August 13, 2007

I Caved

And I feel like such a loser. I bought one of those stupid fetal heart monitor thingies. Apologies if you have one and love it, but I always thought they were lame. This is probably more my Tom Cruise aversion that anything else (yes I know they have a million dollar doppler or u/s machine or some such thing and not the cheesy $20 glorified microphone I got), but I also thought the heart monitor would only fuel obsession and paranoia and was basically the last thing I needed. I was content with just my monthly OB appointments, and kind of liked not worrying about it and feeling "normal" in the maternity department for a change.

Until last night, after a day of weird belly pains and a late night call to my doctor. The pains were very intense and came in waves, lasting for a count of 3 or 4, disappearing for just as long, then again, off and on like that three to five times in a row, then nothing again for an hour or so. Earlier in the day they happened every few hours, but as the night wore on it was happening as often as every 20-30 minutes. Kind of sounds like contractions in timing and duration, except that it was isolated to a very small area, size of a silver dollar, about midway between my public bone and my belly button. The pain sort of radiated out, but didn't feel like a tightening or hardening of the muscle. It was probably round ligament pain, except that you normally feel that on one or both sides, not there in the middle.

Dr. Google had led me to worry about placental abruption, wherein the placenta separates from the uterus, potentially cutting off oxygen to the baby. Of course Dr. Google shared with me only the most gruesome stories of women who had not gotten care when they had the symptoms and whose babies might have been saved if only they'd gone to the hospital but were sadly found to be dead much later when the woman finally saw her doctor and there was no heartbeat. She just thought she was having normal pregnancy pains. Scary.

So I called my doctor and he never suggested placental abruption, but did mention preterm labor. He said I could come in and be monitored for contractions, or see if I could get the pain to go away at home. If changing positions, Tylenol, or a heating pad did the trick, it wasn't labor and was probably nothing to worry about. I really did not want to spend the night hooked up to monitors in the hospital, my gut was just telling me it wasn't preterm labor, and the doctor agreed it really didn't sound like it, so I decided to stay home and see if the pain would subside.

I have felt it only a few more times and much milder, but in the morning I was worried again when I didn't feel the baby move for several hours. Usually I feel it as soon as I get up and especially after I eat, but this morning nada. So I decided to give the fetal heart monitor a try, thinking I'd be far enough along that it would be easy to hear and wouldn't freak me out and would at least reassure me that placental abruption hadn't killed the baby.

I am so irritated with myself for being so lame. What you can't tell until you buy the stupid monitor and read the manual inside is that it's not suggested until the third trimester (three more weeks, how did that happen??), and even then you may not hear anything unless the baby's spine is pressing back against your belly button. I swore I wasn't going to cave to that thing, dammit! So I can't hear anything but my own heartbeat, but on the way home from the ridiculous purchase, I also got a caffienated frappucino (I know, terrible) and the baby's been kicking ever since. I got a lot more reassurance from my overpriced $4 coffee drink than that stupid microphone.

Next OB appoitment is Wednesday, so unless anything more dramatic happens in the meantime, we'll just discuss the weird pains more then.

16 comments:

Sticky Bun said...

Sarah, that's so stressful! (And, I don't blame you for getting the monitor...but the bastards should have made it more clear you wouldn't have been able to hear it unless some ridiculously specific conditions were right. Argh.)

I hope that the pain goes away and that it's nothing, but I'll be thinking of you between now and Wednesday. Hang in there!

My Reality said...

I am so happy that things are ok. Don't beat yourself up about the monitor. You have been through so much to get here. If you need a Starbucks a day to reassure you, keep drinking. Too bad we aren't closer, I would meet you there!

Adrienne said...

I so understand why you caved. Any bit of comfort, when you've gone through so much to get where you are. I hope the pains don't come back.

K77 said...

That sounds scary Sarah! Sorry you caved to the lameness and it was for nothing!

Rachel said...

I did the exact same thing but I was only about 17 or 18 weeks at the time. What a waste of $20! I think we need to spread the word.

Valerie said...

I would have done the same thing. Glad the starbucks made the little one reassure you with some kicks.

twirl said...

I've totally used coffee to prompt movement for reassurance.

So sorry about the scary stressor pains!

Tinker said...

That's frightening stuff, and certainly frustrating to discover that a good shot of caffeine did more than a medical instrument to reassure you.

I hope Wednesday's visit gives you a good answer.

megan said...

makes perfect sense to me, the caving to the monitor, as you have worked long and hard for this. it's natural to want to keep tabs on things, no? sorry it didn't work, but thrilled that a fancy coffee was able to give you some reassurance. i hope the pain stays away. thinking of you.

Bumble said...

What a scary night Sarah! I'd have done exactly the same so don't worry about it. And in a few weeks you'll be able to listen to your bub's heart to your heart's content now that you have it. Maybe the pains were just Braxton Hicks? Glad your littly got a kick out of the caffeine though and set your mind at ease...! xxx

Tam said...

Shame sweetie, I'm sure that everything is going to be just fine at your next appointment. That really sounds like something I would do, oh well...think how much fun you'll have with it in 3 weeks!!

The Momcaster said...

i think i'd cave too if i got freaky pains like that.
great that the lil bun reacted so well to coffee haha ;)

Debbie said...

I'm so happy everything is ok, wow that is scary.

I'm thinking of you and sending you positive vibes.

ultimatejourney said...

I would buy anything that I thought would put my mind at ease. Sorry you're dealing with such a stressful situation. I hope everything is fine.

Kate said...

Don't beat yourself up for getting the monitor, Sarah. You deserve a little peace of mind (it is too bad about the false advertising though). My midwife actually suggested renting a hospital-grade doppler during my 2nd trimester to help put my mind at ease since she knew what a worried mess I was (I never did rent it, but I appreciated her understanding of my fear).

Placental abruption is a really scarry stuff, and I am so sorry Dr. Google narrowed your symptoms down to that. I am glad your Dr. put your mind at ease about that.

Glad you found your baby-moving concoction. If you find yourself too far away from Starbucks, a glass of really cold water or OJ and laying down for a few minutes always does the trick for me to get the babe moving.

KarenO said...

If the monitor lessens your stress and worries about the baby, then it's a GOOD thing, so don't beat yourself down about it OK? Just please take care of yourself!