Sunday, December 4, 2011

pregnancy update: week 30 - continued!

Sorry for the cliffhanger! If you missed the first part, you can read it here.

Where was I? Oh yes, so I went in to labor and delivery. I decided to go to the county hospital because it is about two minutes away from my house. After sitting in the waiting room watching Spanish television for twenty minutes I finally got called back. They took me back to a room where there was another girl waiting for a room. Poor thing, she was in labor and she was all by herself. We were separated by a curtain the entire time, so I bet she felt really isolated. I hate hospitals.

I put on the awesome hospital gown, provided some urine, and got all hooked up to the monitors. The nurse came in and I'm so glad she was very nice and personable. I've had my turn with the old tired witches who are at the end of their 12 hour shifts and take it out on everyone they come in contact with. She told me she would watch for awhile and then let me know what we were going to do. She came back about 30 minutes later. Thank goodness there was a Hallmark movie on to keep my mind half busy, since my phone was dying. She came back in 30 minutes later and confirmed with me that I was, in fact, contracting consistently and about 6 to 7 minutes apart. She said she was going to call my doctor to see what he wanted to do, but most likely it would be a terbutaline injection and a FFN test (click to read more detailed info). The FFN test basically tests for the presence of a certain substance that can be found in a sample if your body is gearing up for preterm labor. It is mostly used as a way to rule out preterm labor for symptomatic women. After checking with the doctor, she came back with some terbutaline. She injected it into me and I felt fine for about the first 10 minutes. Then, my heart started racing and I could start to feel myself getting shaky. It makes me wonder how the baby feels. She did the FFN test, which is basically an easy swab test, similar to a pap smear. Yay. It wasn't too bad. Just uncomfortable, as usual. She said she was going to send off the results and hope they came back quickly.  She came back about 10 minutes later, said I was still contracting and that she was going to give me the second dose. Awesome! I started feeling the same effects, just slightly stronger this time because I was still feeling the first injection. After sitting for about 45 more minutes, she came back and said the contractions had stopped coming regularly and that as long as my FFN test came back negative, I could leave right away. If it came back positive, she said she would just do a cervical check to check for dilation. If things were okay, I could leave, if not, we would proceed from there. She came back in about 20 minutes this time and said my test came back positive. She said she was surprised, but that was the result. She did a cervical check, and thank goodness I wasn't dilating. I was able to finally go home. I only spent around 3 1/2 hours there.

Being there at the hospital reminded me of how much I hate laboring there. I said it last time, but this time I really am going to wait as long as I possibly can before going in. When you go in early, it has always been my experience that they try everything they can to rush you along. Pitocin, artificial rupturing of membranes...ahhh! Just let my body do its thing. I know sometimes there are women who have issues with labor progressing on its own, but a one-size-fits-all approach for laboring women is ridiculous. We are all different. There is no more uncomfortable place to labor than in a hospital bed. I have had 3 natural deliveries, and the most painful part is the uncomfortable bed that I can't move in because I am basically strapped down with velcro and a needle in my arm. Which, by the way, was the most traumatic part of delivering Roslyn. It took them 4 tries to get the IV in my arm successfully. I had huge "goose eggs" on my arms and horrifying bruises that lasted over a week. They were basically digging in my arm with needles. Worse experience ever.

I am glad that everything turned out okay. I don't think I needed the terbutaline, looking back. If I wasn't dilating, I probably could have just laid and rested for a while and they would have stopped by themselves. They weren't growing in intensity or frequency. I just need to learn to trust my body and mind connection more. After 3 pregnancies, I know my body better than a machine. I am glad my baby was monitored, but she wasn't in any danger from those weak contractions. I already knew I didn't have any infections or other issues because I was in the doctor's office a week before. I will have to give everything more consideration and stop worrying so much, I guess.

Erik and I went in on Friday to follow up with my doctor. He said that it was most likely "stress" that caused the contractions. I couldn't help but laugh on the inside. He said maybe we had an argument recently or something that might have put me in more stress. I told him we hadn't, and that if anything, it was physical stress. I always laugh when people tell me to take it easy. I don't know any pregnant woman with 3 young children at home who can take it any easier than they already do. I mean, I have help. Erik's mom has been staying with us and when she is home, she is a lifesaver. She helps with everything. But, she has a life too, and she can't always be there to be super grandma. And as I've taken the liberty of sharing over and over, my body is at its max right now. I am breaking down in every which way. My body is giving out, my skin hurts, my energy level is waning, and I am starting to look like a fat version of Bella Swanson in the most recent Twilight movie, as her seed is sucking the very life out of her. These sunken black eyes might have been okay in October when Halloween was everywhere, but closer to Christmas I look more Nightmare Before Christmas than anything. I feel like it too. I'm trying to hold on, and trying not to hurt myself or risk more preterm labor, but it is hard to find the balance sometimes. I'm trying!

There was a little more good news though. The doctor decided to do an ultrasound and said everything looked great. I asked about the placenta previa concerns he had last visit. He took a look and said the placenta had moved and the baby had flipped to a head-down position! My little acrobat. This means I do not have to have a c-section at this point, granted everything stays this way. So, no surgery looming on the horizon for now! While I do feel slightly more anxious for the vaginal birth, I know I can do it because I already have and again, my body was made for this. Everything has been fine before, and it will most likely be fine again. One more time, baby!

This brings us to the conclusion of my preterm labor story, for now. I have still been feeling kind of weird, with contractions coming off and on, but nothing that has lasted more than an hour or so. I am going to just keep paying close attention, drink lots of water, and try not to feel guilty for sitting down when I feel like I should. My mom said I might just have to let my house go to shambles for a day or two (it hurts me to do that), or let me kids work out some issues on their own for once (she says they won't kill each other), so I am going to listen to my mama and try to stay off my feet. I'll admit, I haven't really started that yet this weekend, because of the guilt, but I will start. I just have to remember that I'd rather feel guilty on the short term for making Erik work harder at home for the coming weeks, than feel guilty about pushing myself too much and delivering the baby too early and putting her through unnecessary medical interventions. So, if you need me, I'll be drinking my ice water and channel surfing for the next hour or so.

Hope everyone had a good weekend and has a quick and easy work week!


  1. I went through some of the same things. I got a positive FFN too at 28 weeks and my water ended up breaking almost two weeks later. Scary stuff. I will spare you all the details but I feel you on the terbutaline shots. I had to have them with both my kids because of preterm labor and they make you feel horrible. So glad you are doing okay!

  2. Scary! I've never gone through any of that my kids didn't want to come out on time let alone early. Glad baby is still safe inside though!

  3. I am amazed at how you can still keep on your feet. I was so exhausted in my third trimester, could wait for it to get over.
    But you should take it easy now and prepare yourself for the restless nights before the baby arrives. Hope you have a safe and timely delivery and a healthy baby. Good luck.

  4. Thanks for the well wishes ladies. :)
    Ashley- that's kind of what I'm afraid of. I know when your water breaks a whole new set of rules comes into play.
    Kathleen- haha I know lots of ladies with that issue, too!
    Anu- believe me I'm waiting for it to be over!! For sure...only 7 more weeks til we get the green light. :)

  5. I had a similar situation with my first pregnancy, and it really was just nerves causing the contractions for me.

    Relax and try to enjoy the rest. Your body needs it!