Well, I've had a bit of a crazy past few days. I had my 34 week checkup last Thursday and felt good overall - just some normal aches and pains so I thought. Thursday evening going into Friday, I became very nauseated and, well, had some bowl issues (without going into all the gross details, I'll leave it at that and you can fill in the blanks). Then, beginning on Friday, I started experiencing some dull pains in my lower abdomen, almost like menstrual cramps, but they felt deeper. On Saturday, I started having some erratic, inconsistent spasms in my lower abdomen that seemed to radiate up to my belly button. They were somewhat intense, but very irregular and short-lived. I also have been having some nasty lower back pain to go with all of it. Having never been pregnant before, I didn't really know what to think of all of this. I just knew that I was terribly uncomfortable physically.
Monday evening, my husband and I attended the second part of a four part birthing class. Our instructor is an ob nurse who's very sweet and knowledgeable. By the end of the class, during our practice breathing session, I was so uncomfortable and frazzled from the weekend pains that I broke down and began to cry. I was so very embarrassed! I tried to hide behind one of my pillows and wait until the very end of class so that most of the other couples had left. My husband had no idea what to do, but our instructor was very kind and comforted me. She also asked me a series of questions about what was happening and told me to call my doctor as soon as possible the next day. She suggested that I might be having contractions. This shocked me since I am only at 35 weeks!
Yesterday, I finally decided to call my ob/gyn office and let them know what was happening. I'm always very hesitant to call the doctor's office about any symptoms because I've had a good pregnancy so far and don't want overreact to anything. I left a message for the doctor and waited for someone to call back. Finally, in the late afternoon, a nurse called back. She let me know that the doctor thought that I was having some contractions. Once again, I am in shock! I am only at 35 weeks right now! Unfortunately, the nurse wasn't very helpful when I asked questions - she didn't seem to have any answers to my wondering if it could be false labor or Braxton-Hicks contractions. All that she told me was that the doctor wanted me to go straight to the hospital if the contractions became regular and consistently 20 minutes apart - that's really all the explanation and information that she told me other than instructing me to drink fluids and rest more. Otherwise, I was informed not to call the doctor's office again or come in. Quite frankly, I was not to happy with the nurse's attitude or what I was being told. I know that the ob/gyn office must deal with hundreds of pregnant women a week, but it bothers me to be so idely dismissed, and, as a first time mom, I feel like things should be discussed and explained a little better to me. Now I don't feel comfortable calling my own doctor's office with concerns after the abrupt nurse basically told me not to call back. (And, for the record, I have only called the doctor's office once prior to this for my symptoms around the fifth month so I am not a chronic, paranoid pregnant lady - just a little scared and confused at this point.)
Also, I am fairly certain that yesterday afternoon, after a series of 4 - 5 contractions that were 30 minutes apart, the baby dropped, or in other words, I experienced lightening. My husband even noticed that evening that my pregnancy pooch was visibly quite lower. Although I suspected that the baby dropped that afternoon, I had not said anything to my husband until he mentioned on his own that I physically looked different. I feel different too. I can breathe much easier and also feel a lot of pressure on my lower abdomen and hips. From everything that I've read though, it could be anywhere from 3 days to 4 weeks before I go into true labor. It is not uncommon for a first time mom to experience lightening at her 34th to 35th week and go on for several more weeks until the actual birth. At this point, I'm not sure if I should call my doctor's office or not to let them know. Honestly, it doesn't seem that they are really concerned. It would be nice to be able to feel the freedom to call them though, even if it just makes me feel better - I thought that was there purpose - to answer questions and know how I'm progressing, but I don't know anymore after the conversation that I had with the nurse yesterday.
Right now, I'm doing my best to take things easy and rest which seems to help a lot with slowing down or stopping the spuratic contractions. After having several contractions yesterday, I have not experienced any today which is a good sign to me, but then again, I've never been through this before so what do I know! My mom and aunt are hosting a big baby shower for me this Saturday. I'm hoping that all calms down, and I'm able to attend and have a good time.
Hopefully, I will get back to some actual feltmaking after the baby is born. Right now, it just doesn't seem possible since most of you who felt know that the process does not fall into the category of "rest" or "taking it easy" - I really miss it though. I was suppose to do a feltmaking demo this afternoon for a fiber arts class at the college where I had taught, but unfortunately, I had to cancel. I must admit that was a dissapointment, but I also know that the my health and the baby's health are more important right now. Some day, I will be felting again though and also teaching my new little one how to! For today, I will visit some feltmakers' blogs on my blog roll and read through one of my favorite felting books, Uniquely Felt by Christine White, that will have to satisfy my yearning to felt.