Updates at bottom of post
I had my 40-week check-up yesterday. The nurse took my blood pressure. It was high. She didn’t seem too alarmed. I was very alarmed. I don’t mean to brag, (like I have any say in it at all) but all of my life I have had a blood pressure that has been greeted with responses like, “I wish I had your blood pressure.” Words like “beautiful” and “amazing” have been tossed around as well. So getting a high reading all of a sudden, 39 and 6 days into an otherwise fairly solid pregnancy, was alarming. I said something. She said, “Well, it’s not uncommon for this to happen late in pregnancy but if you’re nervous, ask the doctor about it.”
The doctor came in and I told her about my history and the fact that anything above 120/80 for me was alarming. She looked back at my records and agreed with me. She said she’d run it again after I was seated for a while. Then she gave me an internal exam. Given the amount of action I have had recently, the amount of discomfort and pain, I was sure that things had changed. They have not. My cervix hasn’t moved. It hasn’t moved in almost a month. Which means all those contractions, all that hard work, hasn’t added up to anything. Tears came to my eyes.
She went over a few options and then took my blood pressure again. It was still high. She decided to send me to the hospital to get tested for preeclampsia (again) and have the baby monitored. She said, (and I quote) “If you’re OK with discussing induction come Monday, I’ll make your situation seem dire.” And then she smiled.
We headed to the hospital right away. And my dcotor called in to the delivery to give them a head’s up. I was admitted right away. The nurse came in and hooked me up to a fetal monitor, which also rated my contractions (not that I was having any at the time.) She ran a blood pressure. TOTALLY NORMAL. In a little over an hour, my blood pressure had gone back to what was considered a normal reading. But they wanted to keep me there for a while to make sure that my resting blood pressure stayed at that normal level.
The doctor came in, checked all my stats, told me I had just had a contraction and asked me if I felt it. I hadn’t. I talked right through it. She told me that most likely I’d be going home but that they wanted to check the protein in my urine as well run a blood panel, which is why we were there for so long, waiting.
In the meantime, my blood pressure dropped down to 106/68. That is a fairly normal reading for me.
But that’s right around the time where my belly began to seize up and my legs began to ache and I couldn’t get comfortable for the life of me. I kept saying, “Feel how tight this is?” And then I’d make Tobyjoe touch my upper abdomen. It would get tight and then loosen every so often. I thought the baby was moving up into my torso.
When the nurse got back, I asked her about my belly tightening and why that might be happening. She said, “It sounds to me like you’re having a contraction.”
“That’s a contraction?” I asked. “I didn’t know they were up that high. I thought they took place lower.”
“I’m going to hook you back up to the fetal monitor and we’ll find out what’s going on.”
(Gotta tell ya, it would have been awesome if I had gone into active labor while there for tests. Although, we had zero of our needs and I hadn’t eaten a thing yesterday.)
The long and short of it is I’m having contractions regularly. I have been since about 3 PM on Friday afternoon. Tobyjoe and I watched them ebb and flow on the monitor before us. They aren’t intolerable, but they’re there. And sometimes they hurt enough for my eyes to shut. The nurse suggested I have another internal exam before they discharge me to see if my cervix changed at all, especially given the frequency and intensity of some of the contractions. In the meantime, my blood work came back. It was normal. My urine came back with a minute amount of protein. If it hadn’t been for the contractions, I would have been sent home right then and there.
At 7 PM, they gave me another internal exam and my cervix hadn’t budged. It was still exactly what it was before. I have a cervix of steel. The nurses and doctors kept muttering things like, “First time mother!” and “Baby doesn’t want to come out!” I want baby out. I want these contractions to amount to something. Upon discharge, I am to call or go in if my water breaks, if I see any strange discharge, if the baby stops moving, or if my contractions become unbearable.
It’s now 8:30 AM on Saturday and I had the most fitful and shattered sleep because I’m still having contractions every 30 minutes (with little ones in between) but nothing seems to be progressing. I watched lightning sweep through Brooklyn for hours, timing each contraction with each round of thunder. Nature moved outside my window, but nothing changed inside of me.
If Monday comes and there’s still no change, I was told to talk to my regular doctor about induction because my cervix might not have any plans on letting this baby on its own. It’s been at 1 centimeter for a month now. My body is otherwise working perfectly, contracting like a champ, trying to push it open. It just won’t budge.
So, I have no idea what’s going to happen over the next couple of days. I asked the doctor to give me an idea of when this baby might arrive and she said, “It could be 15-hours from now, it could be three days.”
At 3 PM today, I will have been in early labor for 24-hours. I’m exhausted. And the worst is yet to come.
Sunday Update: Still a whole bunch of contractions but nothing regular. Last night we thought it was finally going to happen, I was writhing in pain, and then right before the 1 5 1 (contractions lasting for one minute each, five minutes apart, for one hour) hit, it subsided.
I’m so tired of having contractions and not having them progress to anything more than that. :[ I can’t sleep. Eating has become difficult as well. Last night I took a bath at 4:30 AM because I didn’t know what else to do. I’m so tired, so very tired.
Late Sunday Update: I called the physician because I had some questions I didn’t want to ask Google (heh). The on call doctor turned out to be the same woman who I met on Friday, so I didn’t have to update her too much. The biggest reason I called was to find out if going into labor and then suddenly stopping was OK for the baby. Because last night Tobyjoe said, “It looks like he’s trying to claw his way out.” And that’s so true. The baby looked like he was in distress. We’ve never seen him move that violently.
The other reason I called was to ask her about the pain I have in my pelvic region. I have had it for over a month now but the past several days it’s been much, much worse. I’m having trouble walking, getting up, and putting on pants has become dangerous. The pain is tucked between both legs, way up inside my upper inner thighs. I read that hip separation causes this sort of thing and today the physician confirmed that suspicion. (This is also the cause behind the pregnancy waddle.) My hips have moved so much over the past couple of weeks, my groin is taking the brunt of it all. The pain is quite intense. She said it’s very common and that unfortunately there is nothing she can do for me.
She was nice and after I got off the phone I felt a little better about being in labor for 3 days. We’ll see what happens over the next 24. I have read read a lot about induction over the past couple of days, about the possible dangers and/or problems that can arise from it; I do hope that this eventually happens on its own.
Monday morning update: More contractions Sunday night and Monday morning. Took another bath (at 5:00 AM) to try and move things along. Feels like I have had my period for four days intermixed with (sometimes intense) contractions. Yet nothing grows regular. I have a doctor’s appointment at 10:30 AM to find out if any of this has opened my cervix. Cross your fingers, toes, and eyes that I’m beyond 1 centimeter and there’s an end in sight.
Monday afternoon update: Well, no cervix change since Friday. For some reason it just doesn’t want to efface (any more than it has) or dilate (at all, really). My doctor gave me my options today. I’m scheduled for induction starting at 5:30 PM. At 5:30 PM I’m scheduled to have Cervidil inserted and placed behind my cervix where it will stay for 12 hours. Its job is to thin out my cervix (which should have happened naturally by now, I think.) After it’s thinned out, I will be induced. That should begin very early tomorrow morning. Hopefully, the baby will be with us by Tuesday afternoon.
I am scared. I’d be lying if I said otherwise. I’m in good hands, but I’m still bordering on terrified. I was told to have a huge, awesome meal but I can’t think about food. Gonna try and relax a bit and then head back to the hospital.
If all goes well, the next time I write I’ll be holding a baby.