My first scare

I’ve been really lucky in this pregnancy. I haven’t had anything that’s made me genuinely nervous that something could be wrong. I’ve had no bleeding or spotting, and cramping has been minimal and mostly confined to the beginning of the pregnancy.

But yesterday at work I started to cramp, heavily. I had a hard time sitting in a chair, but walking around didn’t help much either. I was also having a concentrated shooting pain on my right side down in my groin/bikini line area. This started around 3:30 pm. I texted Chief to see what he thought. Of course his response was “What do you want to do? Do we need to go to the hospital?”

I wasn’t bleeding or having any weird discharge, so i thought I could hold off on that. These cramps weren’t as bad as my full on endo cramps, but they were very much “your period is coming” style cramps, which aren’t fun either. I was feeling a little better by the time I left work at 6:00, but driving home in the car (which took forever, because my stretch of highway is RIDDLED with potholes so traffic has slowed to a crawl until that gets fixed) really exacerbated the pain. I immediately laid down with my heating pad and waited for Chief to get home with burritos for dinner.

By 7:30 the pain was still there, though maybe not as bad. I had all but decided not to fret over it anymore, but then I thought “If this is still here at 9:30 pm, you’re going to regret not having called the doctor sooner.” So I called the medical exchange. They said my OB wasn’t on call tonight but another one was and they’d send my info over.

So I waited, and I waited, and I waited. And I also researched. The top culprits are braxton hicks and round ligament, and based on the symptoms I think I was having both. The pain didn’t really subside for five hours. And the other OB never called me. I’m trying not to be incredibly bothered by this. I know he was on call, meaning that he was probably frying bigger fish. But what if I had had a big fish to fry too? What would have happened? I mean, if it had gotten worse I would have gone to the hospital, because the thing I read about preterm labor vs. braxton hicks is that labor will get worse where as braxton hicks don’t.

But at the same time, I needed to be reassured by a doctor and given some instructions. Should I stay laying down? Is it okay for me to be at work today (I’m here, and I feel fine, so I’m assuming yes)? Do I need to follow up with my regular OB next week?

Well, I can tell you that I’ve already decided I will. And I want to ask them what I need to do in this situation in the future, ESPECIALLY if the on-call doctor never calls me back?

Last night after the pain had gone Chief lay with his hand on my belly and said that he was sure I was ready for her to be out of there. I told him I was ready to meet her, but I wasn’t wanting to rush the process either. He said he just meant so that I wouldn’t have to deal with stuff like what I dealt with last night. And I just told him it was okay, it had just been scary.

I hadn’t really realized at the time that I was scared though. Not until after it was over. But it was-it was scary. And it’s not my OB’s fault that no one called me back. I know he can’t be on call for me all the time, and I know that he would have seen my name and called me as soon as he could had it been him, but I’m less than happy with what happened last night. I’ve never had to call about something like this. I’ve always been able to work through whatever I was worried about and just wait. But this was alarming, and if you’re a doctor on call you have responsibilities to patients, even if they’re not “your” patient.

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13 thoughts on “My first scare

  1. I’m so sorry this happened! I have to say I’m really concerned that no one called you back! During my last pregnancy I had 2 times where I thought I was having contractions and each time when I called the after hours number the nurse said to come to the hospital immediately. They didn’t even wait for the doctor, they were just like come in right away. It’s just so scary because what if you were having real contractions? I would definitely be having a serious conversation with my o.b.
    I’m so glad the pain stopped!

    • Thank you! I will definitely be bringing it up to my doctor like I said. Both so that the cramps are documented but also so he can know that something went really wrong with the system that night. Either on the part of the med exchange or on the part of the OB on call (whose name I have just in case he’s interested). Luckily the cramps have stayed away today!

  2. Yeah I’d be pissed too about the on call Dr not calling. What’s the point in having the service otherwise? And if they are flat out surely they could have a nurse call to triage you? Anyway, as soon as I started reading your post I thought ligament pain and braxton hicks and the fact that it has completely gone now is a great sign. I had a number of little scares throughout my pregnancy and in the end went to full term and birthed a healthy child so don’t be too concerned, it is probably just a blip. You are right to follow up with your OB though. It is important these things are noted even if you feel well again I think. Glad you are feeling better.

    • This was my thought exactly-what the hell happens if the on call doc is in a delivery or something? All the other preggos are just high and dry? I really do feel like everythings fine. She kicked like crazy last night and I’ve felt her a few times today, and no more cramps. But man, just when you start to get complacent!

  3. I would be so pissed about the doctor not calling.
    Whenever I’ve had cramps–though not as bad as what you’re describing–I’ve upped my water intake (if that’s even possible) and they’ve subsided. My doctor and several nurses have told me that being dehydrated increases uterine cramping during pregnancy. They say even if you think you’re drinking enough and you don’t “feel” dehydrated, you still may be. I bet you’re having a growth spurt and it’s our good friends round ligament pain. I feel like every time I turned a trimester, or thereabouts, I had a bout of cramping.

  4. I am glad the pain went away! How scary!! Also – you should have absolutely gotten a call back. I would talk to your OB about it.

  5. I never really thought about it until you just posted this, but your pregnancy has gone pretty smoothly (other than the ear infection thing). I know how scary the cramping can be. I hope you don’t mind me sharing some of the things I have found help with braxton hicks and with round ligament pain.

    First off, is the bit of advice I hate the most. Try and drink some water. Even the slightest bit of dehydration can make the cramping so much worse. I hate the just drink water tip, but it really does work. I also have found that walking around doesn’t really help with braxton hicks. What I have found to work is lying down on the floor on my left side. Sometimes massaging my abdomen works as well. If you are home, or somewhere that you can take a bath, a warm bath really helps as well. Honestly, baths are becoming a bit more difficult because the water doesn’t cover the bump any more, but the warm water is really relaxing and takes some of the pressure off.

    I hope you find yourself cramp free.

  6. I’m so sorry to hear about this. I can’t believe no one called you back. 😦 I hope everything is well and that you get some answers from your OB.

  7. So glad you are better, but it’s completely inexcusable that no one called you back! That is their job. Absolutely you need to follow up with them about that because that is so not ok. Oh, and everyone is right about the drinking water thing. It sounds so stupid, but it is actually true. Wishing you well!

  8. My advice is to call again. I had some swelling issues- more one side than the other which is a bad sign in pregnancy. When I didn’t get a call from the doctor on call within 20 minutes I called the service again.

  9. I had a similar pain and it came after sitting in the car. I freaked out and realized it was BH or round ligament pain. I wrote a blog about it too because I was so worried after googling my symptoms (which i swore I’d never do but I was too impatient to wait for my OB to call back) Everything ended up being ok. You handled yourself well.

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