I am 22 weeks and 6 days pregnant and I am finally getting around to writing this post! It’s been a long, hard couple of weeks, complete with a trip to labor and delivery (already)…
22 Weeks Pregnant
What a week this has been! It actually all started the couple of weeks prior, and I landed myself in labor and delivery at 21 weeks and 3 days pregnant.
My pregnancies are not easy. I know full well that it could be worse, but it’s hard. So very hard. My body just doesn’t like being pregnant. I don’t get to just enjoy my pregnancies, as there is nothing easy about them.
Pregnancy #1 I was in a ton of pain and could hardly walk. I made several visits to labor and delivery for contractions.
By 30 weeks they’d decided to put me on bed rest because my cervix was measuring short.
I had cholestasis and had to be induced at 37 weeks.
Pregnancy #2 I was on full watch for cholestasis again, and we’d discovered that I have antiphospholipid syndrome. I was doing daily injections of lovenox as a result.
Then, of course, came the devastating news that our baby had trisomy 13. I was induced at 19.5 weeks and gave birth to our angel, sweet April Rey.
Pregnancy #3 is ridiculously hard. It’s emotionally difficult to have a pregnancy after a loss. It’s hard to even describe the emotional toll on me right now.
My body seems to hate me. I am in pain and so uncomfortable already at 22 weeks, and have been for quite some time.
I am yet again, for the third time, considered high risk. I am at risk of cholestasis and having a stillbirth.
I have antiphospholipid syndrome and have to do daily injections.
I am in pain every day. I am exhausted. I am having contractions. I feel kind of miserable.
I never want to complain about it because I am so grateful to be pregnant again. I am so grateful to have the chance for another healthy baby. But I’d be remiss if I didn’t say how hard it is.
I am only 22 weeks, and I feel done. Done with this pregnancy. Done with having kids. Done.
I don’t ever want to do this again. I am so envious of the women that get to enjoy their pregnancies.
Pregnancy Symptoms Week 22
Ok so my pregnancy symptoms at 22 weeks have been very good in some ways, and hard in others…
Gone! All three pregnancies have had very bad nausea into the second trimester. It has now disappeared, thank goodness!
Much better than it was early on. I get super fatigued around dinner time now. But that is so much better than the all day affair it used to be.
Here’s where it got real in the last couple of weeks. OMG the vaginal pain.
I have moments where I can hardly walk. Moments where I cannot turn over to get comfortable in bed. Moments where, if I lift my leg wrong, my vagina feels like it’s ripping in half.
This is what happened when my cervix was short during my first pregnancy. So, it makes me nervous.
I’m also getting leg cramps, and really intense back pain.
And this time around, I have a 3 year old I’m taking care of. Bed rest is not really an option. And it’s near impossible to not pick up your toddler at some point in the day.
I have moments where I am getting contractions like crazy. They aren’t painful. They aren’t accompanied by any bleeding, pressure, watery discharge, etc. So, I know they are probably nothing to be concerned about, but they are there nonetheless.
And when they happen, they happen a lot, and very consistently. This part is concerning.
When I time the contractions, they are every 3-4 minutes, and lasting about 25-30 seconds. They are good, big contractions. Frequent. Consistent.
But, then they go away for awhile.
And then the contractions come back.
Trip to Labor and Delivery
After 24 hours of on and off contractions, I finally decided it was worth a phone call into my OB. Due to my history of having a short cervix, I was instructed to make a visit to labor and delivery.
So, at 5 pm we headed that way. We had Caroline with us, so I was hoping for everyone’s sake it would be a quick visit.
Of course, when we arrived, my contractions eased up. They hooked me up to the monitors and saw no contractions. Just what they called an “irritable uterus”- whatever that means.
After talking with the doctor about this, the labor and delivery nurses gave me 2 liters of fluids and continued monitoring.
William looked great. His heartbeat was 145 bpm, and he was moving around so much, they turned the heartbeat monitor off to give us all some peace and quiet. I was glad to see that he was doing so well.
They did an ultrasound, and all looked good- including my cervix length.
After a few hours of no contractions, they were ready to send me home.
Then, the contractions hit. Hard. This time, for the first time ever, they were painful. Back labor, hard to breathe painful.
