Saturday, September 1, 2012

{34 Weeks: Big Girl Pants}

34 weeks

I have been so blessed to have a relatively comfortable pregnancy thus far. 
No morning sickness, no bloating. But week 34 decided that it was time I get a taste of the true discomforts pregnancy can bring. 
Things got real.

It started last weekend with a slight sore throat. I had only gotten 3 hours of sleep the past two nights so I wasn't surprised that sickness would creep it's way in. I did everything I could to ward off this lingering cold but it was persistent. I spent Sunday through Wednesday on the couch, completely helpless, tired but unable to sleep, and miserably pregnant. Truman was so sweet to me and would come home on his lunch breaks to bring me smoothies. I spent the week watching just about any TV show I could find on Hulu Plus and by Wednesday I was SO sick of laying around doing nothing. I started to feel a little better Thursday so Trums took me to the mall to pick up a few candles on sale...and another little outfit for baby P :) Minus the intense congestion, I felt optimistic that I was slowly regaining health. Then came 8 p.m...

I noticed this sharp pain in the lower left side of my back that felt unlike all the other pregnancy related back discomforts. The pain would come and go every couple minutes and I started to worry that it could be a sign of kidney stones (I had them 4 years ago and NEVER want them again). I figured the pain would work itself out over time since it wasn't anything near the pain I felt with my last kidney episode, but as the hours passed the pain only got stronger and started to reach my hip and arm pit. I tried every comfort measure I could think of but the pain was only increasing and causing me to be a little nauseous. I really didn't want to wake Truman because he had to be at work in the morning, but by 1 a.m. the pain was so severe that I knew we had to do something. I woke him and we called the on-call nurse for advice. She suggested we get to the ER that we did. 

That may sound like a no-brainer to most people, but if you know me you know that I've never been to the hospital before other than the occasional uncomfortable visit to a sick family member. I wanted to avoid that option at all costs. Going to the Emergency Room seemed so serious and I started to get anxious as we made our way. Thankfully we were the only ones there and they quickly wheeled me up to a labor and delivery room (which made me really nervous because I thought this would be a quick check-up with a doctor). They asked me to put on a gown and get into bed so they could monitor the baby--I was freaking out! I was having contractions, but none that were causing labor. They gave me anti-anxiety meds to slow them down and see if it would stop the back pain, but the pain only got worse. We spent about 3.5 hours in that freezing room until they decided they didn't know what was causing the pain and we needed to be checked into the ER. Ugh.

Back down we went where we were sent to an even colder room to wait. I was in so much pain and the fact that they still weren't sure what it was made it worse. The nurse came in and started putting together an IV and my heart dropped. The IV was such a scary thing to me. I had heard so many horror stories of how painful it is and it made me feel like a real hospital patient. Though I was scared to death I hid it by cracking a few jokes and the nurse told me I had nothing to worry about. Tru held my hand, but I felt ridiculous that he did because it literally took her 10 seconds to put the needle in--it was less painful than getting blood drawn. She gave me morphine for the pain and that was wonderful. I had an ultrasound on my kidneys and bladder and then waited a good two hours for results. Thankfully they didn't find any stones or other concerns for my kidneys, but that still didn't answer the question of my pain. The doctor said to monitor my pain over the weekend and come back if it gets worse...kind of discouraging. 

We got home at 9 a.m. and passed out for the rest of the day. The pain started to come back but the last thing I wanted to do was spend another evening at the hospital so I tried a position that my mother-in-law suggested with my head on the ground and my butt in the air to relieve some pressure from below. I was really skeptical that this was sciatic nerve pain because it was so much worse than any pain I have had before...but low and behold after 10 minutes of that position the pain was gone and didn't return for a couple hours. 7 hours in the hospital and they never once questioned if it was the position of the baby. I spent the whole night with my butt in the air looking like a fool but it worked and I was able to finally get some sleep. 

I'm having lots of cramping and sore legs. Back pain comes and goes but I'm thankful I found a technique that works. I'm hoping that I don't feel this way for the next 6 weeks, but I suppose I have to be realistic. It hit me today that I only have 3 weeks until I'm full term and my to-do list is still quite long, but a healthy baby and mama is most important so I may have to give up a few things along the way. 

It was a week from hell, but I am thankful for three things:
(1) I was able to conquer my fear of the hospital so I feel a little less anxious about labor and delivery (2) My amazing husband who took care of me all week
(3) A healthy baby who continues to grow (even if it means a little pain on mama's side)
AND even if our hospital stay wasn't very helpful, I learned that a heating blanket is a MUST for the hospital bag because we froze our butts off.

 Nothing like a tiny pair of leggings to cheer you up!

 Nurse Bean monitoring my bath time. She has taken good care of her mama this week.

Hoping for a healthier and more productive week!


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