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I should have written this weeks ago, I guess I'm still just a little in denial about the end of my pregnancy. Things didn't go exactly as I'd hoped and I still have a bit of a hard time about that.
My labor technically started at 25w6d, I was running some errands after work and felt a gush, thinking it was just discharge I went about my way but then at home that night I felt a couple more small gushes, I thought it was weird and decided to go to the hospital to be better safe then sorry. I really thought I was going to go and get told it was nothing. When I was signing in at the ER though I felt a few more gushes and started to get more concerned. I was taken immediately up to L&D, I changed into a gown and got hooked up to the monitors. Thankfully the baby's heartrate was strong and the monitors weren't showing any contractions. That made me feel better and started to get my hopes back up that it was nothing. But then the nurse did a litmus test on the fluid I was leaking. She told me before she did it that blue was bad, blue meant amniotic fluid, so we were hoping not to see blue...as soon as she pulled the paper up for us to see it was bright blue and my heart just sank. All the sudden the nurses who were bright and cheery (they were thinking it might be nothing also, they DO get in a lot of people who are just having a lot of discharge...or peeing themselves) got very, very somber. They called my OB and came back to tell me that I would be sent in an ambulance to another hospital since the one I was at didn't have a NICU. I spoke with my OB on the phone and I had a hard time not crying, she was trying not to cry herself. She said there was a chance I might not deliver for awhile but that most likely I would deliver in the next day or so and she wanted me in a place where they could do everything they could for my baby.
An ambulance was called and an IV was started on me so they could run some fluids. The nurse checked me and she said I was 'only' a fingertip dilated but hearing I was dilated at all did nothing to calm my nerves. I won't be all TMI girl but I will say that I had heard that your system 'cleaning itself out' was one of the signs that labor was starting and that happened to me right before the ambulance showed up. It made me pretty certain that my baby would be coming that night and I was pretty freaked out. My husband called me right as the ambulance team arrived to tell me he was at the hospital (he didn't come with me at first because we really thought everything was ok) so I had to tell him to drive over to the other hospital and meet me there. The ambulance team was nice but way to chatty for the mood I was in. They kept trying to joke around with me but to say I was not in the mood to laugh or smile was a bit of an understatement.
We got to the new hospital and the ambulance entry was blocked by a broken down car...because that was just the way my night was going. They finally figured out how to manuver the gurney around the car and get me in the building and Darren was just getting there too so he walked behind me to L&D. They put me in a room and got me rehooked to monitors. A nurse came in to ask if I was having any pains 'yet', it seemed a pre-drawn conclusion that I would soon. I had an ultrasound and it showed my fluid level was still normal but baby was head down and in position. That worried me because all along we'd had a breech girl on our hands who was very fond of tap dancing on the exit. Just at the last OB appt I'd had she'd guessed the baby wouldn't turn until she was ready to come. The on-call doctor came in to see me and to do a fern test to confirm my waters had ruptured as apparently the litmus test can come up falsely positive. I got a little bit of hope up, after all my levels WERE normal but the fern test confirmed amniotic fluid was leaking. The on-call doctor was a little less doom and gloom, maybe because contractions had not started yet. She explained I would be getting steriod shots for the baby's lungs and that there was a small (miniscule really) chance that my bag would reseal but that more then likely I would be in the hospital until delivery which hopefully wouldn't be until 34 weeks but if contractions started they wouldn't stop them. That night was a rough one, after the fern test I had several very large gushes, I was convinced I couldn't possibly have any fluid left. The nurses sort of brushed off my concerns and just told me I would continue to leak, it was normal.
The next morning I was given my first steriod shot and moved to the antepartum unit. It's where they keep the women they hope aren't going to be giving birth. I met with my new high risk OB and he told me the majority of people with PPROM (preterm premature rupture of membranes) delivered within 3 days, if I made it past that, there was another peak around 12-14 days past rupture and if I made it past THAT then I just might be able to make it until 34 weeks which was the ultimate goal.
I was a wreck, literally, just a sobbing mess of a person. Here I was locked away in this tiny room barely able to get up and move around, away from my home, my work, and most importantly my son. I felt so guilty to be away from him, he didn't understand why Mommy lived in the hospital all of the sudden and I went from being his primary caretaker to only seeing him 3-4 hours a week max. It killed me.
I withdrew while I was in the hospital, I didn't want to talk to anyone, I didn't want to have to give updates, etc because at any second it could all change and it made me really upset when people would get overly excited about any given results because to me they didn't mean anything, they certainly didn't mean that it couldn't all go downhill in a split second. It bugged me to no end to be called to be asked specifically about an individual ultrasound or non-stress test. I knew people meant well but I didn't think people really understood the magnitude of the situation.
I had to have a non-stress test every morning and evening and an ultrasound every Monday, Wednesday and Friday. I had a love/hate relationship with those tests. I dreaded every single one of them and each and every time I mentally prepared myself for them not to find my baby's heartbeat. I braced myself and then when I heard her I would always let out a breath I hadn't realized I was holding. Most of the time she would pass their tests with flying colors but there was the time she wouldn't move much during a given ultrasound and it seemed they were thinking she may need to come out so I had to have a repeat one the same day (during which she was practically doing flips) and the few non-stress tests where she would have some heartrate fluxes that weren't quite ideal. It didn't quite make since to me that if she 'failed' her ultrasounds by not practicing breathing that they might want to deliver her....how does that make sense? Luckily it never came to that with us or I imagine the doctors would not have liked my response very much.
I remained a mess pretty much the whole time, despite doing my best to put on a smile for everyone else. It bothered me though that some people bought it enough to think I was really ok. People that should have known better. How could I have been ok given the situation? There was nothing ok about what was going on. I had incidents of spotting that I never even told anyone other then the doctors and my husband about. I started to have contractions too, more then just the mild Braxton Hicks ones that I'd had on and off, I'd get them in regular patterns but those weren't really talked about either. And I just stopped talking about the leaking but it was there...every.single.day. Honestly, I grew tired of having to deal with/manage other people's reactions so I just didn't want to say anything about any of it to anyone (other then Darren). When I went into the hospital, the baby had an 80% chance or survival if born then, sounds high and that's all other people would focus on. All I could focus on was the other 20%. 20% is not a small number by any means. Not to mention that even the 80% weren't all fine and dandy, half of those babies live their lives with major disabilities. I found it hard to think everything would be ok if she was born at 26w. I thanked god for every single extra day she got to be inside of me.
Miraculously I ACTUALLY made it to 34 weeks, it pretty much shocked all my doctors. Apparently even though they tell people there's a chance it pretty much never happens for people to go that long with their water broken. Of course my breech girl had staged a retreat a few days after we'd entered the hospital and stayed that way and because she was literally sitting in my hip she made a vaginal delivery pretty much impossible. Of course I would have liked to stay pregnant past 34 weeks but the doctors had me pretty freaked out that she was at a high risk for a cord accident at that point since she was so much bigger and with so little fluid, there was a big risk she could compress her cord and cut off her oxygen. They had drilled into me that if we could make it to 34 weeks then we were golden and she would be ok. I was an emotional wreck (particularly from worrying multiple times a day that I might be finding out that she had passed in the womb) so I think that made it easier for me to accept that she needed to be born. Sometimes I wonder if I should have questioned harder though.
Finally 10/26/10 came, and I was 34 weeks exactly. Several nurses were in and out of my room that morning to start an IV and prep me for the csection. DH arrived and we were cautiosly excited. Of course, as with everything else in my pregnancy, the delivery day could not be uneventful so instead of having the noon csection as planned, we got delayed due to weather...and not just any weather, a TORNADO was going through so we were evacuated out into the hall away from any windows.
FINALLY I was allowed to walk over to the OR and Darren waited on a chair outside the OR door until he was given the ok to come in. The nurses helped me onto the table and I leaned into one of them as the anesthesiologist started to prep me for a spinal. The important thing to note here is that there were 2 anesthesiologists there, one who was still studying and the other who had experience. Of course the newbie takes the first crack at me and let me tell you...OWWWW. I could feel the needle grinding against my spine. It hurt like I can't explain. She kept telling me that it was normal to feel pressure...yeah NOT what I was feeling. The established doctor pretty much pushed her out of the way and when she did it, it actually worked. I didn't feel a thing and started to go numb pretty much immediately.
