Lydia Grace

Lydia Grace
Our first child, Lydia Grace

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Contractions, Contractions, go away!

   It was a crazy weekend! Thursday night I had contractions too strong and too regular to be Braxton Hicks. My husband wanted to know if he should take me to the hospital. I was indecisive and fearful that going to the hospital would be admitting something was wrong. It brought up so much anxiety after the experience with Lydia.
  The contractions stopped after midnight Thursday and I fell asleep. Friday I had a few more contractions, though not as regularly as the previous night. Since it was a Friday I thought it best to check in with my OB before the weekend. I called and left a message for her medical staff. My call was returned and I was told to come that afternoon for another non-stress test.
  In less than an hour I had five or six contractions (not good at 32 weeks, 3 days). My OB was out of town for a conference which sparked another panic in me.  (She was also not available initially when I was in the hospital with Lydia, coming later that day when available). Her nurse practitioner examined me, determining I was already dilated 2 cm. She spoke with my OBon the phone and sent me immediately to the hospital.
   I was quickly roomed and an IV was started. Then we had to wait. And wait. And wait for the on-call OB to visit and consult with my Dr. before beginning any treatment. I was lying in bed, still having contractions, panicking because no one could do anything until a doctor called the orders. Fortunately, they were keeping constant monitor of Baby Isaiah's heartbeat (and my contractions), so we knew he was doing alright. After much longer than expected, the on-call OB, who I really liked, came and gave me the protocol for treatment, directed by my Dr.
   An IV of magnesium sulfate was started and I was on that for 48 hours. It felt like fire was being inserted into my veins when the bolus dose started. The intensity abated, but I remained warm and felt yucky the whole time I received the mag. Also with magnesium you absolutely cannot leave the bed and it requires hourly checks, around the clock, by the nurse to monitor  lungs, temperature, reflexes, etc. My contractions stopped, then started again, eventually stopping entirely. I was also given two steroid injections to prepare baby's lungs for delivery in case we had to deliver early.
   I stayed relatively composed and not too anxious until after the crisis. It was one of those things where you can hold it together for so long while you address the problem and then you panic/become anxious/scared/tearful. Early Sunday morning I woke during yet another check from a nurse. She left and I was lying there awake, still on the magnesium. I could hear Isaiah's heartbeat. At my request I asked for the sound to be constantly loud enough for me to hear. It provided comfort. My husband and my families had gone home the previous night. He was sleeping soundly beside me. Then I started worrying. More than I had been up until that point.
   It was Sunday, the first of May. Just nine months previously, on Sunday, the first of August Lydia had been stillborn. I cried and prayed, missed my first baby while being thankful for my second. Then my mind starts to catastrophize and I wonder if we will loose Isaiah too. Here we are, same hospital, same day of the week, same date of the month with problems in was an emotional morning.
   I was taken off the magnesium Sunday evening and did not start having contractions. Monday morning my OB examined me and discharged me from the hospital. We had been there since Friday, so it was very nice to be going home. I am on bed rest now and on meds that are used to treat high blood pressure. It is a smooth muscle relaxant --it relaxes the muscles in the uterus to keep them from contracting. It also lowers my already low blood pressure. Which is one of the reasons why I'm only allowed to shower every other day, sitting down, with assistance, among other activity restrictions.

I know so many have been praying for me and Isaiah. God is the giver of life and is the One to be thanked for my health, Isaiah's health, the contractions stopping, etc. I am thankful God has given us family who care so much, a good physician and nurses, the medical knowledge and discoveries we have to help with pregnancies and pre-term labor.

Here I am on bedrest. 33 weeks 2 days pregnant with our second. Praying he stays in there until at least 36 weeks. I know things can change at any minute, but I am resting easily now.

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