And so the night continued.
The contractions were every 3-4 minutes, and lasting 30 seconds long.
I was given 2 terbutaline shots to stop the contractions. It worked. The shots also sent my heartbeat through the roof (over 100), and had me shaking like crazy.
But the contractions had stopped, and that was the most important thing.
At 10 pm we were discharged. Caroline had done a fantastic job of being patient, and eating dinner with my husband at the cafeteria.
Follow Up with Perinatologist
The next day, I was having contractions again. I immediately called my perinatologist for a follow up visit.
They could fit me in the next day. I was eager to see him and discuss everything.
At the visit, they did a very thorough ultrasound and check up on William. He is perfect. My placenta is perfect. Fluid perfect. Cervix perfect.
Everything is measuring right on track. And so, there seems to be no cause for concern.
I was basically told that, unless my symptoms change to include pressure, bleeding, watery discharge, etc., I am ok to stay home during these bouts of contractions. I need to rest and take it easy, but all seems to be good.
This was such a relief.
While I was at the perinatologist, they inquired as to my cholestasis symptoms. So far, I am itchy, very itchy, on occasion.
My hands and my feet are usually the source of the itchiness, and it usually happens at night. It is nothing too worrisome yet.
So we are just keeping an eye on it. As we get closer to 35 weeks we’ll have to reassess and determine if I have cholestasis. Cholestasis has a very high risk of stillbirth. It’s terrifying to me. They’d be getting this baby out ASAP if I have it.
I never realized just how serious it was with my first pregnancy.
Antiphospholipid Syndrome Update
As for antiphospholipid syndrome, there is nothing to report, other than these injections are annoying. I’ve been doing daily injections in my stomach now for almost 20 weeks. That’s a lot of shots.
The shots hurt to give and it’s draining. I am ready to be done with them.
The reality is that I am far from done, however. I am only halfway through this pregnancy, and I am about to have to start doing 2 injections each day.
Starting at 24 weeks, I am having to do one shot in the morning, and one in the evening.
(Useful post) Click here to read about antiphospholipid syndrome, and to see a video of how to do the injections.
Other Exciting News
The exciting news these past few weeks, is that our house build is coming to completion! It has caused me a little stress (with regards to packing, and coordinating everything last minute), but I am so beyond excited.
We move into our house TOMORROW!
That means, I get to start nesting. It sounds silly to type. Silly to say. But I am a total nester.
My type A personality loves to get organized and set up. I can’t wait to get William’s room set up, his clothes washed and ready to go, his cloth diapers organized, etc.
I know that simply being in our new house is going to give me so much peace.
This post seems like a huge long rant and lots of complaining. I hate that. I honestly don’t want to complain.
My reality, however, is that this pregnancy has been really hard on me. I’m emotionally spent and ready to have a healthy baby in my arms.
As the weeks go by, my fear of losing this pregnancy is intensifying. I thought it would be the other way around. I thought I’d feel better with each passing week. That has not been the case.
I think a big cause of my anxiety of another loss, is stemming from not wanting to disappoint Caroline. She is insanely excited.
She talks daily of all of the things she’s going to teach William, and how she’s going to teach him.
She talks to my belly and says “Good morning, William”, while she gives him a hug…every morning.
Two nights ago, her face just lit up when she saw a baby out at a restaurant. She was genuinely excited and so happy to see the baby.
Last night, she made up the BEST lullaby to sing to William. I wish I’d gotten it on video. She sang and sang.
Caroline is the best big sister. I want so badly for her to be able to put that into action. I couldn’t bare to see her experience another loss. I’m terrified of a loss mostly for that reason.
Caroline talks about April daily as well. She talks about death way more than a 3 year old ever should. She worries.
She told me the other day that when I die, she is going to hold me so I know how much she loves me.
She worries when I’m not feeling good, and is scared about William dying.
I want to protect her from all of this so much. She’s blossomed into such a sweet, thoughtful, caring young girl.
She’s taken her grief and grown in such admirable ways. She’s taken care of me more than she knows and more than I ever wanted her to have to.
Caroline is such a beautiful person. April and William are so lucky to have such an amazing big sister.