Notes from the housebound
What was that? Doctor's appointment yesterday? Oh, you don't want to hear about that, do you? Well, okay then...so I went back to the doctor yesterday. I'd spent Friday to Monday at home, anxiously counting contractions (sometimes I'd go a whole 90 minutes without one, but one exciting evening I had six in one hour) and willing my cervix to lengthen and close up. Doctor's appointment first thing in the morning--I had two good hard contractions on the subway on my way there and one while sitting pantsless on the table waiting for her, so that was fun.
Anyway, to cut to the chase--cervix was long and closed by manual exam, and cootercam measurement was 3.5 cm--back up from last week. TheGoodDoc did a fetal fibronectin swab as well. I knew from Dr. Google that a negative result is good--means I'm unlikely to go into labor in the next two weeks--and a positive result is inconclusive, which is pretty much what TheGoodDoc said when I asked her about it. "Just assume it's negative," she said. "I would never call you up and scare you by telling you it's positive--it's just to help me know how to manage your pregnancy."
Then she said, "I want you to work from home."
"For how long?" I asked, not getting it.
"...For the rest of the pregnancy."
Of course I burst into tears. Being sent home again was what I was most worried about, next to being put in the hospital of course. The several stints I've done at home so far have almost driven me crazy, so the prospect of being housebound for the next 16 weeks (if I'm lucky and go to term)...I live in an out-of-the-way neighborhood, so it's inconvenient for people to come visit. I don't have family in the area. Basically, I'm staring down the barrel of 3-4 months with very little human contact besides my husband and the UPS guy.
It could be worse. I can go to the office once a week to pick things up, as long as I take a cab there and back. I'm not on total bed rest--I can sit up at the computer and move around the apartment when I want, as long as I rest frequently. And as TheGoodDoc pointed out, I'm lucky to have a job that can easily be done long-distance and no other kids at home to run around after. They are being super nice about it at work (not that they have a choice, I suppose), too.
And as upset as I am about this latest development, there is a part of me that is relieved. Walking to the subway to go to the doctor's office was a real effort for me yesterday, and set off all kinds of contractions (that I couldn't keep good track of because it's harder to time them while standing up or moving). Although I know intellectually that bed rest is not proven to prevent preterm labor, emotionally I've been more and more anxious about going to work each day, especially as we enter the edges of viability for Bat Girl. For me personally, the next 6 weeks are really critical in terms of keeping her safe inside. And obviously, judging from last week, I can't be trusted not to overdo it. We don't have a car and I can't afford to take cabs every day (would add up to $250 a week). And just being at the office involves a lot of moving around, even though I have a desk job. So in some ways, this is the best solution. I just wish it didn't suck so much.
I just have to keep reminding myself, it's only a few more months.