Thursday, July 24, 2008

Because my mind is decidedly one tracked these days

I have a new favorite sound-- the sound of the heart beat monitor. In general, but more so the one on the maternity floor. It's the sound of respite, of assurance, of someone else being responsible.

Responsibility feeds my fear. Not to sound overly dramatic, but I think I am about to. I feel like there are three hearts on a string around my neck-- mine, JD's, and Monkey's. It's Monkey's heart that I am most afraid of breaking, again, though it may be JD's that is the most fragile. Neither of them would blame me, of course, if. Neither of them would even want me to feel responsible. Well, I am sure JD doesn't, and am pretty sure Monkey wouldn't, if I could explain this to her and ask for her opinion. Which I am not going to. But their desires have very little to do with the reality I inhibit, and that is that I am the only one who can tell, in the middle of the night, whether we still have a chance at a take-home baby this time.

The panic I wrote about in the last post is not a sledgehammer. It does not come down all at once and full force. It creeps. I imagine that is what the approach of Dementors must feel like. And it occurs to me that what I am trying to do to keep it at bay is something akin to the Patronus charm-- conjuring up that kick, willing it to come before the Dementor gets close enough for me to lose all reason, for the images to gain hue and depth, to turn from what I know to be no more than sketches to what I perceive to be a cruel preview of This Is Your Life, Redux.

In the hospital the monitors in the room are connected to the monitors at the nurse's station, and if the heartbeat trace is lost, the ones at the station beep. Loudly, I presume. The nurse then comes in and talking about how at this gestational age they are still small enough to be able to get away from the monitor once in a while, readjusts the sensor to where the sound is heard again, the numbers jump, and the trace in uninterrupted. What keeps me serene through these little games of hide and seek (well, other than the kick that usually precedes him being able to get out of range) is the knowledge that there are two ORs just down the hall, and two teams of OBs on the floor at all times, a high risk MFM team and a regular old OB team. And that Dementors are not allowed on that floor.

In as many times as I have gone to the hospital this pregnancy, I have not gone in, yet, simply to use my favorite sound to sooth the racing mind. But the days between appointments, they drag. And we are at the shore this week. A short drive back, but longer than from home, and far more at the whim of traffic gods. Tuesday I drove to the NST, ran errands, and then came back again. It really is a reasonable drive, and there is a smaller affiliated hospital along the way that can transport me to mine if things get dodgy. But man, it was hard to leave that safety radius of the 20 minute commute.

I failed the NST on Tuesday, and was rewarded with a BPP, which I passed, but not spectacularly. I am worried. I may be worried enough that I am coming up with new things to worry about. I have a big ultrasound tomorrow. Not just a BPP, but a growth scan and everything else we can throw into the pot. I am planning to ask whether the baby could be getting overwhelmed by all the contractions, whether having to be reactive to them is taking its toll, whether putting me into the hospital to be monitored for 24 hours or so wouldn't be a good idea. I came up with this new worry yesterday, during the day of many a somewhat painful contraction. But since last night they have been no more than intermittent, and now I am not so sure-- is that even a real concern, or am I just making shit up for that day pass out of Worryville?

20 comments:

Beruriah said...

Oh Julia. I wish I knew a secret pass out of Worryville. Ask for the monitoring if you need to - really whatever gets you through the day and gives you some sleep right now.

STE said...

Julia, if I were in your shoes -- and I am a lifelong resident of Worryvile, DBs notwithstanding -- I would be looking for that day pass at any opportunity.

And though I know it's better for the little one to be growing inside you, I imagine the internal conflict to have him in and growing and out and in doctors' hands (or his mama's arms) would be almost too much. It would be for me, anyway. Perhaps that is why I'm not quite ready yet.

Here's hoping the scan goes smoothly tomorrow, and that Dr. Best can put your mind at ease somewhat, whatever direction that takes. I'll be thinking of you.

Mrs. Spit said...

Oh Julia, whatever you do to make yourself feel better, that's what you do . . . And if that's 24 hours in observation, then that's just fine.

luna said...

you certainly deserve a free pass, but since none appears to be forthcoming, I agree you should do whatever eases your mind even the littlest bit. if you have even the slightest cause for concern, by all means, hook yourself up and let them take over watch for a while. it must be exhausting to keep on dementor watch 24/7. hopefully you're resting too...

janis said...

Oh Julia, this just wrenched my heart. It's just brutal, the pregnancy after. I can feel your heaviness, and wish I can carry some for you.
All I can think of is, technology has its limits, no matter how advanced it is. I hope you find a way to find some peace of mind, even in some pockets.
Big big hugs to you.

My Reality said...

I wish there was an easy way out of Worryville. I hope your scan tomorrow brings you some peace of mind.

kate said...

There is no pass. But yes, if after tomorrow's scan you are unsure, you should ask for the monitoring -- no harm in asking. If there is absolutely no reason to do it, they won't do it.

Missing said...

hey Julia, I'm so sorry for all the worrying!!!!
After we have been dealt the bad hand, it hard to think that it won't happen again, in some way.

I'm wondering, have you looked into red raspberry leaf tea to help stop contractions?

My friend's midwife recommended it to her when she was about 20 weeks and magically her contractions pretty much went away.


Here's hoping everything looks good on the ultrasound! Toes and fingers crossed!

Ya Chun said...

I'd be completely worried all the time too. I guess it is par for the course.
But, just like Harry Potter, you just do it. You are a hero and you are very brave. Your love will chase those Dementors away.

slouching mom said...

oh, hon. if i could write that day pass out of Worryville for you, i would.

Rosepetal said...

Like Kate says, why not just ask for the 24hour monitoring. And I say feel free to get drama queenie if it gets you the monitoring.

Excellent HP analogy for the panic btw. I wish I had a Patronus to share with you.

christina(apronstrings) said...

demand what will/might give you a sense of peace.
hold JD's hand more and pull monkey closer. know that so many people are thinking of you and every belief that you will deliver a healthy and happy baby, even if you can't picture it. xoxo

Magpie said...

thinking clear and calm thoughts for you...

let us know how the u/s goes...

Ashleigh said...

i cannot tell you how much i appreciate you sharing this- it makes me feel so much less alone.

Amelie said...

That Dementor analogy is very good. And scary. I hope you get good, reassuring news tomorrow. And ask for whatever other means of regular reassurance you can get. The more Patronuses (Patroni?), the better.

Casey said...

Thinking of you, Julia.

loribeth said...

I think your feelings are totally normal for anyone who's been through what you have. (((hugs)))

Kymberli said...

I'm thinking of you and hoping that today's appointment keeps the Dementors at bay for a while longer.

I loved that metaphor.

Aurelia said...

The last few weeks seem to last years...but then they are over and you look back and think, wow...where did the time go?

You too will make it. You will.

mama o' the matrices said...

Hey - I know that one! It's the wave of relief that hits when we're in the ER with the Eldest. Yep, it's annoying as all get out, and yes, we're now stuck for the next 4-6 hours, but now we get a pretty picture of whatever bit he's whacked, and we get to hear an official alls-clear. I always feel like a bit of a wimp, taking him in, because I'm so relieved to do it.