Tuesday, September 30, 2008

The Big Scare


Okay, I admit it. With this being my first baby, I am a huge worrier! In truth, I envy all those friends of mine who seem to just glide through their pregnancies without freaking out or having a panic attack like I sometimes do. I wish I could just sit back and enjoy this pregnancy and not worry all the time. Not that I'm not enjoying the pregnancy, because I am (now that the all day sickness has subsided). It's just that everything is so new to me and most of the time, I don't know if what I'm experiencing is "normal" or if it's something that warrants a trip to the hospital!

Everyone has been telling me that I shouldn't stress out. The stress isn't good for me or the baby. I know that. I just wish I could let go and just go with the flow. I'm trying. I really am.

Take for example, last Tuesday. I woke up with the most horrible cramps ever! What goes into my mind? I immediately thought something was wrong with the baby. My worst fear right now is that I'd lose the baby. I had been on the farm with Hubby that morning. We had some cement poured and we were just leveling it. I didn't to much except for try to even out the wet cement. That was when the cramps started to get worse. They were so severe that I almost had Hubby drive me to the hospital.

The cramps ended up going away after lunch...only to return around 1AM. This time it was even worse! The cramps woke me up from my sleep! I was crying because I had never felt pain like that in my life! Luckily, later on that morning we had an appointment with my OB-GYN and I told him about the cramps. I mentioned that they were so severe and he told me that it was just my uterus growing and the ligaments stretching to accommodate the growing baby...and, Junior had just had a growth spurt the week before, remember? *Phew* Okay, that put my mind at ease.

Last night I had my biggest scare so far. I woke up around 2:30 in the morning because I was sweating. I had never experienced anything like that before! I was so hot that I had to throw the covers off, point the fan directly on me, tear off all my clothes...and even that didn't help! I was soaking wet (I'm talking drenched here!). I went to the kitchen and downed two glasses of water. I was still hot! Everything was soaked. My hair looked and felt as though I had just gotten out of the shower. That's how hot I was! Then, all of a sudden, I got really cold. I was still sweating, but I had the chills.

Again, I thought I'd have to go to the hospital. Hubby was sleeping so soundly, he didn't even realize I was talking to him. Around 3:30 this morning I finally went back to sleep. Exhausted and suffering from a terrible headache, I managed to get in a few more hours of sleep before having to get up to start the day. I'm having a really rough time with the broken sleep patterns I've been getting these past few weeks.

I figured I'd go online before breakfast and check out some pregnancy bulletin boards before I called the doctor. I didn't end up calling the doctor. Apparently, "night sweats" during pregnancy are not that uncommon. This was the first time I had ever heard of them though. I'm still contemplating whether I should get checked out or if I should just wait until my next prenatal appointment in two weeks.

All you moms and moms-to-be...Is there anything else I should know that you experienced that may cause me to be alarmed if it happens to me? I do realize that all women experience different things during pregnancy and that no pregnancy is the same. This said, I totally was not expecting the horrible cramps and the night sweats, so that totally freaked me out. *sigh*

41 comments:

Autumn's Mom said...

It's definitely scary when you don't know what to expect. I feel for you!! I can tell you that I got night sweats and hot flashes during the day. I did feel the whole uteris growing pains. When I would stand up sometimes I would feel so much pain in my pelvis I didn't think I could move, until it subsided. I got braxton hicks contractions where it feels like a contraction going across your belly. Hello false labor. Real labor feels like the worse cramps ever coming and going every few minutes. The main things to be concerned with are fluids coming out ie water or spotting. Always call your dr for those. Also you just need to listen to your body, which I think you are doing :) If you can lay down and drink some water when these other symptoms occur and they go away..that's good. Researching on line is always good, although you don't want to go and get all freaked out either hahaha Those pregnancy books used to freak me out if I read ahead too far. If your intuition is telling you that something is wrong, then call your Dr. Do you have an advice nurse line??

Everyone is nervous with the first one. I bet you are going to become an old pro at this C. Really.

Rosie : ) said...

Aww, poor thing, you seem to be experiencing the more uncommon things. {not *just* regular nausea and crabbiness ~ weirdly said}

Personaly, I ony had really bad stomach pains/cramps for the first baby. I mean, if you think about it, your body has never had to expand that way before.

With the other pregnancies, I had the regular Braxton-Hicks contractions, but those are a very specific feeling, not at all like the ligament stetching you felt. I do remember going to the hospital for the ligament stetching for our first baby. It was pretty awful, I feel sad for you. :( I hope your body starts to adjust soon, and you'll probably not get that again.

