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On Springing a Leak

Yesterday, at exactly 19 weeks, I had to make an unexpected trip to my OB’s office, because I was leaking something from somewhere up in my lady parts.

It started in the morning and happened three times throughout the day, when I would stand up from sitting or when I would sneeze. It was not a gush of liquid, but not a drop either. More like a trickle unlike anything I had felt before, leaving me with a wet spot on my panties and a little unease in the pit of my stomach. Honestly, I believed that it was probably urine, because that’s kind of what it felt like to me, but it was so out-of-the-ordinary that I began to worry.

I worried, I googled, I worried some more. In another lifetime, I probably would have concluded that I was overreacting and then go about my day, still worrying but not wanting to bother anyone with my silly fears. I still do that in many areas of my life, but I am not willing to take any risks with this pregnancy or Skittle’s well-being. So I decided there was no harm in calling to talk to a nurse about my leak. I was nervous and anxious and felt unsettled, but believed everything would be fine. Until I described to the nurse what I felt and she said, “Can you come in right away? Just drop whatever you’re doing and come right now.”

That’s when my stomach dropped, my heart clenched, and I felt a fear deeper than anything I’ve felt since my last pregnancy, when I saw blood. It took 30 minutes in rush hour traffic to get to my doctor’s office, and the whole way there, as my daughter sang “Baa Baa Black Sheep” in the backseat, I said one simple prayer over and over: Please don’t let this be amniotic fluid, God. Please let our baby be okay.

And in the end, everything is. When I arrived, I peed in a cup, they weighed me and took my blood pressure (which was unsurprisingly high), and then I was led back to a room, where they did a cervical and fluid check. My cervix is closed. I have a ton of cervical mucus (which was sent to lab to check for infections, but all tests have come back negative). The strip that they use to test for amniotic fluid in the vaginal canal did not turn blue — which is exactly what we wanted. Skittle’s heartbeat was good and, though I couldn’t feel it, we could hear him/her moving around. The Nurse Practitioner thinks my leak was probably excess CM, but I still think I peed myself a little.¬† And I could be embarrassed about that, but I’m not. I’m just proud that I took immediate action and put this baby before everything and everyone else.

I left the office feeling an immense sense of relief and gratitude. Skittle is okay. Thank God Skittle is okay. After a few minutes, I started to worry again. The amniotic fluid test is not foolproof. They could be wrong. But as my mom reminded me, I just need to have faith and trust my medical professionals. Everything has checked out. There is no indication that our baby is in danger. Pregnant women leak fluids all the time. We’re fine. I’m 19 weeks pregnant and Skittle and I are fine. Big. Deep. Breath.

Today is a better day. I’ve felt the baby move some and haven’t felt any leakage. I’m breathing easier now.

And hopefully I will for a good long time.

NT Scan & OB Visit

Last week, while my mom was here, I had my NT scan. Baby had a strong heart rate of 161 and was measuring a whole week ahead, which then started me worrying that a) I’m eating too much and have started down a slippery slope towards gestational diabetes and preeclampsia, and b) I’m going to give birth to a gigantic baby. Cupcake was on the smaller side (7lbs 2oz), but big babies are not unheard of in my family. I’ve had plenty of cousins who weighed 8 or 9 pounds (or more!) and I was 10lbs 1oz when I was born (my poor, poor mama, right?). And while I know I could do it if I had to, I’d prefer not to have push something¬† that size out of my vagina. Y’know?

As far as the results of the NT scan and bloodwork, I haven’t heard anything, so I assume I have passed this first part of the screening. They told me no news is good news, and I’m taking them for their word. Even though, I’ll admit that I’m slightly surprised by the silent telephone. Really, I had been expecting to get a positive on the screening. Not that I actually think something is wrong with this baby, but I had prepared myself for a false positive at least…because that’s just the kind of luck I have.

