(Somehow, I doubt this is the first blog post ever with that title…)
I ended up in the hospital today for what to me was a sharp, stabbing pain in my stomach & vomiting. Turns out, that was just normal (dear LORD, how the human race survived when being pregnant feels like this is beyond me). Unfortunately, that was not what the doctors seemed to care about. My temperature was elevated (100.4° F) and my white blood cell count was a little high. After some very skillful negotiating with 2 doctors, I managed to not get myself admitted under a blood oath that if my temperature went above 100.4, I return immediately to the hospital and, if it doesn’t, go straight to my OB first thing tomorrow morning.. Taking my temp right before bed, I came in just under, thankfully.
However, I’ve now been awake since 2:30 am (or probably earlier than that even) with some really intense back and chest pain. I don’t really know what is “normal” as I suspect that laying on a hospital gurney for hours on end may have something to do with this. The worst part is, I really don’t care if there is something wrong with me. I’m easy to fix. I worry about the baby. I don’t know what will hurt it (him/her). I don’t know what is safe for it.
I spent a lot of time yesterday feeling like a bad mother. The baby isn’t even born yet and I can’t take care of it when all I need to do is eat properly, get a bit of exercise, and take a prenatal vitamin (and, you know, no hard partying or jumping in front of x-ray machines or anything). I’ve been having lower abdominal achiness and pressure for a couple of weeks now. I don’t know if it is due to carrying the baby low (my mother’s explanation) or just over-exerting myself. Hubby wants me to quit my church singing gig (even though I know we need the money) so that I’m not doing anything extra outside of my normal work day. All I know is that I feel helpless and too many people keep throwing around the words “pre-term labor” now. I’m scared of bed rest. I’m scared of the NICU. I’m scared of not working (or not working enough at least) and not being able to pay our bills. I’m scared of anything that I’m possibly doing to hurt this baby.
If you ask my husband, I had/have a lot of irrational fears regarding pregnancy. The first being that I would never get pregnant. This was not based in reality (obviously). Most likely, it was a combination of reading infertility blogs/articles and a gynecologist once telling me that I might have endometriosis. Not exactly good indicators of one’s own fertility although it is an excellent indicator of my tendencies toward hypochondria.
Secondly, once I got pregnant, and seeing how suddenly & easily it happened, I was then constantly worried about miscarriage. I know the stats. It wasn’t even about that, really. I just felt like if it could come this easily, it could also go just as easily. Hubby had to talk me off a ledge when I decided that I wanted to rent a Doppler machine. I thought this was the only way to assure myself that the baby was still alive until I could feel it move for myself. Every time I go to the doctor and they check the heartbeat or I get an ultrasound, the only thing I can ever feel is relief. We made it this far. He/she is managing to survive, no matter how much I may be screwing up or how tenuous the whole matter seems to be.
Now, though, things are getting very real. The pressure that I’ve been feeling could very well be Braxton-Hicks contractions – especially seeing as how I can feel my uterus hard as a rock when it happens (and, usually, I can’t find my uterus with a map and a compass). Again, this is something that could be completely normal OR could be a harbinger of doom. Who knows! The pain I’m feeling is probably just round ligament pain (but, “keep an eye on it” the doctor says!). All I know right now is that I need to make it the next 5 hours before I bang down the door of my OB’s office to get everything checked out.