As for the hormone hot/cold flashes! Oooooh, those little buggers. Thankfully, I didn't have much of it during the pregnancies {if you take out the fact that I was hugely pregnant during the summertime quite a few times ~ with no air conditionning}, but I did experience some of that during the birth. I vividly remember my Mom and the Midwives rotating pouring ice water down my neck and wrapping me up in huge warmed towels during contractions and in between. My flashes were funny that way too. :) You sweat like it's 120 degrees and then you start to shiver like it's -50 degrees. It's all inside too. I remember telling them I was cold inside, and found it weird because my skin was flushed. Hormones, bah!

I'm trying to remember stuff that can happen during the pregnancies. Nothing really stands out, but when you mention stuff, I start thinking about those moments too. :)

Maybe the only real thing that you haven't mentionned, but you might not be prone to, is I had varicose veins. This is a combo of the fact that I am very prone to them {even as a teenager} and then I proceeded to have 7 kids in 10 years, causing the blood flow to put more pressure on already weak veins. So I had that funky varicose vein underwear {ever try to take those off? Imagine trying while you're pregnant and running to the bathroom all the time!}.

I have also been prone to back problems a long time ~ which again is not necessarily good when you have so many kids so quickly. When the small of my back was really bad, to the point where movement made me stop breathing, I would wrap the bottom of my belly to help take some of the weight off my back, using those elasto-bands for sprains. This helped quite a bit. :)

Now did I stress you more, or do you feel more informed? I always worry about worrying pregnant woman more. It is truly not my intent. All these little things, taken out of context of the end result to the little booboos, is scary looking. What I mean is that in the end, your child will bring you such a gamut of emotions that you will think back on your pregnancy fondly, glossing over the bad bits. ;) I promise! Either that, or my memory was so bad that I didn't mind getting pregnant again, and again...and again!

PS Maybe you can make a "Rosie makes long comments, so click here" section ~ Sorry other C fans, I took forever on this one. :(

D'Rae said...

Oh honey, you take it easy and I will be praying for you and the baby!

C said...

Autumn's Mom:
Thank you for posting this comment :) You know, it really helps to hear experiences from other moms.

The one thing about living in the city as opposed to the country is that in the city there are so many mommy groups and support networks that moms can join to talk to and socialize with other moms. I suppose those online bulletin boards serve as a "community" too. Better that than nothing, I guess.

We do have a nurse we can talk to for advice. I think that program is called TeleHealth or something. I should have thought about calling! Thanks for the reminder :)

C said...

Rosie:
You know I love your comments! :) Thanks for sharing your input too. It is sooooo appreciated! It may sound kind of warped, but it makes me feel a little bit better knowing that other moms sometimes experience more than just a little nausea in the first trimester and having to pee all the time. Not that I find comfort in other people's discomfort! LOL! You know what I mean. It just makes me feel a bit more "normal".

Wow. I haven't had any varicose vein problems, but then again, I'm only in week 22. Who knows what other surprises I'll run into! ;)

Sharon - Mom Generations said...

Oh... I do remember worrying about everything when I was pregnant. In those days, we didn't have the internet or many books to kind-of alleviate the fears, so I relied on my monthly checks with my OB-GYN. I think, in many ways, this was almost easier because I couldn't read about even more things that "could" happen. I do remember night sweats, though. I remember the Braxton-Hicks contractions... very scary... at 6 months with Jane. I remember panicking if I didn't take my prenatal vitamin. I remember sitting in a smoke-filled concert hall (this was the late 70's) once, when pregnant with Audrey, and I just ran out holding my breath in fear. Remember that hormones play a big part in all of this... and (not to really bum you out!!) these things kind-of return during menopause. Been there, done that too!! But... and this is a big but... try to relax. Enjoy this precious time. Every older and wiser woman told me this, and I just couldn't seem to do it. I wish I had. But then again, maybe it's just the way our bodies and minds work. Listen to the advice of your OB. And mostly, remember that you are carrying a miracle... and miracles have a way of working exactly as planned.

C said...

D'Rae:
Thank you so much :) That is so very appreciated.

fancypansy said...

Sorry you are going through all this. This pregnancy has been much scarier for me than my first...with Zoë I had HORRID headaches and heartburn, but there was never any problem that led me to have to worry about the baby. This time I have had 4 episodes of spotting, and the GD scare. After a M/C less than a year ago and a much harder time TTCing than I expected...all these problems have been extra upsetting to me.

My ligament and groin pains are awful now (with Zoë I only felt that low down pelvic pain at the very end, after she had dropped) and I can barely walk after I have been sitting or driving for a while...I recently got a Belly Bra (google it) and it really seems to help though.

