A week ago, in the late morning while teaching, I knew something felt off. I could feel it in my gut. Literally. Cramps. It wasn’t just the normal tightness I felt every once in a while, or the quick little pang of my belly stretching that is normal, especially this late in pregnancy. It felt like menstrual cramps, the same feeling I felt for an hour or so before I went into labor with Abby. I quickly chugged water, got off my feet, and relaxed. (Thank goodness my students are accustomed to me sitting so much while teaching these days.)
I thought it was just a fluke, as the cramps went away quickly.
On my drive from work to my already scheduled OB appointment, I felt a few Braxton Hicks contractions. No big deal. But as soon as I walked into my doctor’s office, I felt those same cramps again. As soon as I got back to see my doctor, the Braxton Hicks kicked in to high gear. And my blood pressure, well that was borderline high. While talking with my OB, I had Braxton Hicks over and over and over and over. I never felt them this much with my first pregnancy. My OB informed me that with your second pregnancy, you carry lower and during the third trimester your body starts to prepare itself a lot earlier for labor and delivery. After telling me that I needed to lay down as soon as I got home, drink 16oz of water, wait an hour, drink more water, wait another hour, he said that if after three hours I felt 6 or more Braxton Hicks within in the span of 60 minutes, that I’d need to go immediately to Labor and Delivery. That fatigue and dehydration were most likely the number one culprit.
Here’s the kicker. I was nervous to tell my OB about what was going on. I was in denial that this could be happening. I was in no way ready to leave work. Maternity plans are still not done. I don’t have a long term sub lined up yet. My classroom was a mess.
Cue wake-up call. I was thinking about work first and my health, baby sister’s health, and my family second. What had happened to me?
Good news was that I followed doctor’s strict orders and got my Braxton Hicks under control. I haven’t felt those cramps since. But most importantly, I’ve slowed down.
I stopped stressing so much about work. I settled it within my mind that whenever baby sister decided to come, that I wouldn’t worry about work. And if I ended up on bed rest, and was out of work earlier than anticipated, the world would still go on without me. My students will get taken care of whether I’m there or not. I recalled that once Abby was born, all thoughts of school and work went out the window. I had to remind myself of that.
A huge difference for me this second time around is that I’ve got a lot more on my plate these days than when I was pregnant with Abby, including have an almost 4 year-old on my hands. My mind has been so stressed the closer and closer I get to my due date, which is a mere 5 weeks away. But not anymore.
First of all, as you’re reading this, I’m taking a work day to prepare maternity plans. Yes I was out of the classroom at a training two days last week, but I can’t use that to stop my needing to be out a couple more times before I go on leave to get all my curriculum plans in order. I’m also starting to make lists to help clear my mind, and have even begun sorting through all of Abby’s baby things and preparing them for baby sister. And most of all, I’m making myself go to bed earlier, instead of fighting it. There’s always tomorrow to get all the things done. Well, some of them at least. There’s so much I can accomplish in one day, and that’s the best I can do. And it’s OK.
Any other second time moms find themselves in this type of situation the second time around?
Check out what I’ve been up to over on BabyZone this month: