Wednesday, May 29, 2013

pre term labor??

The past few days have been a total roller coater ride, and not really the fun kind.  They've been scary days filled with lots of prayers.  I wanted to document what's been going on, mainly for my own memory, and just in case anyone is curious as to how all of this started.  Oh, and so I can hold it over my daughter's head some day..haha! :)

 On Friday morning I was getting ready for the day.  I had showered and was straightening my hair when I felt a faily painful contraction.  I have had LOTS of braxton hicks contractions from early on, so I didn't really think anything of it.  I finished getting myself and Kason ready, and we headed out to run some errands.  Keep in mind, we were supposed to be leaving for the beach the following day.  I took Kason to get donuts and as we were eating I started realizing that I wasn't feeliking "right".  I just felt off.  I was having lots of back pain and lots of what felt more like labor contractions than BH contractions.  Once again, I just kind of wrote them off and went on my way.  After all, I was only 32 weeks pregnant, I figured they were no big deal.  We ran a few more errands and by the time we got to the bank (our last stop) I couldn't even walk through the contractions.  This was the moment I realized that maybe something was going on.  I tried not to panic, because I knew that'd make matters worse, but I text Duane and called my sister (she's an OB nurse). Both said to call my doctor just to be safe.  I decided to go home and lay down on my left side.  I guzzled some water, because I know that this is what the doctor would tell me to do when I called.  At that moment, about 5 weeks too soon, I downloaded a contraction timer app.  Kason and I read books on the couch while I timed contractions.  Sure enough, they  were about 4-5 minutes a part for an hour.  These contractions were strong.  Not as strong as when I was in labor with Kason, but they hurt through my back and were so different from the normal BH contractions.  I finally decided to call the doctor.  I was worried they would think I was crazy, but my mom's intuition kicked in, and I decided it was better to be safe than sorry.  The nurse told me to come into the office, so we could check everything out.

This is the point in the story where I became an emotional mess.  I knew in my gut that something wasn't right but kept trying to stay calm.  I prayed that God would take this into his hands.  That he would keep my girl safe inside of me for a while longer.  I called my mother-in-law in tears and asked if I could drop Kason off while I went to the doctor. I contemplated taking him along, but in hindsight, I'm so glad I left him.  That would have been traumatizing for a 2 year old!  I got to the doctor's office around 12:45.  The doctor could tell how much pain I was in, and could feel my contractions just by barely touching my stomach.  She then checked for dilation, and sure enough, I was already dilated to 1 cm.  She made it seem like this was a big deal, but I later found out that it's fairly normal to be dilated early with your second baby.  She told me that she was calling the nurse to wheel (she wouldn't even let me walk) me over to labor and delivery.  She said I would need to be hooked up to monitors and get a steroid shot for my girl's lungs.  At this point I was still relatively calm.  I still thought I'd get to L&D and they'd send me home, no big deal.  I text Duane and told him he might want to come to the hospital, just to be safe.  He got there about a half an hour later and was of course calm as ever. :)

This is the point in the story where my favorite nurse of all time comes into play.  Her name was Jenn and she was an absoulte God send.  She could sense my fear, and did everything in her power to keep me calm.  She told me that I could just be dehydrated, so they'd give me lots of fluids to try to stop the contractions.  She said that I did the right thing by calling my doctor, because I was contracting so frequently.  I received fluids for the next hour, and the contractions got better, but didn't stop.  Around 3:30 I was given Procardia to try and stop the contractions.  The nurse was hopeful this would do the trick, but about a half an hour after I took the medicine (when it was supposed to be kicking in) my contractions started coming more strongly than they had all day.  They were only 2.5 minutes a part and they HURT.  At this point, Jenn started rushing around and I could tell something wasn't quite right.  She said they were going to wheel me to a more private room, which I translated to "you're in here for a while."  When we got to the room the doctor met me and said those dreaded words.  "You are in preterm labor, and we need to stop these contractions."  Preterm labor?!  How is this possible??  I had such a normal pregnancy with Kason.  There were a million thoughts running through my head as the doctor told me that vacation was out, and started throwing around words like "premature baby" and "NICU".

This is about the point I lost it.  I was so sad about vacation, and the fact that I couldn't enjoy that time with Kason.  Of course, above everything else I was scared for my baby girl.  32 weeks was too soon to be born.  I wanted her to be stronger, it was just too early.  At this time Jenn rushed around and got me started on an IV with magnesium.  If you've never had magnesium before, let me tell you something, it is AWFUL.  Within seconds of getting the IV, I felt hot all over, couldn't see straight, and felt like I had been hit by a bus.  All of those things aside, I knew I was doing this for my daughter, so I tried not to complain.  It was only for a short time and hopefully it would help her stay in a little longer. Thankfully, the magnesium stopped the contractions fairly quickly.  I was still having them, but not quite as regularly and they were much less intense.  I was SO thankful for this.  Around 4:30, I received my first steroid shot to help our girl's lungs develop better in case she were to come early.  Jenn said I'd need another shot 24 hours later, and then could possibly go home 24 hours after that.  So, I knew I was going to be in the hospital at least through the weekend.

The next 48 hours weren't too exciting.  The nurses would try to turn my magnesium down, and contractions would start up again, so they would have to turn it back up.  I was in bed the entire time, and was pretty darn close to going crazy.  The doctor and nurses were 100% honest with me about preterm labor.  They were so nice and let me ask all of my questions.  A pediatrician from the special care nursery came and spoke with us as well, and helped calm some of our fears.  I was so glad that even if born now, our girl could stay at the same hospital that I deliver at, as long as her lungs were functioning well.  I was also glad to know that I would still be able to have a vaginal birth, and that even though I'd have to pump, I would still eventually be able to breastfeed.  Breastfeeding is actually SO important for premies and babies in special care.  The pediatrician also emphasized over and over again how lucky we were that this baby is a girl.  Girls are much stronger when born early.  Such a blessing.

  The hardest part of this whole process was the fact that Kason was away from me.  He would come to the hospital in the morning and evening, but he would get bored fairly quickly.  Since my family went ahead and went on vacation, my in-laws took over Kason duty, and I am so thankful for them.  As thankful as I am to have so many family members willing to help, I'm still Kason's momma, and it broke my heart to not be the one taking care of him.  For the first time, I felt so torn between my two babies.  I knew that I was where I needed to be, but knowing that Kason was off somewhere else really made my heart hurt.  I am so glad that Duane was able to go home with him at night.  It was a total blessing that Duane was going to be off work for vacation this week.  He was a lifesaver and took such good care of Kason while I had to spend those 2 nights in the hospital.

On Sunday evening, after two rounds of steroids, they decided to let me go home.  They stopped the magnesium, and sure enough, I started contracting again.  The contractions weren't as frequent, and I don't think they were causing much change, so I felt okay with going home.  My doctor was quite convinced that I would go into full blown labor within a week, but knew I'd be more comfortable at home with Duane and Kason.  My nurse, on the other hand, said she's seen plenty of women go full term after going into preterm labor.  There's really just no way to tell!

So for now, I'm at home on bed rest until 36 weeks.  I celebrate everyday that this girl is able to grow inside of me.  I'm still really uncomfortable and contracting 2-3 times an hour, but at least I'm home with my boys.  It's all a waiting game from here on out!  We are just so thankful that God knows exactly when she will be here, and he will take perfect care of her.

So, that's what's been going on around here!  Never a dull moment, but I'm hoping things slow down a bit. :)

1 comment:

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