Other things you may notice: Calf cramps, especially at night. They can be really painful and may make you worry about a blood clot, but unless they don't go away, they are normal. I find that as much as it hurts to even think about moving when I have one of these, as soon as I force myself do some ankle rotations...the cramp releases. Banans also help. but I cannot eat baanas. I like the flavour, it is a texture thing! I've started making banana smoothies, and it is helping. For a while I was gettng the cramps every night, and now I haven't had one in about a week.

Yup, sweats and chills are normal. Your hormones are out of whack, remember? BTW, THAT is really bad the first week or so after having the baby!

If you are cramping, pay attention to where the cramps are. Ligament pains are usually along the sides of the uterus...like a high cut bikini. Cramps closer to the middle of the pelvic area, and near your cervix are more concerning. They say Braxton Hicks are painless...they aren't always. I have had a few...my tummy got all hard, and they HURT. They do, however, not tend to come in any pattern, and tend to recede if you move around and drink a lot of water. If your cramps have a pattern and water or moving around don't seem to decrease them, it may be a good idea to call the doctor or telehealth.

I love babycenter.com The birth boards are great as you can find a whole bunch of women who are right where you are in pregnancy. My online circle of friends from their bulletin boards is bigger and more suppportive than from my blog...and many of my blog friends came from there.

louann said...

Hugs to you C. It really feels horrible when we panic and get so worried if there's something wrong with the baby in our tummies.

One thing I remember my OB telling me all through my 3 pregnancies is that regardless of what I feel for as long as it feels "different" from the normal / usual, I should call her and tell her about it so that she can assess if I need to see her or not. And for me? I don't call her anymore, I go see her. It's always better to be sure.

C said...

Sharon:
Thank you so much for sharing some of your experiences with me :) It really does help soothe my mind. I really do appreciate all the comments you leave me. Thank you, thank you, thank you! XOXO

C said...

Fancy:
Oh! Sorry about the ligament and groin pains. It's actually good to know that you're feeling them too. Not that I want you to feel them, but you know what I mean. At least I know that it's not uncommon.

Thanks for the tips too (babycenter.com and the belly bra). I really ought to check out some of the boards on babycenter. I imagine they would be great in helping ease my mind...knowing what other women at my stage of pregnancy are going through too.

I keep thinking of you and how in two months you'll have your little bundle of joy in your arms!!! Exciting! :)

C said...

Louann:
Thank you :) It's so true. It is hard not to worry about the little miracles we are carrying inside us! Good idea about seeing your OB to make sure. My only thing is that I worry I'd be at my OB's office ALL the time if I went every time I thought something wasn't normal! LOL! I'm not kidding you! ;)

Cherry said...

You know I've never had the babies pop out of me, and even though I've been reading those scary books (you know, for fun), I've never heard of those ligament stretching cramps or the night sweats!
SCARY!

Sounds like you are doing all the right things though. You are still doing things you need to do and you feel you can do, and when something doesn't feel right you are chilling out.

You and me girl are both worriers and man, I think my poor OB will be getting email after email from me! Boy I'm sure they will be sorry they enabled THAT feature at the doctors office!

C. K. said...

Wo.

That's all I gotta say.

Hugs, honey...

Jane - Mom Generations said...

Oh, C!! I am the biggest worrier known to man, so I can totally relate to you getting nervous! Obviously, I can't offer up any pregnancy advice from experience, but all I can do is tell you that all the times women in my family and friends circle have been pregnant, there have ALWAYS been those cramp/bleeding/other scares that have sent them into worry mode. It's normal to worry because you are such a loving, caring mama-to-be who just simply loves Junior and wants everything to be OK with him/her!! I am thinking of you EVERY DAY and I wish I could take away your fears for you. But I just KNOW that everything will be perfect!!!! xoxoxo

Calfkeeper said...

Oh, sorry about the stretching pains and night sweats and such. They are all normal enough. One thing I hadn't expected was my arms kept going numb and going to sleep. It was really painful, I couldn't sleep because of it sometimes.

Doc said it was a vitamin shortage, but some other book stated it was fluid retention pushing on the nerves. Who knows? It went away after the birth.

It's normal to be really anxious about EVERYTHING. You have lots of great advice and help here. You will do great.

Have you had dreams about the baby yet? I used to dream about misplacing the baby because I'd set her down in the carrier somewhere and couldn't remember where. I guess that's normal too.

Jeanna said...

Man, I can't wait to see the size of this kid. Maybe he should get an infant XXX Sox jersey.

Momisodes said...

