It has been a completely chaotic, exhausting past few days. I can’t even. But you know… this is a blog, so I’ll give it a whirl.
Day Three of bed rest felt pretty uneventful. Sure, I was going a little squirrely, but this is what happens when you barricade yourself in your house for days. And I’m very much a social animal, so hanging out with just me, my cat, and Chick for hours a day was pretty ridiculous. I was reeaallly looking forward to getting the all clear on Saturday.
I was optimistic. I’d had no real spotting, I’d been taking it easy. I was so optimistic, I was so bold as to have PLANS for the afternoon.
You know where is this going, don’t you? We all know what happens when I think I can have plans…
I got to the office, and they hooked up to the monitoring machine. For no reason, I can just sense that something isn’t right. Chick’s heart beat sound erratic. It has never been erratic, so I’m sure the nurse who has hooked me up has done it wrong. I was, it turns out, correct. After a replacement of the paddle, Chick’s heart rate was just fine. My uterus, however, was not. I was having tiny contractions– that I couldn’t feel– that were pretty steady.
Me no likey.
So after about 45 minutes of monitoring, my midwife does a manual exam. My cervix had the audacity to shorten even more. And because it feels like being even more of an asshole, it decided to get its dilation on. Not a lot, but it is a change. Change at this stage of the game isn’t a good thing.
So I won myself a weekend in Labor & Delivery. Before anyone freaks out… I had labor, but thankfully no delivery. Chick is still hanging out in my uterus. I am now, however, a bigger shit show than I was before all this started. Which was considerable in the first place. But where was I…
Ah, yes… When my midwife told me I need to go to the hospital for monitoring, I burst into tears. Look, I have been in bed since SUNDAY (remember, before the bed rest was a head cold.) I was really looking forward to getting on with my life. Not to mention, I didn’t want to have a baby right at that moment. Nothing personal, Chick. I’m looking forward to meeting you and everything, but you need to cook a little bit longer. So STAY IN MY BELLY.
Mr. O drove me to the hospital, and I bawled the whole time. You see, along with not wanting to have a baby that day, I’ve developed a genuine fear of hospitals. This is what happens when your mom spends a year in the ICU after a terrible medical accident. You develop a pathological fear of hospitals, IVs, nursing gowns, etc. (Yes, I realize I’m going to have to deal with this pretty fucking soon. But today I just need to write this blog and take a goddamn nap.)
Crying in public, as we’ve previously discussed, has become a specialty of mine. So I proceeded to cry at every single human being I encountered. The parking attendant. The receptionist. The lady at the check in desk. The multiple nurses who came in and out of my room. I had to ask for a refill on the weak ass tissues they gave me.
Though I was weeping like a maniac, I was also a very charming patient. Again, after spending a year visiting my mom in the hospital, I know the right combination of polite and pathetic that gets you in with the nurses. Fortunately (?) for me, nothing is more pathetic than a pregnant crying lady. And the lingering residue of my southern upbringing has given me excellent manners.
The nurses hooked me up to an IV and got me started on Nifedipine to slow down the contractions. They also hooked me up to the NTS monitor for hours to see how treatment was working.
Interestingly, Nifedipine is a blood pressure medication. As such, it help get your blood moving around which helps ease contractions. It also gave me the most unbearable headache I’ve ever had– a searing pain from the center of my forehead all the way to the base of my neck. A connoisseur of headaches and migraines, I’ve never experienced something like this in my life. And no, tylenol didn’t knock it out though did take some of the edge off.
With every shift, a new set of doctors and nurses would have to be educated on why I was there. I got pretty good at repeating my story: I went in for a check up on my cervix, the midwife noticed I was having contractions I couldn’t feel, and TA DAH! Every doctor– I mean every single one– said “You couldn’t feel them? Well, that’s great news.” Really? Not being able to tell if you’re going into labor is good news? I suppose it means that the contractions weren’t that strong or serious, but still… It’s a little disconcerting to have someone tell you that you may be going into labor and have NO IDEA that it is happening. This strikes me as shitastic news.
The real good news is that it worked. After about 6 hours, my contractions had gone, my dehydration was gone, and Chick was still completely unbothered by all the external drama. (I may just be having the most chill baby on the planet.)
Still, the doctors wanted to keep me on another 24 observation period, so I was transferred from triage to Labor and Delivery.
The observation period was fairly uneventful. NST after NST after ultrasound, everything was fine. The on-call doctor did a cervical check and said I’ve even gained ground on my cervix a little. So I got discharged and went home.
This is part in the story where I lose my mind completely. Prepare yourself.
When Mr. O and I get home, I headed straight to bed. tired, sulky, hadn’t showered… I was just exhausted by what’s happened. Strange how sitting around doing nothing wipes you out, doesn’t it?
I also became completely convinced I couldn’t trust my body. I thought I’d been drinking enough fluids. I couldn’t feel any of those fucking contractions. How was I supposed to know if I was going into labor?
What I could (and can) feel are the Braxton Hicks contractions. So I started counting them, which proved to be the worst idea ever. All this did was make me more anxious and tense. I couldn’t sleep. Mr. O tried to calm me down. Rationally, he explained that they wouldn’t have released me if they thought I was going to give birth that day. What? What is this logic of which you speak? I will have none of it! Instead I will cry some more, and work myself up into a frenzy of anxiety and hyperventilating! Because this helps, I swear! (Note the sarcasm, please.)
At around 2:00, I decided to move to the couch because I was kidding myself if I thought I was actually going to get any sleep.
And weirdly, this is where I found a smidgen of peace. I realized that if this baby was coming, there wasn’t a lot I was going to do about it. Mr. O and I have done what we can do to keep Chick on the inside, but the outcome of all this is largely out of my control. So I as a finally drifted off to sleep, I had my first real heart to heart with my kid.
I know you’re excited to meet everyone, but you can’t come out right now. I’m your mom, and I’ve known you since you were 4 cells old. I know you. You need to be stronger, and that’s what I’m here for. The longer we’re together, the stronger you will be. Every day we’re together, the stronger you become.