Vaginal Rest

January 30th, 2010

This was the order given to me by the doctor on Friday afternoon. I’m supposed to let my vagina rest… apparently. I told Shelton not to disturb us.

So, I’m being funny, but this week has been far from it. All because of the bleeding. “Brandi, give us one verb to describe your pregnancy.” “Bleeding.” Ugh! It’s so incredibly frustrating. Why? Because there is no reason for it. None whatsoever!

Last Monday, I went to the doctor for my monthly visit. We talked at length about the bleeding and he asked me every conceivable question you ask a person on the subject. At one point asking if I was positive I knew where it was coming from. I posted here about that doctor’s appointment, mentioning the bleeding. “M” at our fertility clinic read said post and mentioned this to Dr. T, our IVF doctor. He called us. It was out of the blue and completely unexpected and so completely welcome. He kind of made me realize I wasn’t taking this as seriously as I should and kind of woke me out of my apathetic fog I’d let myself drift in to. Hello! Remember the IVF with the needles and the crying and the money? I let him know there was a sonogram scheduled for the following week, but he insisted it be done sooner, even offering to let us go by the clinic if need be. So my regular doctor’s office was able to move up the appointment and get me in the next day, this past Wednesday.

So we went to the sonogram. And ooohed and ahhed over the excruciating cuteness factor of the little baby girl residing in my womb who could very well have my nose and maybe Angelina Jolie’s lips. We knew it would probably be the next day before our OB, Dr. W, received the radiology report and could let us know what they found. So we asked radiology to burn us a disc of all the sono images, plus we took the cute print outs, and headed over to see “M” and Dr. T, hoping to settle our nerves and both continue the conversation with two people who have expressed genuine concern and interest in our well-being. So we had a long chat and Dr. T didn’t seem alarmed by anything, just “paranoia” about the continued bleeding. He urged me to “take it easy” and reminded me of how far we’ve come. I think I needed that. Not that I need to be on tip toes and egg shells until she arrives, but this is not a normal pregnancy and shouldn’t be treated as such. He also advised that if I experienced any changes – in the blood, cramping, etc. – that I should immediately go to the hospital to be checked out.

The next afternoon, Thursday, Dr. W’s nurse called with the radiology report and let me know that no one sees anything wrong. Nothing stands out. There are no clots, there are no pools of blood. There’s nothing. We’ve ruled out every possible problem. Yet, the bleeding continues.

And yesterday morning, Friday, the bleeding continued. Only there was a change. It was heavy, very, very heavy. And my heart just stopped. But I rationalized – don’t freak out! I was like, we’ll give it an hour or so and see what happens. Thirty minutes later I had to use the restroom again, of course, and it was worse than before. And although Shelton had just gone to work late after driving to the opposite side of town through the snow, I called him and asked to come home and take me to the hospital. And he did. During the wait I called Dr. W’s office and was told to go to our delivery hospital. I also packed a change of clothes/overnight bag because, well, who knows.

It was our first trip to this hospital and our first trip up to labor and delivery. If nothing else, the practice run we probably needed. I first want to say the staff in that perinatal unit was amazing. The nurse was barely done filling out forms when the doctor pushed her way in and got to work. Meaning, within minutes. Every single person was smiling, polite and in no particular hurry. It was very relieving, very comforting and vastly different from any ER experience… ever. I gave a urine sample, was hooked up to an external fetal monitor and began sitting. I felt totally fine, but was completely unnerved by the change in events. The doctor reached out to Dr. W to let him know I was there while her resident took a very thorough history. Then, they did a pelvic exam. She said she could see blood, but didn’t seem concerned by it.

Let me just say now, that at 27 weeks, stir-ups can take a damn hike. By 40 weeks, no chance in hell you’re folding me up in those things.

They took blood and then we waited. Lunch time during a snow storm probably wasn’t an ideal time to be sending things to the lab for results, but that’s what we did. We spent four hours at the hospital, only to have the doctor come in and tell us what we already knew. “The baby is perfect.” Perfect, healthy, strong, growing… all things any parent-to-be wants to hear, especially us. As for me, “no explanation.” Whattya know. My labs were clean, the exam inconclusive. There’s absolutely nothing wrong… that they can see. As “M” put it, people should stop calling this normal, because it’s not normal. It might be the norm for me, but that doesn’t make it a normal part of any pregnancy.

I was sent home with instructions for “vaginal rest,” and basically told that I’m sitting just this side of bed rest and that I must “take it easy.” Shelton had called “M” and Dr. T when we arrived at the hospital, primarily because we wanted someone with my history to know where we were and what was going on. Dr. W spends Fridays in surgery so it wasn’t possible for me to let him know, he was my first call. Dr. T called to check on us just as we were pulling in the driveway. I assured him he hadn’t planted any seeds of hysteria or hypchondriac-ness. He agreed with our decision to go to the hospital and said if the same thing happened again to go right back. I thanked him profusely for taking the time to reach out. Seriously people… best. doctor. ever.

So today, I’m doing that, taking it easy. Which is incomprehensible to a busy body like me and I’m just stewing with all the things I could/should/would be doing, places I’d be going. We canceled dinner plans that we were hosting tonight, probably a good call. Otherwise we’ve been busy with the doing nothing, taking it easy and vaginal resting.

You know, if sitting here like a lump gets me through at the very least the next seven weeks and able to bring home this perfect, healthy baby girl, then clearly I’ll do it. But a month of bleeding with zero explanation is worrisome to say the least, so I’m hoping that all of this sitting and attempt at reducing stress somehow stops the bleeding or keeps anything else from happening.