It is no secret that pregnancy is not so easy for me. My body does not tolerate it very well and I am so thankful for the modern medicine that has made the life of at least two of my children even possible. I have shared that I have been sick and broken down the last three months. With that territory I have had to negotiate the murky waters of urgent care while pregnant and have had to make many judgement calls about what medications are worth the risk. I don't have a lot of choices, and I don't want to be a hero either. I have a husband and two small children. I want to continue to live my life even though I'm pregnant AND sick with colds all the time, you know?
And so when I was a few days away from being able to take a pregnancy test back in October – but was also pretty sure from my physical symptoms that I was indeed pregnant – I came down with the first of many germ invasions this fall and went to urgent care, desperate for help. The doctor told me that the Mucinex DM I had at home in my bathroom cabinet would be fine, but he wouldn't be able to give me any of the "good stuff" … cough syrup with codeine. He went down the list … Tylenol was ok, but not Advil. Nothing with psuedophedrine. Lots of fluids and rest. "Sorry!" He smiled and waved. He is a doctor who I have seen many times. He correctly and confidently diagnosed me and Sydney with pnuemonia last year. And so for a few days I took the Mucinex DM and started to feel better. It never occurred to me to run it by my OB because I wasn't even officially pregnant yet. I didn't want to be that crazy over-analytical pregnant lady, worried about every little symptom and freaking out about everything I put into my mouth.
This time around, sick again with a cough, I took another few rounds of Mucinex DM. During the holidays my OB moved offices and his staff was hard to get a hold of, so I didn't think it was a big deal to run any of this by them until yesterday when I went to urgent care again (to be, disappointingly, diagnosed with a virus that must run its course), and a different and less confident doctor told me that I probably should see my OB about this cold next week. Huh. I went to the pharmacy to buy more and asked the pharmacist what she thought. She was a bit frowny, told me that Mucinex DM was a category C drug, and I had to weigh the risks vs. the benefits and decide for myself. Uh? I went in to my OB's office today for routine blood tests and while I was there I caught my doctor's nurse in the hallway and ran the Mucinex DM by her. Her eyes widened, and she said, "You shouldn't be taking that." She recommended something else I could try, backed over herself and told me not to worry about it, but to stop taking it.
And then I really started freaking out. A lot. And thank goodness for twitter … so many jumped at the chance to calm me down. It helped.
I have had two miscarriages. My pregnancy with Elijah was very, very bumpy for the first 16 weeks, and he was nearly lost. This pregnancy has had its share of bumps and scares. I try to be so careful. I do everything the doctors tell me even though I LONG to be one of those pregnant ladies who just throws caution to the wind and eats sushi and turkey sandwiches and just shrugs at the rules. But psychologically there is lingering damage for me. Fear lurks. There is so little I can control in terms of the life of my babies, I know this full well. I know that in the grand scheme of things a cough suppressant is certainly not the worst thing that has ever been done to a fetus. But when I can take progesterone to stay pregnant? lt gives me the false sense that I have some control in this. It translates to other things and when I "mess up"? It feels like the world is falling down around me.
I need to get it through my head and my heart that I am not Jesus. I don't need to be. I am not perfect and I never will be. I can only do my best. And at some point I just have to trust that my life, as much as I want to control it, is not in my control. It is the same for the life inside me. I cannot control it on either side of the womb.
I am working on understanding that.
Edited to add:
12 Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already arrived at my goal, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. 13 Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, 14 I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.