Tuesday, true to form, was another 'bad' day for contractions. It seems like every Tuesday I have more than any other day (my guess is that it's because I get my progesterone injections on Wednesdays, and the medicine has worn off by Tuesday, but I could be completely wrong), and this week was no exception. I started having contractions before I even got out of bed that morning, around 7am, and they continued all day. I'd get a break, and have an hour or two with maybe 15 minutes in between, but for most of the day they had been about 5-8 minutes apart. I waited until Superman and Little Miss got home from dance class, and headed to the hospital.
I was finally admitted around 5:40. I was expecting the same thing as the past two visits - possibly another Fetal Fibronectin test, an internal check by the dr or a nurse, a Procardia pill to slow down/stop contractions, and a few hours hooked up to the monitor to watch contractions and baby's heart rate. When all of that happened, and the dr hadn't come in, I figured he wasn't too worried, and they'd just send me home (again) with instructions to call or come back if I started having more issues.
Around 10:30, the nurse came in and told me they were going to admit me for the night, give me more Procardia every 6 hours, give me the Betamethasone (steroid) injections, and keep the baby and contractions on the monitor all night, then do an ultrasound in the morning and go from there. Not too happy, but not incredibly surprised, either, I called Superman and we figured out what we would do with the kids the next day, since he's in a class and he can't miss too much time without having to repeat the whole thing.
They moved me from triage (which is just one big room with 4 beds, separated by curtains) into a regular room, and came in around 11:30 with the shot. Let me just say, these are THE most painful shots I've ever gotten. They burn SO BAD when they're going in. I had to laugh so I didn't cry.
They had to try to keep the baby on the monitor, which meant a LOT of interruptions, since he's so small still that he's got a lot of room to swim around, so he kept moving off the monitor, and the nurse had to keep coming in to adjust it. Then I was due for vitals and another Procardia around 1:30, so they woke me up for that, and I really didn't sleep much that night. At all. The bed, even with the extra pad to make it 'comfy', was so hard, and the constant beeping of the monitor, combined with the glow from the computer screen, the sound of the baby's heartbeat, and the noises the monitor made whenever the baby moved, and the noise from the hall, didn't help much either.
Finally, around 7:30, I gave up trying to sleep. I had to take another Procardia, and they had ordered an ultrasound, so I had to get up for that anyway. I was hoping Superman would make it to the hospital in time for my ultrasound, since he hasn't been able to make it to one yet this pregnancy, but he got there as I was finishing up and heading back to my room. The baby looked great - he's measuring perfectly (they moved me back to my original due date of January 19), and was moving like crazy. It's always amazing to see what's going on inside, when all I usually get to see is the bumps and movement from the outside. He had the hiccups, which was really cute to see. His heart and other organs are perfect, as is the placenta and the amount of amniotic fluid. And, for some reason, I've been paranoid that it's not a boy, that somehow the first ultrasound was wrong, so I had her double check, and he definitely is a he.
When I got back to my room, Superman, Little Miss, and a friend who was going to watch her today were there. The dr came in to talk to me, and basically said what I was expecting - baby is perfect, but way too early - if he were to come now, he'd have about a 55% chance of surviving, and even then, likely with a lot of medical problems. I'm not dilated, really, more than I was the week before when I was at the hospital for monitoring. The Fetal Fibronectin test was positive (meaning that there was about a 50% chance of true labor in the next two weeks), and I was still on strict bed rest and pelvic rest until my next appointment. He also said that if I continued to have issues, and if I started dilating more, even being on strict bed rest, they would likely send me to Tucson to be admitted, since they have an actual NICU there, and only a level II nursery here, so they can't care for a baby born before 34 weeks. He also said that they were going to keep me until about 11pm, so they could give me the second dose of Betamethasone (they have to be about 24 hours apart), and then, if everything looked good, they'd send me home. He also ordered intermittent monitoring, only when I was having contractions closer than 10 minutes, rather than having me hooked up 24/7.
It was one of the most boring days ever. At least at home I have the distraction of the kids, and the dogs, and I can change positions on the couch, or move to my bed. Superman had a normal day at work (opposed to getting off between 3-4 most of the past few weeks), and he picked up the kiddos and headed over after they had dinner. It was so nice to see my babies! It had been just over 24 hours since I'd seen them, but it felt like forever. They were a bit crazy, but it was good to get a few minutes of cuddles.
The dr came back in after they left, and just reiterated everything he'd said that morning. I can sit up for a little while, but I'm supposed to be mostly reclined to keep pressure off my cervix. I can get up to use the bathroom, and I can have a 5-minute shower every day. That's it. Of course, he wants the baby to stay in as long as possible, but the earliest he can deliver without sending me to Tucson is 34 weeks... 9 1/2 weeks from now. This is going to be HARD if I'm on bed rest for the next 9 1/2 weeks. But I would MUCH rather be here, on the couch or in bed, than in Tucson, in the NICU, with a preemie, worried about his health.
He left, and I tried to get some rest, but the nurse surprised me when she came in around 9:00 with my shot. She said he had given permission for me to get it early so I could get home before midnight and get some rest. So I got the shot (ouch!) and another dose of Procardia. They kept me for about 20 minutes to make sure I didn't have a random reaction, had me sign the release paperwork, and sent me on my way. Superman had dropped the car off for me when he came back that evening, so I was able to drive myself home.
I got home, loved on the dogs, who acted like they hadn't seen me in a year, and sat on the couch with Superman for a few minutes. Then we got up and went into the kitchen, because it was Wednesday, which meant time for my Progesterone injection (3 shots in less than 24 hours... lucky me!). While I was standing up in there, my feet and calves swelled up, and my calves turned bright red and got super itchy. I'd been on the same meds for the past 24 hours, so it couldn't have been an allergic reaction... So it was from not using my legs at all for the past day and a half. It was literally 10 steps from my bed to the toilet and back, and anywhere I went they took me in a wheelchair. I had Superman rub my calves and feet, and that helped a ton. I can't believe how quickly your body starts to react to lack of movement and use!
I feel so lucky for all of my blessings. Sure, this situation royally SUCKS, but I could never get through it if I didn't have such an amazing, supportive husband, awesome kids, and a great network of friends and acquaintances through the Army and church. Superman really is super, my babies are so sweet and thoughtful, and we have been getting so much help from the ladies at church. They have brought dinner EVERY. SINGLE. DAY. since I was put on bed rest last week, have been driving my kids to/from school, watching them and taking them for play dates, and this morning a few sweet ladies came over to help clean the house, to give Superman a little break. My friend who watched Little Miss yesterday mopped the house and picked up, and took the kids to the park for a while after Brother Bear got out of school. I was worried when we moved here that it would be hard to meet people, and honestly, it was, until this 'drama' happened. It's truly amazing to see what big hearts people have. It is SO hard for me to accept help - I would rather be the one helping - but I know what a blessing it is to be able to serve others, and who am I to deny someone those blessings, just because I'm proud?
9 1/2 weeks. December 8th. I can do this.
(No matter how sad I am to miss both of my kids' field trips to pumpkin patches, trick or treating, not be able to go out for my birthday, or shop for baby stuff, or probably make my family's first Thanksgiving dinner away from our extended families, or probably go to most of Brother Bear's flag football games, and all of the other fun things... fall is my favorite season! No matter how much all of that bums me out, I have to think about what is best for this baby, and what is best for the rest of my family. We can do this.)