So I realized that I told you way back when I announced that we were expecting that I would keep you all updated, but other than a few mentions here and there I haven’t been very good at posting about my pregnancy. (or posting in general, haha) If you don’t want the long version, just know that I’m 29 weeks along and our baby is still doing great! If you want the details, boy do I have some details…
But before I get into those details… check out these pics of our cute boy! We had a 3D ultrasound last Saturday, when I was 28 weeks and 2 days along, and I just can’t stop staring at the cuteness!
Up until lately I didn’t feel like there was much to write about pregnancy-wise. I mentioned way back in July that my first trimester brought on tons of exhaustion and a few weeks of morning sickness, but after morning sickness I couldn’t complain much. Other than normal little symptoms like heartburn and being tired (maybe a little grumpy too… sorry, Babe) at night, my second trimester was exactly the honeymoon that everyone describes. I felt pretty good, had plenty of energy to get through my day, and even found myself forgetting I was pregnant sometimes. Towards the end of my second trimester (like 25 weeks-ish?) I started to feel the baby way up in my ribs, and I felt like I was constantly having to catch my breath, but I still really couldn’t complain much. Pregnant and recently pregnant friends warned me that the third trimester wasn’t going to be fun, but for some reason I took it as a grain of salt and figured I would feel pretty much the same, just bigger and more uncomfortable.
So then a couple weeks ago (a Wednesday — at one day shy of 27 weeks), I went into work and was standing up chatting with some people in my office and one person randomly said, “Wow, you look tiny today!” I looked down at my bump and kind of turned to the said and she followed up with “Actually you look really, really low.” The next time I looked in a mirror I totally saw the lowness, but I figured that it was my outfit and didn’t put much thought into it. Then, that same day I went into a classroom and the first thing the teacher said when I walked in was “Whoa! That’s one low boy!” Now I was a little concerned, but still blamed it on my outfit and again didn’t think much more about it. I mentioned it to Kreig when I got home and he agreed that my shirt was making me look lower than normal. That same day I started noticing some pelvic and back pain — nothing major, just kind of dull pain. I have had that off and on and the doctor told me before that it’s just stretching ligaments. So I made sure I was drinking tons of water (I have learned the hard way that not drinking enough brings on cramping like clockwork) and probably whined a lot to Kreig when I got home. I also noticed that the baby actually felt lower too, like I could breathe again! The next two days I still had the pelvic and back pain and just kind of hoped it would stop soon. That Friday night, we went to the mall, which I pretty much whined the whole way through about my pain… and as I walked around I started to notice that I was feeling downward pressure. I demanded that we get out of the mall unless I could drive a motorized shopping cart, so we went to dinner. By the time we got to the restaurant I felt like my pubic bone was broken in half. (Sorry, TMI, I know.) As much as I try to avoid Googling, I felt like this wasn’t normal and I just wanted to see if I should be concerned. Some of the results said it was totally normal, but a lot of the results said it could be a sign of preterm labor and I should call the doctor immediately. Preterm labor. Those two words have always been in the back of my mind.
Here’s some background info… I have two uteruses. Say what?! Yes, two uteruses. (And you thought the phrase pubic bone was TMI!) Even though everyone and their brother already knows this about me, it feels a little odd posting it online. I was born with two uteruses and one kidney — and yes, they are related. It has something to do with them forming from the same stem cells. It’s like the cell that was supposed to turn into a kidney turned into a uterus or something. Anyway, I’m a freak of nature. I knew before I got pregnant that I might have two uteruses, (they thought they saw two a few years ago when they were trying to find my other kidney) and my ultrasound at 7 1/2 weeks confirmed it. You can kind of see below, the baby is in the right uterus and the left one is empty.
Whenever I asked my doctor about the condition before getting pregnant he always said that there are basically three things I needed to know — It would probably take a while to conceive and we may need fertility treatments (which totally did not happen), there is an increased risk of preterm labor, and an increased c-section rate (because if the baby is breech he has less room to flip around.) I am not considered a high-risk pregnancy, and I haven’t gotten any additional monitoring because of my unique anatomy. This used to bother me because I felt like I needed extra monitoring, but I now realize that there was really nothing to monitor unless they saw something of concern in a ultrasound.
I worried a lot about preterm labor way early in my pregnancy. I would read message boards specifically for women with two uteruses and there were all these crazy stories about preemie babies that crippled me with fear. Kreig banned me from reading message boards and I stopped a long time ago, and while the worry has always been in the back of my mind, I haven’t entertained the thought much… I figured that if the risk of infertility didn’t affect me, hopefully the risk of preterm labor wouldn’t either. And the doctor never brought it up unless I was asking questions.
Now, back to the story… knowing that I have this increased risk of preterm labor, I figured I should call the doctor to be on the safe side. I knew I wasn’t having contractions so I tried not to freak out too much. I waited until we left the restaurant and called my doctor’s after hours number. I talked to a receptionist and she told me she would have the on-call doctor give me a call. As much as I didn’t want to walk anywhere, I wasn’t sure how long it would take for the doctor to call and I couldn’t just sit in the car and wait. So we went into Target. About two minutes later, my phone rang and we started walking out to the car as I explained what I was feeling to the doctor (who wasn’t my normal doctor) and told him about my bicornate uterus. He said I should come to the hospital and get checked to rule out preterm labor.
