The Suspense is Killing You

Oh my loyal readers… You’re probably wondering where I’ve been. Sorry to have left you all hanging, but my life got busy again. And in the best possible way.

I am officially off house arrest bed rest!

After my appointment with my doctor last week, everything looked good. When I was hooked up to the NST, Chick continued to perform well and my contractions were really just Braxton Hick– not consistent or strong enough to cause any concern. My cervix, though still wee, has not changed. So I’ve still got enough between Chick and the outside world not to worry about him/her falling out of my vagina anytime soon.

Better yet, I was given the fFN test and it came back negative. In this case, negative is very positive- it means that I have a 99% likelihood of NOT having a baby in the next two weeks. Whew!

For some reason, my doctor/midwife team wanted me to go to a Fetal Medicine Specialist on Monday. The idea was to determine what level of monitoring I might need for the rest of my pregnancy. To be honest, I’m still not too sure why I had that appointment. And said specialist isn’t too sure why either. But I’m getting ahead of myself.

Mr. O and I met with her, and went over all the details and drama over the last few weeks. She asked a ton of questions, looked over the results, and gave her synopsis of what she thinks happened.

Her guess is that my cervix started to shorten (which is normal toward the end of pregnancy) and in that process a small blood vessel may have burst. This happens sometimes, and is nothing to worry about. There was some concern this might have been signs of a partial placental abruption, but since Chick has continued to grow at a healthy rate and there is no more bleeding, we’ve pretty much ruled that out. Fun Fact: babies only need 50% of the placenta. The other 50%? Leftovers, I guess.

Back to said synopsis: Of course, as I was in the office for the suspicious brown spotting, I was hooked up to machines which found my Silent Contractions. Then I went to the hospital where I was monitored more, and the doctors kept finding more odd things and ordering more NSTs. Each symptom in isolation might have been fine, but because they were all happening within a short time frame we took a more cautious approach.

As she pointed out, there was no way to know from the outset that I wasn’t going into labor. Another fun fact from this doctor– If you are going into real, actual labor, there isn’t really a way to stop it, only delay it. Since mine was successfully stopped with intervention, I wasn’t in “true” labor, but as they say, hindsight is 20/20. Not that I would change any course we took– you just can’t know in the moment, so Mr. O, the doctors, and I made the best decisions we could with the information we had. Since I was hooked up to that NST machine for between 45 and 1.5 hours at a time, we had A LOT of information.

Essentially, the Fetal Medicine doc diagnosed me with a case of over-monitoring.

After going over our case, she said “How about this… I’m just going to treat you like a normal pregnant woman.” No extra monitoring, just one more ultrasound in a month to make sure Chick is still good, but no additional appointments, NSTs, blood work, blah, blah, blah. Music to my ears, friends.

I’m still on “restricted activity” which seems fine to me since I’m officially uncomfortable. I knew it was bound to happen, and 33 weeks is as good a time as any I suppose. With Chick gaining .5 lbs each week from here on out, my tiny frame is starting to protest under the pressure. I’d much rather be home napping, and now I have a doctor’s note to validate me!

With this information, I went back to work this week– three full days and two half days. I’m planning to ask my manager for a work from home schedule (three days in the office, two days at home) so I can take it easy into the Final Countdown to Babyville. I’m fully aware how fortunate I am to have this option– every once in a while, my middle class guilt creeps up on me because I know so many women don’t have the supportive, flexible work environment I do. Is it odd I feel a little bad about this? Is it at least less terrible that I know and appreciate how fortunate I am?

But this is a post for another day, perhaps.

I also have notes from the Baby Extravaganza coming your way! Stay tuned…

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12 comments

  1. My Perfect Breakdown · June 29, 2015

    I am so happy that the specialist thinks you and Chick are good for at least a few more weeks! And that you are now allowed to leave your house and re-join society, how awesome is that?! I hope you have a wonderful day! 🙂

    • thecommonostrich · June 30, 2015

      It was such a relief. Having at baby at 34 weeks feels less scary than having one at 30. It certainly put my butt in gear, however. I’m almost done packing the hospital bag, and Chick’s room should be finished (or very, very close) by the end of this weekend.

      In the meantime, I’m enjoying life on the outside. 😉

  2. lucy50 · June 29, 2015

    All good things.
    How far are you now? I’m sure you have mentioned it, but my life runs together these days.

    The over monitoring thing is real. I think these days docs are so paranoid.

    • thecommonostrich · June 30, 2015

      Mostly good. I say mostly, because all this seems to have coincided with the general aches and pains of being in my third trimester. You know the drill… sore hips, aching back, belly that feels about the weight of a bowling ball…

      The whole over monitoring/over treatment question is really interesting to me. I can see in hindsight that I probably didn’t need to be on an NST for 45 minutes after 24 hours of no symptoms. Of course, how was I supposed to know that at the time? 30% of all pre-term labor actually resolves on its own without medication intervention… but how could I or my doctors know if I was in that 30%?

      In an odd way, it was a good precursor to labor. I learned a lot about how I feel in hospital settings, how Mr. O and I communicate, and I got a behind the scenes tour of the facilities. Silver lining?

  3. g2the4thpower · June 29, 2015

    I’m curious, are you on progesterone for the thinning cervix?

    • thecommonostrich · June 30, 2015

      No, I’m not. And I plan on talking about it at my next appointment.

      My suspicion is they aren’t prescribing it because I’m late in my pregnancy. A lot of treatments for a shorten cervix tend to be done on women who are much earlier when they are diagnosed. In fact, it is hard to find information on this sort of thing occurring in later pregnancy. There is a TON of research about it at 20 weeks (when cervix length is checked at the anatomy scan.) Indeed, I found a lot of articles saying that cervix length isn’t generally checked after 32 weeks. I just happened to “get lucky” because I was having some spotting.

      • g2the4thpower · June 30, 2015

        That’s interesting. I don’t recall ever having a cervical length measurement, and my first child was born following spontaneous membrane rupture at 35w4d. Luckily she was totally healthy, but this time around they’re being much more cautious. I’m surprised it’s not a more standard thing, especially when in family history there’s a trend of premature births like in my case. Maybe if I were on progesterone first time around it could have been prevented. I hope everything is settling for you. As for taking the progesterone late… I can’t imagine it would hurt to try, right? I’ll be curious to see what they say when you bring it up.

      • thecommonostrich · June 30, 2015

        Okay, keep in mind I am NO medical expert… But from my extensive googling, they’ll likely check you earlier/more regularly since you have a previous history.

        What was interesting to me about my researching is that there doesn’t seem to be a lot of consensus on when/how often to check cervical length. There are a ton of studies that have been done recently, but there doesn’t appear to be a standard/accepted time or frequency, the exception being at the 20 week US.

        If you’re worried about it, ask at the 20 week ultrasound… I mean, they are already peeking in there, right?

      • g2the4thpower · June 30, 2015

        Yes definitely. My new obgyn personally called me when she read my file to advise me she would be requesting a cervical length ultrasound around 20 weeks, and I’ll be starting my weekly progesterone shots around then too, regardless of my measurement at that time. They don’t know for sure if my premie was due to cervical incompetence, but they’re going to be keeping an eye on it this time just in case.

  4. hopingforatakehome · June 29, 2015

    Congrats on getting to leave the house! Time passes so slowly when you’re stuck at home.

  5. Haisla · July 13, 2015

    Hey, so glad to hear you’ve been ‘released from confinement’!! And it’s great your work is being so supportive. I hope the rest of your pregnancy will be nice and uneventful. ; ) . xxx

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