Friday, November 18, 2011

Freak Out Mode - Part Two

This post is part two of my journey on bed rest in November 2009.  You can read part one here.

By around 7pm, Hubs and I had arrived at the hospital and checked into Labor and Delivery.  They put me on the monitors and sure enough… I was contracting.  I wasn't feeling anything and the doctor described them more as "irritability" than full-on contractions.
(Hubs would argue that I always have "irritabilty" and that it had nothing to do with the fact that I was pregnant.  But that's niether here nor there…)
They gave me nifedipine and continued monitoring me and the babies.  They also gave me a steroid shot, which was to to help make the babies' lungs develop faster. When I talked to the doctor, my main concern was first and foremost that the contractions would stop and the babies would keep baking.  I asked the on-call doctor what I should expect if the meds didn't work and he gave me the run down of things they could try.  But, not too long after taking the nifedipine, the irritability calmed down quite a bit so that was good news.  Next thing I wanted to know what how long exactly I had to be stuck in the hospital.  The doctor told me that if the meds continued working that I would be moved up to the antepardum floor and that I should expect to be there on bed rest a "while."  Ummm… I don't do vague.  Define "awhile".  He said at least until 32 or 34 weeks.  My mind exploded.  OF COURSE my MAIN concern was keeping the babies safe and staying pregnant as long as possible, but if everything continued down the "looking up" path, I didn't want to be in the hospital for another 7 weeks and I didn't understand why I couldn't lay on my butt from the comfort of my own home and bed.

I was finally able to fall asleep at some point during the middle of the night and we got a visit from the neonatologist for a consult. 
The doctor asked Hubs, "Do you want to wake her up for this?"
Hubs: "How bad is it?"
Doctor:  "Not very good"
Hubs: "Then don't wake her."

The neonatologist explained to Hubs what we should expect if I delivered the babies at 25 weeks pregnant.  The kiddies would have gone straight to the NICU for at least a few months.  They had somewhere around a 50% chance of survival at that point and would have HUGE obstacles to overcome including learning to breathe, suck, and swallow on their own.  Probably a good thing I wasn't awake for that.

The next morning (which happened to be Hubs' 30th birthday… POOR THING!!!), my irritability had continued to subside and they moved me up to the Antepartum floor.  The room?  MOST DEPRESSING ROOM EVER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  A tiny space with beige walls and a terrible view.  My thoughts:  "Yay me!  I get to spend 40 forevers in this depressing place."  And then they gave me another steroid shot.  Awesome.

My days and nights were filled with interuption after interuption of person after person coming in and out of my room:  Nurses, OT, PT, Doctor, Tech, Nutrition, Chapel-people.  The DO NOT DISTURB sign?  Oh, it was completely ignored by everyone.  I spent my days trying to fill the time with a mixture of crossword puzzles, reading books and gossip magazines, watching movies, (making an attempt at) napping.

