Tuesday, March 19, 2013

There Was This One Day That Changed Everything: 26 Weeks & Hospitals

26 weeks.

Oh, 26 weeks, a week we will NEVER forget!

We had our regularly scheduled Drs appts that day.  A Tuesday.  I was 26 weeks and 1 day pregnant.  The first appt was with the perinatologists, then another with my OB, and a glucose test somewhere in between.  We were seen by Dr Greer at the peri and she did a sonogram.  Once again, Miss Finleigh had us laughing and we had a great appointment.  Finleigh is a chunk and was measuring in the 91st percentile for weight.
We got a good laugh at that.
She is very stubborn and doesn't like to give the Drs good pics of her heart and she wasn't budging this morning.  The Dr had to go and get some sort of noise maker/vibrator thing that she held up to my stomach.  Even Ben jumped when it made a noise.  Sure enough, Finleigh was startled (Dr said "she passed her first hearing test") and moved so that we could get the shots we needed.
Awesome, things looked perfect.  

Our best pic from that day...Finleigh's foot!
My bladder was empty, so they couldn't get a shot of my cervix and the Dr said that 26 weeks was when they wanted to start keeping record of its length, so she needed to see it today.  We ended up having to switch to an internal trans-vaginal sonogram.  She asked if I had had any leaking or contractions and I answered "no."  A quick 5 min change and we were ready to go.

Two seconds later...everything changed.

She repeated her question "are you sure you haven't had any contractions?" as she leaned into the screen.  "Umm...not that I'm aware of," I repeated. "Here is where everything changes."  She showed us where my cervix has begun to open from the inside, creating "funneling" and then explained that it is a lot shorter than it should be.

She took the wand out and sat me up and went on to explain some things that I halfway comprehended/heard. She mentioned admitting me, started talking about steroid shots, NICU, what to expect from giving birth to a 26 weeker...I don't even know what I was hearing.  

When she finished, I said "so, when are you admitting me?" and she said "oh, honey, right now.  We are walking you downstairs right now."  Oh.  Umm. OK. Well...

She left the room and I called my office (breaking the "no cell phone" rule on the door) b/c I was scheduled to see clients all afternoon.  Poor Teresa!  I am usually able to keep things together until it comes to saying that I'm sick or that something has happened.  I was nice & calm asking her to cancel my clients and then she asked if I was OK.  I said "no" and then lost it.  I briefly blubbered explained what I knew and told her I would update her when I knew more.

Dr Greer back in and repeated some of what she had already said and this time I heard that "best case scenario...bed rest for the remainder of your pregnancy..."  So, again, in a stupor, I asked "so, what are you telling me about work? For the next 11 weeks?"  She explained that I can do whatever I can do from a bed.  HA!  Umm... I have to be present to SEE clients.  This is not going to work.

This time, when she leaves the room I called my mom.  Again, I lose it, but had a brief 2 min discussion and told her I would call her back when I knew more.

We were walked downstairs to labor and delivery where the nurse told them "she's going to 4."  "Oh...four" says the registration lady w/ a knowing nod.  I guess floor 4 is for preterm labor?  The nurse left, we registered, got my arm band with GPS (see pic in next post!) attached, and were given directions to the 4th floor.

We went up and got off the elevator and handed our papers to a nurse and said we were going to room 460.  This nurse walked us to 460 & opened the door only to find someone else in there.  OOPS!  So, we stood in the hall while she asked a nun and tried to figure out what was happening.  She asked "short cervix or contractions?"...so again, the knowing "fourth floor curse."  Come to find out, the people who were supposed to be in 461 had gone into the wrong room, so we got their room.

The nurse told us that we lucked out b/c 461 was the best room on the floor.  SCORE!  She apologized and said that she wasn't even supposed to be working that day and that she had only come in for a meeting.  I joked "I'm not supposed to be here, either, I should be at work." She got us settled and told us that I could wear normal clothes, so we should make a list and Ben could go home and get a bag together.  It was at this point that I was REALLY regretting the fact that I didn't shave my legs and that my toe nails look HIDEOUS and havent been painted since Christmas!

