Friday, April 20, 2012

My birthday: Labor & delivery edition

So you know that hospital bag I had hoped to pack last week just in case? I never did, but it sure would have been handy last night.

At around 8pm I noticed I was having some Braxton Hicks contraction. I got comfy and started drinking extra water expecting them to subside. I read one of my "how to care for a baby" books while resting, and after an hour realized I was still having the contractions. My doctor had said to come in if I ever had more than four an hour, and I was pretty sure I just had more than four. ironically, the last section I read was on late-term preemies (born between 34-37 weeks).

I told my husband and started getting nervous. I drank even more water and tracked each contraction on my phone to have an accurate measure. Were they really Braxton Hicks? Maybe I just don't know what they are? There was no pain, just the tightening of my belly. But as I tracked them, they seemed to be coming in a pattern at about every 8 minutes. That didn't sound good, so after about 45 minutes into the second hour, we left for Labor & Delivery.

Honestly, I still half expected the nurses to tell me whatever was happening was no big deal and to go home. Better to be safe than sorry, but I was a little nervous about feeling silly. But I was also worried enough to know this was the right thing to do.

A nurse brought me into a room right away, had me change into a gown, and hooked me up to monitors that tracked the contractions as well as hour boys heart beat. Thankfully he had been moving all night and his heart beat was strong, so I knew he was still doing ok even if my body wasn't quite getting it right.

The nurse left and we waited to see if I was indeed contracting. Sure enough, we saw the line rise and fall when I felt my stomach tightening. One contraction in particular felt particularly strong - almost to the point of pain - and peaked high on the chart. My husband was silently praying much of the time - and I was trying to - and after that one we squeezed each others hands and just knew this would be more than a "nothing's wrong" trip to L&D. I cried a little.

The nurse came in and confirmed that I was contracting. She then did the FFN swab, which somehow if it comes back negative is 99% accurate in confirming you will NOT go into labor within two weeks. A positive reading is less significant because it doesn't necessarily mean you will go into labor... It just means they don't know if you will or not. Needless to say we started praying for a negative result. (and, for the record, the metal speculum inserted for this test hurt!)

After the nurse got the swab for the FFN test, she did a cervical check. This was also slightly painful and very uncomfortable, but compared to the speculum it wasn't bad. Unfortunately, she said my cervix was about 40% effaced, softened, and funneling a little... but it was still closed. The effacement was disappointing to learn about and heightened my fears about pre-term labor.

My doctor ordered a bag of IV fluids while we waited for the lab results for the FFN test. Midnight struck, and my 31st birthday began with me lying in a hospital bed praying that God would keep our boy safe and let me go full term.

Happy news came when my FFN test came back negative! However, I was still contracting and the nurse did another cervical check and thought it may have shortened a little more, although she wasn't too sure. Based on this, my doctor decided to have me stay the night to continue monitoring contractions and have her check me in the morning.

At 2:00am we moved into a "real" room (with even a bed for my husband!) and tried to get some sleep. I haven't been sleeping well at home most nights, and I certainly didn't sleep much here.

I'm awake now and just waiting for my doctor to come. The test was negative, but why am I still contracting? Why is my cervix effacing? Is it still possible to go full term??

Praying for this little one to stay in 5 more weeks (at least), but I will also be extra thankful for each day that passes. This may not be the birthday celebration I had planned, but I am so thankful for this miracle baby and pregnancy that I would skip birthdays for the rest of my life if that's what it took.

Any prayers would be much appreciated, and I'll keep you posted about what my doctor says and when I am (hopefully) discharged from the hospital.

20 comments:

Joyce said...

Hi Hillary! Praying for you and for your boy to stay snuggled where he is for awhile longer!

Missy said...

I'll be thinking and praying for you!

MommyMandy Musings said...

Not the best way to spend your birthday. Happy Birthday though and praying your little guy stays put!!!


www.mommymandymusings.com

Leslie said...

I mostly lurk but wanted to let you know I was in l&d for similar 3 times between week 27 & 31. I ended up having my little boy at 39w6d. I think getting the neg FFNs helped me and I learned what BH were like as they still continued. They did give me medication to help calm them. I think it was called procardia. I hope that they calm for you & that your little boy stays inside for several more weeks.

evsmarie said...

Lots of prayers for you and baby boy! I am 35+5 and last Thursday (34+4) something similar happened to me. I was out of town in order to co-host a baby shower and started having regular contractions during the 4 hour car ride. When they didn't subside when we arrived and I drank TONS of water (and they became increasingly uncomfortable) my Mom and I headed into L&D (my hubby was still 4 hours away). They hooked me up - found that I was contracting every 2 minutes, my FFN came back positive, and I was dilated between a 3-4 (50% effaced). Nothing that I wanted to hear. :-( A shot of Terbultiline (sp?) eventually stopped the contractions, but I've been having them here and there for the last week. At yesterday's appt. I wasn't dilated any further but am now 75% effaced. We too are just hoping for another week and a half of baby-baking!

Momma Wilson said...

many, many prayers for you. The same exact thing happened to me when I was 33 weeks pregnant. I spent the entire weekend in the hospital and was given medicine to stop the contraction. However, I was 4cm and 80% effaced. They gave me the steroid shot to mature Jackson's lungs and I spent the next two weeks on bed rest. I was able to keep Jackson in until 36 weeks, and my placenta was aging so it was better to have him out than in! Thankfully, we were both healthy and fine to go home without any NICU time.

Carrie said...

Praying!!!!! Of course we want him to stay in longer, but God has brought you this far....He's not going to give up on you now! Just stay calm and keep the faith.....your baby will be just fine!!

evsmarie said...

Lots of prayers for you and baby boy! I am 35+5 and last Thursday (34+4) something similar happened to me. I was out of town in order to co-host a baby shower and started having regular contractions during the 4 hour car ride. When they didn't subside when we arrived and I drank TONS of water (and they became increasingly uncomfortable) my Mom and I headed into L&D (my hubby was still 4 hours away). They hooked me up - found that I was contracting every 2 minutes, my FFN came back positive, and I was dilated between a 3-4 (50% effaced). Nothing that I wanted to hear. :-( A shot of Terbutaline eventually stopped the contractions, but I've been having them here and there for the last week. At yesterday's appt. I wasn't dilated any further but am now 75% effaced. We too are just hoping for another week and a half of baby-baking!

Did they do a urine analysis while you were there? Mine came back suspicious for a UTI (with absolutely NO symptoms whatsoever). A week of anitbiotics has hopefully allowed us to have a full term baby.

Meg said...

You know I am praying. Update us soon.

Life Happens said...

Keeping your in my prayers. Sounds like you are in good hands though. Keep us posted!!

Life Happens said...

oh, I forgot to add, Happy Birthday!!!

Leah said...

Prayers coming your way. Thinking of you!

aryanhwy said...

How nerve-wracking! Praying for all three of you.

Lory said...

Praying for you Hillary and especially that your baby boy stays put.

Carrie said...

Oh and Happy Birthday!!!

The Wife said...

You must have been so scared! I'm praying for you, your hubby and baby. And for at least five more weeks!

Rach said...

Praying!

Liz said...

Praying for you!

Krystal said...

Did they have you give them a urine specimen? As a previous poster said, sometimes a uti can cause contractions. Often times you won't feel any of the tell-tale symptoms like you would if you weren't pregnant. Keep us posted!

Melody said...

Praying!