What an odd topic – know your body? What does that even mean? Well let me tell you! The last two days have been crazy and exhausting… but I have learned some very important lessons. This whole post is about pregnancy/labor, so I apologize to those of you that this doesn’t apply. However, for any medical experiences it is important to know that no one knows your body like you do. Today I learned how important that is!
A week ago from today we were sitting in the doctor’s office waiting for an ultrasound to see if our little girl was down syndrome or if she had grown out of her symptoms. It was scary, but we saw another miracle when we looked at the screen to not only see a healthy baby, but a 5 1/2 lb. baby girl advancing at an early stage. Our doctor was shocked to see this 35 week appearing baby when I was only 33 weeks along. We were told that we wouldn’t be making it full term with this baby and that she was healthy and advanced in her development. Great and relieving news! We went over every detail of what to expect in pre-term labor and when I needed to head to triage.
This is important!! Find yourself an amazing doctor who listens to you and never dismisses your feelings! If you have a doctor like this, it is not worth it and you need to find another one! I am so grateful that my doctor has never dismissed my feelings and has always respected the questions that I have.
Fast forward about 4 days and the questions that I had asked my doctor were coming true. I experienced a whole day of very irregular, but very real feeling contractions. Real as in Braxton Hicks.. but like serious Braxton Hicks haha these were not small. I didn’t think too much of it but then I felt them throughout the entire night. I woke my husband up at 6:30am on Sunday, Jan 29th and told him that I needed to go to the hospital – and soon. We hurried up and got everything ready and then headed to the hospital. I had contractions the entire way to the hospital and then in the bathroom as I left my urine sample… but nooo of course they stop completely as soon as I am hooked up on the monitor haha. Of course!
I got “one of those” nurses. The ones that make you feel silly for being there, dismiss your feelings, and have you leaving the hospital worse than when you came. It was awful. My blood pressure was extremely high and it took them awhile to get it back down. I was tested for pre-eclampsia and it was negative, but instead of taking further tests and going out of the way to listen to other symptoms that I was feeling, she gave me half a dose of steroids for the baby’s lung development “just in case” and sent me home. She told me to come back tomorrow for the other dose of steroids. Thank goodness!
Sunday afternoon and evening were awful. My contractions were much worse, I was extremely dizzy and short of breath… and lots of other symptoms that are TMI, but are what you experience before labor. So thank goodness that I needed to go back in anyways, although I would have gone back regardless. As soon as I came into my room, it was a completely different atmosphere. The new nurse greeted me with a warm smile and helped me feel comfortable in every way possible. I told her of a few of my more serious symptoms and she took action right away. We tested on anything and everything that you could think of. The results? I am at high risk for pre-eclampsia and my body is getting ready for labor.
My blood pressure was still high but my nurse took action right away and I was able to be reassured even with everything going on. She kept the doctor on duty in the loop and worked together to figure out what I needed. Never once did they dismiss my feelings, they trusted that my body was telling me what I needed. Now I have to go back to triage twice a week to be monitored and to my regular doctor once a week to keep a close watch on the baby. What I learned the most through this experience – never doubt your body! TRUST your body! You know your body.
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Although I have never been in real labor.. just have endured this experience and the feelings of preparing for labor, I can tell you (as every other mother who has given birth I am sure) how important a good labor team is. Although you can’t choose your nurses, ask for a different one if you don’t like them! If you don’t want to offend, ask it in a nice way, but do it because you need to be CALM and RELAXED.
Bedside manner makes all of the difference in the world! This also goes for your doctor – but you need to assess this situation long before labor comes along! Find a Doula or labor coach of some kind. I personally don’t have a doula, but I know people who have and who swears by them. My sisters have all used their husbands for coaching during labor and have found that works for them. I decided to go that route and my husband is my labor coach. After the last few days, I know that I made the right decision for me!
These are a couple of the books that I found very helpful for me in making this decision! There are lots of options – do what is best for you!
I saw a completely new side of my husband yesterday. I was curious to see how he would do as my labor coach. We have been working hard together to prepare through classes and reading and although he had a great attitude, I still wondered what it would be like. My fears and curiosity was put to sleep when I saw him pack the hospital bag, make sure the car was packed, helped me get breakfast, and gave me a Priesthood Blessing before we left. He completely and utterly took care of me. The hospital scene was no different, he was there for my every need and worked just as hard as I did.
When we got home he didn’t stop taking care of me. He fed me and made sure that I was comfy on the couch and continued to get me drinks and ask me if I was okay. Sunday evening was when the contractions were very bad and I started to get dizzy. He helped me shower, held me up and let me lean against him, washed my hair for me, and he even helped me out of the shower to dry off. As I continued to get ready for bed, I came in to see my favorite movie of all time waiting for me, Tommy Boy. His actions spoke louder than words and I knew that I could trust him to help me through this – the hardest thing that I have ever been through.
Now, I am not saying that this is how it should all be! I am definitely not one to judge how you want your labor to go. Obviously medical staff cannot go home and spoil you. But what I am saying is that you need to surround yourself by people that you can trust and rely on to get you through this.
Tommy Boy… because who in the world doesn’t love this movie!?
At the end of the day – YOU are the one who knows YOUR body. No one else knows what you are feeling besides you. Trust that and don’t let anyone dismiss those feelings. If I wouldn’t have gone into the hospital more prepared with questions and the attitude of “this is my body, I know something isn’t right”, then I wouldn’t be monitored and a pre-term birth could have been disastrous. I am not out of the woods yet, but I have learned how important it is to stay in-tune with your body and trust your instincts. Now it is even more important to listen to my body because I am at high risk and need to put my baby first. But, I trust that my body will tell me how to do that.
I promise you that your body will tell you what you need to know. Don’t be afraid to ask questions! Don’t be afraid to be wrong! I was wrong with a few of the symptoms that I have been having. But I am so glad that I pushed to know what was going on, just in case. However, I was right about some of the other symptoms that I was having and we wouldn’t have seen those without my constant asking. The most important thing is that you and your baby are safe! Put that pride aside and don’t be afraid to feel a little silly.
Use your resources! I am so grateful that I had my nose filled with books because that helped me realize what some of those symptoms could mean. Don’t scare yourself and be careful around google, but stay informed. I called my sisters and my mother so many times this week! Whatever makes you feel better – do it and don’t apologize.
I am now off of my soapbox, but I want everyone to know how important it is to know your body! Your body thanks you. 😉
Disclaimer: This is an affiliated post for Amazon.