Instead I spent the entire day fretting that something was very, very wrong. I felt kind of off, and I had a wicked backache and vague crampiness all day. By the time we finished dinner, I was DONE and ready for the couch. There the backache developed into distinctly period-like cramps that started in my back and wrapped around my hips and went down into my thighs. It would cramp up, then relax, cramp up, then relax; this went on for over an hour, by which time I was thoroughly distraught. I took a hot shower to see if that would help, but by the time Mark came to check on me, I was all, "WE ARE GOING TO THE ER. NOW."
We headed out into round 2 of the snowstorm, and of course the roads were miserable. The highway was covered in icy slush and regular streets were even worse. We decided to go to the closer Urgent Care center operated by the hospital system rather than continuing to the hospital where the baby will be born. I figured that if things were actually dire, they could send us to the hospital by ambulance. I had barely gotten the words "25, almost 26, weeks pregnant and cramping" out before they called a nurse to bring me back and kept my husband to finish the registration stuff.
In the exam room, I changed into a gown and they started an IV to draw blood. They had me give a urine sample and then we waited for the doctor, which took a surprising amount of time given that I seemed to be their only patient. (Given his later bedside manner, I'm thinking maybe he was googling "25, almost 26, weeks pregnant and cramping.") The doctor came in with an ultrasound machine and went to work checking out the baby. Unfortunately for us, he looked very frowny and said NOT A WORD for many minutes, until I said in a panic-stricken rush, "Um, YOUFOUNDTHEHEARTBEAT,RIGHT?" He looked at me like I was annoying him and was all, "Yes, but I cannot get a good image of the cervix."
DUDE. YOU NARRATE THE ULTRASOUND FOR THE PANICKY PARENTS WHO ARE UNACCUSTOMED TO NOT FOLLOWING ALONG ON THEIR OWN SCREEN AND WHO ARE HOLDING THEIR BREATH WAITING TO SEE IF THEIR BABY IS STILL ALIVE.
He eventually pointed out the baby moving around, after COUNTING ON HIS FINGERS to calculate the heart rate. (This is where I reeeally started regretting not trekking to the real ER.) He said that where he couldn't get an image of the cervix, he would have to do a manual exam. I am pretty sure he had not performed a manual exam since med school, if ever. As he was lubing up to do the exam, he said to the nurse, "Oh wait, second trimester, I need sterile gloves." He then proceeded to conduct the most painful medical experience I've had since the egg retrieval. Seriously, the nurse had to remind me to breathe, it was that bad.
One funny thing -- he asked if I wanted Mark to step out while he did he exam. I was like, dude, first, he's my husband; he's familiar with that region. Second? We did IVF; I am utterly devoid of dignity at this point.
Anyway, he left the room to check lab results and then came back in with a diagnosis of -- no joke -- lower back pain. He said the urine results were negative, he couldn't feel anything "bulging around the cervix" (was he expecting to find a baby hanging out down there?), and the baby was doing fine, so he felt comfortable sending me home. The next part was my favorite. He said that he couldn't guarantee it wasn't preterm labor and that he had had one case where a fetus was later expelled (WHAAAT?!), but he thought that would be an unlikely outcome. I sat there, dumbfounded, unable to believe he had really just said that. Like, eh, it's possible your baby could fall out sometime tonight, but you know, try crossing your legs and you should be fine! After he left the room, the nurse started to go through discharge instructions and I asked whether they were going to monitor me to see whether the uterus was actually contracting. She said she thought the ultrasound could tell that, but went out to check with the doctor. Turns out the ultrasound can't see that, and they don't have that kind of monitoring equipment. AWESOME. I'M FEELING SUPER CONFIDENT IN YOUR DIAGNOSIS OF "BACKACHE," SIR.
We were released and headed back into the snow, hoping the car would get up the steep hill we live at the top of. The cramping had subsided somewhat, so we decided we'd try to get some sleep, but would go directly to the ER if anything changed. By morning, I was sore, but the cramping was gone. I called my OB to let them know what was going on. They were glad we went in to get checked, but not thrilled that they had lacked the appropriate equipment. They suspected dehydration and ordered this terrible water drinker to step it up substantially, but said to call right away if the cramping returned and they would send me to L&D to be checked. My next regular appointment is Monday, so they felt ok letting me wait through the weekend as long as there was no more cramping. I started pushing water by the giant bottle (ugh) and spent much of yesterday lying on my left side, but *knock wood* there has been no more cramping. Here's hoping it stays that way...
I did have a wee breakdown Friday night. I was making pizza for dinner and Mark came up to hug me from behind. Unfortunately, he also accidentally clocked me right in my junky sinus with his water glass. My eyes got teary and from there it was aaaaall over. I could not stop the waterworks. He was horrified that I was hurt and I was like, "I'm not hur-ur-urrrt; I just can't sto-o-op, I don't know what's wro-o-ong with meeeee. *SOB*" We were both laughing at how ridiculous it was, but it took me a bit to calm down. Guess my cold dead soul was pretty worried about my wee, undercooked baby.
On the upside, there's still no more cramping AND my buddy made me breakfast in bed on Saturday.
The 100 Day mark wasn't what I expected, but then again, neither was the road to get here. We're hanging in, though, and so very grateful that this was just a minor bump in the road. Here's hoping that the next 97 days (and beyond) will be smooth and boring...