Looking for Balance

July 11, 2007

I heard from my OB’s office yesterday.  They had the results of that swab they took last Thursday.  Normally they only call if there’s bad news–they warned me of that at my first appointment–but I suspected they’d call me about this test either way.  If you remember, the test was checking for a specific protein present that is a reasonable indicator of pre-term labor within a few weeks of the swab.  My results were negative.  That means I don’t have a high risk of going into labor naturally anytime too soon.

I agreed to the test because I thought it would be a way to either set my mind at ease or know to be extra cautious.  I truly thought finding out the results would do exactly that.  But when I hung up the phone yesterday, I discovered right away that I was even more uncertain about what I should do when I start having Braxton-Hicks.  (To be completely honest, I debated telling M the test was positive so I could go on being as lazy as I have been and so he would take care of me.  You’d be proud of me; I only thought about that idea for a second.)  I know now that they will not likely be an indication I’m in early labor, but I should still keep an eye on them and make sure I’m not having too many an hour, that they’re not more regular as time passes, or stronger, right?  And if I do have too many too close together, I’ll end up lying down to try to make them stop on their own.  So regardless of the fact that I don’t have a high risk of early labor based on that protein, there’s still enough risk that nothing I’ve been doing will change.

And if the test had come back positive, what would have changed?  I might be more willing to call my doctor and head to the hospital if the B-H continued very long, but I doubt I’d be that much more cautious than I’m already being.  The only thing that could possibly change is that my doctor might have put me on bedrest if the test had been positive.  But even then, I doubt it.  She’s cautious, but not overly so.  Since the protein doesn’t guarantee early labor, just an increased possibility of it, my doctor probably wouldn’t put me on bedrest until I had enough problems to wind up in the hospital, or her office on an emergency visit at least.

So now I’m wondering what good the test really did for me.  I guess I’m worrying just a little less when I’m not having B-H, but I’m every bit as cautious when I am.  I know I should pretend I’m not worrying like M is doing.  He keeps telling me that I’m either going to end up in pre-term labor or not and worrying about it doesn’t change that fact.  But he’s also not the one who feels each B-H, knowing just how strong this last one was compared to the one previous.  He doesn’t have to decide how many is too many and when to head to the hospital.  It’s easy for him; his worry doesn’t start until I tell him we’re going to the hospital.  My worry starts with each and every contraction.  You know what’s ironic?  It’s quite possible that I’m letting myself worry enough about going into pre-term labor that the stress could send me into pre-term labor.  That would serve me right for not setting my worry aside to protect BabyN.