On Friday I was out shopping with my MiL. As I waited in line at the checkout I felt some pretty intense cramping. It only got more intense and then came some back pain. I ended up having to sit down, but didn't make a big deal out of it.
On Saturday morning I got out of the shower and once again felt cramping. My body told me to lie down so I did and it passed.
Sunday night after getting up to pee in the middle of the night I felt the same thing.
3 days in a row of a single episode of intense cramps. It was enough so that I had to sit or lie down until it passed. I figured the best thing to do would be to call my ob.
They told me it was likely round ligament pain and I disagreed. I've had more round ligament pain then I ever cared to experience in this pregnancy, and know it wasn't that. When I told her it lasted about a minute and I felt the need to lie down she offered for me to come in and get checked out. I took her up on that offer and called my Mom (Mama-Dukes) to see if she could join me for the appointment. She said she would and would come over to my house before.
I worked that morning and we left around 1:15 for the appointment. In the waiting room I ran into a co-worker I rarely see and we chatted while I waited.
When they called me back they took my blood pressure, weight, and a urine sample as per the usual and then brought me to a room. They asked me to undress from the waist down in case he wanted to do an exam.
I had requested the only ob in the practice I was yet to meet (#5 Dr R). He came in fairly quickly and first used his doppler. He easily picked up both babies' heartbeats and we chatted for a bit. He asked me what I did for work and whether I was going to get the summer off. I sadly informed him that no, I would be working this summer, but to a lesser degree. He told me that since I was past the half-way mark in my pregnancy if I started to feel like I was having more bad days than good days, it would be perfectly reasonable for me to stop working. I was really surprised to hear him say this.
He basically told me the cramping was likely contractions but that they are nothing to worry about since they aren't consistent. Everything is growing so quickly and it's putting a lot of stress on my body. He said I really need to listen to my body and take it easy when it tells me to. He said if I was feeling the same thing 4 or more times per hour than I should call right away, especially if any discharge or bleeding accompanied it.
So last night I emailed my boss back and declined a summer case for work. I figured since I was reducing my caseload it made sense to not add or any more right now. I want to work as long as possible, but not add anything at this time. This afternoon my boss responded by saying, "I know caseloads will be changing July 1st. Please let me know how many visits you need."
Cue my stressed out tears. Technically, to be considered full time and continue to receive my benefits I need to do 35 visits per week. It always fluctuates and generally they understand that summers are slower. Well, my summer right now looks like about 17 visits per week and I'm not really interested in increasing that.
I'm looking forward to cutting back. I've been doing a lot more than 17 for quite a while. Earlier in the year I was up to 43 visits. After this week everything is supposed to slow down. I still want to work. I know I would be bored if I wasn't and I still feel like I can. I just know I can't keep up the pace at which I've been going.
I came home this afternoon and made W call his insurance company. They said me cutting back on work is considered a life-changing event and that it would be a possibility to add me at that time. It's not cheap at all, but it's good to know the option exists. That's the plan for when the girls get here anyway. There's also the FMLA, but I'm not ready to take that yet. I'm not even positive my work offers it.
I really thought my reduced caseload will slide by without them noticing it (at least for a little bit) but I guess declining that case last night made them think about it. I'm thinking about asking if I can sit down with my boss and go over everything with her. I have no idea right now who will be taking over my caseload when I go out and they don't know that I'm not planning to return to work right away. It's tough when families ask me who would take over when I leave and I have no idea. It's hard not knowing what is offered and not to me in case I need to stop working.
When Dr. R said I could stop working if I I needed to, a small smile spread across my face. Then, when the logistics of it came into perspective, the tears started to flow. I've worked full time for 4 years at the same company doing the same thing. Changes can be good, but also incredibly scary.