Some Scary Moments

by Amy Hoffman

Well, there have been some tense moments since last Thursday evening.  Before I get into the details, I’ll say that everything is okay as far as we know, so none of you worry.  It’s just been a bit scary for this mama lately.  Also, this is the official disclaimer that this may be TMI (too much information) for some of you, so be warned.  🙂

Those of you who know me well, know that I am a worrier.  It was worse during my last pregnancy, because I didn’t have much to distract me from thoughts of the very many ways things could go wrong.  This time around has been easier in that respect, because while I still have concerns, I can’t focus on them as much as I normally would.  And that is thanks to Matthew.  Not a lot of time for obsessing about things that could happen, or searching the web for information, when you are chasing a busy toddler around the house.  And since we are comfortably past the 24-week viability mark, I’ve been feeling fairly confident that all will continue to go smoothly. 

Last Thursday night, I was getting ready for bed.  I had just used the toilet downstairs and went to get a drink of water in the kitchen.  As I left the kitchen and headed for the stairs, I felt like my underwear were wet–and not just a little.  They were soaked through, actually and there was some whitish discharge too.  My heart stopped for a few moments, I think, because I was afraid my water had broken.  😦  Although when it broke with Matthew, it was much more forceful.  I always liken it to a rocket going off between my legs.  But I was also in the birthing tub when it happened, so I can’t say for sure how much different the two instances of fluid loss were.  Even though my underwear were soaked, there was no puddle on the floor, so it didn’t seem like I had lost ALL of my amniotic fluid, if it even was that.  Still, I was freaked. 

I called up the stairs for Michael to come help me and then I called my midwife, Dana.  She said that I should monitor things and if I lost more fluid during the night, I should call her so that we could meet and she could check me.  They have some tests that can tell if fluid is amniotic fluid or normal discharge or pee.  It smelled like pee to me (sorry, I know, gross), but of course, I still worried. 

Plus, my tummy felt tight like I was having a contraction, and that didn’t help allay my fears either.  I would just like to say right now that I am NOT a fan of Braxton-Hicks contractions.  Not that any pregnant woman likely is.  I think I get more of them than the average woman (I got a lot of them with Matthew too), and they make me worry that I am going into preterm labor.

So I got into bed, lying on my left side, with a pillow between my legs and a towel underneath me, and tried to sleep.  Every time I started to fall asleep, I’d feel my tummy tightening in a contraction.  Just the top part of my womb seemed to be contracting, which has been happening a lot this pregnancy.  After several times of almost being asleep and then being woken up, I took some of the herbal tincture that Dana had given me at one of my previous prenatal appointments.  It helps calm the uterus when things get a little too active.  I ended up taking more an hour later and after that I was finally able to get to sleep.

There was no more fluid loss overnight or the next day and I began to breathe easier.  Things would be okay.  It must have just been a hidden pocket of pee, as my friend suggested. 

Everything was fine until yesterday afternoon.  Michael and I put Matthew in the car and went for a drive since it was a nice sunny day.  We like to cruise around different neighborhoods and see where we might potentially like to move.  Matthew started saying, “outside, outside,” while we were driving, so we thought that if we came upon a park, we’d stop and let him run around a bit.

We did actually stumble across what turned out to be a private park with a swimming pool and tennis courts.  I’m pretty sure it was only for residents of the neighborhood we were driving through, but we didn’t realize that until we were leaving. 

I had Matthew’s red plastic pail and toy shovels in the car and he had fun playing in the bark chips around the playground equipment.  He also went down the big slide with Papa, which he always thinks is the most fantastic thing. 

I needed to use a bathroom by that time (2.5 pound baby pressing on my bladder), and I decided to head for the clubhouse to ask if I could use one.  I had just turned the corner of the building, out of sight of Michael and Matthew, when my ankle twisted (clogs had a bit of a heel) and down I went to the pavement.  Luckily, most of my weight ended up on my left knee and palm–my belly didn’t hit the ground at all.  But I felt another gush of fluid as I went down and that was worrisome. 

I made it to the building and checked myself out in the bathroom.  My knee was scraped and bleeding, but my hand was okay.  My underwear were soaked again, but it didn’t seem like as much fluid as before.  I guessed it was pee, from the weight of the baby on my full bladder as I went down, but I was still worried.

After I got back to the playground area, I texted Dana and told her what happened.  She said I should sit down and monitor the baby’s movement for a couple of hours.  I was to look for 10 movements in two hours.  That freaked me out because I figured she would say that as long as I hadn’t hit my belly on anything, the baby would be fine.  I sat down and started looking at my phone online to see what other women’s experiences falling at 29 weeks had been.  They were all comforting posts . . . many pregnant women had fallen (some even directly on their bellies!) and everything had turned out fine with their babies.  The women who fell on their bellies had to be monitored for 24 hours at the hospital.  I think the main concerns in those instances were preterm labor and placental abruption (where the placenta is partially or completely torn away from the womb). 

The baby moved quite a bit while I was sitting in the park (probably got jostled awake when I fell), and that was comforting.  I was still shaken and my knee hurt a lot, but other than that, I was fine.  I got away lucky.  I was SO thankful that I didn’t fall on my belly!  I would have been an utter basket case if that had happened. 

Last night my shoulder ached some on the arm that took the brunt of my fall and my knee continued to be sore, but there was no more fluid loss as far as I could tell and only my “normal” number of Braxton-Hicks contractions.  I was able to sleep about 4 hours straight and that felt really nice.

And today, I feel pretty well.  The baby has been moving fine and I haven’t had too many contractions.  I was even able to make a grocery trip with Matthew this morning, which always tires me out.  Planning to rest this afternoon and make my grandma’s recipe for oatmeal scotchie cookies.  ❤

Tomorrow we hit 30 weeks!  I’ll try to remember to post a belly pic.  🙂  

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