Monday, July 11, 2011

False alarms

So last night was interesting. Around evening time my wife started having intermittent abdominal cramps. They didn't last long, but they were regular enough that we wondered whether they were contractions.

Bear in mind we're not quite at 33 weeks. The magic number is 37; anything less than that and the baby is considered a preemie. The survival rate past 32 weeks is well over 90%, which is good news, but that doesn't mean it's complication-free.

We called the doctor, who suggested fluids and rest and to call back if she was having trouble sleeping. Turns out that did the trick; while she isn't feeling quite herself, it's better than having something like contractions.

False labor, cramping, and Braxton Hicks contractions are pretty common in the weeks before going full term. Even in the moment, we both knew that and figured it was nothing big, but it was hard not to worry. Earlier in the day we'd gone for a walk and she was going a bit slower. I cut the walk short but only after observing for too long; I should have trusted my instincts. And this is the kinds of things I spent the evening kicking myself over as I waited to see how things progressed.

So it turned out OK. If we hadn't been proactive, it might have gone another way, or it might have ended up fine. But lesson learned, and I'll try to do better next time. My instincts are to not be a pusher. Our marriage isn't the kind where I'm issuing the orders and so it's harder for me to take the lead when I see subtle things in the way Amy is walking or breathing that tell me she's pushing herself too hard.

And of course the stakes are high. I wonder every day about the things I don't know, but I'm trying to add. Tonight we attended a child/infant CPR course just to fill gaps in our own knowledge. We can't cover everything, but we're doing what we can.

Yes, this is just the beginning. Yes I probably am going to have nagging worry about this kid well into their adult life. But one of the benefits of moments like these is it lets me practice how I react when the outcomes are beneficial. I'm learning a lot about how to react to worry and how to channel it into something productive. In some moments I'm fine and in others there's work to do.

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Post #26 in my 90-in-90 blog challenge. Blog with us and join the fun. I'll be blogging both here and on my professional blog for the challenge. For more about the 90/90 challenge, read about my call for participants. The blogs participating are on the list at the right, or follow us on the #LUBlogTribe hashtag on Twitter

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