Thursday, May 22, 2008


I don't get out much. At all, really.

But twice in the last 7 weeks of bed rest, I have been allowed to go to my local drug store after my weekly appointment. This is a big outing for me. I get to pick out cards for people's birthdays coming up, I get to pick out a new nail polish (since painting my nails is a weekly hobby at this point), I get to be around people that aren't my husband or aren't wearing white lab coats. Even if it's just for a few minutes. I look forward to this. I spend time on my hair and make up. I plan my outfit the day before.

Yesterday I was browsing the nail section when a middle aged man walks by, turns and stops and says, "When is the baby due?" I was totally taken aback. I haven't been in public hardly at all since 18 weeks pregnant - where I felt I clearly looked pregnant but strangers probably thought I looked chubby. To me, this was thrilling. A stranger asking about my pregnancy! A normal pregnancy moment, something I miss out on daily. So I responded, "August" with a sweet smile.

Then he says, "TWINS?"

No, dickhead, not twins.

Just one baby, and a mom that's not feeling too great about her bed rest body these days. Thanks for taking my glow away.

I think this might be worse than my co-worker saying, when I was 16 weeks pregnant, "Wow, you're going to be HUGE, aren't you?"

Apparently so, just ask the guy at Rite.Aid.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

I should write an acceptance speech...

Why do I need an acceptance speech, you might ask? Or you might not...which would be rather rude, actually.

Because I was accepted into the Pre Term Birth Prevention Program! I really am a mess!

I'm not officially in the program until I complete the orientation class, where we learn all about pre-term labor and the signs (ooooh, they're gonna love me. "I have that." "That happens to me all the time.") and then I'm in. It's pretty much all done over the phone, I'll have my very own perinatal nurse to talk to 24/7 and they'll continue to monitor me through 36 weeks. This means no more "don't pass Go, go straight to labor and delivery" that I get from the regular advice nurses. These God-sends will know my history, know what's going on with me and know what is a concern and what is not.

Not to mention, the program's rates of births prior to 35 weeks is about 3%, where the average population in my state is about 10%.

I'm positively giddy.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

24 weeks

We made it to 24 weeks this past Sunday, which was our first goal on the road to bringing our daughter home safe and sound.

"After this week your baby is officially considered viable. 36% of babies can survive premature birth at 24 weeks - However, serious complications are still possible."

I realize that blurb sounds far from ideal, but when you're put on bed rest at 18+ weeks and no chance of viability, just having a chance is huge. Of course now we need to get to the next goal, which is 28 weeks...and her chances are much better at that point. Then 30 weeks, then 32...hang in there little girl. You need to keep cooking.

In the meantime my OB is trying to get me into the Pre Term Birth Prevention Program. It's a great program that helps monitor very high risk patients from 24 to 36 weeks. My weekly appointments have been pretty good, cervix is holding stable at about 2.7 cm (give or take a bit) and still 50% effaced but no change in a few weeks. I am borderline for meeting the criteria in the program, so my doctor will have to push them to accept me...and they still will likely say no. But it would be a great thing for me. And for all health care officials that work with me - if accepted, I'd only have one nice perinatal nurse to bother with my constant neurosis. That alone would be a big money saver for them.

Just letting everyone know, I will make a conscious decision to NOT wear a white top in any future belly pictures. I do wear other colors.

Saturday, May 3, 2008

Is it any wonder...

...that I'm confused?

Here's the problem. My pregnancy, as my doctor repeated over and over last week, is not normal. "You're not normal!" she screamed. Ok, that didn't happen but it felt like it did.

I have a shortening cervix. I have contractions daily. I have cramping daily. I've had the feeling of pressure since about 14 weeks (at the time I thought it was the baby moving. Yes, the baby that weighed less than an ounce, I thought I could feel it moving and changing position. Thus the feeling of pressure.). I have a dull ache in my back or sometimes a radiating pain in my lower back. I've been bleeding off and on since I was 10 weeks.

So here are the symptoms of preterm labor to watch out for, according to my medical provider:

  • Contractions (CALL if you have 4 in under one hour)
  • Menstrual like cramping
  • Feeling of pressure
  • A dull back ache that doesn't go away
  • Increase in discharge, could be tinged with blood
  • Leaking or gushing fluid from your vagina
With the exception of the last two, I have every symptom and have had every symptom forever. So when I innocently call my provider because it's Friday and I think I might have a bladder infection and could I just get a quick urine test so I don't end up with a raging infection on a Sunday because I refuse to go to the ER for a bladder infection, I get shuffled to the advice nurse. The advice nurse who asks all of the questions she has to ask a pregnant lady, and when all my answers come back yes (Do you have contractions? Er, yeah but I have for weeks. That's not an issue...yes cramping but that's the same. Uh-huh, well the bleeding is because I have a polyp...) she panics and tells me I need to go to Labor and Delivery. Not only that, but she won't let me get a urinalysis done anywhere else because clearly I'm in labor and need to be seen.

I need a "this is not a normal pregnancy" nurse.

Otherwise I'm going to end up in L&D every day, and it's not a short drive to the hospital.

Needless to say, I'm fine. I wasn't even having contractions except for maybe 1 or 2, and the monitor didn't pick them up anyway. I'm not dilating, cervix is about the same, blah blah. It doesn't look like I have a bladder infection, either. I'd much rather be safe than sorry, but I really don't want to hang out in Labor and Delivery unless I really need to.