Well, I finally "graduated" from the reproductive endocrinologist! They gave me the go-ahead to see my regular OB and I had my first appointment on the 22nd. Since I've been monitored so much, she didn't do an ultrasound or pelvic exam. She took a swab for gonorrhea and chlamydia cultures which are required in our state and then discussed the meds I'm taking and my pre-term labor (PTL) concerns.
After hearing that I've been having Braxton Hicks-type contractions since week eleven and that they occur multiple times during the day, her opinion is that I was experiencing pre-term with Julia because she was born so soon after I stopped taking the meds. She referred me to a maternal-fetal doctor who is a geneticist/high risk doctor. When I called to schedule an appointment, they were able to squeeze me in the next morning!
My appointment was good, but I left with more questions and feeling puzzled. First of all I'm measuring at 14 weeks +/- so it is too late to do the first trimester blood screening (I'm fine with that), but he did a thorough ultrasound and scanned the thickness of the baby's neck. It was very thin and he said that looked good. All the organs are where they should be. It's too early to tell about the spine, but he said that structurally it looked fine. I'm scheduled for my Level II in 6 weeks.
Then I brought up my concerns for pre-term labor. Earlier his nurse told me that they absolutely weren't Braxton-Hicks (I described them as BH-like contractions) and that they were painless cramps. The doctor didn't label them either way and said that it's too early to do anything about them. I reviewed my list of don'ts with him: no sex, no lifting over 15 pounds and taking it easy and asked if he had any others to add or if he wanted to revise them. He gave me a puzzled look and stated that there was no proof linking sex to pre-term labor or pre-term birth (PTB). (?!) So I offered that it might start the uterus contracting . . . and he said that I should avoid things that would do that. Huh?
Then he added that bed rest studies have shown that women that are hospitalized on complete bed rest end up having PTB more than women who are at home on modified rest. Also blind studies (doctor and patient) have shown that meds given to reduce or stop PTL don't do anything (half the patients were given real meds; the others sugar pills). I don't know about all the studies, but I do know that taking my meds (and I wasn't in a study that I know of) reduced my contractions significantly.
His answers were very generalized and I think he's just a numbers/stats guy. I think if I questioned him further, he'd probably give the pills versus not give them if I was having regular contractions at 32 weeks. A weird appointment and I definitely plan on discussing this with my regular OB to see what her opinion is of all this. She'll be doing my day-to-day care and she takes a conservative approach.
Bottom line: Baby looked great and the heartbeat was 144.
I got another nice surprise. Earlier in the week, I received a box from Amazon.com. I hadn't ordered anything, so it was a complete surprise to find the book Hello Baby! in there. Our friends just decided to give it as a gift! I cannot say enough good things about the book. Julia loves it and it truly is geared for her age group.