My preemie mom friends who have gone on to have more children warned me that their anxiety really peaked between 22 & 24 weeks. That "gray area" just brought out the paranoia in an even stronger fashion. I can definitely say I'm experiencing that as well.
Last night I ended up with what will go down in history as the worst case of reflux I've ever experienced. The pasta I had for dinner was spicier than I expected. And while it was delicious, I would come to regret that. When I got home, I didn't feel awful, but not great. Eventually I threw up just a little. I hoped that would help. It didn't. Finally I went to bed, sometimes sleeping it off is the best thing I can do.
But I woke up at 4 in excruciating pain. Not just some burning in my esophagus but seemingly my abdomen and around to my back were awful. I was certain this was the epigastric pain of disaster. Panic set in. I got up and took my protonix early, then sat down to take my BP. I had taken it before dinner and it was so low I actually chuckled. (100/60.) Now it was 140/85. More panic. I started to tremble. Only 22 weeks. It's too soon.
I prayed, and tried to steady myself. I tried to breathe through it, but now I was shaking and couldn't settle down. I talked to the baby and apologized for what may come. She kicked and I wondered how much longer I'd get to feel that.
Finally I went to take a warm bath and try to relax and wait and see if the meds would help. After an hour, I did feel a little better and I decided to try get a little more sleep and re-evaluate in the morning.
I woke up again at 6 and felt a little better, but not great. I still felt so anxious that I couldn't go back to sleep. I was up another hour.
Back up again a little while later with Robbie and I felt about the same, but the pain was up my esophagus now, which told me that it was "just" reflux and not my liver. I tried to let the relief hit me, but it just wouldn't come.
I had a regular appointment with my chiropractor this morning, so I decided to go see him. In my mind I thought if I was going to end up in the hospital, at least I could get my body in good shape before dealing with a crappy hospital bed. I was the picture of hope. Amazingly, when I told him how I was feeling, he did some voodoo with some nerves to the liver & stomach and the relief was almost instantaneous. It wasn't completely gone, but the improvement was profound. God bless that witch doctor.
I came home and tried to relax for a while before work. My BP had come down to 130/80. still higher than I liked, but frankly, that's about what it was prepregnancy and nothing too scary. I ate tums almost hourly.
I was afraid to eat anything. Eventually I ate some pop-tarts since that seems to be the only thing that doesn't piss my stomach off lately, but that's all I had all day. I sipped water very slowly. Definitely didn't hit my hydration goal today. Sorry kidneys, but today the stomach won. I'll focus on you tomorrow.
I called the doctor and asked if I could up my dose of protonix, then played back and forth until they finally decided to switch me to Nexium.
Late in the evening, the worst of it seemed to finally fade. I ate my usual salad dinner and practically held my breath to see how it settled. Seemed to go okay.
The whole day, all I could feel was an overwhelming sense of doom. I tried to focus on hope, but I couldn't seem to find any. I knew it was a symptom of Anxiety and not truth, but I couldn't seem to fight it back anyway. All I wanted to do was go home, pull the covers over my head and cry. After work, that's essentially what I did.
David laid with me a little while, looking lost. He wants to be comforting and supportive, but having never experience Anxiety, and just generally being the most optimistic guy ever, he doesn't really get it. I asked him to reassure me that we'd get through anything that may come- even The Worst, he said of course we would. I know he means that, but he also doesn't think it will come to pass. I don't really know if I do or not.
For so long, I felt so strongly about the month of November. We're going to make it to November. This baby is coming in NOVEMBER. But now even the limit of viability a mere 8 days away seems like a century. Is something changing? Is my body really failing me AGAIN? Is Anxiety overruling any hope or logic in my head? I really don't know.
I never thought I'd be the person holding my breath for 24 weeks. Anyone with any sense at all knows that 24 weeks just isn't enough. 50/50 odds just aren't good enough when you're talking about your child. But right now 50/50 seems light-years from zero. I'm clinging to next Thursday knowing it represent A Chance. And the day after is my next peri appointment where I know they are going to check on the baby again and do some labs to assess how my body is holding up. I'm hoping that if all of those things go well, Anxiety can take a hike and allow Hope to return again.
In the mean time, I'm clinging to those who seem to be able to hold on to it a little better than me. And I'm asking for prayers for both physical health and mental peace for me so that I can continue to feel these amazing little feet dancing on my bladder all the way to November.