Tuesday, September 16, 2008

PreTerm Labor

I'm sitting here trying to type with a mild case of full body trembles and a heart rate of about 110 bpm (a side effect of the drugs), so please excuse any typos...

Sunday afternoon I cut my swim short b/c I just wasn't feeling quite right. A little crampy in my abdomen. So I got out. The crampiness lasted about 20-30 minutes and then subsided and I let it go as if just another weird thing that a pregnant body does.

Yesterday the same thing happened. I cut my swim short again and had a terrible eerie feeling that I wasn't going to be in the water again for a while... This time the crampiness lasted longer. I kept waiting for it to go away... I'd planned to run some errands after swimming so I just sat in my car waiting to feel better. But that wasn't happening in a timely matter so I figured I'd just come home and chill out on the couch. I made a pact with myself that if the cramps lasted for an hour I'd call doc.

An hour later...

Me (to nurse at doc's office): I'm almost 33 weeks pregnant and am having cramps that feel like menstual cramps. I don't really feel like I'm having contractions unless I stand up and walk across the room, but the crampy pain is unyielding.

Nurse: Ok, I'll have doctor call you back. She's with patients now.

About 1/2 hour later the crampiness finally subsided and my phone rings.

Doc: Go to the birthing center to have them check you out. It sounds like it could be preterm labor.

The first thing I did was call Scott at work. I calmly explained to him how I'd been feeling, told him that I was sure it was nothing, but that I would feel better having a professional check me out and reassure me that it was nothing. Yes, he should definitely still go play his soccer game tonight. Seriously, they're just going to check me out and I'll be fine. Yes. Go play.

Throughout the whole drive to the hospital, I did everything I could to overrule my irrational pregnant brain. No, I'm not having my baby today. No, don't call mom yet b/c you'll just worry her and then she'll be up all night. Call her tomorrow when you know everything is fine. I know you didn't pack a bag and you don't have any of the stuff the books told you to bring when you're going into labor. You're going to be fine. I bet they're not going to let me exercise anymore. I probably should have let the dog out one more time in case I'm gone for a while...

They were expecting me at the birthing center. Apparently doctor had called and let them know I was coming. That was kind of nice to be welcomed by name.

Right away they hooked me up to a fetal monitor and another monitor that records contractions. I told nurse Cathy that I wasn't having contractions, just crampiness. She hooked me up the machine anyway.

Baby didn't like the fetal monitor. S/he wiggled around like crazy. But apparently was not under any stress.

And the contractions I didn't think I was having? Coming regularly every 3 minutes. What? Those are contractions?? It gave me hope that I wouldn't need an epidural afterall b/c I could barely feel them. I've totally been having way stronger episodes of BH contractions than what this monitor was calling contractions...

I was told they were looking to see that I was having fewer than 4 contractions per hour. After I had 4 in 12 minutes the doctor instructed the nurse to give me a shot of terbutaline to make them stop. That's a terrible drug. Spikes your heart rate, makes baby jump around like there's money to be won in a dance contest, and then later makes you tremble all over. But the contractions stopped. So I guess it works.

Doc also then came in to check me out and see if labor had actually started 'progressing'. Good news was that I wasn't dilating yet, but I guess my cervix was starting to shorten. Apparently she trusts me as a compliant patient b/c she sent me home with an rx for the tremble drug (take 1 every 4 hours around the clock. Shaking and trembling at 4AM is a hoot.) and instructions regarding all the things I'm not allowed to do for the next 3 weeks. Which is essentially everything. I take that back. I can read or write or watch TV. And I bet I'll finally get to use up all those rollover minutes on my phone...

I might be diagnosed as having gone mentally insane in the next 3 weeks. But the goal is to deliver a healthy baby that can breathe on its own, and at 33 weeks that isn't likely to happen. After 36 weeks they'll worry less about if my body decides to go into spontaneous labor, so at that point I'll be released back into the real world. Until then, update your blogs out there so I have something interesting to read...

7 comments:

Cat said...

hi there. i've been reading your blog for a little while now (found it on elf's) but i've never commented.

i just felt compelled to say hi and that i am glad you and baby are okay and that you are listening to dr's. orders. i'm sure it's more than nerve wracking to have preterm labor and more than boring to now be on bed rest!

i'm sending you and baby simmons positive, and fun, time-passing thoughts!

: ) cat.

theOvulator said...

Hmm..I guess it's time to go lounge by the beach? No swimming, although dipping your toes in the water for those of us are landlocked wouldn't be amiss. *smile*

I'm glad you and baby Simmons are okay. Hang in there, tremblina!

Clare said...

glad it's all ok for now, but that stinks. bedrest is a big fear of mine. i'm sure you will handle it well though! my husband's cousin just had preemie twins at 29 weeks 2 weeks ago and they're actually doing just fine...i read that after 34 weeks there are usually no lasting complications, so i'm sure the baby will be ok. keep blogging and let us know how you're handling it all!!

The Chapples said...

Oh wow, Michelle! Scary stuff! Take good care of yourself...

Ellen said...

oh no michelle....sorry to hear about that but i am glad you are ok and that baby ellen is ok too ;)
GET SKYPE and we can chat via computer since you are a wee bit immobile for the next few weeks.

IVF Running Mama said...

How scary! I hope the drugs keep everything at bay. I had my own scare with pre-term labor at 26 weeks (although the contractions weren't regular). I'll be thinking about you and Baby Simmons!

hatfields-in-hawaii said...

Happy 33 weeks! Hope you're hanging in there...thinking about you!