I knew things would change with pregnancy….I had expected changes – in diet, in what exercises were safe, in what my caffeine intake could safely be, as well as a myriad of hormonal and body changes. I was not prepared, however, for the changes that would take place within my relationships.
I have not hidden my joy this entire pregnancy. I have been very blessed and lucky to have gotten pregnant as quickly as I did, and to have had the support of a wonderful man throughout. It doesn’t mean I didn’t have fears or questions or looked at this experience as a walk in the park. I didn’t work out the entire first trimester because no one could tell me the stability of my cervix to safely maintain this pregnancy. When we finally got an ultrasound at week 18 – I felt so lucky and thankful that things were progressing and I could start exercising and try to build my body to its fullest potential to be the healthiest
possible carrier of this baby.
With that, I have sought after and (for the most part) maintained a solid emotional support system. Every text, email, call or check-in is really appreciated. Both Glenn and I have wonderful family and friends who couldn’t be more excited for us. It’s opened my eyes to how much the world loves a baby. This child is already loved in so many ways.
I know I am not the first person to ever get pregnant. I won’t be the last. But this is a first for me. It’s an amazing, terrifying, frustrating, worrisome, beautiful experience. I know that not everyone will feel the same way, of course they can’t. This is a walk only I can take, shaky and unsure at times. I have never expected or wanted a parade. I just was not prepared for some of the closest relationships I’ve had over the years fall away to disconnect.
The same people I had reached to both in times of joy or sadness are not the same people I did a year ago. Things change, people change. You can only attempt to invest time in relationships for so long until you are left hurt and disappointed. In those “big moment” times in our life, in times of elation or in times of being afraid to your core – you want to keep the people you cherish most close to you. This pregnancy has opened my eyes to who those people now are. I can no longer put myself in situations, be around people who are hurtful or say purposely mean things. I am responsible to keep myself healthy – both physically and emotionally.
I am a strong believer in the mind-body connection and think that being around stressful situations has a direct effect on the baby. Current situations have opened my eyes that with every little kick and reminder he’s in there, that I do not need to focus on people and emotions and stress that hurt me. They are only hindering what are some of the most important last weeks of healthy baby growing. Glenn has been really helpful in helping me rationalize the situation, and to remain positive for this baby. He has always been of the “cut the dead weight” variety – it’ s just difficult for me to cut reduce people in my life I genuinely have cared a great deal for. But again, this is not about me. This is about the health of the baby.
That being said, we have had some trying times as of late. After an amazing 2nd trimester, working out, eating healthy and feeling genuinely awesome…the 3rd trimester started with some fears. I had never had any spotting this entire pregnancy.
Last Thursday morning, I noticed some unusual activity in that department. I called my doctor who told me it should be okay, I shared that because I had a cold and was coughing a lot maybe it could’ve irritated things. So although stressed, the rest of the day went by and we headed to West Virginia to drop the dog off at my mom’s and have dinner. After some delicious dessert I went to the restroom and….it came back. Now I was scared. Everyone decided it would be a good idea to call the on-call/off-hours doctor. They then paged my doctor who said coupled with my cervix and me being in the 3rd trimester it could be signs of preterm labor and I should get to the hospital and get checked out at Labor and Delivery. Pre-term labor at 28 weeks? Terrifying. GBMC is 2 hours from West Virginia. So we hopped in the car and drove to MD.
Things happen for a reason. It was good to get it checked out before heading off to “babymoon” in NY. I can’t imagine not having things looked into and getting to NY and having to head to the Bronx to get some answers. So we got admitted, which was an interesting experience because they were acting like I may be staying there awhile (yikes). It was a very thorough intake process. They then monitored the baby with a bunch of tracking devices (more like just heartrate), and then the fun began. The RN was pleasant and sweet. Then the PA came in. Off the top she was cold and very authoritative. She called me “miss” in a condescending way (per Glenn) and her bedside manner just didn’t exist. At all. I’m fine with all that and can put up with rude behavior so long as the baby is okay.
She then gave me the most painful internal exam of my life. Having had cervical concerns this entire pregnancy I have been “checked” before. This was not a simple “check”. This was barbaric. It was everything in me to stay on the table while she told me to pull my legs back so she could get an accurate assessment of my cervix which seemed “really far back”. I was literally shaking and crying on the table, while Glenn sat by traumatized. I couldn’t even look at his face because I didn’t want to remember this horrible pain and experience. She claimed that my cervix blood vessels had broken and that was where it must be coming from, but my cervix was closed so they cleared us to go to NYC.
She said to come back Monday at 1:00PM for a sonogram to check on my cervix then. I asked why we couldn’t have one that night, because per my own research and the Doctor’s previous guidance the most accurate way of determining cervical stability is via ultrasound – not prodding and constantly invading that area (which can itself cause preterm labor or issues). She said the Doctor would do it Monday.
So, we went home and tried to get a few hours of sleep before heading to NY. We did genuinely have a great time, despite me being sick and coughing all week and keeping Glenn up at night. Come Monday, I went to my appointment. I shared with my Doctor my L&D experience and he was shocked at the treatment and said he didn’t approve of the “culture” there and had heard way too many issues happening. He is the director of the OBGYN board and has noticed a lot of similar situations and is bringing it up at their meetings. He did an internal exam (painlessly I may add) and verified a closed cervix (yay) and attempted to get me an ultrasound stat…………….but of course my insurance did not allow it. I thought because it was a medically necessary ultrasound that we would have coverage, but Blue Cross/Blue Shield ships me out. The receptionist called all of the locally available radiology clinics and they were all booked. Until Thursday. It is a very frustrating process to be unsure of the vitality of your own body, and to not have any answers available, or any way to really ascertain how to proceed. COVERAGE DETERMINES CARE.
So we won’t have any real word until Thursday. I do have a feeling of peace about it, and am trying to remain positive. The doctor said that if my cervix is less than 2.4 cms then it is bedrest time. I have sort of compartmentalized this idea in my head … I am not ready to be on bedrest. Of course I can and will do anything for this baby to stay in place and keep growing these last important 12 weeks…but I am hopeful that we won’t have cross that bridge.
Thank you to all those people who sent us good vibes and continue to be hopeful for us! We sincerely appreciate all the support we’ve gotten, and are very blessed to have such a warm group of people who love and care for our son.