And today, I had another OB appointment. I have a great knack for getting myself worked up beforehand and somehow convincing myself that this baby could be dead, but I’m happy to say I once again worried for nothing. The baby is fine. I think. Dr. Smiles counted the heart rate at being in the 140s, which is much lower than is typical for Skittle. The whole drive home I felt uneasy about it, so I checked the heart rate with my doppler the minute I walked through our door. It was measuring in the high 150s for me (as usual), so either my doc or my doppler is wrong, but either way, it looks like the heart rate is holding steady and that’s what matters.

So for now, I’m just trying to believe all is well. All is well. All is well. All is well. An echo through my day, just as beautiful as that little heartbeat.

And for those of you who care, there’s a new pic of Skittle and my first bump photo over on the Skittle page.

Going Home: My 1st OB Appointment

I had some serious trepidation as I went to visit my OB for the first time today. This was in part because a few symptoms had started to wane over the weekend (and then returned mildly yesterday, somewhat alleviating this fear) and partly because I had no idea if Dr. Smiles would be listening to the heartbeat or not — and any potential for a doppler-check or ultrasound creates so much anxiety in me. You know, because what if there’s not a heartbeat?

But as I arrived at the office and was given my plastic cup so I could provide a urine sample and went off to the bathroom without anyone having to give me directions, I realized it felt like I was coming home. Everything felt so familiar, so safe. It was nice to be in a place where people recognized me and knew my story without my having to tell them. These people are the ones who saw me through most of my first pregnancy, the ones who were there when my second ended too soon, and the ones who will walk with me through my third, however and whenever it comes to an end (hopefully in about thirty weeks). These people feel like family and the office holds bad memories, but mostly good, just like home should. Which makes me know that, surely, it is the right place for me.

I needn’t have worried, though. As usual. The baby is perfectly fine. Dr. Smiles did a quick ultrasound and Skittle had a heart rate of 167, was measuring 10 weeks exactly (two days ahead), and was moving around with a cartoonish wiggle. Impossibly cute. It’s so amazing to get to see this. I never saw Cupcake by ultrasound until I was 21 weeks. But I have had the opportunity to watch this little one grow from a dot on the screen to something that actually resembles a baby. It’s been incredible.

I did have one concern other than a beating heart weighing on my mind as I went to see my doctor today: my risk of placenta previa. I had it while pregnant with my daughter, and though the placenta eventually moved enough to allow us to try for a vaginal delivery, I had a lot of restrictions (no sex) throughout most of my pregnancy and, at 39 weeks, I had a choice between an induction or a C-section because Dr. S didn’t want me going into labor at home thanks to the possibility of hemorrhaging (a 33% chance). Can we say, scary? It was indeed. Certainly, it was not the ideal I had hoped and planned for, but all’s well that end’s well and, in the end, I had a perfect delivery free of unnecessary bleeding and a beautiful baby in my arms. However, I would really like not to go through it again. But apparently, having placenta previa once does increase my chances of having it again. The doctor stressed the risk was only slightly increased though and we needn’t even worry about it until my anatomy scan. So I will try not to.

My next OB appointment is in four weeks and my NT scan will be in about two. I am constantly surprised to have nothing more to write here than generic pregnancy updates. Everything is going so well with Skittle, it sometimes feels surreal. And sometimes it feels like I am just waiting for the other shoe to drop, you know? But for now, I am so thankful to have nothing more to report.

And for those of you still in the trenches, I want to say this: I know posts like these can be hard and tedious to read when you’re dying to get here. If you have made it to the end of this post to actually read this, I tip my hat to you because I know it’s not easy. Please know I have not forgotten about you. I have not stopped hoping and praying for you. I have always believed that we each have a story to tell, however long or hard our journey is, and however it ends, so I will not stop writing. But I want to be sensitive towards you, gentle and tender with you, so please call me out if I say the wrong thing, okay? I will *try* so hard not to take offense. And likewise, I will always make an effort to make it clear when I’m writing a pregnancy post…which is a lot these days, I know. I love you guys, each one of you, and just as you have walked with me on my journey, I will walk with you on yours.

P.S. Another pic is up on the Skittle page, if you are interested.