Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Cervical adventures at 33 weekish

So going by the mantra that nothing is ever boring in my life, I started to feel more cervical tingling/pain/movement Friday night, and just because I think that I'm crazy and paranoid, I scrub like a surgeon, and figure out the geometrics of getting my hand up my vagina to feel my cervix and figure out what the hell is going on. After TTC for the last 10 years or so, I'm an expert at figuring out the state of it quite easily and even discretely, but at 8 months pregnant, I look like a cross between a fetish film porn star and a Cirque Du Soleil gymnast.

Eventually I figure out how to grow my arms longer and find it, and it feels mushier than it did before, and I can even get a fingertip in a bit.

So freakin' panic sets in. I warn my husband to put his glass of wine down and be prepared to drive. (He's been dreading this part of the pregnancy since it means he can't drink more than a drop. So far I've been his designated driver, but now it may be time to switch, haha, since I can barely fit behind the wheel anymore and I need him to be able to make decisions without falling down even if it IS a special night with clients, yadda, yadda bullshit.)

Anyway, shortly afterwards the weird feeling stops completely and I decided to try and sleep and think about something else.

At 7 am I wake up with cramps, not contractions, but a crampy kind of pain, very low. I get my husband awake, and talk to him about going to the hospital. His first question? "Can we wait until after the kids' swim lesson?" upon which I promptly burst into tears. I mean, HELLO? I held off until morning for pete's sake. I think he clued in right then that we weren't waiting until after swimming.

So his cousin took the kids to swimming and we drove off to labour & delivery triage and we walked up there hand in hand, super tense, but at least together. We found the nurse, gave her the skinny, and she promptly hooked me up to the monitors and went for a Doctor. She didn't have any of my history, since my records hadn't been transferred over yet, so I had to recite it all, and the pages I'd written up were waaayyyy too long. (I've decided to edit that to one page or less--previous pg history, this pregnancy history, current meds, and any current medical conditions. Even after my records are transferred, my doc has the world's worst handwriting and I'm not sure what anyone will make of that scribble, meanwhile I can type some acronyms legibly, right?)

Turns out that the twelve year old resident doesn't think my cervix is shorter, but since her arm isn't an ultrasound machine she can't be sure, and my last measurement was 3-3.5 cm and meanwhile I'm wondering what the reason is for the pain if it isn't pre-term labour, but she has no clue and no answers. Nurses at the hospital are Goddesses by the way....I seriously worship them.

Nice part? We get to leave for one reason and one reason only, simply because I had already had the steroid shots (Celestone) to mature the baby's lungs at 25 weeks. And therefore, she has no concerns about the fact, I'm fine and can just come back if it gets worse. I'm finding this to be ironic since my Doc was not concerned about me getting it. He wrote the prescription and it was only $40 to fill, and covered by my insurance, and the shots turned out to be not so painful after all----so why don't more women get them? Not everyone obviously, but hey, if there are no side effects and it saves preemie lives and money, well, I'm wondering why they don't give them to anyone with even a teeny complication? Plus, the province just saved some money because I didn't have to be admitted over the weekend for 48 hours. Short-sighted health care system in my opinion.

Oh yeah, I forgot, they only try to prevent BIG diseases like cancer, fuck maternal-fetal-infant health. Cheap, and easy to fix and makes good photo-ops, never mind the moral implications, but instead they just run around throwing money at hospital presidents and VPs and other wasteful administrative crap. Actual direct patient care? A distant second as long as we fund hospitals on a lump sum basis.....

Yes, I'm happy the baby is fine, the most important thing, but I'm mentioning politics for a reason by the way---my friend Warren had a post today where he again tried to say that there are too few women in the Canadian blogosphere---meanwhile I read close to a hundred female Canadian bloggers. Man must not look very hard. Blind as a bat in fact. Go give him your opinion if you feel like it!

Meanwhile the last few days, I've been sorting old baby clothes by size and figuring out what needs to be washed and what needs to be tossed, and today I went shopping for furniture and stuff. I've already checked out one store, but this time I did some serious looking at cribs, etc at Moms to be...and More . And of course, anything decent quality takes weeks to arrive and I'm late because I didn't want to order anything to early. I'm sorry but even the most optimistic naive person can't really order baby furniture 16 weeks early, can they? I finally found one company that can get me stuff in 6-8 weeks. And it's Canadian! And they use real wood instead of glue and cardboard and shit!

College Woodwork is apparently in Oshawa, and makes some nice stuff from what I've seen...we'll see how it looks once I pick something. Yeah, I could go for the glue and cardboard stuff at Ikea again, but that stuff breaks so easily, I have to confess, I've pretty sick of it. Twenty years of crappy furniture; I'm ready to upgrade to something not made of chemicals and sawdust, thanks.

