Friday, February 06, 2015

Hosptital Stay at 29 Weeks, 4 Days

It has been quite the 48 hours. On Wednesday afternoon we met with the high-risk OB to assess the fluid in my uterus and get some updated measurements of Baby #2. Things started out well, we made sure to tell the ultrasound tech not to spill the beans about gender

As she measured our baby, we both noticed that there were some variations on development. The extremities all seemed to be growing at the expected due date rate, while the head was measuring big. Neither of us were surprised since Jack had a huge head and we both thought that this measurement might be throwing off the overall measurement. Our doctor later told us that the belly was also measuring big and they aren’t sure why (my OB says we just have a big baby). 

While I was getting the scan, Daniel and I both grew a little concerned as the tech spent about 15 minutes looking at the heart. It felt like too long to spend looking at one organ. Eventually she said the doctor would finish the scan and she left the room. My mind immediately flashed back to the day we found out that I would miscarry

A few minutes later she returned, not with the doctor but with another tech. The new ultrasound tech was immediately able to locate whatever our tech had been looking for and we got an all clear for the heart. 

At the end of the scan, the high-risk OB came in to take a look. She initially said that the amniotic fluid was measuring 20cm (what we thought our tech had told us the previous Friday), but her experience and the fact that my fundal height is huge and the baby is measuring big (3lbs14oz) made her keep looking. As she looked she realized that there were small pockets of fluid that were throwing off the measurement. Then she found a pocked that measured 17cm deep. This one measurement made my fluid rate jump from 20cm (safe) to 27cm which means I got an official diagnosis of polyhdramnios. 

As I continued to lay there and talk with the doctor, I started to have what I thought were Braxton Hicks. She immediately noticed my discomfort. As we continued to talk, the contractions kept coming. They didn’t hurt, but I was obviously responding by squirming in the chair and breathing differently. She checked my cervix and it was closed and long and did not appear to be shortening. But she told us that she would feel best if I went to the hospital for monitoring… 

We asked if we could grab dinner before checking into the hospital and she said that was fine. We called our friends who were watching Jack and they immediately offered to keep him overnight. So we did what all couples do when they find themselves with some unexpected time on their hands… Date night!!!

After eating we headed to the hospital. The Labor and Delivery unit at the downtown hospital involves a decent amount of walking. All I could think about is that when I go into real labor, there is no way I will be able to walk the entire way to L&D. I guess we will cross that bridge when we get there.

We settled in as much as we could (we had nothing with us since I was 29 weeks and 4 days and we have not thought about packing hospital bags yet). I was immediately hooked to monitors that had to be constantly checked... all of the extra fluid in my uterus meant the baby has it’s own private swimming pool to move around in. I barely slept all night because the monitors were uncomfortable, contractions were every 2 minutes and the nurse kept having to come adjust everything to find the baby’s heart rate. Thankfully the baby handled everything fine. My night #2 nurse told me that she was working in Labor & Delivery during my Wednesday nights stay and she happened to see the print out of my contractions. Evidently I had more contractions than everyone in L&D combined... I'm just glad they weren't painful.

Two hours after our arrival I took another glucose test to double check about gestational diabetes. Again, we learned that I am not diabetic. It seems that there is just a big baby in there!

After that I started the medicine Indocine. This medication helps me in two ways: 1) it slows down the contractions and 2) it reduces the amount of amniotic fluid in my uterus. Win win.

Wednesday night we skipped my Lovenox shot as a precaution in case I had to get an amniocentesis the next day to drain some of the fluid. I was kind of excited to be getting to skip out on my daily shot. Then the nurse came in with a steroid shot for the baby’s lungs. This is all precautionary in case I do go into real labor, they want those lungs to be developed. So much on getting to skip out on a shot.

And then, as if I wasn’t hooked up to enough things, they came and put compression stockings on my legs for blood clot prevention. This is basically like the pressure cuff they use to monitor your blood pressure, but it was on my legs. It alternated compressing and decompressing each leg all night long. Did I mention that I didn’t get any sleep?

Daniel brought me some stuff for the hospital (important things like my pillow, laptop and a book!) and then he went home to get some much needed sleep. Meanwhile Jack was a trooper at his very first sleepover. If nothing else, this was a good trial run for our little family for when the real time comes.

Storm Trooper Jack and friends having an indoor campfire at his first-ever sleepover. 

Thursday morning Daniel brought Jack to the hospital for a quick visit and we all went to my ultrasound scan together. My fluid had dropped to 26cm, but that wasn’t really a significant drop. The doctor and I agreed that since I don’t seem to be bothered by the extra fluid we didn't need to do the amniocentesis to drain any fluid, but they wanted me to stay one more night for monitoring to see if the fluid went down any more.

The best news was that I didn’t have to be on constant monitoring any more. I actually got a bit of sleep my second night in the hospital. I also got one last steroid shot for the baby's lungs and continued the Indocine for another 24 hours. The best thing is that the baby is doing fine and the contractions basically stopped. The nurses and doctors kept asking me about my pain with the contractions and it really stayed at a 1 or 2 on a scale of 1-10 the entire time. They didn’t hurt at all, not like true labor. It was just really uncomfortable. I think the main concern was that, even it if didn’t hurt, it could trigger real labor and open my cervix.

As of 9pm Friday night, the steroid shots will be fully effective and the baby's lungs should be in good shape if I do happen to go into real labor. Though at almost 30 weeks, we would prefer this baby keep cooking a little longer. 

A Friday morning scan showed fluid had dropped to 25cm and they said I could be discharged. My only real restriction right now is no exercise for a week and to take it easy to let my body finish recovering. If nothing else, this little scare makes me realize that we need to get in gear and figure baby names; get baby gear and clothes out; furniture set up; put the car seat in the car and pack our hospital bags!

Finally I wanted to say thank you to everyone for the support we have felt – online and in real life. We have lived in Chattanooga for about a year and I continue to be pleasantly surprised by our friends (old and new) who have checked on us and offered to help with Jack. It means so much to me to know that so many people care about us and continue to check in on us. It has truly been a blessing. 

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