I feel like with this whole pregnancy, I’ve been walking on a very thin line. I am high risk so I’ve had a tonne more ultrasound and doctor appointments than someone who isn’t. My husband and I have at times wondered how good it actually is to be this observant of everything going on. A slight change in my cervical measurement, albeit still acceptable, and our hearts leap out of our throats!
Yesterday started out as a typical Monday. Dreadful wake up to the alarm clock that was set an hour earlier than normal so DH could be at work for 8am. Had my morning cup of coffee at my desk and a look through my emails, a typical start to my morning. Around 11:30am, I went to grab some lunch and when I sat back down at my desk I started to notice how frequent my Braxton Hicks contractions were and how uncomfortable they were getting. The cramps were uncomfortable and pain was resonating to my lower back. I get BH Contractions every day but it’s never been like this. So I started to worry, could this be a start of early labor? While many signs pointed to unlikely, I didn’t want to take a chance at self-diagnosing myself and stewing in worry until Wednesday morning when I saw my OB again. So, for the first time this pregnancy (and quite proud) off I went to Triage, paranoid high-risk pregnant lady.
As it turns out, it was a good thing I went in. I’ll begin to explain why.
Firstly, everything during my exam looked good. I had a resident doctor working on me (which I found a bit unnerving) but he seemed confident that everything looked normal. The first step was to take my vitals and baby’s and also to hook me up to see if I was having contractions. Everything looked good and yes contractions showed up but it’s just my BH which everyone keeps saying is normal and nothing to worry about. The next step was to take a swab of my cevix for whats called fFN testing (Fetal fibronectin test) which indicates if there is a possibility of going in labor in the following two weeks. That test came back positive. My heart sank so deep. My stomach churned. I didn’t understand what this meant entirely but I was really believing I was just waiting for the test results to come back negative so I could pick up my husband at work and head home. But this was not the case. I was put back on monitors because they couldn’t get a good reading the first time and got ready for another cervical check by an OB this time and an assessment if I was going to be admitted to the hospital. Every horrible thought from my first pregnancy when I got admitted to hospital came gushing back. I can’t have this baby yet, I can’t loose this baby, and so the thoughts went on. The OB on Triage staff came in to ask me about what’s been going on, explain to him the history of my first PPROM and then to do the internal exam again. This time, he said I was 1cm dilated. What?!?! I was in total disbelief. I kept saying to him how I can’t understand the discrepancy between my first exam two hours prior to now. And to how my appointment with my OB last Wednesday was very good and how she had no concerns of me going into early labor! He had not much of an explanation except that he alluded that there would be a discrepancy between practitioners and especially with an intern. Well, that’s wonderful!
Back to the positive fFn result. The issue with this test, and where I’m holding onto hope, is that when it’s negative, it’s a true negative. There are no signs of me going into labor in the next two weeks. But when it’s positive, it’s inconclusive. Meaning, there’s only a 50% chance of anything happening. There are so many false positives so it’s unknown whether or not I fall on the false or the positive. After doing some googling last night, there seems to an influx of women who were diagnosed positive and went on to having a full term baby. Or very close to full term in the least. So, because of this I was admitted last night and I am currently on observation for 48 hours. For precautionary measures, I had my first of two steroid shots to develop and protect the baby’s lungs. My next one should be tonight. If there are no further signs of labor progressing by tomorrow night, I get to go home. This is my ultimate goal!
I was very anxious for today’s cervical measurements and I was amendment to refuse another manual check. I had horrible cramps all night long from what I’m sure were the two cervical checks I endured last night. Sleep was horrible for both the reasons of feeling stressed about my current situation but also because the cramps kept waking me up. I asked the nurse for some Tylenol today to ease the pain and thankfully I’m much more comfortable. I’m having my usual bouts of BH this morning albeit it didn’t start for a while after I woke up and it’s with out any discomforts. Anyway back to this morning, a technician surprised me this morning around 8am that I would be going for my ultrasound check. My heart was beating so hard in my chest, imagining the worst. But worse it wasn’t, infact it was better than I thought! She asked me why they were concerned about my cervix so I explained everything that happened in Triage and with a confused look she said expressed her confusion because everything looked good. My cervix was near 3 cm (same as last Wednesday’s OB appointment), closed, not funneling (so it wasn’t starting to open). She said that the manual exams are not accurate enough. And I told her that I felt extremely conflicted with the differing stories – now I’m believing that the intern is more experienced than the actual OB with 15 years experience! I can’t imagine my cervix dilated 1cm & then by this morning, closed up, happy as a clam?! Anyway, for now I am relieved and just have to bide my time to see if the fFn test was a false positive or not. That’s going to drive me crazy, I’m sure of.
And while writing this, my regular High-Risk OB came by to see me – yay! – and she’s happy to see things are better today, that my cervix is still happy. Because of the fFn test coming back positive, she’s more likely to have me stay for a few days in hospital to be monitored. Most definitely if I’m sill experiencing cramps or painful contractions. She did answer my question that it’s possible because I’m on Progesterone suppositories, it could alter my results of the test. But for now, being high risk they’re not taking any chances. If by tomorrow I’ve had no painful contractions, no cramps, nothing has changed, I have a good chance of going home & being on rest, making sure I return if any of my symptoms come back. It seems most of what’s going on right now is precautionary than anything. My cramps have been coming on and off in the last little while which has me a little bummed. I really want to see it gone entirely and back to “normal” but I will just hang in there and hope by tomorrow things will be even better for me & baby!
Aaaaand that is all for now. Whew…just gotta hope that I can keep things less interesting in the near future.