Anyway, I've suddenly realized that all this setting up the room & shopping is giving me some more Braxton-Hicks, which are painful, and therefore may actually be contractions and the irony is that I cannot type while in pain, in fact, I had planned on live blogging my labour, but I don't know if this will work so well now. Very distracted, maybe that's why it has taken 4 days to write this post.

My last thing of note. I heard this quote on the West Wing just this past couple of days and thought it might explain a few things in my life. Any of the other dead baby mamas reading agree? In fact, this scene might explain my entire personality.....

Josh and Leo are talking on the phone about a problem and a rescue plan Josh wants to implement to save Leo from political disaster.

Leo: "Cause you're walking around with so much guilt about everybody you love dying that you're a compulsive fixer?"

Josh: "No Leo, no, it's because there's this guy walking down the street and he falls in a hole...."

Dudes, I would never have made it through this pregnancy without you all. I thought I was supposed to be fixing you, and then, you fixed me right back.


  1. "the twelve year old resident doesn't think my cervix is shorter, but since her arm isn't an ultrasound machine she can't be sure"

    is the best line ever.

    looking forward to live labour blogging.

  2. Too few women in the Canadian blogosphere? Ha!

  3. Awww... shucks. And I love that episode, especially the Leo and his lawyer part.

    Monkey's crib (and dresser/changing table), which is awaiting the opportunity to be used again, is actually a convertible (to toddler be, not more), Canadian, solid wood thing. The factory was in Montreal, and made the best stuff. Unfortunately, they closed. Cheap Chinese imports. I am very disappointed for them.

    When is your next real appointment?

  4. I'm thinking Julia and I may have the same brand crib. Got mine as a former floor model when the company in Montreal closed.

    Live blogging labor? That's insane, but would be fun from my end. But seriously, enjoy that in peace.

    And I'm sorry for the pain, but glad you're not holed up in a hospital.

  5. I think every 3rd blog I read is canadian too. What's that aboot, eh?

    What a fun adventure. I am stuck on the fact that the husband can't drink now, I hadn't even thought of that.

    When is your next appt? Will you have a laptop so you can blog during contractions? :)

  6. My next Doc appointment is Monday afternoon, 2 pm, and I get another US then.

    And I can update my blog from my blackberry so this might work.

  7. Sounds really good, all things considered.

  8. glad you're home and sympathies on the pain. though i think it's odd that they didn't find a way to get your cervix measured...? i have this naive idea that in the bigger centres of our fine country the doctors really DO have u/s machines for arms. :)

    one thing, though - as someone who's been through the Celestone protocol twice and who was actually a part of a cross-North America study two years ago on repeat doses of it - my understanding (possibly false, take what i have to say with a grain of salt) was that its benefits were thought to last approximately two weeks from dosage, maximum three. so the resident's assurance that it is still helping your baby's lungs eight weeks after dosage seems different from all i've ever been told. who knows? my docs may be crazy. but it might not hurt to get a second opinion on that, Aurelia, especially if the pain continues and there's been no u/s.

    sorry to be a worrywart...please don't think i'm trying to stress you out. i just figure you're an information kind of girl, and it might not hurt to double check.

    gl. thinking of you.

  9. Bon,

    I think if my cervix had been really small or dilated at all she might've sent me for an US to measure it, but it was still at least there and pretty firm, so she was okay. I am getting another US Monday on schedule and if I want it, I can get it earlier one, but I'm okay right now.

    I will ask about the study, and how long the Celestone lasts, but I know my OB told me that they saw no benefits to repeated Celestone shots when I got the first one, and I'm over 32 weeks so technically the baby's lungs would be good on their own right now at his size and weight.

    But I definitely will ask, and if need be, my ass will get another shot, cause hey, why not? hehe

  10. sorry Aurelia, didn't mean to suggest you should get another shot, just wanted to make sure your doc/resident wasn't being cavalier in saying that the 8wk old Celestone would still be helpful at this point, since they hadn't seemed to do much else. so long as you're good and getting the u/s Monday, all cool. and you're right, baby will probably breathe on his own just fine at this point anyway.

    the study was called MACS, and is over now but not yet released - we actually have our followup on May 21st. you're right, normal protocol is only to give the shot once - the study was to determine both if multiple rounds helped outcomes (by ensuring more babies were born within the optimal seven days of the shot, i assume) and also to test for side effects of multiple exposures.

  11. Err, live labor blogging? You are braver then me. Of course, all my labors were in the middle of the night and I ended up watching star trek reruns during the last one.

  12. Glad you've been given the all-clear.


  13. Holy Smokes - live blogging thru labor? please please please...

    I'm really curious about the steroid shots now. If I get knocked up I'll ask about them early on.

  14. If anyone's going to live blog labor, and make it entertaining, it's going to be Aurelia. I'm reading that.