Thursday, March 01, 2007

Another stupid-ass positive

Well I got another positive, that is a bad result, on the Fetal Fibronectin (fFN) test. What does it mean? I’m not entirely sure. A negative result would’ve meant that there is a 1% chance that I’ll go into labor in the next 7-14 days. A positive result is less clear. There is a 50-50 chance of labor in the next two weeks, I guess. Maybe higher because I have two positives in a row now.

Fancy doc said yesterday that after one positive result, which I had two weeks ago, there is a 66% chance of the next one being negative. I think he really believed it would be negative. I know that he was really hoping it would be, that’s why we did the stupid test.

I was actually thinking it would be negative/good news. I was visualizing, without much effort, trusty assistant calling with good news. It’s rare that I imagine good things happening. Silly me. But it wasn’t good news.

The cerclage may be causing normal inflammation that causes the protein to show up. Simply stated, the fFN tests for a protein that is present in cervical/vaginal mucus when the interface between mother and baby has been disrupted. The way fancy doc put it was that the positive fFn means that I am leaking fibronectin. There’s no telling why.

I had been resting a lot since my last bad result/freakout. It wasn’t long before I started getting REALLY uncomfortable when I did get up. I could barely sit at a table for more than five minutes. For a while I thought, “it’s a good thing I am resting because I am feeling so much pressure and discomfort.” Then after a week or so I thought maybe I am uncomfortable because I’ve been laying around so much. So I started getting up and around a little more and lo and behold I started feeling better. My conclusion: laying on the couch makes one uncomfortable. Can anyone who has been on bedrest or modified bedrest comment on this? Did bedrest make you really uncomfortable?

Trusty assistant said to rest a lot anyway. I didn’t really address this concern with fancy doc when I saw him yesterday. That’s unfortunate because he leaves town tomorrow and I won’t see him until March 13. So I don’t really know what to do. I guess keep resting to be on the safe side and when I get to feeling worse not to panic; it’s probably just that laying around makes me feel worse (when I do get up).

My fear of pre-term labor has diminished somewhat. I am disheartened by the results but I don’t really feel like they mean a whole lot. I guess there is no way to know what’s going to happen. Having my cervix checked once a week is probably sufficient to catch any changes before there is a real problem. Meanwhile I am 25 weeks today. Still way too early. Survivable but far, far from ideal.

Maybe I am becoming immune to the fear. I’m confused. I don’t know what to think or feel at this point. This post probably doesn’t make much sense.

One thing I am clear about is that I don’t love having a male OB. He comes in, we talk, we joke, he empathizes, and then a minute later his face is in my crotch. And after that he’s putting a finger or two IN MY VAGINA. My husband doesn’t even get to do that and frankly I’ve had so much body trauma that I generally don’t want ANYBODY'S fingers in my vagina.

I’ve always had female OB’s and for good reason. I am WAY more self-conscious with a male doctor. I am painfully bush-conscious. Thank God fancy is old and grinchy-looking. I HATE that moment when he says just slide down a little further and then my ass is hanging off the table and I’m in the most vulnerable and exposed position known to womankind and THEN it’s time to spread my legs. UGH.

The fFN test is the reason I have to go in the stirrups every two weeks All that for a test with so many false positives that I can’t figure out if I should be scared or not. Fuck that stupid test.


Blogger Patience said...

Shit - I so wish that it came back negative....

I don't have any amazing words of comfort, but I'm here in the puter wishing you on day by day, week by week, and hoping that your little girl stays in there for a while to come x

12:04 AM  
Anonymous j said...

Yes. Fuck that stupid test.

5:15 AM  
Anonymous bri said...

I am really sorry for all the confusion and frustration and leg-spreading.

10:49 AM  
Blogger AJ said...

Damn test. : /

11:00 AM  
Blogger lagiulia said...