There’s those two words again… I started shaking and crying as soon as I got of the phone, but I tried to keep calm. Without even realizing it, Kreig started driving as if you could see the baby’s head coming out or something. Once I pointed out that he was driving like a maniac, he calmed down. We chilled out and told each other that it was probably nothing, that the doctor was just being cautious. I called my mom and calmly told her what was going on. Then I called her crying ten minutes later and demanded that she tell me everything was fine. She did. And I calmed down, again.
We got to the hospital around 9:30 and this awesome nurse took me into a room and told me that I was probably just feeling pain associated with everything stretching. They checked for a bladder infection and hooked me up to a heart-rate monitor and contraction monitor as I waited for the doctor. It was great to hear the baby’s heart thumping away, and it was fun to hear him moving around. The nurses kept laughing at how active he was and kept assuring us that everything seemed totally fine so far. The doctor came in and confirmed that I was not dialating at all, but that the baby was extremely low for 27 weeks. He said what was really important was that I wasn’t dialating, but he was concerned about the baby being so low. It could be nothing but it could be an indicator that the baby is getting ready. When he left the nurse again assured us that everything was fine, and mentioned that the doctor I saw is a “worst case scenario kind of guy” and that she thought I was carrying low because I’m so short. Ultimately, I had to talk to my doctor, who I would see the following Monday.
So Monday came and I went to my doctor. I told him everything and he basically said the same thing that the doctor on Friday said. I still wasn’t dialating, but the baby was very low. It could be just the way I carry, but with the bicornate uterus he wanted to watch closely for preterm labor. He told me to try to take it as easy as possible, and asked me about what I do for work. He said I should be okay to continue working unless it became too uncomfortable for me, but to try to get off my feet when I can. He gave me a note to park closer to my office, and said he wanted to start seeing me every week instead of every two weeks. He also scheduled an ultrasound for that Friday.
So I went for the ultrasound last Friday, and the tech assured me that everything looked great. The baby measures a little big, as he did at our gender ultrasound (around 2 lbs. 13 oz. instead of the expected 2 lb. 2 oz.) which is always comforting to me for some reason… like if he does come early I would rather have him bigger than smaller. Oh, and he’s definitely still a boy, so that’s good.
I felt pretty good about things after the ultrasound and on Saturday, I felt great! We had some maternity photos taken (I’ll share soon) and had the 3D ultrasound and while I still had some pressure, I felt way better than I had been feeling all week. By Saturday night, I had some back pain again but it’s always worse at night so I was still hopeful that things were looking up. I woke up Sunday and felt awful all day. I didn’t really get out of bed, and Monday felt like the longest work day ever. It was back and pelvic pain like I’ve been having, but it was definitely worse and now my legs hurt as well. I went to my doctor appointment after work that afternoon and told him all about the pain. He again confirmed that I’m not dialating, which is always a relief to hear, but the baby is still low. After the exam, I went into his office like normal and I expected to hear the same thing that he told me the week before…. He looked at the ultrasound and told me that everything looked great there. He said that women with bicornate uteruses tend to have more round ligament (stretching) pain than normal because a bicornate uterus has less elasticity than a normal uterus. He again said that I could just be carrying low because of my short torso, but that he wants to be cautious knowing my risk of preterm labor. Then he totally shocked me when he looked at me and said “At this point, I think you need to be out of work for the remainder of the pregnancy.” I cried. Then he went on to explain that he just wants to get the baby as close to full term as possible, and there’s not much else he can do but get me off my feet. He agreed to let me work Tuesday to get things in line for a long leave, but sternly told me that after that I was to be done. Luckily it’s not bed rest — I can still get up and do things, but mostly take it easy.
So today is my third day home and I’ve kind of been an emotional roller coaster. I cried pretty much every time I looked at anyone at work on Tuesday, then I felt really positive on Wednesday — especially since I felt physically better after being in bed all day. Yesterday and today I’m back to having the same amount of pain I had earlier in the week, so that’s discouraging… but at least I don’t have to walk around in agony and try to act normal. As much as I am upset about using up time that was supposed to be spent with the baby before he is even born, I am trying to think of it as still spending time with him, and trying to think positively about having time to relax at home and prepare for him to arrive! I’m sure being home will allow me to do things I wouldn’t have had time or energy to do if I were working, so I’m trying to embrace it… and I’m happy that it happens to be holiday time, because there is plenty of stuff I can do (even from bed) to get ready for Christmas without feeling the normal rush. Plus Kreig will be home for some of these weeks, so at least I won’t be alone for 12 weeks in a row. Ultimately, though, I am just thankful to have a healthy baby, and I’ll do whatever it takes to keep him healthy!
So there ya go, the longest pregnancy update ever… and I’m sure you’ll be hearing from me again very soon, because hey, what else do I have to do?