Pregnancy Journal - Twenty-eight Weeks

This week has been an interesting one. One that merits its own format. Plus I don't really have enough info to use that handy questionnaire. Tuesday was our second anniversary. The Captain met me in the city for dinner and we had a really nice time trying out a new-to-us place.

This week we also started packing for our Winter Beach Retreat 2013. We've made it a tradition to go someplace warm and beachy every winter. We both love and live for this tradition and start planning as we're on the plane home the year before. This year was Aruba. Beautiful warm weather, beautiful beaches, and a continuing education course to make it a tax deduction.

I switched my typical work from home day from Friday to Wednesday so I could be home to accept a UPS delivery and so I could be in the office on Friday to wrap up any loose ends before our trip. I was still fighting that cold, so getting to sleep through what would have been a subway ride was an added bonus. I had a little bout of nausea Wednesday and Thursday was even worse. After six weeks puke free it returned with a vengeance mid morning Thursday. Concerned that I might have picked up the super stomach flu, I requested to go home and finish the day on the laptop quarantined to my apartment. I barely made it off the train when another of my harvested air sick bags came in handy. Don't worry, it's not the Norah virus though I didn't sleep well the next night, opted to take the morning easy and let my boss know I was running late.

The Captain left for work and right before I walked out the door I made my final trip to the restroom. An empty pregnant bladder us much more comfortable on the subway. I'm sure this is TMI, but a little spotting caused me to rethink my plans for the day. I wasn't too surprised because apparently I have a "sensitive cervix", but better safe than sorry especially when we were scheduled to fly out of the country the next morning. I called my midwife's office to find out she was out sick and I made an appointment with one of the OBs. What was surprising was a bit of emotional anxiety I felt when making the appointment (aka: I cried on the phone to the receptionist). They put me down for 11:45 that morning and I notified work of my "pregnancy related" issue and "I'll be working from home again". So grateful that is an option right now.

I had a productive morning and set out for my check up fully prepared to be relieved of all concern. Dr. Pete got my story (aka, minimal bleeding and some achy-ness I attributed to round ligament pain) and he set to work first with an internal ultrasound. If you haven't had the joy of an internal ultrasound, it's quite the experience. The first thing he pointed out was that the baby's head was right up close and personal with my cervix. "Not to give you anything else to stress about" he joked. It seemed like it was not a real concern. Everything looked good, cervical length was 3.3 cm which he said was good. Then he did a culture swab to test for an infection and manually checked my cervix. Well, at 28 weeks I was dilated about 1cm and he said my cervix is soft. Is this a concern? He seems to think so. We talked about my vacation plans. His ideal was that we would cancel so he could put me on bed rest and check again next week. Also, he wanted me to go to the hospital for a 2-round shot of steroids to advance the baby's lung development. At minimum, his recommendation was to go to the hospital for the shot and push our trip back a day so I could get the second shot the next day and get re-checked. Without being able to get a hold of the Captain, who was probably elbow deep in a root canal, I decided to go straight to the hospital and try to contact him before they actually took me back for any treatment. Here's a little plug for private health insurance and employer-supplemented fantastic policy. I would otherwise be racking up the baby bills.

I talked to both of my parents, my mom for her experience with six births and my dad for his medical expertise. Both for emotional support. I finally got through to the Captain and we talked scenarios. We decided to get the shot, do the stuff at the hospital that day and then make a decision about the trip that evening. I told him a weighty factor would be if I was having contractions, which I thought extremely unlikely.

They called me back to triage and hooked me up to the monitors, one for me and one for the baby. My friends, I now know what a contraction feels like and I have been having them for a couple weeks. Braxton-Hicks or preterm?? That I don't know, but I could feel the stronger ones when comparing how I felt with the spikes on the monitor, and the ones I couldn't really feel were short and steadily coming in about every 15 mins. At the end of my 4 hour stay I was still dilated at about 1cm. Awesome. Actually, it kind of amazing what our bodies can do. They gave me IV fluids and sent me home. Oh, my nurse also told me she was dilated to a 1 from 24 weeks on and still worked the rest of her pregnancy delivering at 39 weeks. I left the hospital either very hopeful or in deep denial.

At home that night, Google Scholar became our best friend as we read abstracts for anything we could find on air travel and preterm labor. We pushed all of our travel reservations to Sunday to buy ourselves another day of having to make any decisions. I tried to stay off my feet on Saturday, timed my contractions (about 2/hour and 45-60 secs long) and then went for lunch in Cobble Hill before I was due back at the hospital for the second shot. It was much less boring to have my hubs with me and the monitor didn't pick up any contractions this time. They took a swab for the protein test that can detect preterm labor and checked my cervix for the third time in two days, by three different doctors. Of course there is a risk for "operator error" as my dad called it. Ideally the same person would have checked me every time. Oh well. The last Dr estimated 1-1.5cm.

After much deliberation, all because of me (the Captain was ready to call the trip off right away) we decided to do the responsible parent thing and cancel our vacation. As a happy  side note, Yogurtland just opened in Park Slope a couple blocks from the hospital, so we had to make a stop there on the way home. Saturday night we were on the phone with Delta and Marriott, both were amazing and canceled no questions asked, waived all the fees and wished us a safe pregnancy and delivery. Then we watched Pitch Perfect. It was a pretty great date night :).

So here we are, well I am, homebound for now. Which is so ironic because I feel the best I have felt energy and nausea-wise pretty much this whole pregnancy (could be due to all the extra rest!).

Today I am counting my blessings. I'm grateful that a little minor bleeding caused me to stop and get checked, otherwise we'd have flown to Aruba for a week (ahh to be sunning on the beach) having risked all that comes with air travel (altitude and changes in barometric pressure can apparently be a big deal), best case, absolutely nothing but an awesome vacation...worst case delivering a preterm baby in a third-world country. I would much rather have this little boy cook a little longer and get a lot closer to our due date, and be in the US.

At this point I have no idea what it will mean for the rest of my pregnancy, but I'll keep these updates coming. And let's be honest, I may have a little more time on my hands to be a better blogger again.


Lindsay said...

Oh goodness, Charity! You and that baby hang on! If it counts for anything, I have semi-constant contractions (some Braxton-Hicks, but some likely not, since I dilate early and fast) from the middle of the second trimester all the way up until delivery. And, with the exception of Matthew, I've still managed to deliver full term (early, but full term just the same....and Matthew was huge and healthy when he arrived at 35 weeks, so...). Stay off your feet as much as you can and let me know if there's anything I can do to help!

Auntie Em said...

Hurray for more blogging, boo for all the rest of it. I am glad that you caught it before your trip and I am so very sorry for your hips right now. I had to have the steroid shot with Henry, I could hardly walk afterwards, which I guess was okay since I was supposed to be on bedrest. :)

I am hoping that baby boy decides that inside is better than out at least for the next 9 or so weeks. Thinking about you and willing to chat anytime you're up for it I am stuck at home with Hyperemisis and other nasty junk.