Prepare for a long post…hopefully I can remember everything that has gone on in the past 24 hours.
Last night at around 9:15 I returned home from Detroit. I’d been experiencing the fibroid pain on Wednesday and Thursday I’d begun to notice some tightening in my abdomen. I didn’t think too much of it, but while I was unpacking, I started realizing just how often the tightening was happening.. it seemed like around every 5 minutes. During my flight the flight attendant had given me an entire big bottle of water (like the ones that they usually use to fill 10 of those little cups) and I drank the whole thing between the two flights to try and stay hydrated. So with that in mind and the frequency of the tightening, we decided to call the doctor on call. I honestly didn’t think he’d tell me to go to labor & delivery and even when he said that, I didn’t think I’d be admitted…that it was just a false alarm.
After arriving at a very busy l&d ward around 10 pm, we were brought back to triage where I was hooked up to machines to measure the contractions. They also did a physical exam to check and see if I was dilated (which I wasn’t) and a check of something called fetal fibronectin. Other than dilation, the news wasn’t good. I was having contractions every 2.5 minutes and the fetal fibronectin swab came back positive (a positive result means you have a good chance of going into labor within 2 weeks). So the doctor quickly decided that I needed to be admitted, and hustled to get me hooked up to magnesium to help slow contractions and to give a first shot of steroids, which are necessary to speed up development of Baby R’s lungs in case she is born soon.
So very quickly I was put on an initial high dose of magnesium, given the steroid shot, and a catheter was inserted. I was then pushed back to a labor and delivery room a little after midnight. The catheter was a total disaster. It was probably the most uncomfortable I’ve ever been in my life. Take the worst you’ve ever felt like you had to pee and now imagine that you are peeing but the sensation doesn’t go away. For 3 hours. I moaned and groaned as Lance tried to sleep, and with no improvement, the doctor finally decided to take the catheter out as long as I agreed to use the bedpan every hour and was producing enough urine. They are so careful with this because if you aren’t excreting the magnesium it can kill you…so they have to check urine outputs constantly to make sure your body is processing it properly. Luckily it all worked out…the annoyance of the bed pan was well worth my body finally being able to relax…I was able to get 20 minutes here and 20 minutes there of sleep through 6 am or so.
The relaxation from the catheter removal must have helped, because around 7 am the regular contractions stopped. Today went pretty fast with check-ups and bedpan time every hour, numerous doctor consults, and constant switching of meds. Around 10 am the sonographer came in and provided the other bad news, the length of my cervix is only .6-.8 cm, when they’d prefer it to be closer to 2.5 Just 8 weeks ago at my anatomy scan it was a perfect 3.5. Luckily, that bad news was somewhat balanced by the fact that I’ve pretty much gone all day without contractions. At 8:30 tonight they took me off the magnesium, which is huge for my comfort level since it means no IV, no bedpan, and the wooziness (its a muscle relaxer) should start to go away soon. I’ve also been on a clear diet all day with the exception of some recent milk and peanut butter to try and get me some more protein and to help get rid of the reflux that has developed recently. Just a few minutes ago, I also went off the monitors that had been tracking contractions plus my blood pressure and heart rate. The hope is that I can make it to tomorrow with no contractions or anything major happening…if that happens I should get to go home on bedrest sometime Saturday or Sunday.
It’s been quite the 24 hours. I’m terrified of her coming anytime soon, although I know I could not be in a better place. I’m literally at the hospital with the best neonatal unit in the state, so if Baby R can’t hold on for another 11 weeks, she’ll at least be at a place that is more than capable of giving great care. For right now our only focus is doing whatever we need to to keep her right where she is for as long as we possibly can.
Fingers crossed that my next update is a positive one about hospital discharge and no new contractions!