Yesterday I hit the 32 week mark in my pregnancy.
I also spent the evening in Labor and Delivery at the hospital.
Everything is fine.
But as I get further and further along... I am getting more and more uncomfortable. I've mentioned before that I have an "irritable uterus." What exactly IS an "irritable uterus?" I hear you asking. Here are some explanations.
Irritable Uterus feels like…
- Braxton Hicks – regular or irregular, but, in general, more than 5 an hour and they onset in a frequent/regular fashion before you are full-term (can go on regularly for 1-3 hours at a time or more)
- A constantly tight belly, which feels like one constant Braxton Hicks, may be harder/tighter when standing or walking, can last for 10 minutes to an hour or more
- Regular or irregular painful contractions that feel like “the real thing” – cause real fear that cervical change may be happening, can be accompanied by cervical pain or pressure
Given my (quite extensive and drama-filled) history, my OB like to err on the side of caution. When the contractions or constant tightness go on for too long, even with lots of water drinking and rest on my part, he prefers that Hope gets checked on the monitor in the hospital. This happened in Gavin's pregnancy... and in Brian's pregnancy... and I was a frequent flier in Labor and Delivery all the way to the end.
During those pregnancies I got a lot of "side eyes" from people who didn't understand what this was like. I suppose they thought I was being melodramatic by always running to the hospital. I would also get lectures that I was "doing too much" "not drinking enough" "stressing too much" - you name it. But the irritability I have can be brought on by peeing...having a full bladder...going from sitting to standing...and, to add one more thing I can't control - Hope's movements. Hope is like an acrobat in my belly and moves day and night. What can I do?
These trips to the hospital always produce a level of anxiety in me. I often get flashbacks to Darcy's pregnancy. I remember deciding that maybe I was overreacting. The second I let my guard down - she was gone. Her death was caused by a freak cord accident. So, you can imagine my anxiety with every trip to the hospital.
I'm sure I have also been looked at strangely when I have everything ready for the baby so early in my pregnancies. I have had Hope's equipment and co-sleeper and pack and play and car seat open and in place for a couple months. They are all washed and set up so they can "air out." Her nursery is 90% completed. The newborn clothes and blankets are washed and ready. And soon I will have my official bag packed for the hospital. I do all this way ahead of time because I know me. And I know that the last couple months are difficult and I won't want to - or physically be able to - do all of these things. Between the irritable uterus - an extreme case of sciatica that has me wincing every time I step down on my right foot - and exhaustion... these last weeks for me are all about survival. (And putting up our Christmas tree which is essential before I go!)
I'm slowing down.
I also officially went on blood pressure medicine a few days ago. Having pregnancy induced hypertension in previous pregnancies - and being over 40 put me at greater risk for having it again. This wasn't a surprise to me - and there's not a lot I can do about it. I'm definitely careful about what I'm eating, drinking a ton of water, getting rest and keeping my stress level down as much as possible. I've also been getting non-stress tests in my OB's office twice a week.
I had mentioned several weeks back that my scheduled C-Section was set for Christmas Eve. I'm not stressing about that anymore. The likelihood of me delivering before then is probably pretty high.
Thank you to all of you who continue to join me in believing Hope born!! There are days that I look down and STILL can't believe that we're having a baby. It's just unbelievable. And now she's almost here.
We are so grateful for this new life.