Up until Monday, I figured I was pretty lucky. This pregnancy was going smoothly - just like Hattie's, except that my body aches in slightly different spots. I am 33 weeks along. But now, everything is different.
(Sorry if information is too graphic) We spent last weekend in Preston, Idaho for a family reunion, and were glad to be back in Ontario with my family on Monday. I felt perfectly fine all day and did nothing out of the ordinary. Then, right after dinner, I noticed some blood and fluid. I called my doctor in Texas and he said that if it didn't stop soon, to go to a hospital up there. After another 45 minutes, a lot more fluid, and a number of phone calls to hospitals in the area, Paul and I drove to Holy Rosary in Ontario to have an amnioscan, in order to determine if my water had in fact broken. I knew that I didn't want to deliver there, since I would not have the option of a vaginal birth after cesarean (VBAC - Hattie was delivered c-section). But nor did I want to drive an hour to Boise if it was nothing. Gratefully, a friend of ours from church was the nurse on call, so it was nice to have someone I trusted there. And yes, my water had broken! But no contractions had started and I was not dilated. We rushed back to my parents and packed a quick bag, forgetting, of course, plenty of essentials, but we had enough to get through the night.
We got to St. Luke's in Boise around 11:30 pm. They didn't admit me immediately because they wanted to do a different test to determine if it was amniotic fluid. So I laid there for an hour waiting for the doctor to come out of surgery. By the time he got there at 1:00, there was no need for the test - it was pretty darn obvious from all the fluid I was leaking. So they did an ultrasound to measure our little girl. She is measuring perfectly for 33 weeks and weighs about 4 lbs 4 oz. But there was only 1 centimeter of fluid surrounding her. I was having a few contractions by now, but nothing painful. So I was finally admitted, got an IV, antibiotics (to prevent infection of the baby), received a steroid shot to speed up lung development in the baby before birth, and finally was finished by 3:00 am. Needless to say, I was very tired, but had trouble sleeping. Paul, however, has a pretty soft bed to rest on.
Diagnosis: They are going to keep monitoring me for a week. If by the end of a week (Monday or Tuesday, the 26th or 27th) I have not gone into labor naturally, they will do a c-section since the risk of infection to the baby just gets higher and higher the longer we wait. They will not induce me because I had a c-section before, and the risk of a uterine tear on the c-section scar quadruples when induced. By then, she'll be 34 weeks and her stay in the NICU will likely be shorter. But we are hoping that my contractions will become more regular and that I can have her vaginally sometime before then. I have had very sporadic contractions, but nothing painful. They haven't checked to see if I am dilating, again to avoid any risk of infection. They will wait until I am actually in labor with strong contractions. Hopefully the hormones released by my water breaking and whatnot will start stronger contractions soon; and the doctor said that usually women go into labor within 72 hours. So essentially, we wait. My body is beginning to ache now after 36 hours in bed. Any suggestions on how to pass the time and avoid body aching from those of you who have been on bed rest before?
The only painful part has been a particular antibiotic, which takes an hour to receive, and causes my entire forearm a LOT of pain. For some reason, it really irritates my veins as it passes through. Ice packs help a little, but after an hour and a half of constant pain at 3 am with pretty much no sleep for the last 36 hours, my pain tolerance is low. So now they have put me on oral antibiotics...hooray!
Even though it is not ideal to deliver 6 or 7 weeks early at a brand new hospital while on vacation with a 24 hour drive separating me from my home, I must say that if this was going to happen, I'm glad I was here instead of Lubbock, where my mom can watch Hattie for as long as necessary, where I have wonderful sisters, brothers, and in-laws close by to help out, and friends that I've had since childhood to offer support and prayers. We have been very blessed. The doctors and nurses have been wonderful. I feel very well taken care of even though we are far from home. Although we are woefully under prepared to have a baby this soon, with absolutely nothing here in Idaho by way of clothes, car seats, etc, I feel so lucky having so many people here watching out for us.
Paul will be returning to Lubbock by August 3rd for the start of his 2nd year of medical school. And I'll go home as soon as our girl is released from the NICU...and she could be there a few days or up until her due day (September 6th). The NICU here is wonderful. I'll post updates as they come, but honestly, I doubt there will be too much change until the weekend. Feel free to call Paul or me, since we don't have too much to do besides movies and games. Please keep our little one in your prayers that she may be healthy and can come home with us soon.