More old school posts!
Sheetz at 4:30am…
You might be thinking that Shawn and I ended up at Sheetz at 4:30 in the morning on Monday night because of some weirdo craving I was having…I’m sure that’s what the other people thought, anyway. (And yes, believe it or not, there ARE people at Sheetz at that time of day!).
After work on Monday, Shawn and I ran some errands, went home, and cooked dinner. Shawn had a meeting, so he left, while I got some light cleaning done. Around 7:00, I took Cole outside and noticed that the Braxton Hicks contractions I’d been having were getting a little bit stronger, a little bit more uncomfortable. I still didn’t think too much about it, though, and continued puttering (actually, waddling is more accurate) around the house, working on stuff. I noticed that they were coming a little more frequently than normal, so around 8:45, I decided it was probably time for me to lay down on the couch for a bit and put my feet up. I watched “Jon and Kate plus 8” – a guilty pleasure of mine -and just waited for Shawn to get home.
He got home fairly soon after that and soon settled in to hang out with me for a bit. I started noticing that the contractions were coming about every 10 minutes or so. I think I mentioned that to Shawn, but they weren’t anything more than uncomfortable, so I just decided to keep an eye on things. Around 10:15-ish, I called my good friend Jill – who was a nurse, has had a baby, and who I knew would be awake – to ask her if this was normal. I think the contractions were anywhere between 5 minutes apart and 10 minutes apart. Jill did a great job of not panicking me and told me that I should probably call my OB’s number and speak to the on duty nurse.
The nurse told me that they didn’t like to have pre-term women contracting for more than an hour straight (and by this time, I’d been having regular contractions for about an hour and a half), so to lay down on my left hand side, drink a quart of water, and go to Labor and Delivery if they didn’t significantly slow down in an hour. Shawn got me the water, I laid down, and we watched some coverage of the Democratic National Convention. While the contractions weren’t necessarily getting any closer together (staying between 5 and 10 minutes apart), they were getting stronger. Around 11:15pm, we decided that we probably needed to go ahead and check into Labor and Delivery. Shawn packed an overnight bag for me (just in case), and we headed out around 11:30.
Winston-Salem was fairly deserted, and while we were both concerned and I was certainly worried, I think Shawn and I both felt a bit of a sense of adventure. Maybe it was being out that late (we’re old and are usually in bed by 11:00), maybe it was packing the bag and realizing that there was a slight chance that our baby might be born soon, who knows! We prayed together, and I kept telling myself that while it’s not ideal, babies who are born at 29 weeks have a terrific chance of survival and health.
We checked in, took the elevator up to the Labor and Delivery floor, and checked in there. Unfortunately, all the beds were taken at the moment, so we hung out in the waiting room with all the awaiting grandparents/aunts/uncles/etc. Thankfully, I had grabbed a magazine before we left, so I kept myself busy reading “Runner’s World.” Shawn read some over my shoulder, but primarily amused himself with our Patient Privacy Notice – he’s now well informed of our rights. 🙂 I think we waited for about an hour…we chatted, read, and talked each other down from freaking out.
Scratch that, Shawn talked me down from freaking out! I don’t know that I can accurately express how much of a rock he was.
We were finally admitted, I put on one of those fun green gowns, laid down, and they strapped a fetal heart monitor and contractions monitor to me, and we waited for about an hour and fifteen minutes. It was wonderful and so comforting to hear the baby’s heartbeat and to feel him moving. It was also a little strange to see the contractions on the monitor, to see the line elevate when I was in pain, and descend when I made it through. They were definitely stronger than when we were at home, so we were both grateful that we’d made the decision to go to the hospital…we would’ve ended up there anyway. The monitor was showing that I was having contractions every 5-7 minutes…not normal! Our Doctor checked my cervix (high and closed, which is good), and took a swab to be tested for liklihood of pre-term labor. We were told that the test did produce a lot of false positives. However, if the test was negative, that was a good thing as it meant I probably wouldn’t be likely to go into pre-term labor.
While we waited for those results, they took a urine sample to make sure a UTI wasn’t the cause of the contractions. I was given a shot in the arm for the purposes of slowing down/stopping the contractions, which made me a little jittery (which is typical). The UTI test came back negative, which is great.
When I used the restroom, I caught glance at myself in the mirror and just about lost it. I suppose I thought I was handling this all very bravely, and that even though I was a wreck inside, my face showed courage. What I saw was a very young looking, very scared girl looking back at me, and I realized that I wasn’t fooling anyone. My fears were written all over my face.
After that, I was strapped to the fetal and contraction monitors again. Our little one was going crazy. I feel asleep for a few minutes, and Shawn said he could see him kicking so hard that he was moving the monitor and the sheet I had over me! He also kept tripping up the monitor because he kept moving, and it’d take a few seconds to pick the heartbeat up again. Like I said, we were incredibly comforted to know that he was still active in there! While we waited another hour, I slept on and off, read “Runner’s World,” and chatted with Shawn. Shawn listened to a podcast, read a couple of articles in the magazine, and kept me sane. 🙂
Our nurse came back in and told us that the pre-term labor test came back positive, which means that I could be likely to go into pre-term labor. I *think* she mentioned something about within the next two weeks, but it was late, and I was pretty tired, so I’m not quite sure about that. I was told to take it easy, stop running, slow down in general, and make a follow up appointment with our Dr. as soon as possible…and we were discharged.
