Tristine's Triumph -- Entry 33

Read All of Tristine's Triumph

March 15

Well, I met with my physical therapist this week. I was so glad I didn't have to get plugged into the biofeedback this appointment. The Kegel exercises I have been doing have really helped me with feeling less pressure from the baby, as well as helping me control my bladder! During this appointment, she got me started on some exercises that involve using the Theraband. I am thankful for these exercises because I have noticed that my inner thighs are still really weak and do affect how I get up and down from a chair. She even gave me some exercises to help with building some strength in my arms.

I think more pregnant women, regardless of if they are high-risk or not, should be able to benefit from exercise and physical therapy during pregnancy. It really has a lot of benefits and even my simple exercises have made a significant difference in my mobility. I appreciate seeing a professional because she keeps me aware of posture and guides me to do the exercises correctly.

After such a good appointment with my therapist, I had expected this week to continue on such a positive note. Well, Wednesday night, we had a bit of a scare.

During the day, I had felt some tightening of my lower abdomen. I thought it could have been the baby changing positions or even some constipation. The tightening was not painful and it was very sporadic. Since the tightening was so few and far between, I just opted to take it easy and monitor what I was feeling.

By 10:00pm, I noticed I was feeling more aches and pains. I felt more tightening and it was more frequent, but still didn't go beyond a 3 on the pain scale. It felt as if I was constipated so I took a warm bath to help me relax. This has always helped me in the past. I got out of the tub and was feeling fine.

I went downstairs to watch some television with my husband and as I was sitting out the couch, I noticed that the discomfort was back. By 11:00 p.m. I was feeling my abdomen tighten and it felt stronger and was higher up on my belly. It still didn't register beyond a 3 on the pain scale so I went to bed with my heated rice pack, and hoped that sleep would help me feel better.

I didn't sleep for long. I kept waking up and feeling the contractions but they were not too painful until around 2:00 a.m. At this time, the contractions were coming every 2-4 minutes and they lasted 30-40 seconds at a time. The pain rated about a 5 on the pain scale. I knew that the contractions were not going to go away on their own so I got out of bed and called our local Ask-A-Nurse hotline to find out what I needed to do. I also had this gut feeling that if I called the on-call physician, I would have to wait for a call back and I was anxious to get to the hospital. The hospital could contact whoever was on-call and get a quicker response than I could.

I was transferred to a nurse in Labor and Delivery and she asked me some questions about what I was feeling. Her recommendation was to come in and they would hook me up to a monitor and perhaps give me a shot to stop the contractions. She told me that my OB/GYN was the on-call doctor that evening and he was already at the hospital with another patient. This made me feel good about the situation I was going to be facing once we arrived at the hospital.

I felt bad for having to wake up my husband. Every time I have had to go to the hospital for some sort of an emergency, it was in the middle of the night or early in the morning after he had stayed up all night with work or playing computer games. That evening, he had only been sleeping a couple of hours. It took him a while to wake up. I was very patient with him, which was really surprising to me considering the pain I was experiencing from the contractions. With other trips to the hospital, he was in a foul mood because of lack of sleep and frustration with the fact that he hates seeing me in pain. His frustration only makes me frustrated and we start to bicker. Well, I didn't bicker at all. I was too busy concentrating on breathing through the contractions. And he was too busy trying to get himself ready and awake enough to drive me to the hospital which was about 25 minutes away.

It was about 3:00 a.m. by the time we got to Labor and Delivery. They took me back into this observation room and had me leave a urine sample, change into a gown, and then they proceeded to strap me up to the monitors. It was good to see my baby was doing well considering the contractions I was feeling. We could hear her moving around a lot. They gave me a shot of Terbutaline after only a few minutes. My poor husband was looking so tired when they were asking me all these questions and entering it into the computer. I felt bad for him because all he had was this uncomfortable chair to sit in that was shoved back in the corner.

After waiting for a while, my doctor finally came in to talk to us about what he felt was going on. He looked even more tired than my husband did. He wasn't wearing his white doctor's coat, and he was unshaven and his voice seemed scratchy and tired. But he didn't let his own tiredness get in the way of doing his job.

He explained to us that what he felt was happening involved the scar tissue from my cancer surgeries. He explained that my uterus was being irritated because it has grown so much that it is now starting to break through much of the scar tissue. He wasn't worried at all about my cerclages since I wasn't experiencing any bleeding or increased discharge. And since the Terbutaline was doing its job, he said he just wanted to get an ultrasound to check on the amniotic fluid and then I was free to go home and go back to bed. He did say to take it easy and spend a lot of time resting until he saw me in a week for my regular appointment.

Once he left, the nurse came back and brought the gal whom I spoke to on the phone. She had the ultrasound machine with her. They gooped my belly up with the gel and started to take measurements. The original nurse was still learning how to do ultrasounds, so she sat back at watched while the more experienced nurse found the pockets of fluid and took measurements. We got another confirmation that our baby is indeed a girl. I had asked how she was positioned in my belly and they said she was transverse above my scar (which runs 2 inches below my belly button and runs about 14 inches horizontally across my belly). Once they were done, we were able to go home and get some sleep.

Thursday, I was still really sore but didn't have any more contractions. Today I am feeling better, but I am still taking it easy. Tonight, we were invited over to my in-laws for dinner and I will be able to go through baby clothes before my sister-in-law gets rid of her kid's old clothes. I am thankful for the fact that I won't have to worry about cooking dinner. And I am very lucky that my in-laws have two girls already and lots of clothes for me to pick through.

I am a bit nervous about going through some baby clothes for our little girl though. I guess I am still superstitious that something will go wrong, especially after facing early contractions. But I decided that I should just get these clothes anyway and it might help me get over that superstition. And this is far different then going out and spending tons of money on clothing, which I refuse to do until she gets to come home with us. Hopefully they will have some things that I will feel comfortable dressing my girl in, since I cannot stand all the pink, frilly things they make for little girls.