The past week has been somewhat of a crazy blur, and I can hardly remember what has happened from one day to the next. The short of it is that baby and I are both okay, the long of it is, well, too long to recount entirely.
What’s Going On
The doctor originally thought that I was overdoing throughout the day, and that being purposeful about adding rest times throughout the day would settle down my contractions. I never really got to follow through with this advice though, because that evening I was having crazy contractions and it took 3 shots of terb to slow them down. After that night I was put on complete bed rest.
The bed rest helps some, on some days. But on other days, despite literally going from bed in the morning to the couch, I still ended up coming to the hospital with too many contractions. A few times they even started when I was in that “ideal pregnant position,” laying down flat and on my left side. The doctor said to come to the hospital if I had more than 5-6 contractions in an hour, and the times I came in I was having between 9-11 per hour.
So for now I’m continuing the bed rest and hoping for the best.
The Hospital, Contractions, and Terb
There have been 2 instances now where I’ve come to the hospital for something, and while I was being monitored they noticed that the baby’s heart rate dipped. Both of those instances required overnight stays, 24 hours of monitoring, and coming back subsequent days to be monitored for a bit. In addition to this I’ve been back a half a dozen times with contractions that needed to be settled down. Basically, in the last 10 days since I switched to a local doctor and hospital, I’ve been here 9 days out of the 10, and 2 of those days I was here twice. So needless to say, we are thrilled about the switch, not only because I’m getting really incredible care from the doctors and nurses, but we are saving a lot of money on gas! 🙂
The doctor has been giving me “terb” (terbutaline) to temporarily stop my contractions, and so far this seems to be working. Once I’m admitted they monitor me a bit and see how fast the contractions are coming, give me a shot of the terb every 20 minutes until the contractions subside, and then watch me for another hour to make sure it has all settled down. Before, the thought was that with bed rest and occasional terb shot, I could keep labor at bay. But on Thursday, Friday and Sunday evening I was in with contractions even though I had been on bed rest.
One disadvantage to terb is that though it does relax your uterus so that it will stop contracting, it also makes your heart race and you feel jittery. My hands will shake for about 15-20 minutes (sometimes longer) after getting the shot, and when I finally calm down I’m exhausted. Last night they had to wake me up 3 separate time throughout the night to give me a shot to calm the contractions, so I was really bummed 1.) to get woken up after managing to fall asleep in the hospital bed, 2.) to be woken up to get a shot – not fun, 3.) to not be able to go back to sleep for a while afterward because my heart was racing. Yuck. But overall it helps, and I am grateful.
(I took this pic of my pile of admittance bracelets a week ago, it is literally double this size now.)
Last Friday when I saw the doctor she decided to give me a series of 2 steroid shots just in case the pre-term labor continued and the baby was born early. This will help the baby’s lungs and brain to be better developed when she’s born-it won’t hurt her if she goes full term and it will help if she comes early.
I’m still on bed rest, just to keep things from progressing any more than they already are. I’m only allowed to get the terb shot until I reach 36 weeks, which is next Tuesday, at which point they will just let me go into labor. The doctor says that a baby born at 36 weeks is as viable as a baby born full term, and that the steroids will help with this. Apparently it is also common for some women to just start contracting at 33-34 weeks, and then for it to stop completely and they deliver at full term, so that is always a possibility as well.
But if I had to guess, I’d say this baby is coming next week. It appears that no matter what we do my body is trying to give birth now, and once we aren’t stopping it, it will happen. Just a guess though.
How is Baby?
The little lady is doing great! We’ve gotten to see her on the ultrasound 3 times in the last 10 days, and everything looks good. Yesterday the doctor told me that her sonogram “score” (kind of like the apgar score when babies are born) was perfect. All of her organs are fully formed and look great, she has a good amount of amniotic fluid, placenta is good, etc. She is about 5 1/2 lbs so she’ll be a bit of a peanut if she’s born on Tuesday, but still a healthy enough size. We got to see her sweet little face a few times too, and I was excited to see that she has chubby little cheeks and some hair already.
Even though the doctor thinks it is okay for her to be born after Tuesday, I’m going to do my best to keep her in there as long as I can, though I obviously don’t have much control. If she needs to go to the NICU then she’ll need to be transferred to another hospital, and I’m trying not to think about me recovering from labor in one hospital while she is in another. We’re hoping for the best and just praying that she remains safe and healthy.