I was starving by this point, I’d last eaten when we had dinner together around 5:30, so Shawn and I scoured town for a place to find food. We had talked about getting pizza, but no self respecting pizza place was open at 4:30 in the morning. Our choices were Burger King and Sheetz…and a breakfast sandwich at Sheetz won. 🙂 We ate our food and crashed about 5:00am. Since then, we’ve scheduled a follow up appointment for tomorrow (Thursday) at 11:50am, and I’ve talked to my boss about working on Tuesdays and Thursdays from home. After work on Tuesday, I was having some regular contractions again (about every 20 minutes or so), but after laying down for a couple of hours, they stopped. With where I’m at in my job right now and having so much baby stuff to get done, it’s not easy to slow down, but I now have a very, very important reason to do just that. I’m eager to see our Dr. tomorrow and find out more about what’s going on and what I need to do to keep this little one cooking inside there for awhile longer. I’ll update when we find out more!
Well, we just got back from our Doctor’s appointment this morning. I feel like we got a lot of information, so bare with me while I try to relay all of it.
Probably the biggest thing I took from the appointment is that our test did show that I have a 50% chance of going into labor in the next two weeks. Shawn and I are both kind of reeling from that statistic. I could see on our Doctor’s face that they were taking all of this very seriously, and she was not messing around. My cervix was checked again, and everything is still as it should be there – a good sign. They also checked my urine again and found some white blood cells, which could mean a possible infection, so they put me on a pregnancy safe antibiotic, just in case I do have an infection and that is what is causing contractions.
Shawn and I had lots of questions about what we’re facing, and found out that the real causes of pre-term labor are basically unknown. They don’t know why some women go into pre-term labor, and some don’t. While that, in and of itself, isn’t very comforting…it WAS comforting to hear someone say outright, “we’re not quite sure why this is happening.” She didn’t put me on bedrest, but told me that I needed to work half days at work, stop working out completely, and basically to cut out all unncessary activities. We have an appointment in a week (September 4th), with strict instructions to call right away if I feel more than 6 contractions in an hour.At this point, the goal is to keep him in there until he’s 32 weeks along.
Shawn’s always getting on me for reporting the facts to him instead of emotions, and I realized that my last blog posting was very fact-oriented. We’re both…shaken, I guess is the best word. Our minds are running a million miles a minute in trying to think of the things that we need to get done if we’re looking at having a baby in the next two weeks. I’m feeling a little bit guilty and analyzing everything I’ve done in the past week or so, wondering if there’s something that I have done that has caused this. I think we’re both overwhelmed at the possibility of spending a month or so with our son in the NICU, and are not even letting our minds think about other possibilities.So for the most part, I’m just trying to take this one step at a time and not worry, though occasionally it does catch up with me. I’m grateful to know that we’re almost 30 weeks along and our Doctor is keeping a very, very close eye on us. Shawn’s turning into quite the bossy husband, so that even if I wanted to go against the Doctor’s instructions on anything, he’d have a cow. 🙂 I don’t doubt that it’ll get frustrating, but I appreciate him taking care of his family. Please continue to pray for us.
Wow, we have gotten a flood of calls and messages from loved ones and friends who just want to make sure that we’re okay. We are so grateful to have so many people who love us and care about us so much, so thank you.
Good news – Baby is still growing away in there! I’ve had a couple of episodes of contractions, but have been able to stop or lessen them by lying down. I have found that at the end of my work day (which isn’t physically demanding at all, and isn’t really even a long day), I do have consistent contractions, so I do my best to just plan on coming straight home and taking a nap until they go away. Seems to be working so far!
I do have to admit that it’s a struggle to not let all of this stress me out. Right now, my job demands more of my time than it does any other season of the year. We have Worth the Wait rehearsals every Tuesday and Thursday evenings, and it worries me that I might be put on bed rest and unable to attend these rehearsals. Shawn’s job is likewise extra demanding on him in the fall, and I know that he’s having to balance more than he’s used to at this point. There are, of course, financial stresses that we’re feeling, and also the stress of knowing that our little one could be here soon and we have a lot left that we wanted to get done.
I’m not whining, when I step back and look at things, I’m actually amazed at how much God’s provided for us. I can see that He knew this was coming and took care of us in so many ways, without us even realizing it at the time. I’m just struggling right now with getting easily overwhelmed.
On the flip side of things, the little one is still doing great. We can both feel him kicking more than ever right now, and he’s continuing to respond to noises. Feeling him move is one of my favorite things about pregnancy. I love this time that I have with him…to know that nobody else can feel him the way that I can and that I’m getting to know his personality before ever holding him or seeing him. I love to daydream about what it’ll be like to kiss his little toes, see his eyes, and hold him.
I want him to stay cozy and safe inside right now, but I’m really looking forward to meeting this little guy. I’ve been blessed in not having too many of the typical painful pregnancy symptoms lately. Heartburn has been at a minimum, my back isn’t particularly achy, and I’m mostly feeling pretty good. I have had a pain that I finally realized was my pelvic bone separating in preparation for Baby to come into the world. It’s annoying and slightly painful, but nothin’ I can’t handle. 🙂 It seems to especially hurt when I try to get out of bed, or off of the couch.
Shawn gets a kick out of me trying to roll over and maneuver myself out of the bed as painlessly as possible. It probably is funny, I would liken it to watching a bug that’s stuck on its back. 🙂
So, to sum it all up, we are keeping a very close eye on my contractions and resting as needed. We’re working hard at getting things in order at work should my maternity leave be much earlier than expected and at getting things ready at the house should we have an infant much earlier than expected. We’re also praying over this little one and for each other quite a bit. God’s timing is absolutely perfect, and we know that He loves this little guy much more than we ever could. We’re trusting that God sees things that we don’t see, and He knows exactly what He’s doing.