So I went to the hospital on Thursday. Let me back up. On Wednesday night, I had some cramping which I chalked up to eating Dominos pizza with my best friend Matt. I knew Dominos would feel like instant food poisoning but pizza is pizza. So I was uncomfortable that night with some slight abdominal pain. I climbed into bed and said "Something's not right" then off I went to sleep. I woke up at 6am for work and felt a stabbing pain in my lower left abdomen, just below my bellybutton. And of course, since I had eaten Dominos, I assumed it was just a horrible bout of pregnancy gas (#sorrynotsorry).
Like most working pregnant women in the U.S., I cannot afford to miss a bunch of work days simply because I feel like crap. I am trying to hold on to my few remaining vacation days to ease the burden of loss of income when I am on maternity leave and taking a sick day because I had a random pain didn't seem like a good enough reason to me. I have been trying really hard over the past months to not freak out when I am feeling physically uncomfortable. My reasoning? Everything hurts when you're pregnant.
There was an accident on my commute to work so I sat in the car for an hour and a half and noticed the pain getting progressively worse. Like most people, even with my insurance, I avoid going to the doctor as much as possible because who knows how much it is going to cost. But being pregnant means there may be a problem with the baby, not just me, so I called my doctor's office and left a voicemail. They called back at 10:30am and by now, it hurt to stand up, sit, and walk. I don't know how to explain it. Just a nonstop pinching, throbbing, increasing pain in my lower left abdomen that was super tender to the touch. My doctor was not in the office that day but his nurse had texted him and he advised me to go to Labor and Delivery at the hospital I would be delivering at in October. Cue the nervous tears.
I was seen quickly at the hospital by a nurse who strapped a heart monitor on my abdomen to track the baby's heartbeat. To say I was relieved to hear his heartbeat is an understatement. Something about going to a hospital increases the meter on the worrying scale. The doctor I saw ordered an ultrasound to check my kidneys but everything looked fine. The tech moved the ultrasound right over the source of pain. "Oh look, the baby's hands are right there!" The doctor explained it most likely was round ligament pain...and (get a load of this) the baby was pressing his fists right up against it. The doctor told me this pain was something many women come in for between 24 and 28 weeks and to just rest and they discharged me. It was a mix of relief and frustration. Relief because nothing was seriously wrong. Frustration because nothing could be done to make this better.
Essentially, you have two round ligaments in your pelvis. One on either side of your uterus. Their job is to stretch and support the uterus as it grows during pregnancy. I read on a couple blogs that the round ligament stretches from 2 inches to 12 inches during pregnancy- no wonder it hurts! Everything I read online says the pain should only last a few seconds to minutes. Lucky me: I am on day 4. Last night, I woke up in so much pain that I could barely get out of bed to make my way to the bathroom. I have tried a heating pad, a warm shower, cat and cow stretches, and laying still for hours. Nothing has helped. I began crying from the pain last night and asked my unborn child to please, for the love, learn to share the space with me a bit more. Oh right- I haven't mentioned this part yet. I can feel him move and then BOOM! It literally feels like I am being stabbed in the sore spot. The constant pain is one thing. The unpredictable movements of my baby, who clearly is destined to be a future MMA fighter, brings on a severe and sudden pain that makes me temporarily see stars.
Today feels slightly better. Maybe last night was so awful that it could only get better from here. There is still pain but I can walk without doubling over or holding the walls for support. I don't know why my pain is so severe and after much googling, I have discovered I am not the only woman to suffer from this as badly as I am. I plan on calling my doctor again tomorrow to check in and see if there is anything I can do. How is it possible that I have felt pain nonstop for 4 days now in one spot? Maybe there is nothing I can do besides rest but for such an active person, I already feel a bit like I am losing my mind. Here's to hoping the severity is temporary and I can go back to being mildly miserable as I enter the third trimester!!