Hospital Bedrest: Day 1 (this is a long one...)Shortly after I pushed publish on my last post, I shut off the light, closed the computer and laid down to go to bed. Only as I lay there, I started to develop a strong throbbing pain in my belly. I've not ever noticed contractions at this stage of the game so I wasn't sure if that's what the pain was, but I was on my left side, was drinking water and was laying down - all the things they tell you to do if you begin having them.
After 30 minutes, then 45, I decided something wasn't right so I trusted my instinct and called the doctor on call. As I suspected, they sent me in to the hospital to get checked out. All to familiar with this routine, I assumed I would be monitored for an hour or so then sent on my way. However things took an entirely different turn....never a dull moment with me!
It was after midnight and although my dad was still awake, I woke my mom to have her drive me. When we got to the hospital they wheeled me to the birthing center and as we turned the corner I noticed someone had just been brought in via ambulance. Suddenly, nurses were shuffling around and there was lots of activity. Just a few minutes later I heard a nurse walk by saying how she barely made it in time. A mom delivered her baby right there in the triage room! They brought mom to a room and were tending to a very alert newborn in an isolette as we went by. I said a little prayer for the family, the dad looked like a deer in headlights, and also got teary eyed as I wondered if I would be able to make it far enough for that very moment (well, not delivering in a triage room in the nick of time...but having a good size healthy term baby).
I was put on the fetal monitor, given some IV fluids and after it was determined that I was in fact having irregular contractions, they shot me with a dose of Brethine to help calm my uterus. Still thinking they'd keep an eye on me and send me home, I was surprised when the doctor came by and told me they'd be admitting me for the night.
Once I was all checked in, they gave me an ambien and told me to get some rest. Mom had gone home and Ricky was on stand-by still in Southern Indiana. I didn't want him to have to drive up or leave work if I was going home the next afternoon.
I already had an ultrasound appointment set up for the next day but they bumped it up to 8am instead of waiting until 2pm. Because they still suspected a possible placental abruption they had the ultrasound done by the maternal fetal medicine group. They wanted to look for any evidence of the placenta beginning to pull away from the uterus and also to do a full growth scan of the baby, as oftentimes even if a tear/abruption is not seen on ultrasound, they are able to determine any problems if the baby is not growing well.
All looked perfect on the scan. Baby is an estimated 1lb. 10oz (which is several ounces bigger than usual at this point!), fluid levels are great, baby's measurements are on track and no evidence of any bleeding was seen. Great news! I was so relieved.
Back in the room I started to gather up my belongings as I waited for the doctor to review the scan and come in to discuss the great results. Again, I assumed I'd be discharged at that point and headed home.
Again, I was wrong.
The doctor came in and had a very different plan. He began by saying the scan looked really good and baby is a great size. "However," he continued, "you are at a very critical point in this pregnancy." He then led the conversation down a path I was not prepared for at all.
Because of my bleeding and the increase in its frequency, he said they still were very concerned. He explained that at just 23 weeks along baby was just shy of viability. "We need to make some serious decisions at this point," he began. "If you were to deliver today, tomorrow or even the next few days, we would need to know how you wanted to handle things."
Wait, deliver? My scan was great and I hadn't had any more bleeding in almost 24 hours. And he's talking about my risk of delivering this baby today or tomorrow? I felt like maybe he was mistaken on which patient room he went into. He said he wasn't trying to scare me, but there was no way of knowing if I was any immediate danger or would need emergency intervention if there was in fact a bleed that they weren't seeing. He left me to think things over and said he'd be back in to visit after discussing next steps with the maternal fetal docs.
I called Ricky and through tears tried to relay what the doctor had just thrown at me. Ricky left work, fearing the worst, to make his drive up to be with me. I just kept thinking the worst. Shortly after he got there, my doctor came back in to continue the discussion.
He explained things once again for Ricky to hear and when he said for the second time that we had some decisions to make I asked him what exactly he meant. "We need to know what to do if you should need an emergency c-section to deliver this baby. At 23 weeks there are numerous risks for developmental and physical problems. Worst case, baby wouldn't survive."
He went through a laundry list of issues the baby may face - most of which I already found out minutes before when I googled "baby born at 23 weeks".
"Basically, we need to know if you would want us to resuscitate and what medical interventions you would want for baby at birth."
With little discussion needed, Ricky and I exchanged a knowing glance that indicated we agreed - of course we would want any and all measures taken to help our baby live. I began to cry when I told the doctor this, thinking back to how much our life changed when Aiden was born and fearful of what our life would look like with another medically fragile child.
The complications swirled in my head: blindness, heart issues, underdeveloped bowels, cerebral palsy, and on and on. But what were we supposed to do? Take a look at our breathing baby and say "no, just let him die?" The thought is sobering, but still, we were sure that it wasn't a choice we would make. It would be in God's hands.
The doctor assured us that there was nothing to indicate that I was in fact in danger of going into labor at that point, but they wanted to have these important questions answered if something needed to be decided quickly.
With that, he said the best place for me to be for the next few days would be at a different hospital that had a higher level NICU with doctors and nurses who would be better equipped to handle an extremely premature baby. At least until I got to the point of viability. So they transported me via ambulance across the river to Cincinnati. (Worst ambulance ride ever by the way - which at #3 for the year gave me some experience to compare it to...driver had no clue where he was going, there was no airflow and I had to ask them to crack the side window because the A/C wasn't working, the EMT in back with me smelled like she had just smoked an entire pack of cigarettes so every time she hollered "turn left here John, no I said LEFT" I felt like she was breathing smoke right into my mouth.)
But I digress.
|Aiden: Boba Fett +++ Ethan: Iron Patriot +++ Hudson: A robot|
I'm with my boys all the time so I'm used to breaking up their fights, helping them with homework and lots of snuggling, hugs and kisses whenever I want them. While it will definitely be difficult to miss out on the everyday stuff with my family, I am choosing to remain positive. I just got the most beautiful flower arrangement from my bestie (thanks Audrey and fam!), Ricky is close enough to drive up at a moments notice, my boys are being well taken care of at my parents' and the nurses here have all been more than amazing. I take comfort in knowing I'm in good hands...and my baby is too.
As my wise momma
always says "This too shall pass". The end result will be soooo very worth it.