Saturday, December 3, 2011

pregnancy update: week 30

 Pregnant women! They had that weird frisson, an aura of magic that combined awkwardly with an earthy sense of duty. Mundane, because they were nothing unique on the suburban streets; ethereal because their attention was ever somewhere else. Whatever you said was trivial. And they had that preciousness which they imposed wherever they went, compelling attention, constantly reminding you that they carried the future inside, its contours already drawn, but veiled, private, an inner secret.
-- Ruth Morgan

I've had an interesting past few days, as far as my pregnancy is concerned. On Thursday morning, I took a solo trip to Walmart to pick up some ingredients so I could make my sick little babies some homemade chicken soup. Of course, I ended up buying way more than I intended. This means I spent more time walking through the huge store. About halfway through my journey, I noticed that my stomach kept getting tight, like I was having contractions.

I figured it might be Braxton Hicks, but then I noticed they kept coming. I finished up my shopping trip and headed home. I tried to relax for most of the day. I ended up just doing some writing, nothing too physical. Then, I went to pick up Luciana from school and as I was waiting in the car for her, I noticed the tightening sensation was now accompanied with a crampy feeling. I immediately knew these were real, although weak, contractions and I was probably going to have to take it a bit more seriously. At least I knew I should be paying attention to frequency and intensity, if anything. I went home and started making the chicken soup, which means I was on my feet for a bit of an extended time. I was definitely feeling them, and they seemed to be coming about every 7 minutes or so, but they were definitely consistent. Uh-oh, I thought.

These are the signs of preterm labor:

  • Contractions (your abdomen tightens like a fist) every 10 minutes or more often
  • Change in vaginal discharge (leaking fluid or bleeding from your vagina)
  • Pelvic pressure—the feeling that your baby is pushing down
  • Low, dull backache
  • Cramps that feel like your period
  • Abdominal cramps with or without diarrhea
No, I didn't have diarrhea, don't worry. When I was pregnant with Roslyn, I had my first experiences with preterm labor. I was in the hospital on three separate occasions for it. Each time, I had to receive 2 injections of Terbutaline, which stops the contractions if the doctor decides that the proper conditions for labor aren't present. In my case, labor was starting too early. The first time I went in was around 26 weeks, the second time I believe I was around 34 weeks and the third time I was about 36 or so, and my labor wasn't progressing.

Terbutaline isn't fun. It makes me shaky, causes my heart to race, and it tends to give me a headache the next day and make me feel spacy. I have to be honest about my feelings and concerns when it comes to this drug. Let me start by saying that I sometimes beat myself up with guilt over not standing up for myself, especially when it comes to medical decisions for me or my children. I believe I have grown to the point of always voicing my concerns when it comes to my children however, but during pregnancy, I still have a few reservations. My mother has always tried to encourage me to speak up, and as her and my father are RN's, I think she has expected me to know more and do more to protect myself from many things that can go wrong, especially when it comes to my pregnancies. She has even went with me on a few occasions to my doctors appointments, and has herself spoken up in the past if she felt I was not being given the full truth, or that enough consideration to my particular situation was given as well. She makes me think. She has been concerned about me receiving terbutaline since my first time. When I told her that I was going to be given it again, each time she voiced her concerns. During my last two experiences with Roslyn, I couldn't even get my doctor on the phone to discuss my concern (which is part of the reason why I changed doctors for this pregnancy). I didn't have the guts to go against medical advice and at the same time, I understand the risks involved if I decided to refuse the treatment. It's scary and complicated.

Back to Thursday. By the time the evening came around, I realized I was going to have to make a decision about going in to labor and delivery. I KNEW that if I went, I would end up having to take the injections again. I already knew, but I was scared of what might happen if I didn't go. What if I waited too long? What if I was dilating and put the baby at risk for such an early birth. Sure, chances are she would survive, but not after spending multiple weeks in the NICU and lots of medical interventions. I called my doctor and they suggested I go in to see what was going on. So, I went...

:::To Be Continued::: Why? I figure this post is too long as it is, I still have a lot to say, and I need to take a shower while the kids nap. I will finish up later tonight or tomorrow morning. But don't worry too much, the baby is fine. :)


  1. Leaving us hanging eh? Hope everything is okay...

  2. GAH! Leaving us hanging!! It's important to voice your concerns to the doctor and medical staff. I learned that the hard way - granted, when I voice my concerns it's usually in English and the Hebrew-speaking staff thing I'm a lunatic... but still. I hope you're feeling better - let us know the rest of the story!!

  3. I have been looking for that picture you have on your website above and was wondering if you knew who the artist was. I hope I am not imposing but I haven't found it anywhere but on your blog. Thank you for all your help on this matter.

    Jessica Bower

  4. Hi jessica, you are not imposing but I don't know where it is from either! If I remember correctly I probably did a google search for pregnancy art. If there was an artist then I would have sourced it but I think I found it on a blog that had a few different pregnancy art pics with no artist name.