This blog post is over a week late because the holidays, even though I sat through 90% of them, really took it out of me. This picture pretty much sums up how I’m feeling lately. I’m tired of being on bed rest, but also tired of having contractions whenever I stand up and walk around. I so badly want my baby to stay in my belly until at least 37 weeks, but at the same time I’m looking forward to labor so I can be free again. I’ve reached the point in pregnancy where pretty much everything is uncomfortable. Sleeping is uncomfortable (and constantly interrupted by trips to the bathroom, adjusting the ten pillows I have to sleep with and my toddler who is newly afraid of the dark and bugs). Eating makes me uncomfortable. And walking even short distances requires me to hold my belly up with two hands.
I’ve had a few doctor’s appointments since my last update. At the first one, my MFM told me that my cervix has lengthened again to 3cm (the good news), but when I have a contraction it shortens to 1.4cm (the bad news). She told me to start taking Procardia, which is a blood pressure medication that has been shown to also help with preterm labor contractions. She said she didn’t even want me having Braxton Hicks contractions. So I went home, filled the prescription and took the first pill. And then I got an instant headache. And the contractions stopped for maybe 30 minutes. The next time I took one, I felt weak and could barely stand up to take a shower. And again, the contractions only stopped for a short period of time.
This week, I had an ultrasound appointment to check baby girl’s growth. She looked perfect and is measuring right on track. And when I followed up with my OB the next day, she reminded me that I’ve hit my first big milestone: 32 weeks! If she was born now, she would likely have no major complications, just a NICU stay. She also told me that I could stop taking Procardia if it’s not helping. Instead she told me to listen to my body and to go into labor & delivery if I have six painful contractions in one hour. She said that some women, like me, just contract constantly at the end and there isn’t much they can do to stop it. I left her office feeling good, but also a little anxious. It is so nerve-wracking to have so many contractions and to not know if they’re productive (changing my cervix) or not. I’m a person who doesn’t feel pain in labor until after my water breaks. I know that is a major blessing, but it’s also confusing. How will I know when it’s the real thing?! This is my third baby and I still feel unsure.
So to sum things up at 33 weeks: I’m physically fatigued, mentally exhausted and more than ready to get to the finish line. But I am so happy that she’s still holding on. I’m also thankful that I haven’t had any other complications; my blood pressure is great, I haven’t gained any weight (yet), I haven’t experienced any swelling and my heartburn is even under control. So for now, I’ll try to focus on the positives and enjoy the time we have left as a family of four before baby sister makes her grand entrance.