Oh. I'm sorry you've had two positive ffn's. It seems a little unsettling to me that your doctor does not have a plan for you, even with this information. I am wondering if you ever pursued that second opinion. Many doctors put their patients in the hospital for observation in light of positive ffns, and some just on home monitoring (you need a home device for this). Also, have they given you steroid shots of prenatal lung development? With two ffn's, I am surprised if no one mentioned this. I don't know if it is too early in the pregnancy, but I'd urge you to check.
I know what you're saying about the cerclage possibly leading to positive ffns, but it sounds like your doctor doesn't really know if that's the cause or not. Anyway, I'm so sorry that I am probably stressing you out more than you need, but I'm just concerned. If you feel comfortable with your doctor after your last appointment, then don't listen to me. I am not a doctor and only have knowledge of preterm labor issues that pertained to my own situation.
Re: bedrest. Yes, it's really uncomfortable lying on your side all the time. But for me, I just felt too much vaginal pressure and got a lot of contractions when I was upright or moving, so lying down was the only option.
Take care, wtf!

11:06 AM  
Blogger Rosepetal said...

WTF I hope and hope that everything will be okay for Sprout. Hang in there Sprout! You need to stay there for a few more weeks!

thinking of you

11:32 AM  
Blogger Sophia said...

crap fuck shit donkey balls

i agree with Lagiulia...this lack of planning would drive me crazy

praying for the best

1:09 PM  
Blogger whatthef*ck said...

in case lagiulia hecks back here: hmm, your comments don't stress me out, no worries. it's nice to know that you've got my back. i think fancy doc's plan is this: i should rest more, he did say that. i don't like his plan to see me, on the 13th, when he gets back from his trip. i left word yesterday with trusty asst that i'd like to have an U/S next week so i am covered in the week he is away. i also asked her for more guidance on my activity level, specifically can i go out to dinner, take my daughter to a mommy and me class, etc.

i asked him about steroids and he said they wont do that unless i go into labor because it should only be done once and as long as it's done 48 hours or so before delivery, it will have maximum benefit closest to the birth. i guess there are side effects and he wants to use play that card at the right time. i think he figures that if i actually go into labor, there will be at least 48 hours before the delivery and most likely much longer. does that sound naive to think that labor can be stopped with meds?

there is some research that shows fFN to be reliable, at least as much as it ever is, when a cerclage is in place. i think his rationale for this positive is that it's a false positive. last time, he attributed the positive to the test being done early. he doesn't entirely dismiss the results. between the increased rest (vague as the prescription is) and weekly cervix checks, he feels like we are doing everything that is reasonable to do. unless the contractions reach a point where they don't stop, there is no cause for meds, steroids, home monitoring of contractions, or hospitalization.

maybe i'll ask for or about home monitoring of contractions. i asked last time. he actually did research, albeit in 1986, on the HUAM and concluded that it is effective. s why not recommend that i try it? i don't know. i think the bottom line for him is that my cervix is still looking good and checking it every week is enough to see any toll that the contractions could be taking on it. could my cervix change all of the sudden? i guess so. i guess that would be called labor.

i'm confused basically. how important is it that i lay on my side? most of the time i am not on my side. i am reclining more than sitting but i'm not lying down. i'm never on my left side during the day because then i'd be facing the wall and the cushions of my couch. why the left side anyway? i thought that was about improved digestion?

i havent pursued the second opinion because i was feeling more confident and in-synch with fancy doc. my girlfriend is an OB and she hates the fFN and doesn't think i have much at all to worry about. i dont have a history of pre-term labor. LC had to be forced out at 23 weeks. my other kids both went to term.

i have some questions for fancy doc that hopefully will be answered before he leaves. i will ask the advice of one of his partners if he doesn't get word back to me. they are all perinatalogists although fancy is the cerclage guy.


1:50 PM  
Blogger Michell said...

Well, I have no words of wisdom to add but hope that things continue to go ok and that baby stays put for quite a while yet.

9:06 PM  
Blogger bleu said...

I was on bedrest for 10 weeks when I was pregnant with Bliss. It was from week 5-15 though as I had a threatened m/c and low progesterone. I was in bed except for bathroom and making myself food sometimes. It sucked and I felt lousy the longer I was there.

As for left side it has to do with the vena cava. Here is a link.


10:47 PM  
Blogger lagiulia said...

Hi WTF. Sorry I was awol for a while. Sickness in the house. Anyway, I appreciate your response to my comment, and it sounds like you are in good shape. You're right, the fact that you have no history of ptl makes a big difference. I forget that sometimes. I hope everything continues to go okay and will be routing for you all the way! Congratulations on making it as far as you have. You are doing great.

10:38 AM  

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