I am sitting on the couch eating the last of the giant marshmallows I bought “for s’mores”…even though I didn’t bother to buy chocolate or graham crackers. Today was my 30 week appointment for this pregnancy and – pardon my french – but shit is about to get real.
I was at Mom 2.0 Summit last weekend. It was really, really fun. Because you probably don’t blog and probably weren’t there I am not going to write a super long, super inspirational post about everything I learned and name drop all the fancy people I met.
Although excuse me if I freak out just ONE more time over my photo with Jessica Shyba. Even my mom watches The Today Show and probably knows about Jessica and her adorable kid-dog-sleeping pictures.
Besides eating way too much and drinking nowhere near enough water and standing and walking and DANCING like a crazy person and only getting 3 hours of sleep on Saturday night, it also took a couple of long flights to Atlanta and back. After E picked me up on Sunday afternoon I was so swollen and sore I briefly considered calling the OB just to make sure I hadn’t somehow given myself pre-eclampsia.
Instead I drank a TON of water (and some Diet Coke because caffeine is a diuretic and that makes it legit) and lay on my left side and took a nap. By Monday morning I was only half as swollen and by Tuesday I could wear my shoes again. We even went for a family walk and I didn’t think I was going to die on the way home.
But today was that OB appointment and they broke some news: despite the fact that my sugars are normal (no gestational diabetes to see here folks!) and my blood pressure is still excellent and I’ve had no signs of labor and both my previous pregnancies went to at least 39 weeks and my water has never broken on its own…they Have Concerns. Concerns that mean I am going to be at the hospital a lot from now on.
Don’t get me wrong, I am VERY VERY glad my doctor is on top of things. I am glad the midwives at the practice reassured me everything looks fine. I am glad no one is freaking out and we are “just being cautious”. But I’m also not looking forward to bi-weekly non-stress tests or weekly ultrasounds to watch my fluid levels.
I’ve also lost the ability to totally block out the fact that a) I’m having a baby soonish and b) there’s always a chance something IS wrong and they just haven’t seen it on the scans or tests. The phrase “as long as it’s healthy” has never felt so much like a threat instead of just something people say because it’s something people say.
There’s obviously nothing I can do about it now. I’m in third-trimester limbo until either something happens on its own or we decide the baby would be safer out than in.
To be clear, as of right now, there is NO REASON to think the baby isn’t perfect. Well, no reason besides the unexplained high fluid levels that makes it hard for the nurse to keep the baby on the monitor for my NST and makes me look and feel ENORMOUS. But as far as anyone can tell with the baby on the inside, we’re still good.
I’d be more annoyed with the whole thing if there wasn’t any reason at all for the monitoring. But my doctor explained that in some cases – very rare cases – so rare he has never seen one in person – high fluid levels can compress the umbilical cord so baby doesn’t get enough oxygen. That is enough of a reason for me to keep my eye-rolling down to a “OK, I guess I can bring the kids and the iPad in twice a week for checks” instead of elevating it to “UGH. WHY DO I HAVE TO BE HERE???” There’s also the chance that it’s something in baby’s digestive tract or kidneys that isn’t working correctly. Or that it’s a facial or mouth deformity that can’t be detected via ultrasound.
But we DON’T KNOW, so thinking about it – or Googling it – is pointless. I say that to myself at least 20 times a minute while I’m on the internet. So basically 24,000 times a day.
I don’t want to be the person who freaks out over a healthy pregnancy, a third baby when many people struggle to have even one, someone who is ungrateful and annoying and everyone dreads running into. But I also miss my first pregnancy, when everything felt new and exciting and was so, so, SO very average and I had no idea how fragile pregnancy could be or how many things could go wrong. What To Expect might be terrifying for first time moms but it’s got NOTHING on almost 6 years of the internet.
So for approximately 10 more weeks I am going to live at the hospital being assured that no one really knows anything but they’re trying.
I will spend about 50% of that time pretending I’m not even pregnant so why would I need to buy a crib and the other 50% staring at cribs on the internet to find the perfect one for the nursery we haven’t started yet.
And also 100% of that time being punched in the lungs and/or cervix by a baby who has made so much amniotic fluid I basically have an olympic-sized swimming pool inside me.