04/07/09 OB Appointment

Yesterday was my first OB appointment since being placed on bedrest and Procardia last week.  It has been several hours since we visited with the doctor, but I think I’m still processing everything we talked about.

My weight gain and blood pressure were good as were the babies’ heart rates.  My uterus is measuring 34 cm at 29 1/2 weeks–only 1 cm of growth in the past 2 1/2 weeks.  This is of no concern, however, as we know from Thursday’s ultrasound that the babies are growing wonderfully (Baby A was weighing 2 lbs. 4 oz. and Baby B was weighing 2 lbs. 8 oz.)!

All that routine stuff aside, Travis and I were able to visit with the doctor concerning the modified bedrest and Procardia which were prescribed during our recent stay at the hospital.  We wanted to get an idea of whether these things would be continued indefinitely or whether my “condition” could be re-evaluated and a little bit of normalcy possibly reintroduced to my life.

As for the modified bedrest, the doctor said it’s pretty standard that they would say to continue that until 34 weeks of pregnancy.  He went on to say, though, that I shouldn’t feel bad about doing the activities necessary to care for myself and my family and, furthermore, that there is no medical evidence that bedrest delays the onset of labor.

In regards to the Procardia, the doctor said that many doctors won’t even prescribe it due to the fact that it is only effective in slowing or stopping contractions that aren’t doing anything anyway.  Procardia does nothing, he said, to slow or stop or even to delay the onset of real labor (where contractions are accompanied by dilation of the cervix).  In effect, Procardia is given more for the mother’s convenience and peace of mind, as in slowing or stopping “practice” contractions it eliminates some of the worry and uncertainty of whether or not the contractions are indeed real labor.  That being said, he gave me the choice to space out my doses of Procardia or even to stop taking it altogether.

Additionally, we learned that the fetal fibronectin test (fFN) which I had done last Monday–and which came back negative–serves as a good indicator that I will not go into labor within two weeks of the negative result.  So, essentially, if I am looking for a medical source of “peace of mind,” I could have this test repeated every two weeks and not have to live with the unfavorable side effects of the Procardia which is apparently prescribed for just that purpose (i.e. “peace of mind”).

Needless to say, I left my appointment feeling some weird mix of relief and confusion.  Why wasn’t I better informed about exactly what the Procardia would or wouldn’t do before paying for the prescription and taking it every six hours for a week?  And if Procardia and bedrest are ineffective in delaying the onset of labor, why were they prescribed in the first place?

I feel without a doubt that I do not need to be medicated in order to have “peace of mind” concerning this pregnancy and that I do not want to unnecessarily medicate myself and my unborn babies.  I have therefore chosen to stop taking the Procardia.  My last dose was almost 24 hours ago, and I already feel better–this morning I was relieved to wake up headache- and congestion-free and without the feeling of lightheadedness and a pounding heart.

As the medication continues to clear from my system, I would like to try adding a little activity back into my routine while still imposing on myself some mandatory periods of rest throughout my day.  I don’t know yet what this activity should look like, so I will continue to prayerfully consider what will be best for me and my unborn babies.

To those of you who are praying for us and those of you who have made yourselves available to help me in this time, I am eternally grateful for your support.  I know that God is hearing our prayers, and I am comforted with the peace that only God can give.

6 Comments

  1. Veronica says:

    Thanks for an update. I will be continuing to pray that you’ll feel the Lord’s presence. Like my mom told me once, pregnancy & motherhood are a true test of faith. We have to believe in faith for the things we can’t see but know will come to pass!

  2. We are continuing to pray for you and babies :)
    They should have informed you better about the Procardia…I think physicians forget that not everyone is as “knowledgable” as they are, or they are in so much of a hurry to see other patients that they skip education.
    As far as the bedrest, though research doesn’t support it completely, it still helps to rest your body…you’re carrying 2 in there and one is already hard enough on the body! Take it easy and know that you have so many people around you who are willing to help you out so you can rest!

  3. Kelly says:

    So glad you posted this update! I’ve been praying regularly for you and the twins. I sure wish doctors would explain side effects and medications better than they do! Glad you’re able to get up and about a little more! Take care and keep us up to date!

    Love & prayers!

  4. LisaShaw says:

    I continue to stand in prayer believing in GOD for you and your precious baby.

    Love you dear sister.

  5. Mom2Valerie says:

    Continuing to pray for you, Angela. I am so encouraged by your faith through this – what an awesome testimony. I just posted an award for you on my blog – check it out.

  6. I just found your blog through Stephanie’s at The Hanes Family and I will be praying for you!! I had twins about a year ago. I know that God will continue to give you wisdom and that He is IN CONTROL. Your baby’s will come when God releases them to! I am so encouraged that you are counting even these trials as joy–that is so beautiful!!