Saturday, September 10, 2005

Oh no, contractions and a day at the hospital

Saturday 9/10/05

Well, I continued to have a bit of pink spotting once a day now for 4 days….wonder if it's related, but......

Bad news, sometime on Thursday I started having contractions. I’m not sure when they really started, having never been pregnant before, I don’t really know what they would feel like. When I went to bed Thursday night, lying on my back, I could put my hands on my belly and concentrate. Instead of just the kicking feelings I’ve been feeling fairly strongly lately, I noticed that my whole abdomen really tightened up super hard, like something solid, and then would go away. I still wasn’t really sure what was happening, it seemed to be about every 20 minutes or so. I kept feeling and feeling my abdomen when it wasn’t tight and then tried to determine if it indeed felt different or if the babies had moved and I was just feeling hard parts of their bodies.

I had though that contractions would feel like menstrual cramps, and I definitely wasn’t feeling a cramping feeling. I felt a bit of pain at the lower part of my uterus, but I’ve felt this before, which I’ve been told are just your ligaments stretching. This seemed to be a bit different, but I just didn’t know.

It was about midnight, and I think I finally admitted to myself that this was indeed contractions. I took my temperature right away to confirm I didn’t have a fever, I didn’t. A girlfriend, Sierra, was here spending the night keeping me company, as Brian was at work, and I seriously contemplated waking her up so she could feel my belly and confirm what I was feeling. I knew I could have her drive me to the hospital and Brian could meet me there.

I remember someone said that 6 contractions an hour were bad and to call/go in with that many, and I was only having about 3, if that was what I was having at all. So I decided to try to go to sleep and wait until the morning. I woke up, leaking of course, nothing new, got up, then when I got back into bed, realized I was still feeling the same thing as the night before.

At this point I called Brian, but couldn’t reach him (he was out on a call). When we finally spoke at 8 when usually got off, he obviously was really worried and upset that I didn’t do anything about it the night before. He came home as fast as he could. I called my OB at 9, and was a bit frustrated by their office, as I rang through the “emergency and doctors line” and when they realized I wasn’t a doctor they put my call into the regular phone cue. Brian was obviously pissed that we were on hold, he told me to get ready to go to the hospital. When I finally reached someone, they said indeed to go in and that my doc wasn’t in the office that day (Strange, as she had said she was going to call me today).

It’s now 9:15 or so, we left to drive back to the city where he had just come from. Brian hadn’t had any sleep at work and had a crappy night. A friend was coming to town today to stay with me for 3 days and Brian was going to get a much needed break to go up to Tahoe and go camping for a few days with a buddy. I knew that this was all going to go down the drain. He so needed a break. He was not in a good mood. A night without sleep can certainly do this to anyone and his trip was over. I felt terrible.

We got to the OB triage at the hospital at 10am. They put a contraction monitor on me, and after about 45 minutes or so showed some definite contractions. I didn’t know how I felt. Part of me was saying “phew, we weren’t here for nothing, I was having contractions.” The other part of me was definitely saying “oh my god, this could be it for the babies, I’ll have to be admitted and they’ll be born soon, which is waaaaay to soon.”

The doc on call said she was in touch with the Perinatologist (Dr. K that I’ve been wanting to talk to, as my local twins group has said he’s fabulous). I asked if he had been consulted, as well as my OB (who I said I was told was out today, but found that surprising). I reminded them that my case was a special case.

They gave me a shot of something to try to make the contractions stop. They warned me that this shot would likely make my heart race and give me the jitters (as well as the babies hearts). Boy the Doc wasn’t kidding. It was terrible. Within 5 minutes, my heart was literally jumping out of my chest and I was shaking terribly. No fun. I started really crying at this point. Brian was not in a good mood to comfort me, he was so tired and upset too. I felt sort of alone. They took my blood to check for my white blood count to see if I had an infection (I still had a normal temp).

They finally said Dr K wanted my cervix checked by ultrasound, but it was now just about 11:45 and I’d either have to wait until 1:30 or have Dr O do it now (who was the doc who gave us the fateful amnio, and I have made it very clear to all that we DO NOT want to see this doc again), so we decided to wait until 1:30. I had some “wonderful” hospital food, (when I was trying to eat soup, I was shaking so bad (from the shot) that Brian made me laugh when he said it looked like I was suffering from major alcohol withdrawal, and I said I could sure use a drink about now.

