Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Making Waves Before Birth

I've posted most of your updates on my own blog since our very first hospitalization and release when you were 28 weeks along.  I'm happy to report that today that you are 34w6d along...getting closer and closer to your birth day!

We've spent quite a lot of time in and out of the hospital, at home on bedrest, in doctor's offices, and having ultrasounds.  To date, here is the history of hospitalizations:  our first was on June 5th (at 27w6d) and lasted 3 nights.  We got 48 hours worth of magnesium sulfate, and steroid injections over that time for your lung development.

Everything was pretty good until I had to stop taking ibuprofen at 32 weeks.  The doctor also gave me permission (and encouraged) being a little more mobile.  At 32w1d, on July 5th, contractions started again, and I was dilated up to 3cm at that point.  They gave us terbutaline, which stopped contractions for about an hour, but they restarted as soon as it wore off.  We spent one night in the hospital and started taking nifedipine to control contractions again.

Things were going moderately well again until the contractions slowly started creeping in again.  Dilation increased to 4cm.  Then, the week of July 15th I could feel contractions, and at our doctor's appointment they were starting to get worse.  At that point, things had progressed to 5cm.  The doctor we saw was hesitant to send us to the hospital (just due to the fact that I could talk through contractions).  The remainder of that day and the next, I was a little on edge, continuing to have contractions, so we made the decision to go to OB triage on Friday (@ 34w1d).

Once set up on contraction monitors, the situation went downhill quickly.  Contractions were more frequent than I thought (four every ten minutes!) and the decision was made to see how it would react to terbutaline again.  Terbutaline did control the contractions, but no sooner than it had worn off, cervical check revealed almost 6cm dilation, and a bulging amniotic sac.  Friday night was the first time that delivery was becoming more eminent.  They gave two more terbutaline shots to stall labor long enough to get antibiotics for group B strep.  Overnight, we got a few doses of stadol for pain (which made you pretty active once it wore off!).  Dilation never progressed further, and we ended up being transferred to antepartum the following afternoon.  In a somewhat surprising twist, we were discharged to go home on Sunday, with a little security net put in place by having NST's scheduled for twice in the upcoming week.

After spending Sunday night at home, everything seemed to be going decently.  Monday came, and we had another doctor's appointment, where there was no cervix check, no apparent change in anything (heart rate good and all of that).  We took it easy for the rest of the day and went to pick up your brother's from daycare.  After we got home, we sat on the couch and watched TV.  At that point, I started feeling weird, in kind of an indescribable sort of way.  Not long after, I launched into contractions.  They didn't built, but went right to a contraction every 2-3 minutes.  After drinking a few glasses of water and laying down for a while, the contractions didn't get better.  It was nearing your brother's bedtime, so the decision was made to pack everyone up and go to the hospital.

At the hospital, contractions were once again happening at four every 10 minutes.  They started the IV in triage for antibiotics, and we were taken directly to labor and delivery again.  No further cervical changes occurred either, so the evening was shaping up to be just a repeat of the previous Friday.  Since you were 34w4d along, there was still no intervention to speed labor along.  Eventually, the contractions did die down (just as before), and we spent the rest of the day in the delivery area until being transferred to antepartum once again in the late evening.

Today, you are 34w6d, so tomorrow you will be a week away from the magic 36 week mark!  No huge contractions of note today, and everything seems to be going well.  The only minor things going on now is that 1.  I felt like I ate too much earlier, 2.  you showed your excitement with dinner by moving around and kicking everywhere, and 3.  the left side of my chest is a bit sore (shoulder blade, going into my chest a little).

I have to admit that the calm that we are experiencing right now is almost too reminiscent of last Sunday evening when we were discharged to go home.  All was mostly calm (although I was probably more mobile at home, with your brothers wanting to be entertained) and everything seemed just fine all the way into the next day.  So tomorrow I might be a little on edge when evening approaches, just so we don't have a repeat of the past two "false starts".

As things get a little closer to delivery, I start to wonder how your entrance into the world will go.  Will you be a little early?  Will you decide to go all the way past your due date?  Will we be in the hospital when labor starts, or will they have kicked us out to wait it out at home?  Will labor start with water breaking?  Will it start with contractions?  Will the labor be fast or a "reasonable" amount of time (like with your brothers)?  Even things like will you be born at night, or during the day?

It's going to be weird with you on the outside, but I think after all of this build-up, it's going to be exciting to see what you are like!

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