Thursday, May 20, 2010
Male readers: If you're squeamish about mention of my reproductive parts, pregnancy woes, sex stuff etc., then click away now. The upshot is that the baby and I are okay anyway.
My obstetrician told me this week at my regular appointment that the baby's head is butting against my cervix, and that the cervix is a bit short at 3cms (according to Google - yeah I know - the normal length is 3-5cms).When she asked if I had any pain or pressure in the pelvis or lower back my initial response was "no".
But then I realised that of course I do, often by the evening when I've been on my feet for hours or even just sitting at the computer.
I've just been ignoring it, thinking it was on account of being pregnant and entering the third trimester. And often I suppose I'm too occupied to notice, until the very end of the day when I finally collapse on the sofa feeling like an 80-year-old.
I was dismayed at what she said next.
"You need to take pressure off the cervix. Sleep for 10 hours at night. Rest for two hours every afternoon, lying down with your legs elevated, and lie down any time you feel pressure or lower back pain. Avoid intercourse. And no lifting at all."
She may as well have told me to go straight to hospital and stay there for the next three months! In fact, that might be easier than what she's asked me to do.
My first thoughts were that it's going to be very hard to even manage the early bedtime and lying down during the day part when I have three young children to look after.
My husband does a lot at home, but he also works full time and I can't expect him to take up all my slack.
Our parents are willing, but not really able, to help very much. Although I'm sure they'll do what they can to make things a bit easier.
And "avoid intercourse"? I was too shy to ask for details. (Later, a friend who's a mother of five told me, "It means it should be ok sometimes so long as you're not swinging from the chandeliers".)
After asking the doctor a few questions, I then got scared about going into pre-term labour. How much is the baby at risk?
There is a risk, but no need to be scared, just cautious, she said.
But they seem drastic precautionary measures to me, if there's nothing to be too worried about. I'm taking them anyway, because I would hate to have ignored the warning and then have something go wrong.
I'm also grateful to have an early warning sign, a little alert that I can't just go around doing my thing as if I wasn't pregnant at all.. A lot of women have far worse to deal with during their pregnancies. I'm just being told to take it easy.
This turn of events could also be a God-given opportunity for me to reflect on and re-order my priorities and the way I spend my time. I simply can't do everything I would normally do in a day if I'm to spend so much time lying down.
I have to change my mindset to a much simpler one. Do the absolute essentials for our physical needs - food, clean clothing, not too filthy house - don't get distracted (that means a lot less blog reading) and attempt ONE other thing I'd like to achieve that day.
Only one. This is huge for me.
So this morning I went to the shops with my two littlies to replace my broken mobile phone and get my glasses fixed, and now we're at home, resting.
Normally I would have tried to take the kids to the park for a little while, done a load of laundry and maybe run the vacuum over the place before leaving for the afternoon school run.
But not now, now I'm going slow.
I've got 12 weeks to go. Twelve hours in the day. And counting...