Last night was my second trip to labor and delivery for uncontrollable contractions less than five minutes apart. Both times I was sure they would stop on their own but both times the doctor's office told me to not take the chance. Last night the nurse I spoke to very nearly yelled at me and she had me in tears. She wasn't being mean, she was just alarmed that I wasn't taking my contractions seriously. She lectured me on how much harder it would be to raise the children I have with a baby in the high level NICU for months, assuming she survived. I was in hysterical tears, which really didn't help the contractions any.
I just don't know what to do about this. I had it with my first pregnancy but it wasn't nearly as scary because they didn't get bad until after 30 weeks (I'm 25 today). I could never tell if I was actually in labor or not so I made endless trips to the hospital until I was nearly full term and then I ignored the contractions as best I could. Back then I was not working and didn't have other children to worry about. If I started contracting I could lay down. Now I can't. My income makes up most of our living expenses. My husband makes so little all it really covers is daycare and my commute. The only reason he works is because his job is the one with benefits. Since I don't have any kind of leave being on bed rest will be devastating.
Well, to back up, this is how yesterday went:
I went to work early to try to make up some hours for stupidly taking a day for myself last Friday and hanging out with my best friend. I had planned to go out in the field and do a couple of inspections but it was hotter than I expected and I was feeling out of sorts so I decided to put it off (thank god). I couldn't really pin point why I didn't feel good, I was just cranky and uncomfortable, which in hindsight is kind of alarming. I did notice more than the average number of contractions but they weren't less than 10 minutes apart and they were only intense when I was aggravating my uterus by letting my bladder get full or climbing stairs.
I got home and was still cranky so even though I didn't feel like it, I took M to her friend's house to get her out of my hair and then came back to start dinner. As soon as I started cooking the contractions intensified. I kept ignoring it because I was only making spaghetti and I figured I would lay down once I got to eat. By the time dinner was ready and we were sitting down to eat I was starting to think the hospital might be on the agenda. I started timing the contractions and didn't make it past 3 minutes the whole time. I was determined to finish dinner because I knew they wouldn't let me eat at the hospital and going that long without food would make me miserable. I know, great thing to be worried about, right? My husband knew I wasn't feeling well and had offered to help or take over but he was exhausted from working outside all day and I was being stubborn.
I called my sister (she is a family doctor who specializes in OB) and she lectured me about not taking it easy but didn't seem overly concerned about me not going to the hospital right away. I told her I was going to drink some water and lay down so when I was done eating that is what I did. By then the contractions were right on top of each other. It was getting hard to tell when one would end the next would begin. I was starting to worry, not that the baby would actually come, but that I would have to go get checked just in case. I called the after hours line at my doctors to tell them what was going on and ask how long I should wait to see if they stopped on their own. That's when the nurse almost yelled at me. When I told her that they were 2-3 minutes apart her voice got high and stern and she said "you are past the point of laying down, you need to go to the hospital now!" I started bawling and she was understanding but at the same time was clearly trying to scare me into being reasonable. We left my little one at the neighbors and went. The contractions did stop on their own after 2 hours at the hospital but they still gave me two meds to relax my uterus and told me to stay in bed until I saw my doctor. They did the fetal fibronectin test and it came back negative, which means there is a very good chance I won't go into labor in the next two weeks. That was reassuring but in hindsight the contractions yesterday were very different from what I'm used to. There was a lot more pressure and discomfort than I usually get and my overall feeling of something wrong persisted all day. Even when they stopped it was weird. They went from 3 minutes apart to nothing. It was another 30 minutes before they gave me the meds so it wasn't that. I've never had them just stop like that.
I already had an ultrasound scheduled today because of my last visit to l&d, so at least I will be reasonable certain the baby isn't coming any day if that goes well. In the meantime I am on bed rest. I know I'll get yelled at when S gets home for lunch because I had to get up to get something to eat and get the computer so I can do some work. Nobody really thinks about how impossible bed rest is when you have no one to stay with you. At least the kids are at school. I've known people that were told to be on bed rest with a toddler in the house. Talk about impossible.
So, wish me luck at the ultrasound today. I have a sinking feeling that the rest of this pregnancy is going to be a constant battle against my body to get anything done. I can probably work from home, and even from bed if I have to, but it won't be easy. I hope my boss will stay as understanding and helpful as he has been because he doesn't need a reason to fire me. Someone above him could decide I'm not being productive enough and force him to let me go. And I just don't do resting well. It will drive me insane knowing there is so much to get done and I can't do anything. My husband may have to tie me to the bed.
Any advice on coping with severe restrictions would be appreciated - also gentle reminders that this is about a healthy baby - not me being comfortable!