On Saturday night, I wasn’t feeling very well. My back really hurt, a lot more than usual. After dinner, I went to bed, I think around 6:45 or so. I laid in bed, but couldn’t get comfortable. This little girl was all over the place. I had never felt her moving so much. Doug came to bed at 10:00 and went right to sleep. That’s about when I felt what I thought were contractions. These were very different then what I had experienced with Emma. She was text book. These contractions were actually in the center of my belly and went up into my chest. I laid there for two hours before I woke Doug up. I wanted to make sure I was really feeling something.
We called the doctor and they told us to come to the hospital. The hospital where we want to deliver (same as the one where Emma was born) is a 40 minute drive south, so we left immediately. Taking nothing with us, of course. We jokingly talked about our “trial run” and said it might be a good idea to be more prepared next time. When we got there, the nurses were ready for us. They immediately strapped on my monitors, administered an IV to get fluids going, and confirmed that I was having contractions. I was 1cm dilated, but the baby was fine. She was 100% head down, which was a huge change from last week when she was breach. This might explain the acrobatics going on earlier that evening.
The Labor and Delivery nurse explained the game plan from my doctor. We would up the Nifedipine I had been taking to 20mg every 4 hours and start Terbutaline. AKA, drug strait from HELL. I had all of the side effects associated with the Terbutaline. Including my heart rate soaring to 160bpm. They couldn’t tell my heart rate from the baby so it was a little challenging for a while. For someone with anxiety, let me tell you, this was no party. The extreme side effects lasted for about 2 hours. I was a wreck trying to hold it together when the hot and cold flashes started coming on. At about 3:00am, Doug was exhausted, so I told him to get some sleep since I had nurses there to help me get through it. There was nothing more he could do for me except watch me freak out.
Unfortunately, nothing was working. My contractions were constant, one right after the other. They decided to give me Betamethatsone for fetal lung development. It’s a two-part injection. So they gave me one then, and another 12 hours later. After seeing my reaction to the Terbutaline, they wanted to wait as long as possible to try anything else. Plus they were hoping the increase in Nifedipine would kick in. The pain from my contractions was never very bad, just uncomfortable with a lot of pressure. I was still at 1cm, so I was very stable. I love that there was never any talk of a c-section. Pre-term babies need as much time as possible. Plus a vaginal delivery helps healthy pre-term babies with lung development.
There was never any panic. We knew we were both safe. We just really didn’t want to have the baby yet. By 7:00am, they brought in the big ultrasound machine to get a better idea of the weight, position, and overall health of the baby. I’m amazed at how much things have changed in just under four years. They confirmed she was on top of my cervix, in position for delivery. They were also able to see she was simulating breathing on her own. This was awesome to know that her lungs were working as if she was outside already. They also gave us an estimated birth weight of 5.2 lbs (plus or minus 12 oz) that was a huge relief. Knowing that if she did indeed come, she would be fine.
This was when we decided to hold off on any more drugs. I was so grateful to skip the Magnesium Sulfate. I was still a jittery mess from earlier and that magnesium wasn’t going to help my cause. We continued the Nifedipine and my doctor was coming into see me at 3:00pm when they were going to give me the second phase of the steroid injection. After having stable contractions for over 20 hours, he felt pretty good about sending me home. Every time they had checked my cervix it was still stable as well. As long as I promised to stay in bed, and no more Sunday drives, I could go home. As nervous and we were to leave, we were really eager to see Emma.
Now, we wait… Both baby and I are very loopy. She is in a nice comfortable position and isn’t moving nearly as much as she used to. This is letting me get a little more sleep. I am still having the contractions, but nothing more than usual. I’m still on the progesterone injections, so that might be helping too. One thing about labor and delivery I’ve learned through this, nothing is predictable.
Unless my water breaks, my next appointment is on Thursday. As always, we love good thoughts and prayers sent our way. This has been such a long pregnancy with so many ups and downs. I’m in a much better mental place today. Bed rest doesn’t seem to be such a big deal anymore. I know that things can change anytime. I’m just going to roll with the punches.
Our next big plan, get a diaper bag and overnight bag together. Keep doing the Progesterone injections, taking the Nifedipine every four hours, and the best part… doctor’s orders for a half a glass of wine each night before I go to bed. This is why I love our doctor!