This weekend was my talk up in Rochester. My husband Will took a couple of days off, we gathered our boxer Moxie's things and loaded her in the car, and we all headed up there together, planning to spend a couple of days tooling around the Finger Lakes after the talk.
The talk went well. It's a little tiring to be on my feet for a couple of hours, but no biggie - the energy of presenting tends to carry me through. After my talk, I spent several hours holed up in my hotel room finishing writing a second talk that my boss is right now giving on my behalf in San Jose, California.
That night, I noticed some uterine discomfort. I tend to have this once or twice a week. I'm not sure what causes it, but I picture the baby getting bigger in little spurts, sometimes causing my uterus to stretch. Usually, the pain is brief. I've gotten pretty used to it.
However, this night, it lasts all through dinner. I feel it as I'm falling asleep. Then while I'm restlessly trying to sleep, I feel the sensation intensifying into discomfort along my whole left side, enough that even in my dreams I am in pain.
I dream that something is wrong with the baby and that I need to go to the hospital. In the dream, Will pooh poohs me and won't come with me, so I am in a strange city on my own, looking for the hospital. I finally get there, but they don't do an ultrasound. I don't know if the baby is ok.
I wake up, really uncomfortable physically.
Tossing and turning, I have this dim idea that I'm having a placental abruption. I have the half-awake/half-asleep dream thought that the baby is dead because I was silly enough to travel out of town to give a talk. Because of course, giving talks kills babies, an irrational notion I can't seem to shake.
I wake up. It is morning. I am still crampy.
All the cobwebs of the night before merge. I am convinced that the dreams were prescient in some way. I am scared that the pregnancy is over.
I tell Will about my nightmares and about the cramping, but I don't want to freak him out about how freaked out I am. As soon as he takes Moxie for her morning walk, I whip out the doppler...fumbling around with it...and for the life of me I can't find the baby's heartbeat. I'm starting to panic.
And then finally...after what seems like an eternity...there it is.
Super strong. Galloping like a horse. A heart rate in the 140s, 150s. Loud, unmistakable.
I almost cry with relief.
Within a couple of hours, the left-sided pain subsides. Still don't know what it was. Round ligament pain, maybe? Dehydration?
My uterus was quiet the rest of the weekend. And is fine now. Baby's heartbeat still going strong, as of this morning.
I, on the other hand, think I might have lost a few years off of my life.
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