Doctor Visit and GBS

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

I had my weekly doctor's appointment today.  The first thing I asked the doctor was if he could take her out today.  He said no.  Jerk.

It was a bit of an emotional visit after that, however, because he told me I was positive for Group B Strep, the bacteria they tested me for last week.  I started sobbing, so it turned into a little therapy session.  

Group B Strep, which is not related to Strep like Strep throat, is a bacteria that 10-35% of the pregnant female population hosts in their vaginal and/or rectal regions.  It is completely harmless to adults, but there is a chance of it being transmitted to the baby during delivery.  If the baby were to transmit the Strep, she could develop serious infections or pneumonia soon after birth.

What it means for me is that I will be on IV antibiotics during labor and delivery to reduce the chance of passing it along.  However, since I am allergic to penicillin, they will have to do some testing on me to see which antibiotic I will be able to tolerate.  I did not ask whether we will be able to do that ahead of time or it will be done when I get to the hospital since I was too busy freaking out and crying, but when I am calm tomorrow I will call and ask more questions.

The doctors say the chance of the baby having any complications is VERY slim since we will be prepared with antibiotics, but I can't help but freak out and feel so guilty.  This THING I have inside me could seriously hurt my baby, and that is my fault.  Okay, so I had no control over being one of the population to have this bacteria (it is not contracted or developed due to something I did), but it is still in ME and I am now exposing my baby to another complication on a day that could be full of complications.

Plus, I don't know as much about this as the doctors, so it is hard to just think, Oh, okay, they will hook me up to an IV.  No problem.  I keep thinking of the what-ifs:  What if I am at work and it takes me a long time to get to the hospital?  What if she is exposed to the bacteria before they have a chance to get the IV up and running? What if my sensitivity to most drugs causes problems and the antibiotics are not delivered on time or efficiently?  I never claimed to be someone who doesn't overreact or over-think things.

After that whole big bombshell he dropped on me, he checked the heartbeat, and it was loud and strong, and then told me it was good that I was having a few sporadic contractions.  After that, I was all prepared for him to check and see if I was dilated, but he says they don't do that until the 39th week unless there is a very good reason. He said many doctors don't do that preemptively anymore because it is very painful, and contractions or water breaking is a much more accurate sign of progress.  He said I could request one at any time, but at their practice they will not ever induce me unless there is an excellent reason, so if I was dilated and not contracting, they would just tell me to hang in there.

So, I asked him if I could request him breaking my water.  He said no. Again.  Even after I offered to bake him a cake.  Jerk.

After calling Jeremy and my mom sobbing, I went to Joann Fabric and finally bought some fabric for sheets for the cradle (I am going to keep her in our room for a while in the cradle my dad made for me when I was a baby).  I also finally bought a canvas, paints, and brushes to get started on a painting I want to make to hang in her nursery above the crib.  I hope it turns out!!!

Then I moped around the rest of the night, because crying exhausts me!  I know this Group B Strep is not the hugest thing in the world, but I am so frustrated and feel so out of control.  I have been trying so hard to do everything right, and now there is nothing I can do to minimize this risk for her.  I guess this is just practice for the rest of her life, right? :)  

It was 36 Weeks ... a Few Days Ago

Monday, August 2, 2010

Yes, I missed posting on the real 36 weeks mark, which was Saturday.  All I have to offer are lame excuses.  The last week of my life has mostly been divided among three activities:  1) Frantically nesting while sweat pours down my face and my feet ache and I feel like passing out, but I MUST CLEAN AND ORGANIZE BECAUSE WORLD WILL END IF I DO NOT; 2) Taking a break at the end of a nesting period (which usually lasts about 6 hours) with my feet up on a pillow and crying uncontrollably; and 3) Sleeping (but still not at night -- this also ties in nicely to the crying times).

On Saturday I hosted a girls night at my house, and a few high school friends came over.  So Friday and Saturday were all about the cleaning and shopping and no time for the resting, crying, or sleeping, but it was well worth it, because it was a really fun night.  Like, no one left until 4:00 AM fun.  It's great to get to talk to them and eat for huge stretches like that.

ANYWAY, I was supposed to have the 36 week post already written and then have Jeremy take a picture of me on Saturday before the girls arrived, but I was running behind schedule and sweating profusely and did not want a picture of me sweating and without make-up, so I skipped it.  I thought I could get one on Sunday, but after my full day, my feet were once again looked like hams on toothpicks, so when I finally woke up on Sunday, I ignored all the other things that REALLY needed to be done and sat on the couch with my feet propped up all day (and as of right now, the right one is still pretty puffy.  gross.).  So when Jeremy got home, I shrieked "NO PICTURE!" and scared him out of the room.  And here we are on Monday.  I am feeling miserable and have NO intention of getting dressed or putting on make-up, and I have 30 papers to grade before tomorrow night at 4 PM, and here I am complaining about life, with no belly picture.

SO ... if you made it through all of that, here is what is going on this week with my little baybay: Once again, I will not give you an estimates for length or weight, because she shot right past the book. We will still just assume "large."  The baby still has a soft skull, bones, and cartilidge so she can get out easier, but almost all of the rest of her systems are good to go.  The only system that is not fully developed is her digestive system, but that won't begin to mature until she is outside and breastfeeding, since she has only been practicing by swallowing amniotic fluid.

37 weeks is considered the "for-sure-full-term" week according to the books, but my doctors say this little biscuit is being considered full-term at 36 weeks (as of a few days ago), so if I were to go into labor now, they would not try to stop it until 37 weeks rolls around next Saturday.  This is exciting but also not ... I was hoping that would be the magic words baby needed to hear and she would make her debut, but she seems to like it in there -- even though she is really throwing her weight around in there a lot, as if to say "What happened to my spacious accomodations, woman?!?!"  Of course, she is on her own timeline, so we will just have to wait and see.

I have been having Braxton Hicks contractions all week, and while that could be a good sign, I also know that some people have them for months.  I sure hope that's not the case -- I am NOT enjoying them.  I am much more uncomfortable and in a lot more pain this week, but I know it will just continue to get worse and worse, AND it is almost over.  But all her clothes are washed and Jeremy and I went on big trips to Target and Babies R Us to get a bunch of stuff we still needed, so can't she come NOW??? :)