Monday, July 24, 2006

Wake-Up Call

You know how, in your second pregnancy, half the time, you're just barely paying attention? How with the first, you go to your prenatal appointments with a list--an actual written list!--of questions and concerns, you religiously avoid the smallest morsels of feta cheese and deli lunch meat, you dutifully get off your feet and reduce all physical activity if you feel tired or crampy? And then, second time around, you go to the doctor and when she asks what's been going on with your body since she saw you last, you stare blankly at her and say, "um....."? And you remember you're not supposed to have feta cheese AFTER you've eaten the whole Greek salad? And you're running after your child all day and you notice plenty of odd bodily sensations, but in the blink of an eye you've forgotten about them already because you're trying to make sure your first baby doesn't fall off the jungle gym? And suddenly you're in your ninth month of pregnancy and you realize that you're still doing just as much housework, exercise, and other physical activity (see previous sentence regarding jungle gym) as before you were pregnant, and maybe that's not quite what you're supposed to be doing right now, especially in July when it's 90-some degrees outside?

Um, yeah---turns out it's possible to be a little too blase about one's second pregnancy.

I had my 34-week OB appointment today and actually remembered to tell my doctor about the tons of Braxton-Hicks contractions and cervical twinges I've been having recently. She looked a little alarmed when, in answer to her queries for more information, I told her I really didn't know how many I've been having, or how frequent they've been--just that I've been having a lot of them. Fears about childcare for Julia in the event of preterm labor aside, I haven't really been paying all that much attention. Here's where my doctor gently but VERY firmly suggested that, if our goal is to actually AVOID PRETERM LABOR, I actually LIE DOWN AND REST if I notice any Braxton-Hicks contractions. You know: drink some water, count the number of contractions in the next hour, and, um, take it a little more easy. In other words, all the things I did when I was pregnant the first time, but which haven't occurred to me this time around.

OK then. Good point.

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