Friday, July 4, 2008


My uterus has been acting cranky. It started last month with these long Braxton-Hicks type dealies that would come on and stick around until I found a way to recline. But they didn't seem to be doing anything, and so I was reminded to rest, hydrate, and call if I got more than four or five real ones in an hour. Will do, no problem, see ya later.

Then, Tuesday last, just that happened, and off we went, my uterus, its occupant, and I, to the triage floor. Contractions, why yes-- here they are on the monitor. But my cervix was heavy into mixing its metaphors, all of them helpful-- it was, it seems, auditioning for the role of a tight-lipped secret service agent guarding Fort Knox. (Bon, my friend, I want you to know that I would never covet the title that is rightfully yours, and so we, my cervix and I, are staying the hell out of the Miss Cervix Universe '08 pagent.) And so with negative fibronectin test to boot, we all headed home to vigilantly keep watch from lazy about my couch.

Over the next several days only sporadic contractions here and there interrupted my regularly scheduled freakouts. Then on Sunday, seemingly simultaneously with the final whistle that brought the European Cup finals to its just end and ensured a substantial boost to the entire liquor-related sector of the Spanish economy, there came one of them annoying contractions. Not five minutes later our local station cut into the broadcast for some minor announcement like a severe thunderstorm watch for large chunks of the state, and I started to laugh at JD's righteous indignation at having his broadcast interrupted. Only it hurt. To laugh. On account of another damned contraction.

A few more and a phone call later we were on our way to the hospital. Where it turned out that both Dr.Best and my friend the OB (hm, he needs a name, it seems... ok, then, Dr.Friend) were on the floor that day. Reassuring, yes. Cervix doing ok, fibronectin negative, lather, rinse, repeat, go home. Have a number of contractions on Monday. See Dr.Best for the regular office visit Tuesday morning. Find out that the nurse on the floor Sunday forgot to send my urine for culture. Do that Tuesday. Schedule this week's BPP for Wednesday, and then for Fridays from then on. Get reminded to call anytime, if anything at all is funky. Have a great BPP on Wednesday morning, prominently featuring a long-looking cervix and a very active baby.

Leave work Wednesday afternoon because damn, those contractions seem annoying, and where is my couch? Thursday stay at work sort of late, periodically noticing somewhat stronger contractions. Have a nice rest on the couch in the evening. Start noticing new batch of contractions late in the evening. Fall asleep on the couch considering whether or not to call. Wake up and realize that since you were able to sleep, they must have gone away. Crawl upstairs, change into pajamas, get into bed, and realize that you can't sleep because of somewhat frequent and fairly annoying contractions.

Roses are red
Violets are blue
We've got contractions
And how about you?

Call, go in. Arrive around 3 in the morning. Get to learn first hand why residents are not attendings.

The resident I got was very nice. Did all the same things-- fibronectin test, manual check, monitoring, manual check again after the results come back. Only, wow, did it hurt. Wow, wow, wow. Let me just say that I sincerely hope the man gets some more training before he is somebody's doctor for real. Just saying.

But also? I could definitely feel the blasted contractions. And they came every 3-4 minutes. And I asked him, when he told me that once again I could go home and call if things didn't improve by, say Sunday or Monday, I asked him what happens if they don't slow down and I can't get any sleep. Ummm... you can take some things, like Benadril, but you should call first to make sure they are ok with Dr.Best.

So I change back into my own clothes, and am sitting there waiting to be discharged, when the nurse comes to tell me that the attending decided that he doesn't like the look of the contractions on the strip, and they want to keep me another two hours and check again. Ok-dokey. Change back, get the monitors back on, and somehow fall asleep. For almost two hours. Heaven.

I woke up to realize that the contractions were still going at about the same clip, only less strongly, which is probably why I got to sleep. Round 3 of Resident IronGrip all up in my business declared my cervix holding steady, and I was expecting to be sent home any minute with the same nebulous-sounding instructions. Only the intensity on the mo-fos picked right up after the exam, and I was starting to wonder whether I could get away with convincing myself that sleep is not really a necessity.

And then the nurse came and took the strip to show the new attending, fresh at the start of her shift. And then the attending herself came to talk to me, and lo, I was in love for she had non-nebulous things to say. Your cervix seems to be doing fine, she said. But you are contracting every couple of minutes, and we think that's at least uncomfortable. So we want to give you trebutaline (hallelujah!), and what do you do at work? I think you should work from home all next week. Not a strict bedrest, but more like a modified house arrest. Relax as much as possible.

So that is where I am now. Three doses of trebutaline later, I get only an occasional contraction. I do get the promised slight jittering soon after taking a dose. But I took an almost three hour nap this afternoon, and am heading up to bed for the night right soon. And during the day, my couch and I are going to become even closer. Which is kind of frightening given how much time I have been spending with it already.

Before I left the hospital I asked about those manual exams, and bacteria, as in possibility of introduction of the same where it shouldn't go, and antibiotics just in case. I heard back from the office on Thursday that the culture from Tuesday was negative, and given that, they didn't think I needed antibiotics. But it seems after I left, Dr.Attending looked up those urine culture results in detail, and decided that given my history and the ongoing contractions, and the small number of bacteria that did show up on that test, it was best for me to take an antibiotic. So I am.

Damn, this is long. I should've stuck with the short version, I think: Contractions, frequent, not productive, trebutaline to go, antibiotics too, couch comfy, still need sleep.

Hope everyone is enjoying their weekend.


