[formerly private…

[formerly private entry]

This has been a worrisome day. I'm in Cambridge, and woke up feeling happy that I'd had a full night of sleep for the first time in four nights -- I've had miserable jet lag since arriving in England, sleeping on average 3-4 hrs/night. So I've been really exhausted as we tromp around to meet people all around Oxford and take long bus rides. I finally slept normally last night, and was so glad, mostly because I'd been worrying that all this exhaustion and stress was bad for baby -- but then I realized that I was feeling mild cramps.

I told myself that this wasn't a big deal -- I had cramps for about half an hour once before during the pregnancy, and it wasn't anything. Kevin had to go off for a full day of interviews, talks, meetings, and I took the morning easy, lying in bed reading, taking a bath, etc. Still cramps. He came back to take me to lunch with a colleague, and then dropped me in a computer room for the afternoon. And now it's almost 5 and I'm still cramping. It's not too painful -- I can manage without painkillers, which is good because I don't have any Tylenol on me (and I don't know what the safe equivalent would be in England). But it's been going on for at least eight hours now, and I don't know whether I should be seriously worried or not. And Kevin flies back tomorrow morning, and I'm here until Tuesday, staying with friends. I'm really worried that this will get worse without him here to help.

Normally, I would have called my doctor by now, but I don't have access to a phone for long-distance calls. I might when Kevin finishes his last meeting, but I'm honestly not sure whether it's worth wandering around Cambridge trying to find some kind of international phone option just to call and ask her if I should be worried. I'm not bleeding or anything else. And I'm not sure why I'm even posting this here, since I don't think there's any way for any of you to reach me; I can't even check e-mail right now, and I won't be at this computer for much longer. Maybe I can get to an internet cafe this evening; there's no internet access in our guest room.

Pages like this one tell me that this could be a symptom of all kinds of serious things, and I should call my doctor immediately. But they also say that it could just be gas pain/bloating/constipation, and I've definitely been burping and gassy all day, much more so than I've been in some weeks. I sort of think that's the most likely explanation, that it's nothing but that. But still.

Don't know what to do. :-(

6:05 p.m. update. Kev came back, we called a local hospital, and the doctor said it's probably nothing, based on my symptoms, but she'd like me to come in and get looked at; they'll listen to the baby's heartbeat and check the position of the placenta and such. So, we go. Feel better that we're doing something, even if it's probably unnecessary.

8 p.m. update. Looks like it's fine. At the hospital now; they checked the baby's heartbeat, which is good, and felt my abdomen, which was soft, which is apparently also good, and there's no sign of infection, so probably it's either gas-related or Braxton-Hicks or round ligament pain, all of which are harmless. I'm just supposed to come in if it gets worse. So, good.

2 thoughts on “[formerly private…”

  1. Reading Internet bad and scary way of diagnosing medical problems. I think it’s always good to call a local place if in doubt. Some folks don’t for fear of seeming idiotic but most pregnant women and new parents get a lot of slack. You don’t have a good reference for what’s normal. Pregnancy is weird and newborns just look and act very strange.

  2. Mary Anne Mohanraj

    Yes, I think you’re totally right. Besides, I’m often idiotic, and people generally know it when I am. Hazards of being a writer. Make a fool of yourself in public a few times, and you get used to it. 🙂

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