Friday, June 4, 2010

I Am Not Dead Yet

This update contains medical information that is probably boring and/or not that important to most of you, but I'm documenting this pregnancy and therefore it gets included. It is not overly graphic, but it is detailed, so you know.


Sunday I was having some serious stomach issues, hard contractions that I tried to pass off as an ulcer or some unpleasant indigestion, but those were gone the next day so I was in fact able to ignore them. Wednesday night just before Brandon and I left to get some dinner, I noticed that there was blood on my toilet paper. This would not have been cause for concern if I had not had a period for seven months and should not have been starting now, thank you. So I actually called my doctor. There are very few things that will make me call my doctor, especially after hours; unexplained bleeding is one of them.

"I can't really diagnose you over the phone," she says, "You need to come to labor and delivery."
"Is that the same thing as the birth center?" (You can tell I am very prepared to come have this baby.)
"Yeah, right over there."

We got dinner first, because we were hungry, and it was close by. And thank God we did, because here is the exciting saga of What Happened Next:


I was taken up to triage and hooked up to some belly monitors. They checked my heart rate and the baby's heart rate and how my contractions were faring. Apparently I was having contractions--I knew this, but you're supposed to have those Braxton-Hicks things beforehand, so I didn't pay a whole lot of attention. I think I started to get a little concerned when the nurse kept asking if I had a car seat. NO, I DO NOT HAVE A CAR SEAT, I HAVE TWO MORE MONTHS BEFORE I SHOULD NEED IT. (Also I think my coworkers are still going in on my travel system stroller, which comes with a car seat, so I was kind of waiting until after we had the work baby shower.)

After several hours of waiting for the doctor because everybody was having babies on June 2--no joke!--she checked me out, said that there was in fact some bleeding, that I was dilated to 1cm and 50% effaced. In other words: this baby seems to think that it would be a nice time to start trying to bust out of the joint, and we DO NOT want that this early. Hence: two rounds of steroids, observation, magnesium sulfate drip to hold off contractions and control my still-elevated blood pressure, 24-hour urine sampling, and oh yeah, you can't go to work tomorrow.

They also put me on a clear liquid diet to start because the magnesium can make you pretty sick, but they let me eat real food again starting Thursday night.


Got my steroids, got my IV line, confined to a bed (but I still have bathroom privileges! THANK GOD FOR SMALL MERCIES) and hooked up to monitors all day. Kate's mom came to visit me. I had been having about four contractions an hour, but those slowed up as the day went on. They had me on clear liquids only during the day, which was miserable, but let me eat around dinnertime. They also told me that I would probably not be allowed back to work period--given that the school year is over next week--and then told me not to worry about it.

(But I still have to put in grades and clean out my classroom and I have yearbooks to sell and prom pictures that people haven't picked up and that one kid's mom, I still have her $20 in my desk, and I have to get to a network computer to enter my grades in, and also there is supposed to be a baby shower for me, and I have a wedding to attend Thursday and graduation Friday, but yeah I WON'T WORRY ABOUT ANY OF THAT...except that in the end I think I have it all worked out. It just took me some time to come to terms with all of that, and the "you can't do everything.")

We went down for a consult with the high-risk OB office, got another ultrasound. The baby is 4 pounds even, looking good for where he is on the gestational chart, and flexing his arm muscles to prove to his daddy that he can make T-rex arms look good.

Side note: Someone told me the other day that if T-rex had actually had arms the way he was drawn, he could not have been a carnivore, because there was no way he could have controlled or eaten his prey, or something. But they just find dinosaur pieces and make a puzzle out of them, so who knows if what we think they look like is accurate? I thought that was interesting.

That doctor told us that we want to keep him in for a few more weeks and that we were doing exactly what we needed to do to make that happen.


Finished my steroid shots around midnight. If baseball steroids feel like the shots I got, I would be a wimpy batter and make do with it, because those suckers HURT. Today my blood pressure has been much better, my attitude has been much improved, I have accomplished a lot related to work, and things are generally looking up. The magnesium drip ends at midnight, which I am very much looking forward to, and provided I don't resume contractions after they take that off I should be set to take a shower tomorrow (I MISS SHOWERING SO MUCH, Y'ALL) and head home hopefully some time this weekend. Which, thank God, because it is boring here. But my nurses have been fantastic, my doctors have been cool, and friends and family have been checking in periodically. I miss everyone and really appreciate the sentiments.

I told Brandon a few minutes ago that most people come to the hospital to get their babies out, but I came to keep my baby in. That's backwards.

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