Monday, October 5, 2009

34 weeks-- and bed rest...

Tyler and I spent yesterday in the hospital because I was having contractions.  Saturday evening, I had quite a few contractions, but I had half a beer (midwife-approved method for slowing contractions by calming the body) and the contractions slowed down.  It was such a sight to see me with a beer that Tyler took a photo of me.
Saturday night, I had four contractions that woke me throughout the night, which had never happened before.  Beginning at about 10 am Sunday morning, I was having contractions about every 10 minutes.  We finally went to Rush hospital at about 2:30 pm.  When the nurse hooked me up to the monitors, I was having contractions every 2-3 minutes, though I wasn't feeling all of them.  
(That double chin is NOT always there, by the way....)
The doctor took samples for quite a few tests, mostly to check for infections, which can cause contractions or preterm labor.  She also did another fetal fibronectin test and an ultrasound.  I was one centimeter dilated and 25% effaced (meaning my cervix was 25% thinned out- but that's exactly where it was at 25 weeks, so no change, thankfully).  All of my tests results came back negative, including the fetal fibronectin.  With all of the test results, the doctor concluded that with no additional stress, the chance of me going into labor in the next week is 1.7%-- excellent news.  I was discharged from the hospital but because I was still having contractions ranging from every 3-14 minutes, I was put on bed rest for the remainder of the pregnancy.  Because all newborns have to stay in NICU until 35 weeks, it's especially important that I not go into labor.  Before I was discharged, I was offered a steroid shot, which would help prepare the baby for preterm delivery.  The shots are only administered through 33 weeks because at 34 weeks, the risks outweigh the benefits.  Also, the benefits only last about 24 hours, so if I don't go into labor in 24 hours, there would be not real benefit.  I told the doctor I wasn't interested, and when she asked why, I told her that I'd rather continue with as little intervention as possible (thinking the whole time, I'm one day away from the risks outweighing the benefits and only have a 1.7% chance of delivering in the next day anyway- are you kidding?!?).  Tyler summed it up well by quipping, "She's a hippie."  Somehow, that explained it all to the doctor!
So here I am, on bed rest.  I'm SO grateful to have made it this far in my pregnancy.  I've had warning that I may be put on bed rest eventually, so I don't feel like it's a complete shock.  I've had two weeks to overlap with the new teacher in the classroom, so I feel like the students and my coworkers are in good hands and ready to keep moving on.  Tyler is likely in Chicago for most of the week, and when he goes out of town, I can stay at my parents with Mico.  Tyler's mom has also offered to come up if needed.  Matt, Tyler's best man, recently moved into an apartment less than a block away from us and is in town this week to help with anything.  Along with Mark and Todd and Sara and Traye and Liz who are always around, I feel like I'm in good hands.
I have a midwife appointment scheduled for tomorrow afternoon, so I'll be able to talk to someone else and get another professional opinion.  Even though it will likely be the same opinion, it will be nice to hear it from one of the midwives in addition to the doctor at Rush.  I'm grateful to have made it this far in my pregnancy and I'm thankful for every day that Baby Girl has to continue developing from the safety of my belly.  According to the ultrasound yesterday (which can be pretty inaccurate this far along), Baby Girl is 4 pounds 13 ounces- way too little to be coming out yet!  She's continuing to add fat to her body that will keep her warm once she's out, and her lungs are still developing.  Tyler is so excited to have a baby, part of him was hoping that I'd deliver yesterday.  Knowing Tyler is emotionally ready for fatherhood is wonderful.  I'm hoping Baby Girl and I continue to test his patience a little bit, though!

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