23 June 2010

reassurance

First- thank you.
Thank you for your kindness- truly. Babysteps-- do you have a blog? if so please leave the address in a comment so we can offer you support --and Jamie, I am so sorry you had this for so long. It is truly exhausting emotionally. This means you were dealing with this when I met you and I am so sorry. I know I would not have understood but I would have been sympathetic. It is so darned hard.

I saw the doctor today and here's what I learned:
It is not the strength of these that counts, the back pain, etc, but the frequency-- the gating item, the trigger would be 5 or more per hour that persist after lying down and making sure I'm hydrated. Then I call, then they will see me.

Pre-term contractions (their term for this) are not the same thing as pre-term labor.

Pre-term contractions (or irritable uterus) are in no way related to incompetent cervix. (Mo, this is one of my biggest fears too after two D&Cs and an internet filled with scary stories).

These are incredibly common-- many women have them and don't even know it.

Today they swabbed me for fetal fibronectin -- which came back negative. (This awesome test indicates with high accuracy the probability of delivery in the next two weeks- negative means not much chance which is awesome).
They tested my urine for bacteria since apparently even a little can cause this to be worse--
results back in the next few days after culturing.
They looked at my cervix (yes, an internal peek even with my previa) and it is long and closed.

I told her I was worried about the internal because of my previa and had read that it was a terrible idea, and she said only if I am dilated. And I wasn't but she did not know that until she was in there... but it all turned out fine. No spotting even which surprised me.

My challenge is to manage my stress reaction, and to manage these contractions in a way that feels somewhat ordinary.

Baby steps-- if they don't see a change in the cervix, and in the absence of other bad things (bleeding, leaking fluid), they simply don't take action most of the time. For them it IS ordinary.

Online I read about folks with irritable uterus who are on bedrest, or on medications, on this and that-- and I do not think there is one universal truth-- but I do know this: they scare me, they wear me out and wear me down. I am so worried about losing this little one, having pre term labor so early would be unthinkably horrible. BUT she insisted that this is so normal as to be totally unalarming to them as doctors.

I agree with all of you-- I am trusting my guts and erring in the direction of caution- lying down when I need to to slow things down. Yes, even at work.
If lying down slows things, in some ways it is incredibly affirming of the fact that these are the irritation contractions, not the real thing.

Also, she said an active baby can cause more contractions- and my baby is active all right, so there's that.
And a full bladder can make it worse, so pee before you *have* to-- a totally obnoxious balance of massive hydration and a not-overfull bladder. Ha.

At the end of the exam, she did a nice thing: dopplered my little one and said the heartrate was "perfect"--- and when I asked about how to manage my anxiety, she told me that it was up to me to believe her or not about the ordinariness of the contractions. She has a point.

So I am reassured. I have a long closed cervix and a plan. I will try to learn to manage this with more objectivity than panic. I give myself a 50/50 chance of success with that, but this stress level sucks ass and I need to figure out how to manage it better and regain some semblance of my previous pseudo-zen.

Moonlight through the trees, and me? Off to bed.

11 comments:

Kate said...

I coped by stuffing a ton of progesterone up the wazoo and doing a lot of self-imposed modified bedrest. My way of avoiding "if only" scenarios after the fact. Glad your OB's not worried, and ope thy settle down soon.

Nic said...

I am pleased that she is not worried and your cervix is looking great.
Please do try to relax and lay down when you need to. None of us want this one coming before we have cooked long enough!
Hope you can control your anxiety and hope all stays well.
Take care of yourself.
Nic x

Eileen said...

I'm going through the exact same thing. I've been in L&D twice this week for crazy contractions. Uggghhhh. WHy can't anything be easy for us both after everything we have been through? Sending prayers that yours will calm down and give you the reassurance you are looking for.

sprogblogger said...

Ugh. So glad she's not worried, but I know that doesn't necessarily mean you're not worried. Wishing you a nice long bout of peaceful days where the little one dances plenty but doesn't set off anything contract-y. Thinking of you.

takingbabysteps said...

I am so glad the ffn was negative and cervix looks closed. Thanks for all the good info. Having been through multiple IUIs, clomid, injectibles and an ectopic to get here, I, like you, am completely paranoid about this little one. Having had surgery for an ectopic and cysts, I am also concerned about the condition of my cervix - and the contractions certainly exacerbate fear!! I hope we can reach 40 weeks with no complications.

I used to blog but responded to IF by shutting off from the blogging world. I read blogs now but stopped writing mine. You can reach me at taking_baby_steps@yahoo.com.

Michele said...

whew! so glad for good news!!!

Searching for Serenity said...

Deep cleansing breath.

It looks as though you left your appointment with an abundance of information that should bring you some ease.

As for the anxiety. Easier said than done. Just remember to breathe.

Keep up the good work!

alyssa said...

try try try to heed your doctor's "point"... i know that is hard for you. my most recent conversation with my doctor... me: i know i am dying. him: you're not. besides, dying people don't gain weight. me: i'm convinced i have pancreatic cancer. him: you don't, and if you did you're going to die anyway so you can either live your life worrying about dying or you can just live... wise words.

B. said...

I so wish you could have a trouble-free pregnancy, but if that's not in the cards for you, I'm glad you are able to lie down/drink lots/pee often in order to keep the contractions in check. I think medical professionals have a hard time understanding our anxiety over every little complication- they rarely comprehend the emotional, physical, and financial price we've paid just to become pregnant. How, then, can they understand what's riding on this, and how anxious we (rationally) are with such high stakes involved?

Whatever the doctor says, you're perfectly justified in asking for all the reassurance you need. Hang in there!

Emily Erin said...

Have you considered self hypnosis like Hypnobabies? It's a training course for birth, but it's also just a wonderful way to teach your body to relax and trust the process...

Hoping that you are able to find a way to keep the stress at bay.

linda said...

Can you ask for prophylactic antibiotics (that are safe for you) while you await the results?

Have you read anything written by Dr. Atilla Toth on the subject of antibiotics and pregnancy? He's a bit of a fringe doctor but I believe in his work wholeheartedly.