As soon as I found out I was pregnant with this baby girl, I told my husband that this time, I’ll do things differently. This time I’m going to listen to my body. To trust my instinct. And to get checked by a doctor immediately if something tells me I should.
You see, last time around I didn’t. I listened to well-intentioned friends who said things like, “Yeah, the back pain gets really intense toward the end of pregnancy” when I should have gone to the hospital. I went to work, walking over a mile each way. I had a job interview. I actually postponed my doctors appointment to make said job interview. I was in so much pain that at times I couldn’t breathe.
I guess pain is relative. I’d never experienced any serious pain before so I had nothing to compare it to. Now I’ve had a c-section, the recovery from which most people consider pretty painful. And I can honestly say the back pain I was experiencing leading up to Ben’s birth was significantly worse than the pain of c-section recovery. Now I know that I should have gone to the hospital well before I did.
What I know now is that every time I was experiencing that pain, Ben’s heart rate was dropping. The doctors told me that those moments of excruciating pain were maybe contractions but also my placenta detaching. So I walked around like that from Saturday to Wednesday.
In truth, I feel a little guilty about it sometimes. I can look at Ben and know that he is fine but I also wonder if he was suffering in there and if it was my fault. I was trying to not be a wimp about pregnancy but I was ignoring a serious problem simply because I couldn’t really gauge my own pain and I was worried that I’d be embarrassed if I went to the hospital for no reason.
This time I know better. Pain could be just normal pregnancy stuff. Or it could not be. I’m not risking it so if I wind up getting checked at the hospital a few times before this baby comes, so be it. I’d rather sit in labor and delivery and get some IV fluids for no reason than wonder.
N is 100% on board with this plan and probably has a little trauma leftover from last time too. When I’ve complained about back pain, I can see his eyes get wide and the worry stays on his face, even when I assure him that it’s just normal back pain.
I guess when things like what happened happen, they change you. I’m not living life in fear over here and I’m not anxious in my day to day life. But the second I wonder if it’s just a normal pregnancy thing or something more, I’m just going to the hospital. No need to risk it for my pride.