“full of baby”

That’s how my doctor described me today.  I was a little worried, so I had an unplanned (until yesterday afternoon) visit.

For the last 9 days, I had noticed that my stomach was feeling very tight almost all the time.  This had happened before, but for 2-3 days at a time.  After it stopped, my stomach had grown, so I figured this was just the way I grow to fit a baby.  I was a little worried that it may not be normal for it to last this long, and my stomach muscles have been very sore (since they’ve been tense so much).

I called my doctor yesterday, and her nurse said when my muscles in my stomach (okay, actually uterus… whatever you want to call the huge part of me sticking out) all feel tight, that’s a contraction.  If they came and went frequently or increased in intensity, I should be concerned.  They weren’t, but it felt like they were non-stop, so wanted me to come in this morning just to be sure.

Last night I read a bunch of what premature labor feels like.  I didn’t think that was what was happening to me, but I’ve also been drinking tons of water and getting plenty of salt / protein, so I didn’t know what else it could be.

Long story short, my doctor said I was just “full of baby.”  That’s why a lot of my stomach feels rock hard.  Everything else seemed good, and I wasn’t showing any signs of premature labor.  You can feel him as bulges on top and bottom.

They attached monitors to me (two separate things that went around my waist – if such a thing still existed – and had little plastic boxes in front: one high, one low) to measure the baby’s heart rate and to see if I was having contractions.  It actually was quite comfortable.  Until he found the heart monitor.

I’ve talked about how our ninja baby likes to kick anything that presses on me.  It wasn’t long until it found the heart rate monitor.  Not only was the machine printing out a chart of his heart rate over time, it was also playing the whoosh-whoosh sound his heart makes.  Every time he kicked the monitor, it couldn’t detect the heart rate (left a blank space on the chart) AND made a loud sound – I guess what the kick sounds like in there.  He was kicking it so much it wasn’t able to read the heart beat, so the nurse had to move that monitor farther down, out of reach.  It was fun for Joe to be able to hear the kicks I feel all the time, though!

After a few more minutes, he found the contraction monitor and started to kick it instead.  Until then, it showed that I had not had any contractions.  After that, you could see several spikes (from his kicks), and a couple of hills (contractions).  The doctor said that his kicks (along with other things, like me twisting or lifting) could definitely cause contractions.  She said that I seem to be more aware of the contractions than most first time mothers, but I don’t need to worry unless I go to the bathroom and lie down and get no relief, or they come and go more often or get increasingly intense.  I feel TONS better (mentally) after the visit today.

insert your own subtle transition to more funny work baby-related conversations here

This afternoon I told my coworker (same one from previous kicking experience) that everything was fine and that I learned his kicks can cause contractions.  He said that makes sense because smooth muscle contracts when you put pressure on it.  Then he said it’s too weird for something to kick you from the inside and that he’s glad he’s a man.

This week’s conflicting evidence on how pregnant I look:

  • Someone who sees me almost every day said “So, he’s going to come any day now, right?”  I just laughed and said I had over two months left.
  • My boss told me he mentioned me being pregnant to someone else in the department, and she replied saying “Oh, I didn’t know she was pregnant, I just thought she had gained weight.”  Words every woman wants to hear.
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