Have you read What to Expect When You're Expecting? I think I had the opposite cause of stress while pregnant, in that I knew about nearly EVERYTHING that could go wrong while working as a neonatal nurse :( And when I started to read that book, it just reminded me of all of them. But for some, it was helpful in keeping expecting moms informed about everything going on physically.

Have you had numbness yet? I remember waking up at night and having my fingers feel like pins and needles going numb. AWFUL! I just had to stop sleeping on my back to help that. You may also start to feel sciatic pain (back of hips/thighs) as your baby will sit heavier on your sciatic nerve. Sitting on a ice pack will help. Feel free to message me anytime if you are freaking out. I may be able to help!

mrinz said...

Oh C you sure are getting the whole spectrum of symptoms!
It is great to have the online community to talk to and share some of your concerns!
However its an exciting time all the same, in spite of the worries.
How is your sister in law coping with her twins pregnancy? I hope that all is well with her too.

Ms. Mamma said...

projectile heartburn in the 7th month...i had to avoid tomatos all together! it is better to be safe than sorry, chrissy...xo

if something feels really wrong, follow up on it.

Ms. Mamma said...

On Autumns Mom's point: that fluid coming out can also be pee because there is so much pressure on your bladder! i thought i was leaking but no, it was just the pee pressure valve release.

J at www.jellyjules.com said...

You poor thing. :( The cramps would have scared me, too! I was so hot during my pregnancy that I wouldn't let Ted turn on the heater sometimes, and we lived in Philly in the winter!

I used to get braxton hicks contractions if I walked too fast (like a normal pace) or if I got the tinyest bit dehydrated. So any time you feel weird, slow down and drink a glass of water.

My two scariest events were when they mis-read my blood test for Downs Syndrome (my uncle had Downs, and it tore the family apart...not that it would every family, but it did mine), and one morning I woke up and I was bleeding. SCARY!

But as you can see by all of the pictures on my blog, everything turned out fine. Whew.

I remember feeling a lot safer when she was out of me. Like then if something went wrong, they could at least get to her, you know?

The other stuff, pain and horrid heartburn (had to sleep sitting up the last few weeks, or else I would wake up barfing acid...GROSS) and peeing when I laughed too hard...that sucked, but it didn't worry me, you know?

J at www.jellyjules.com said...

Oh, and make sure you get enough potassium! Maybe a banana every day or something. Supposed to help with leg cramps, which are common during pregnancy. ;)

C said...

Cherry:
So true! I have been doing lots of reading and haven't come across much on the night sweats or anything. Some books I've read haven't even mentioned anything about that stuff! I found out from some of the pregnancy boards on the internet and through other women online who are pregnant. Then I asked my friend who is a nurse and also spoke to the doc today.

I sometimes worry that my doc might think I'm a total spazz! I feel like every little thing just sets me off and makes me want to contact my doc! LOL! *sigh* I need to learn how to chill! Funny, because before I got pregnant I wasn't this worried or paranoid about everything. I was more laid back and easy going about things. However, when it comes to this baby, I'm really (REALLY) obsessed with things going right.

C said...

CK:
Thanks for the hugs! Miss you! XOXO

C said...

Jane:
Thank you for that :) It really makes me feel better! You, your mom and Audrey have such a positive perspective on everything :)
XOXO

C said...

Calf Keeper:
Oh! I've heard about the numbness that can occur when pregnant! I haven't really experienced it, but sometimes when I wake up in the morning it feels like my right hand and fingers are on pins and needles. It doesn't really hurt, but it's more annoying than anything. I asked my doctor about it and he thinks it may be carpal tunnel, which is apparently not uncommon during pregnancy. Weird!

I have had three dreams of the baby so far. In each dream, I holding the baby and it was a boy! I don't know if this means I'm having a boy or not, but in each dream it's always been a boy. I thought that was pretty funny. I really have no idea what we're having. It doesn't really matter to me. All I want is a healthy baby :) I suppose if I REALLY wanted to, I could sneak a peek at the next ultrasound in two weeks! I'll try to refrain from that though. I kind of want to have a surprise when the baby comes. I also want to see if these dreams are premonition dreams too! LOL!

C said...

Jeanna:
Oh, man! IMAGINE if the baby was THAT huge??? XXX??? OMG!

lisaschaos said...

Sweetie you're almost there. :) XO I once had a big scare because I couldn't feel the baby moving, but they checked him out and all was fine. :)

Karen MEG said...

Oh, C, I know, in all the joy of pregnancy people forget to tell you that it can be more than a bit of stress... poor you!!! When I was reading the first part of your post I figured it was the baby growing and YOU getting bigger.

