End Game

Sweet, merciful Jesus, the end is in sight!  Words cannot possibly express how happy this makes me!

Right, so, this past Saturday evening I ended up at Labor & Delivery with contractions.  Yes, again.  As you can imagine, I was not happy about this development.  But my contractions were more intense (read: painful) than usual and coming every two minutes like clockwork.  We really thought (hoped) that it was the real deal.

The thing of it is, although my contractions had been treated as pre-term labor (Saturday night I was 34 weeks and 6 days along), it wasn’t actually labor in the strictest definition.  Labor is contractions that cause cervical changes that eventually will lead to birth.  My contractions, though enormously bothersome, were not actually changing my cervix anymore.  Ergo, not real labor.

So I’m kept for about 36 hours, pumped full of fluids and drugs, and cut loose on Monday morning just in time for me to make it to my perinatalogist’s appointment which is, conveniently, right downstairs from L&D.  My peri, bless him, has been apprised of my adventures upstairs, takes pity on me, and tries his very best to find any sort of compelling reason to recommend just going ahead and delivering me, but there just isn’t one.  I may be seven kinds of miserable, but the boys are doing beautifully.  No signs of distress.  No growth restrictions.  No reason to think they would benefit more being outside the womb than inside.  Everyone feels bad about it, but I’m sent home.

Over the course of the next couple of days, I start plumping up.  I mean, yeah, I’m pregnant, I’m supposed to gain weight.  And yes, a certain amount of swelling from water retention (edema) is expected.  But this is absurd.  And it’s not limited to just the usual places (hands, feet, ankles).  No.  Literally, my entire body begins to swell.  Severely.  All of me.  Everywhere.  My toes look like little Vienna sausages.  I can’t close my hands into fists.  I’ve lost the definition of my knees.  My face is puffy.

Thankfully, I had an appointment with my regular OB this morning.  In the span of a single week, I had managed to gain fifteen freaking pounds of water weight.  This is no good.  In fact, it’s one of the indicators of the onset of preeclampsia.  The bright side is that I appear to have no other symptoms of the dreaded condition (elevated blood pressure, severe headaches, vision changes), but my doctor orders a 24-hour urine test to be on the safe side.  This basically means that I have to collect my pee for 24 hours so it can be checked for protein levels, and that will give us a definitive yes or no.  So, I’ve been working on that today and will turn it in late tomorrow morning.

So, I think it’s time for some good news at this point.  My doctor agrees.  She does a quick ultrasound to look at the boys, and they’re doing everything they’re supposed to.  Their heartbeats are good, they move well, they practice breathing.  Mark is still breech, so attempting vaginal delivery is out of the question.  I’m fine with this.  In fact, as the days pass, I’m more and more okay with a c-section as even the thought of having to labor for real is utterly exhausting.  My doctor remarks about how I have some big babies in there.

And then she tells me the best news I’ve heard in weeks.  They’re going to go ahead and schedule my c-section for Tuesday the 16th!  I’m so incredibly happy I could cry!  The end is in sight!  I’m so amazingly grateful.  And not just because it’ll mean the end of all of this ridiculous discomfort.  Yes, my maladies are what I’ve been focusing on and complaining about lately, and while they’re still very much there, I simply don’t care nearly as much.  Andrew and I get to meet our sons next week!  That, more than anything else, is what’s on my mind now.  Six days, and we will hold the lives we created in our arms.

Yeah, I can do six days.

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