Saturday started off well. Neal and I had gone to bed quite early on Friday - he had been sailing all week and hadn’t slept as much as he probably should, plus he seems to have a bit of a cold, and I’m… well, I’m pregnant, so ’nuff said. I think that we ended up getting something ridiculous like 10 hours sleep - something that I definitely appreciate since I know that this isn’t something that will be possible soon enough once Baby Guthrie arrives.
We got dressed, swung by McDonald’s to get some breakfast, and went to Hyundai for an oil change. We hung out in the waiting area there, eating our breakfast and reading, and then when the oil change was done, we headed over to Sears to pick up the baby dresser we had ordered. We also swung by Future Shop since we’re looking at laptops - we didn’t buy one, but we just wanted to get an idea of what they have. We’re hoping to buy one there because we have a gift card for the store.
We came home, and I decided that - while Neal started opening the box with the dresser - I would just take our small compost bin to be dumped into the large bin outside, and take out the garbage as well before cooking up some lunch. I headed out with the compost, dumped it in, turned around to come back in, and promptly slipped on the sheet of ice I wasn’t aware of and landed - hard - on my tailbone and possibly my lower back.
Now, under any circumstances, I’d be pissed and sore, but as I’m pregnant, I started to freak out. I screamed Neal’s name - luckily, I was lying right under the window of the baby’s room so despite the closed windows, he heard me. He came out, helped me up, and I told him we had to go to the IWK (Children’s and Maternity hospital in Halifax) right away. I peed before we left, and luckily, didn’t see any blood, but I was still scared and very upset.
One thing that seems to be very nice about being pregnant is that you generally don’t have to wait very long, if at all, to be seen. I was taken in right away at the IWK, and when I had a rash on my arm and wanted to make sure it wasn’t a sign of something bad that would affect my pregnancy, my doctor’s office was able to fit me in right away.
Anyway, they hooked me up to a monitor - there were two “paddle” type things they strapped onto my belly - one to measure the baby’s heart beat, and the other to measure any contractions I might have. The nurses told us we’d probably be there for 4-6 hours while they monitored me. We were there for many an hour or so when a nurse came in and said, “So you’re having contractions?” Huh! So that’s what that back pain and cramping is! Honestly, I just thought the back pain was because of the fall and the cramping was because I had been so upset*. Apparently not. It also leads me to believe that that back pain/cramping I had the other night when I was here at home by myself were actually contractions. At least now I know what contractions feel like!
What was most concerning was when my doctor (who just happened to be doing rounds at the IWK yesterday) came in and told me that I was having contractions every 2-3 minutes. It was concerning because I know that when the Big Day arrives, it’s recommended that you leave home and go in when they’re about 4-5 minutes apart. But of course, what really matters is whether those contractions are changing your cervix.
I’ll spare you the gory details, but after having 3 cervical exams, it was determined that although the outer lining is a little dilated, the inner lining isn’t. They also did a test - Fetal Fibronectin - that helps to determine if there’s a chance a woman will go into labour within the next two weeks. A positive result doesn’t necessarily mean you will, because you can get false positives, whereas a negative result is taken to mean that there is a 97% chance that you will NOT go into labour within the next two weeks. Happily, mine came back negative.
So, after having been at the IWK for over 6 hours, I was allowed to leave. I was told - by my doctor as well as two doctors from obstetrics - that I am to take it easy. If I feel worn out (more so that would be warranted for being in my third trimester, I guess), or if I’m having stronger or more frequent contractions, I am to stay home from work, but otherwise, since I have a desk job, I can go in. And of course, if I start noticing A LOT of contractions, or any fluid or bleeding, I am to go back into the IWK. We left somewhat hurriedly because Neal and I hadn’t eaten anything since our McDonald’s breakfast at 9 a.m. It’s policy in the birthing unit that patients aren’t allowed to eat in case they end up needing a C-section, which is why I have planned that when I’m in labour at home, I’m going to eat something, even if I end up throwing it up later. Once you get in there, you’re out of luck - except for popsicles, which a nurse did bring in to us yesterday. We just went down to the little eating area at the hospital and each got a sub from Subway and a donut from Tim Horton’s. While Neal started the order, I went into the washroom, and discovered there was a little bit of blood there.
I came out and said to Neal, “It’s probably just from having had two cervical exams,” as I had only had two at this point, “and I’m eating first, but there was a little blood, so we may have to go back up to make sure it’s all okay.”
So we ate and then went back into admitting. The main obstetrics doctor came in and did that third cervical exam - he hadn’t done one at that point, and just wanted to know for himself that everything was okay - and determined that yes, it was just from the exams.
And at last, we checked out of the hospital, and came back home. Eight hours after we had left. Ugh.
I’m feeling pretty good now except for my tailbone, which is my biggest complaint at the moment. Sitting and getting up are very difficult, although it seems slightly, and only slightly, better this morning. I think I might have had a couple of contractions overnight and this morning, but nothing to be concerned about.
Unfortunately, Neal has to go back out on ship this week, until Friday. They’ll just be outside the harbour, doing exercises, so it’s not like it would be next to impossible for him to get off should anything happen with me and Baby Guthrie, but still. I know this will be a very, VERY long 5 days, but it should hopefully be his last sail until well after the baby is born. They are supposed to go out at the very end of February-beginning of March for another 5 days, but he’s going to tell his superiors that he doesn’t want to be on that and will explain the situation.
Today, I’m hoping, will be very uneventful. Once stores open, we’re probably going to go to Zellers to look at some area rugs that are on sale, but I think that’ll be it. Supper is pretty easy, and other than laundry, I plan to relax, read, do some writing, and pray that my tailbone feels a whole lot better by tomorrow morning so that it won’t be torture to go to work tomorrow (well, if it is really torturous, I probably wont’ go).
All in all, though, despite the imposed starvation, I have to say that the staff at the IWK were absolutely wonderful and made me feel as comfortable as one can be in that kind of situation. I am very happy with the knowledge that I will be delivering my baby girl in that environment!
* A couple of the nurses who did our prenatal classes told us that they often find that women will be 4 or 5 minutes apart in their contractions, and then when they arrive at the hospital, because they’re more nervous than they were at home, their labour will temporarily slow down. I think that, if anything, mine will speed up because I imagine that I’ll feel LESS nervous when I get to the hospital. At least there are doctors and nurses there who know what to do, with all kinds of equipment in case of any emergencies, etc. Yesterday, I was pretty much sobbing at home and in the car, but when I got into the hospital and they hooked me up, I calmed down pretty quickly. Granted, I got to hear the baby’s heart beat, which was nice, and by then she had gotten over what must have been quite the confused shock herself, and started bouncing around my belly (her high activity was commented on A LOT yesterday). But even when I was told that my contractions were 2-3 minutes apart and part of my cervix was more dilated than they would expect at this stage of my pregnancy, I was pretty calm (though concerned). I think that was because I knew that they have medication that can make the contractions stop, as well as steroids that they can give to the baby while she’s still inside to make her lungs develop quickly, in case I do go into labour and have to deliver. That wouldn’t be optimal, but it’s certainly better than sitting at home, with nothing at hand.