That’s when she dropped the bombs on me.
Reading from my chart, results from the hospital visit plus the reports back from my high risk OB, it turns out that NOTHING was what I thought it was.
Firstly, the Fetal Fibronectin test that I’d had done at the L&D ward (which tests for imminent delivery) had actually come back POSITIVE. My doc explained that a negative test rules out the risk of labor, but a positive test isn’t as conclusive. A number of things COULD cause it to be positive, so it’s not a great indicator.
Secondly, at my November scan, my cervix was a healthy 5+ cm long. But on my December 3rd scan, it was only 3.5 cm long. The next day, December 4th was the day I went to L&D, and on that occasion my cervix was only 2.7 cm long. My cervix was shortening at a rapid pace, which is a very bad sign and can mean you’re in danger of early labor.
Finally, the BH contractions I thought I’d been having were not normal. I was told I’d need to be hooked up to the monitors to find out exactly what was going on there. But first she wanted to measure my cervix again.
In a lucky turn of events, when she did a vaginal ultrasound, she found my cervix to be a much healthier 4cm, which was a relief. Perhaps we were reversing our problem.
But when she hooked me up to the monitors, I almost immediately had a major contraction, caught and recorded for everyone to see. Not good. In the space of 30 – 40 minutes, I had five more contractions, only one of them quite as big as the first, but no less scary.
I was told by BOTH of the OBs who practice at my clinic that I should be in the hospital, but because my cervix had elongated again, I would be allowed to go home and be on bed rest, providing I come back for weekly monitoring AND that I take the medication they were prescribing three times a day. As before, this is not a medicine that is known to be safe in pregnancy, and it is generally used for high blood pressure. But my doctor said that it should help stop the contractions.
I was also told that I would be taking my life and that of the baby’s into my own hands if I got on a plane and went to Utah. I was told that I should NOT go. And that if Mark went, he would need to take Dexter with him, as I could NOT be left alone with the baby due to needing to relax completely.
As you can imagine, I was beyond upset. I knew what it meant to Mark to go home for the holidays. He hasn’t seen most of his family in 2.5 years, and we were both supposed to be members of his sister’s wedding party, as well. I dreaded telling him the news. Part of me was scared that he would go without me, and the other part of me was terrified that he wouldn’t!
In the end, when I got home, I was in tears. I explained everything, and without even saying anything to me, he went and called the airline and got the tickets cancelled. He then called all his friends and family and let them know what was going on and that we wouldn’t be able to get there after all.
I think both of us have broken hearts, but right now, it’s all about the baby. Keeping pregnant is the most important thing, and we are going to do whatever the doctors suggest to make sure we give him the best possible chances.
So for now, I am stuck in bed for the foreseeable future, and I’d love to hear any stories or anecdotes from anyone who has been through anything similar. Help me to feel better! And give me a nice distraction! 😉