Mrs. Spit said...

Ugh. Ugh, ugh, ugh. Bon can keep the Miss Cervix Uterus. How about we give you the title for the longest cervix? Or possibly cervix 'o Titanium?

Seriously, hoping and praying that the the tet. keeps on working it's magic.

Coggy said...

Maybe your Uterus is just flexing it's proverbial muscles to prove how good it is or how ready it will be soon. Well it can just stop now thank you very much. Far too much worry for you I'm sure and for all us out here.

I'm glad they decided to give you antibiotics as well. Really it can't hurt and it is better to err on the side of caution. Dr.Attending seems to have been very thorough.

Stay on that couch for the next week and keep your feet up. I hope the drugs and the rest do the trick!

Ya Chun said...

"regularly scheduled freakouts" - love it. sorry you're having them, but well said nonetheless.

Glad you just caught the next doc. Lucky break.

Hang tight.

Amelie said...

You seem amazingy calm -- I'd be in the middle of the next freakout already. Which probably wouldn't help the overall state. Hope you can get some rest, and that the contractions get the trebutaline-encoded message.

niobe said...

Oh, Julia.

Lollipop Goldstein said...

The longer post gives the more detailed picture. I second that you are amazingly calm. And rest. Rest, rest, rest.

Phantom Scribbler said...


Beruriah said...

Ay yai yai. Keep resting, modifiedly. And let your housecleaning go to pot, please, for a bit. Or hire more people.

STE said...

Oy vey.

Glad you've got the terb and the antibiotics, and found a doctor who knew what he/she was doing.

Hoping things calm down and it's a nice long wait.

Super Cervix?

luna said...

oh julia, how scary. so glad you finally got someone who knew what she was doing I hope you are back on that couch, taking it easy, letting your hub and monkey take good care of you. rest rest rest is right.

Betty M said...

Incredi-cervix perhaps?
Hope that the combination of some sleep, sofa, antibiotics and trebutaline do their stuff.

Oh - is all DNA double stranded? I ask as the main indicator of my sle activity is the ds-DNA antibodies so I kind of assumed that there was some which was single stranded as why call it "ds" if not.

Wabi said...

How scary, annoying (the clumsy-handed doc trainee part), and just plain exhausting. I'm so sorry!

And terb, it kinda made me feel like coke-snorting cockroaches were dancing on the inside of my eyeballs. Here's hoping it is gentler on your system, and that resting on the couch as much as you can keeps your guy in there for a spell longer.

Bon said...

welcome to house arrest, my friend. sounds like a tiring saga, your week...though i am DELIGHTED to have you in the running for Miss Cervix Universe '08! one, it's good for your baby to be long & strong...two, think i'm scared of a little competition?!?!

be good. go gentle on yourself.

Tash said...

Is it bad for me to wish a similarly probative and uncomfortable exam ON resident by another resident? Yes? Good.

Glad the couch and treb seem to have slowed things down enough to rest a bit. And the ABX were a good call.

Rosepetal said...

How stressful for you - I'm glad the attending seems to be doing his job properly and is double-checking things and leaning on the safe side. My OB did the same for my pregnancy with Beanie, always erring on the side of caution.

I'm glad those pesky contractions have slowed with the doses.

Sigh of relief.

CLC said...

Oh, I hope the cervix stays closed. How many weeks are you now?

I hope the drugs work, and that you can finally get some sleep. How stressful for you!

Anonymous said...

I hope you have made it through the weekend, on your couch, cervix firmly closed and contractions under control.

Thinking of you.

Magpie said...

Well, I certainly hope that you have plenty more time on that there couch.

Best wishes to you and your cervix, and occupant!

k@lakly said...

My oh my, can there be no drama??? Yikes.
Here's hoping the little one stays put, the drugs do there work and you all get to meet at the regularly scheduled broadcast time. Enough with the prempting evryones schedules already!!!
Hang in there and hugs:)

sweetsalty kate said...

oy indeed! Take it easy Julia, as if you need to be told that... I'm thinking more of the heart than the cervix.

Aurelia said...

love the poem...damn glad you are okay and baby is still in there and cooking away.


janis said...

Urgh, Julia! I dunno how you stay so calm, and even have a sense of humor about it. Well, I guess if you can't cry, you gotta laugh huh?
I'm sorry for all those trips, and monitoring and back-and-forth's.
Onward, and hang in there.

Mandy said...

I can completely relate to the stress of contractions, terbutaline (ick, that stuff sucks), extra exams and scary trips to L & D to be checked, but I can only imagine the stress of doing so given what you went through with the loss of your son.

I'm sending many positive thoughts your way and I'm so glad you asked about (and ultimately received) antibiotics.

Modified activity sounds like a good idea (though I know it can be easier said than done). Take care, hon, and know that we are always okay with hearing the long version. Always.

Kim said...

Wow, it's like reading an account of my own life lately!

I also have an "irritable uterus" and have had more fetal fibronectins that I can count. I'm at the point where I just deal with it, because I know now that contracting is just what I "do". Fortunately for you, your doctor seems more concerned (re: bedrest) than mine ever has. I hope that your uterus chills out in there!

Nicole said...

Gotta say that I thoroughly enjoyed the long version of this story. However, I am sure that you did not. Rest up, for the good stuff is bound to be here soon.

Anonymous said...

oh my! I think I'll take back all my 4th of July weekend complaints now. glad that nothing really seems to be going on but how annoying and strange. Thinking of you.

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