The first is tough, and not that it should makes any difference but I am biased, it can make it even tougher if it wasn't an easy road getting pregnant in the first place. I am a worrier to the nth degree... Ian tells me I'm not content unless I'm worried about something, I kid you not!

The one thing that I got that Fancypansy already mentioned were those brutal calf cramps... ay-yi-yi!!!! Those were killers... I would stand on a cold bathroom floor, force myself to stand straight up and it would alleviate things a bit. Bananas, yes, good for that. I did get hot at night too (and I usually freeze) but not sweats like you.

I've had friends with sciatica pain that just freaked them out too.

Babycenter is an amazing resource. I can't remember anything else offhand, it was almost 4 years ago now (hard to believe).

I know it's easy to say, but try not to worry. Seriously. Just don't research too much that you start looking for things. Knowledge can sometimes be too much, KWIM???

C said...

Momisodes:
Oh! I have experienced some numbness too at night. It's not horrible, but rather annoying. I wake up in the morning or in the middle of the night and I've got pins and needles in my right hand and fingers. I did mention it to the doc and he said it was carpal tunnel. To my relief, he said it wasn't uncommon and that it should go away after the baby is born.

It really surprises be how many new things I'm experiencing with this pregnancy. On one hand, I feel the healthiest I've ever been (I mean, with regard to the weight gain...I actually lost weight in the beginning and now that I've gained 2 lbs, I'm at the weight I was right before I got pregnant! WEIRD)! I feel more energetic, vibrant, etc. On the other hand, I'm getting all sorts of other weird health related experiences that will hopefully go away after the baby is born.

The human body really amazes me. What's even more amazing is how it can adapt to accommodate a growing baby. It's really scientific and miraculous at the same time!

C said...

Mrinz:
That's for sure! ;)

My SIL is doing well. I haven't had a chance to touch base with her in two weeks though. It's neat that we're almost at the same stages in our pregnancies. It still amazes me that she is going to give birth to TWINS! Twins just fascinate me!

We found out the other week that they are going to have twin girls. They're fraternal. I am so anxious to meet these little bundles of joy! I wonder what they're going to look like!

C said...

Ms.Mamma:
Wow! It's amazing what new things one can experience during pregnancy! Projectile heartburn in your 7th month? WOW!

You're so right about following up if something doesn't feel right. The problem with me is that I'm never really sure if something feels right or not. Everything that happens to me that is new causes the alarms to go off!

When I told the doc that the cramps were so severe and that I had never felt cramps like that before, he laughed and joked, "Ohhhh...this isn't the worst pain you're going to feel!"

C said...

J:
Yes, I think I'd feel the same way! I think I'd feel a lot more at ease once the baby is out. At least that way if something was wrong, the docs would be able to get to him or her right away. Not being able to see what's going on inside me and see how the baby is doing makes me a bit nervous.

Thanks for the banana tip! I ate a lot of bananas in my first trimester, but for some reason I've been eating more of other fruits and less bananas this trimester. Don't know why.

Jeanna said...

I think you're giving birth to a linebacker.

Girlie Monkey said...

Oh Chrissy don't feel bad! I think I would be freaking out about every little thing too when I get pregnant for the first time!

C said...

Lisa:
Thank you for that :) I was excited when we hit our halfway mark...and then I thought "Oh jeeeez! We're ONLY halfway there!" LOL! Everyone has been telling me that the next half will just fly by. I wonder if that's true! :)

C said...

Karen:
You are sooooooo right! Too much info CAN cause some anxiety, can't it!?! Sometimes I think it's better to NOT read too much ahead of myself. You're right about "looking" for things that can go wrong.

I'm going to try, try, try to chill! LOL! ;)

P.S. I've heard about women having really painful sciatica during pregnancy. WOW!

C said...

Jeanna:
Oh, you're beginning to scare me! LOL! ;)

On the Island, the sport of choice seems to be hockey. In my family, however, baseball runs in our blood. I don't think Hubby will mind if he has a little football player though. He likes football.

C said...

Girlie Monkey:
YAY!!!! You're back! You've been missed in your absence from the blog world! XOXO

C said...

Fortunately, I've only experienced the night sweats that one time (knock on wood!) and the cramps twice. I'm hoping I don't get either of them again! ;)

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City girl moves to the country, falls in love, and marries a farmer. She tries to incorporate her city ways with her new country lifestyle and blogs to keep in touch with friends, family & students who live far, far away :) Can this city girl go country? Watch as she learns all sorts of exciting things about life on the farm and in a small rural community. *UPDATE* We are now parents! Our baby girl was born on Nov. 11, 2008 (at 28 weeks gestation- 12 weeks premature, but she's quite the trooper)!!!
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