So, here's how yesterday's visit actually went...
It started with me in non-controllable tears. I know; for a good visit, you probably weren't expecting to hear that. Me neither. Unfortunately, Monday night was very very very rough. There was literally no sleep due to contractions. If you're keeping count, that means that I had been having pretty constant contractions (there was a small reprieve each day - typically between about 6:00am and noon where they backed off a bit) since Friday evening and I was sore, exhausted, and at the end of my rope.
Now, I'm one of those people that no matter how I am actually feeling, I tend not to show it to anyone who isn't Brian. No matter how badly it hurts or how sick I feel, I will smile and crack jokes if you are in the room. I will keep from you how I actually feel because I don't want anyone to see it. It's just the way I was raised and I can't help it - I don't even show my parents. Needless to say, it takes a lot to see how I'm really feeling (if you're seeing it, it's bad). I was sobbing in the car because I was so tired and sore (and I REALLY had to pee - when you have to give a sample at the doctor's each time, it's sometimes hard to make it all the way to the doctor without feeling like you will explode).
Well, the doctor walked in and saw me sobbing and sniffling and immediately acknowledged that I was not doing well. The only other time she's seen me like this was during my second round of methotrexate with the ectopic pregnancy, and that visit landed me in the hospital with a pain pump. She always tries to keep the mood light (I think she's much like me in that she makes jokes and tries to make it seem better than it is just so people will feel better - I appreciate that about her because the jokes are never at my expense, they always seem to be an attempt to get a smile), and after Brian told her I had been having contractions at about every five minutes since Friday, she mentioned that I always tried to hold out and wait for appointments and that I was a trooper :) Small things. In any case, she did her usual check - I'm measuring as I should be and have dilated to about a 2 (I was barely a 1 last Wednesday, so we're moving) and then she sat down for a chat.
She said we'd monitor and then discuss our options, but did say that we were far enough along that they would not do anything to stop labor at this point. If I get consistent contractions that intensify or become a real pattern, then we will go into labor and have our little girl, which is good to hear. She said that they would normally wait until 36 or 37 for this, but that I had been through enough and that girls who are born early typically do better than boys. Of course, they can't guarantee that she would have no problems, but they've checked her out enough through monitors and sonograms that they feel pretty good about where she actually is. She did mention, of course, that we were too early for her to "help us out" at this point. I didn't expect her to be able to, but it was nice to see that she understood this discomfort (darn professional ethics :)
We did the monitoring and those contractions were big. They weren't regular (again - and they were even less frequent since it was morning - if I could do visits at 8pm, she'd see a whole different ballgame), but they were huge. Thankfully, JB was looking very good. She came in to discuss options. Option 1: go directly to hospital. Be pumped full of IV pain meds and relax until birth. Option 2: better pain meds or sleep meds. Option 3: better pain and sleep meds. She left it up to me.
Of course, I didn't want to go back to the hospital, so I took option 3. I now have Vicodin for pain and Sonota for sleep. This is very difficult for me to talk about because I am feeling very very badly about taking so much medication while pregnant. I wasn't feeling great about the Lovenox, but knew it was vital to the pregnancy. I was uncomfortable when we had to add the antibiotic to prevent future UTI's or kidney infections but I knew that a UTI could cause serious problems or preterm birth. Adding the Requip for my legs was a comfort thing - not necessary, but helped me sleep at night. In fact, I had no problems with sleep after that (until preterm labor started). Then we add in the Procardia to stop the contractions.
Well, now we've added two more medications to this and I'm very uncomfortable. The doctor has assured me up and down, left and right that the only drawback is that if the baby is born within a few hours of taking these meds, she would be a bit sleepy, but it's hard to justify in my mind. You're not supposed to take ANYTHING while pregnant except vitamins, and here I have a major medicine cabinet going on. I feel terrible and I am worried about Jellybean, but I know that a lot of her wellbeing depends on my own. If I'm not sleeping, not eating, and in constant pain, then she's dealing with all of that as well, and that's not good for her. But it feels like a weak justification. I mean, I didn't take anything other than Tums and some Tylenol PM on occasion with Katie - what if I hurt JB? What if she's born with problems? I feel like I'm taking the weak way out and it's really bothering me.
As I said, I am allowed some movement now - the doctor thinks it may even help with some of the contractions and discomfort (it definitely helps me feel much much more emotionally stable and at ease). I'm supposed to take it relatively easy this week, but she said next week I could do whatever I wanted. She felt really good about passing the 34 week mark, and so we'll do another visit next Tuesday with monitors and sonogram, and then I can do whatever I want. She even told me I could start really walking next week if I felt up to it. We're finally starting to get back to normal and that feels really nice (and Katie is just thrilled - it's been really hard on her).
All in all, just feel really guilty about all of this medication. I take only what I need when I need it, but it's just so hard to justify when everything you read everywhere is about how you shouldn't take anything unless you have to. I'm very thankful I have a doctor who is trying to help me and I know she wouldn't prescribe anything that would hurt JB. I guess this is just another instance of, "things I didn't expect or plan on in this pregnancy." I'm just no good at all at being pregnant - no matter what I try to do or plan on doing, my body just says no.
In other news, I was so very lucky to be able to leave the house and go visit with Katie's preschool teacher for our very first parent-teacher conference. I am now going into shameless bragging mother mode - consider yourself warned! The teacher began by gushing about how much she absolutely loves Katie and considers her to be one of the kindest and most caring children in the class. She said that she can put Katie with any of the other students and she will play with anyone and will help anyone and that she is always willing to help her friends. That was just so lovely to hear. We also got to hear about her development - they use something called "Ages and Stages" which evaluated her performance on certain tasks in fields like gross motor, fine motor, communication, listening, and problem solving skills. Katie scored at the very top in all of those categories and the teacher said she's at the top of her class (again, shameless mom gushing!) I knew she was a smart little cookie, but it was so neat to see just how smart and to hear someone who knows what they're talking about tell us about her. She recommended that Katie enroll in the five day a week Pre-K class next year rather than the 3 day a week Pre-4 class (she's in Pre-3 right now) and gave us some specific goals and activities to work on at home. The big goal for this year is to learn how to write her name, which is pretty exciting! She knows her colors, numbers, alphabet, sounds of the letters in the alphabet - all the things she should know. I'm just so darn proud of the kid. We knew she was verbal and that she was a stellar mimic, but it's just so neat to see the folder of work they've been collecting from her this year and to see all the other things she can do that I wasn't aware of. When she got home I just gave her a big squeeze and told her how proud I was that she was so kind and so helpful at school. She's just such a neat kid and we are so blessed to have her - I know she'll be just that helpful and kind to Jellybean and that gives me such a warm feeling inside.
So, not only did I get to go outside, but I got to hear wonderful news for half an hour about my amazing daughter. While we've been through some rough stuff, we must be doing something right :) (End shameless bragging - for now!)