I was prepped with anteseptic and the doctor came in, he walked up asked how I was feeling, if I was ready to have a baby and then...he touched my stomach...with his bare hand. The nurses sort of just looked at him and he said 'I didn't just do that did I?' So off he went to scrub in again and the nurse re-prepped me. He came back in and one of the nurses laid my drape, she realized she'd put it on backwards about the same time he did and she took it off but was just going to flip it over and still use it, he barked at her to get a new one becaues that one wasn't sterile anymore. She went into the supply closet and about 5-7 minutes later when she still hadn't come out my doctor was TICKED, he started yelling that the head nurse needed to come in if noone else was capable of finding anything. Finally they got a new drape and laid it and pinned it up blocking my view of my stomach and Darren was finally able to come in. Of course right before he came in I got really freaked out that even though I was 34 weeks Isabelle wouldn't be ok and I started sobbing so he was really freaked out when he came in because I was laying on an operating table crying my eyes out. Everyone re-assured me that she would be fine and I calmed down enough for them to proceed.
The surgery itself was fairly quick, before I knew it the doctor was announcing her arrival. Because she was a preemie though he passed her off right away to the neonatologist so I didn't get to see her right away, I was straining to hear her cry but like her brother she didn't come out crying, only after the doctors ticked her off by checking her over did I hear her cry. It was probably only about a minute after she was born but it seemed like forever because I hadn't seen her so hearing her cry was the reassurance I needed to know she was ok.
Darren got to go over and check her out/take pics and finally before they were going to head out the door with her to take her to the intermediate nursery I got to see her. The brought her over and let me see her, and held her to my chest so I could kiss her before she had to go. It was a bit surreal. I didn't really end up showing while I was pregnant. I did feel her kick a lot and I did have lots of morning sickness/nausea pretty much the whole time but because of all our fertility troubles in the past I don't think I'd ever really believed I was pregnant and so seeing her it was strange to me. Sort of 'huh there really WAS a baby in there'. I still find it hard to wrap my head around that she used to be inside of me.
I had to go to recovery and be there for at least an hour (longer depending on how long it took to get the feeling in my legs back). I actually started to get feeling back and could move after about 10-15 minutes but I still had to stay the hour. I ended up going into a little bit of shock and got really cold so they had to put this inflated warming blanket on me. The worst part though was that I had a reaction to the spinal and itched like crazy all over. DH came into recovery after about 45 minutes with pictures for me to see. I was sent back to my old room in antepartum (I technically should have been sent to a postpartum room but my nurses asked for me to come back so I wouldn't have to move all my stuff) and after I was able to eat a little something per their requirements they finally let me get in a wheelchair and go see Isabelle about 4 hours after she was born. I was prepared for her to be little but all the wires and the other tiny babies sort of made reality slam down on me and I just cried. She was beautiful and she was doing great but she should have still been inside me and it hurt that she wasn't.
She ended up taking off and doing fabulously but then she sort of tuckered out and refused to eat. I learned quickly that is what you have to expect - the ups and the downs. It took a long 3 weeks and 1 day for them to be satisfied enough to send her home. I was able to spend the first week in the hospital too (although not by choice, I was only supposed to be in for 4 days but then I ended up running a high fever on what was supposed to be my discharge day and bought myself another 3 days).
It's been a crazy last few months but we're finally both home and settled and she's getting big and we're finally able to settle into our new reality as a family of 4. I'm battling a case of baby fever at the moment. I don't know how much of it is that I want another baby and how much of it is that I still want to have the pregnancy I dreamed of having where I get to get big and obviously pregnant and go to term and deliver vaginally without meds. I know csections are what some people prefer but it was not for me at all (didn't help I ended up with a mild infection). Of course the most important thing is that Isabelle is doing well, which she is. I'm so very very thankful for how well she's doing and I pray that she continues to do so.
Mama to Luke (1/21/09) and Isabelle (10/26/10)
Last edited by Mama2Miracles; January 2nd, 2011 at 12:14 AM.