I had a rather eventful start to the week.
I was on the way to work, on board the train when I started feeling some intensity from my upper belly tightening and cramping up. In a bid to distract myself, I messaged my mentor whom I anticipated would be able to answer me rather quickly at 8-ish in the morning and related how I was starting to get some weird stares from commuters with my slightly cringed posture and perspired forehead.
I failed to include the detail that I was standing quite near to the door and wasn’t able to get a seat to which he later sighed “WHY” (I honestly feel bad waking people from their train slumbers), but before I could make some lightheartedness out of my situation, he said “hospital, now.”
For a moment I thought he overreacted. It wasn’t like I was bleeding or my water bag was bursting. I was feeling a bout of heavy-duty cramps I’ve never felt before in both pregnancies and I wanted to complain to someone I trusted and get distracted from the pain at the same time. Instead I got a short lesson about why I shouldn’t even bother being embarrassed in front of people whom I will probably never see again by asking for help instead of feeling prideful. I appreciate how my mentor delivers lessons I need to learn right into my face without offending me. I digress. Unfortunately the Bo was stuck in a meeting where he had no access to his phone (we really need to start working on a better emergency communication plan) so it was either I took up the advice I asked for or rally up more answers to satisfy my stubbornness.
I got to the office shortly after and the cramps seemed to dissipate for a bit before coming back in stronger waves. It got to a point where I was perspiring quite badly in the 20-degree office that I started asking some other friends who were mums of 2 kids & more if my cramps warranted a visit to the hospital.
“YES. GO A&E NOW”, all of them said. “You really don’t want to risk anything more than a safe delivery,” another responded, citing her recent experience of needing to be hospitalised at about 36 weeks (also the gestational stage that I’m at) for moving about too much before she delivered her third.
It probably took me about another 4-5 crazy, painful waves to the belly before I was urged by everyone who cared to at least call the gynae’s office and check if I should go in. The nurse was concern that I might have been contracting without realising and ordered for me to get strapped on the CTG machine as soon as possible to monitor if all was okay.
At that moment, it hit me hard on how I was risking baby’s life by wanting to ignore the pains initially.
I packed my bags in a moment of seconds, left the office, concerned colleagues helped me call for a cab and oh the drama – almost slipped on a puddle of water while walking into my booked taxi without a driver (turns out driver went to the nearby temple).
Arrived at the hospital, was quickly escorted to the delivery ward to get strapped onto the ctg machine and the concerned look on the senior nurse’s face freaked the hell out of me.
Turns out baby was so active and affecting the readings that I had to lie on my side…phew.
In that good hour of button pressing whenever baby moved and curling myself up whenever I was hit by another wave of intense pain; I realised how unprepared I was. I kept thinking of the work I’ve not handed over or completed. I thought of how my packing for the shifting of homes was only 75% done, and 0% for the packing of hospital bag. I thought about how no one in the family knew I was at the hospital apart from my cousin. And how it might too soon to be having a baby a month ahead of my EDD. Selfish, unnecessary worries really. When all I needed to absolutely concern about was just to concentrate on delivering the baby safely, should there be a need to. What was I thinking!
Anyhow the readings on the ctg turned out okay. My gynae did a check (he was initially worried that the placenta might have separated which caused the pains) on baby and all was okay too. He diagnosed my pain as “irritable womb”. I had no idea what it was when he said it but after some reading up I realised that it can increase the risks of preterm labour and that 2 of my friends actually had a similar diagnosis at about the same week I’m at (and one had to be ordered total bed rest). Plus I have been a lot more active during this 2nd pregnancy than the first which might have been the trigger.
I’ve been told to limit my physical activity and movements where possible and to get as much bed rest as I can till baby arrives. Which is hard for me especially when I want to continue being heavily involved in Liam’s life. But between going through the risk of complications in a preterm labour vs. wanting to be there for my firstborn, I think it’s time I learn to put down that pride of mine and do what’s necessary (including asking for seats on public transport).