Eventually they told me my white blood count was slightly elevated, just as we were going upstairs for an u/s.

At 2:00, I was wheelchaired to the bathroom and we decided to try take matters into our own hands and say we wanted to go up to u/s now. We went up, and waited around more. Finally a u/s tech came and got us and led us to the u/s room and first thing she said was, ‘I’m going to check your cervix with an abdominal and transvaginal u/s.” I said in no uncertain terms with some I’m sure angst in my voice, “You will under no terms will be inserting anything vaginally, I have a PROM and that is a big no-no.” She looked sort of confused and said are you leaking fluid? I said “I have NO fluid and have been leaking fluid for 6 weeks.” At this point, Brian started getting really upset, realizing that no one up here even knew us nor our situation, as they would never suggest a vaginal u/s as that’s been beat into us from every doc due to my high-risk of infection.

A very nice OB doc came in when she realized how upset we were, as the u/s tech couldn’t easily find my cervix abdominally. The doc was able to find my cervix and, good news, felt that it was still elongated (like it should be if I wasn’t in labor). She asked when my last u/s was and what was my cervical length then, it was 1 week ago just down the hall, she said that u/s was with the Perinatologist and she was in a different department and didn’t have access to their records. Brian went off on the doc saying how ridiculous that no one in the hospital spoke to one another. We hadn’t really been told anything. How in the world could they have not known from downstairs that we had a PROM. I said I hadn’t even spoken to my OB and didn’t even know if she knew I was here, she said she would try to help and talk to her. My Doc was doing a procedure, and couldn’t be reached for 30 min, so we waited so I could just lie on the u/s table.

My doc finally got on the phone with me and said because my cervix looked good, we could go back home, I said my husband wanted to talk to her. He got upset when he asked her about my white blood count, and she didn’t even know. She told us to go back downstairs to the OB ER. She then checked my prenatal records, and found out that my white blood count was even slightly higher then than now, but that in order for us to talk to Dr K (the Perinatologist), maybe we should be admitted. I asked why Dr K couldn’t talk to us here in the OB ER, and if he wanted me to be admitted I would do that.

So, basically, eventually, Dr K came and spoke to us (we’d now ordered another meal) as it was nearing 5:00. (Remember we got to the hosp at 10am).

For the first time, I felt someone was finally being "positive" rather than doom and gloom (unlike the peri I’ve been talking regularly too). He said he was very happy that the cervix looked elongated still and that he felt it was ok for me to go back home (even though I was still having an occasional contraction) and to watch for any changes (pain, contractions more often, etc).

He also spoke to us about having a nurse come to my home once a week to take vitals, etc, and that he said he'd rather have me stay on bed rest than leaving the house for the u/s and things. We discussed when I should get the steroid shots and when we should be admitted to the hospital, and he was ok with trying to delay a week or two (for the shot) and for a month for being admitted (like we’d like to) as longs as things stayed the same as they are now. When we complained that it was hard to talk to someone live when we had problems, he gave us his office number and name of his girl. That made us feel better also.

Back home……..

Well, we went home after a full day (8 hours) this was my longest day out of bed since we went to Florida. I also finally slept really well, (I think I was really worn out from the day). Brian slept well too, as he hadn’t slept a bit in about 40 hours. I felt contractions on Friday night still, but so far today, I think they may have settled a bit, who knows, I’m still not really good at telling when I have one. I have to be lying on my back, feeling my belly with my hands. I can’t tell otherwise, as it feels a lot like babies kicking.

I’m so happy to be home (and put off being admitted to the hospital yet) and even happier that the babies didn’t have to come yesterday. They can “bake” a bit longer still. I’m trying to get to my goal of at least 30 weeks.

Instead of Brian being out on a camping trip, its back to “normal” he’s cleaning, doing laundry, and mowing the lawn, and of course waiting on me hand and foot. I feel so bad for him, this is all so hard and certainly not what we had in mind when it came to having a family. He just came in to check on me and said, “Hi Beautiful.” I said wow, thank you, as I certainly am not feeling very beautiful, although, this WAS a shower day!

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