Okay, so there was more to the medical saga. We went back to Trinity College, had some dinner, went to bed early, around nine. Cramps continued. No sleeping. Got worse. Started feeling like they were coming in waves -- a bad cramp, followed by a few minutes of no pain. And when cramping, the flesh under the skin of my lower abdomen felt very hard and firm and swollen. Given what the doctors had asked earlier about whether the pain was episodic or continuous, and their comments on how a soft stomach was good, started getting really worried. Kept trying to sleep, failing. At 4 a.m. was just too worried that it might be pre-term labor. (It's too early for a possible stable premature birth -- I'm at 21 weeks, and earliest fetal viability is 23 weeks. Poor little fetus doesn't have working lungs yet.) Called hospital, described situation, and midwife asked if they'd done a speculum test previously. I said no. She said to come in.
So we went in, and they repeated everything they did before, over the course of a few hours. They had to stop in the middle for a while to do an emergency c-section on someone else (which luckily went v. smoothly, they told me). Around 7-ish, they finally got to the speculum bit, and found that in fact, my cervix was entirely closed, not dilated at all, and that it wasn't labor. Interestingly, the new doctor thought the most likely cause was the fibroids growing and pushing into muscles and causing pain, which was not a possibility previous night's doctor had even mentioned. (The fibroids have gotten sort of frighteningly big -- there's the one on my right side that I've been able to feel for a while, but it now seems like there's one on my lower abdomen which is also quite large -- both about fist-sized?. Will have next ultrasound soon, and they'll check the fibroids' progress -- hopefully, they're still within normal safe growth parameters.)
So, about 200 pounds poorer for hospital bills but much richer in peace of mind, we left the hospital around 8 a.m. Kev had for some hours been thinking about changing his flight to stay later with me -- he'd been scheduled to fly out today, and I was scheduled to fly out on Tuesday. I thought about changing my flight to go home with him, but they recommended against, just in case something did go wrong and I was stuck on a plane. If I did get on a plane, they said it'd have to be a self-discharge, against their advisement. I decided they were probably right about the plane thing. And besides, the cramps did seem to be subsiding somewhat.
Kev and I went into London together, as planned, and by the time we got there (noonish) I was feeling quite a bit better -- still crampy, but in an entirely bearable kind of way, no worse than bad menstrual cramps. So I told him to go get on his plane and go home and write up his syllabi and recover from jet lag so he could teach coherently on Monday. And I went to have lunch with good friend Elaine.
Got through the afternoon fine, but by dinner, feeling worse again. Decided to skip dinner out with Elaine and Angie and friends in favor of lying in bed and watching dumb tv. Cramping comes and goes, which is no fun, but can cope I think. Will help if I can sleep at some point, since I pretty much couldn't last night (aside from a half-hour nap in the hospital). But so very very relieved that it wasn't labor, or any of the other serious things it could have been.
Still don't know exactly what's causing it, out of the various possibilities, but whichever it is, it's not hurting baby, and it's not doing permanent damage to me -- it's just pain. I can deal with pain. As long as it lets me sleep eventually.
Kev was **so** great throughout. We were both really scared for me and baby, but he stayed calm and steadfast and clear-headed throughout, even when I was too much in pain and panic to think straight. I am so grateful for him I can't put it into words.
Jeannie sent me a link to this poem on pregnancy. It feels very appropriate today.