Like I mentioned in a previous post, I've been experiencing Braxton Hicks contractions. Normally BH contractions aren't a big deal and it's simply your body's way of preparing itself for the real thing, but when other symptoms accompany BH contractions, it can mean that something is up. Today when Bella and I were leaving Sprouts, I began having BH contractions and felt very lightheaded. I stupidly drove the two of us home, but called the OB on the way home. I explained that I had left messages for the triage nurse (who is on my naughty list) for the past few days and that I was having some problems. The receptionist scheduled me for an appointment with the nurse practitioner that afternoon. I then called Ian to enlist his assistance. When he picked up the phone, I began crying because I felt concerned, guilty and frustrated. I guess a mother's guilt never ends.
Luckily the drive home from Sprouts is relatively short, so I focused on my driving rather than what was going on. Once we got home, I poured myself a huge glass of water and found myself a snack. I thought maybe my glucose level was low and I just needed to eat a little something. I also grabbed some milk and a snack for Bella and turned on the television. I needed to rest and I knew turning on her favorite show would keep her entertained until Ian got home. Bella was a perfect angel and sat contently until Ian pulled into the garage. We then waited for Grandma Ruth to arrive so that we could go to my appointment.
While we drove to the OB's office, we discussed how I was feeling, both physically and mentally. Physically, I was feeling pretty yucky, but I could deal with the lightheadedness, BH contractions and headache. Mentally, I was feeling AWFUL. I felt guilty because I had pulled Ian away from work. I felt useless because I couldn't perform my job of taking care of Bella. I felt worried because I didn't know if something was really wrong. My very loving and very understanding husband reassured me that we would get through this and we needed to do whatever the OB recommended.
The appointment was fairly normal and we met with one of my favorite providers, the nurse practitioner, Katie. As I explained my symptoms, I had to fight back the tears. There's just something about not being able to have complete control over your body that is disheartening. I also shared that I didn't want to feel like "that mom" who calls the OB or goes to labor and delivery for every little thing. Katie, who is known for being blunt, looked me square in the eyes and said, "Do you want me to smack you with my shoe? Stop being so stubborn! You are having some problems and it's okay for you to call your OB anytime something doesn't feel right." I laughed and said okay. When she asked me what I was doing during the BH contractions, I said drinking lots of water and trying to rest. She pretty much told me that it was very important for me to rest. She then reassured me that she believed the contractions were only BH contractions and that I was anemic. She took some blood and confirmed her suspicion. Rather than dole out a prescription for an iron supplement, she told me to increase my natural iron intake via my diet. I appreciated this approach, as iron supplements are known for their side effects and my IBS has been bad enough. Thankfully, the baby sounded great on the Doppler and I was measuring right on time. I spent the rest of the afternoon trying to rest and even went for a prenatal massage. The massage helped me relax and I had a solid hour of rest and relaxation.
One question still lingered in my mind... how the hell am I supposed to rest when I have a 22-month-old to care for?!? Ian suggested a few things, like having the babysitter come more than one day a week or enlisting the help of his mom. He also said that he planned to work from home as much as possible so that he could help as much as possible. I love the fact that my husband is more than willing to pick up my slack, but I felt so guilty that he was having to do more than his share. This guilt will never pass, but I'm trying to work through it. I'm praying that this is only temporary and I'll be back to my normal self soon enough. This too shall pass...
In the meantime, I will make a conscious effort to rest as much as possible... wish me luck.
Ian, Kim, Bella & Baby #2