Big Sis and nephews Jack and Jon made the treck down to see me and spend Thanksgiving with me.  That day I was awarded a special prize of a 30 minute wheelchair ride.  Lemme just tell you… when you haven't seen the light of day or felt fresh air in TWO weeks, that's something to be thankful for.  I got a second wheelchair ride on my birthday, which was a week and a half after that. 
On December 15th, I hit the 30 week mark, which was a huge deal for me to make it to.  We had another Neonatologist consult and this time the statistics were WAY improved.  Survival rate is over 90% and their suck and swallow reflexes should have developed by that point.  And my doctor also allowed me to have a daily 30-minute wheelchair ride since I made it to 30 weeks.  This also allowed me to attend "Group."  Which is basically a therapy session for bored antepartum folks to do some cheesy crafts.  And I loved every second of it.  A chance to be chatty and crafty?  Yes, please.
Christmas came and went and I was so sad about spending yet another special day in the hospital.  The following day my dad, stepmom, and sister came to visit me and we did our Christmas together.  My entire bedrest had been uneventful until this day.  While Hubs had gone to pick up some supper, I had started having some cramping.  Usually, I would just drink a TON of water (and then proceed to pee every 2 minutes), and the cramping would go away.  But the agua wasn't helping and soon I was having a lot of back pain.  The back pain wasn't really unusually either since I had been laying in a bed for the past 6 weeks, but the pain was intensifying.  I had called the nurse and by the time she got to my room, I was in extreme pain.  My back was KILLING me.  Hubs finally makes it back and walks into my room with me screaming in pain.  The nurse called the resident doctor from Labor and Delivery to come check me.  I wasn't dilated yet, but was definitely having back labor.  They gave me a shot of terbutaline in the hopes that my contractions would stop.  After getting the shot, I was immediately nauseous and threw up, but the contractions were subsiding quickly.  Then, I got some Zofran and things started looking up.
I was finally approaching the 32 week mark.  Which meant, it was time to talk to my doctor about getting the heck outta the hospital.  So at week 31, I asked her about it:
Me: "So, next Tuesday I'll reach 32 weeks.  That means I'll be able to go home on bed rest, right?"
Dr. Hays:  Looks at me like I'm crazy... "Ummm... no.  You won't be going home next week"
Me:  Begin FREAK OUT MODE (part two).  "What do you mean I'm not going home?????  I'll have made it to 32 weeks.  I was told when I got here that as long as everything was fine and that I hadn't dilated, that I would be able to go home at 32 weeks.  I have been here for a VERY long time."
Dr. Hays:  "I'm sorry, but you'll have to stay until at least 34 weeks."
Me:  "I have to stay here two MORE weeks?!?!?!?!"
Dr. Hays.  blah blah blah, says some stuff, but all I could hear was that I was stuck for at least another two weeks...

To say that I was devastated to hear this, is an understatement.  So far I had spent Hubs' birthday, Thanksgiving, my birthday, and Christmas in the hospital.  And now I was staring New Year's in the face.  We bared through the next two weeks, and when I was a few days shy of 34 weeks, I approached the subject again on being discharged...
Me:  "So Tuesday will be 34 weeks!  I'm supposed to have a sonogram that day, so if everything looks good there, then I can still go home right?"
Dr. Hays:  "Well here is what I was thinking..."
Me:  Are you KIDDING me, lady?!?!?!?!?!
Dr. Hays:  "What if you stayed just one more week?  And at 35 weeks, we can do a test to make sure the babies' lungs are fully developed and if they are then we can just go ahead and delivery them next week?"
Me:  "You are crazy.  No, I have to go home before I have these babies.  I have been in this hospital for TWO entire months.  I'm ready to go home.  I have people that will come and stay with me and I will stay in bed.  But I'm not staying in this hospital for another week.  I have to get out of here."
Dr. Hays:  "Ok, then.  As long as everything is normal with your sono on Tuesday then I'll discharge you."
Me:  Dang right, you'll discharge me...

My sono ended up being fine and I was discharged from the hospital on January 12, 2010.  Words can't describe how good it felt to get the HECK out of that place.  As soon as we were on our way, I was hungry so we stopped for some bagels at Einstein Brothers.  :)
I stayed at home on bed rest for the next 2 and a half weeks and then delivered two safe, healthy, happy babies at 36 weeks, 3 days gestation.

My hospital bed rest was not fun.  It was 60 days that felt like 6 months.  I do understand why doctors make you stay in the hospital because there are many temptations to get up and "do stuff" when you are on bed rest at home.  But at the two month mark, I had had ENOUGH.  It was not an easy journey, but I made it through.  Hubs was incredible during that time.  He stayed with me every single night (with the exception of maybe 2 nights) and slept on a terribly uncomfortable fold-out chair.  He was encouraging when I was down and strong when I was sad.
I had many many people come to visit me while I was incarcerated and that helped a TON.  Many people were kind enough to bring me food, which was awesome because hospital food is gross.

I truly felt everyone praying for me and the babies and it was greatly appreciated.  I will find some pictures and post those too so you can see my journey through pictures.  :)

Thanks to everyone who was encouraging to me during my bed rest, which was a lot of you.  You have no idea what it meant to me.

Much love,

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