Since I was supposed to have my 1 hr glucose test that day, the Drs office had told me to ask for it and to NOT let them give me a shot or eat before I did it. So, I told the nurse and she brought the lovely orange drink.  I drank it and she said to go ahead and order lunch...this is when I got to study the less that awesome menu.  It's not a HORRIBLE menu, just not as many choices as I remember.  It would be hard to be there a long time w/ the limited choices (limited even more by being pregnant).

I ordered lunch and Ben and I started making a "packing list" for him to grab at home...among texting and updating FB.  You know, the important things.  :)

Trying to give Ben instructions on my makeup and what brushes to bring was super comical!!  There was a lot of "when you are looking at my makeup mirror...look to the right and you will see..."  It was so hard, but I am proud to say that he only goofed on one makeup brush.

I realized that I had run out of shampoo/conditioner that morning and I wasn't about to have him stop at the store to get more.  One of my co-workers, Janet, had texted that she was going to come visit around 1 and asked what we needed.  I had told her that snacks would be nice & she said she would run to Target to grab some.  So, at this point, I texted her back and asked if she could grab some shampoo/conditioner for me.  HA!  Thank goodness for wonderful friends/co workers!!  Ben left to grab things from the house, let the dog out, and get himself something to eat.

While he was gone, Janet came by (and brought snacks & shampoo/cond!!), I got my blood drawn for the glucose test, lunch came, I got my first steroid shot, and my OB came by.  Janet & I went over a few work things and I promptly dropped a blob of ketchup from my burger on my hospital gown, making it even MORE attractive!  

When my Dr came in, I was like "DANG!" because I knew Ben would want to be there to talk to him.  He doesnt like my summaries of what the Drs say when I'm alone.  Oh well!  He walked in and said "Look at all the drama you caused!" ha!!  I love him and how relaxed he is.  I was able to ask a few questions and he was so very calm about everything.  He explained that a short cervix doesn't mean that I WILL deliver early, but it just means that we have to change everything from here on out.  He discussed that a 26 week baby was viable, but that 28 weeks was better, and 32 weeks was MUCH better.  He said that I would be in the hospital until at least Thursday morning and would be getting a second steroid shot and having a follow up sonogram on Thursday morning.  He said, that assuming that everything looked the same, he would like to see me complete bed rest at home.  He said that other than the fact that there is NOTHING to do in the hospital, it's virtually the same and can be less stressful on me.  I was FINE with this!!  He left and I was more relaxed.  Well, as relaxed as one can be in a hospital on the preterm labor floor.

We had taken 2 cars to the Dr that morning b/c Ben had meetings later that afternoon.  (He canceled his meeting when he called his boss to fill him in on what was going on)  So, he ended up driving his car home and then we arranged w/ our friend, Leah, to pick him up at home and bring him back to the hospital and she could come up for a quick visit.  Leah went into the hospital around the same time when she was pregnant (with twins) and carried them until 34/35 weeks (?) successfully...so she understood how upside down our lives had just been turned.

The best thing that Ben brought back from home?  My pregnancy pillow!!! We bought a BRU brand one w/ some gift cards that we had gotten for Christmas.  The.Best.Investment.  It was KEY to getting comfortable in the hospital!!!  Under my legs, under my belly, behind my head, under my shoulders.  It was PHENOMENAL and a life saver!!! Seriously.

Tuesday was a day of SHOCK for us.  It was a constant "oh crap. what about ___?" and "what about ___?" for most of the day.  At this point, we knew we were in for a long ride, but not sure about how strict this was going to look.

We had already had 2 visitors and we had 2 flower deliveries throughout the day.  How loved we are!  Ben's boss, Pat, stopped by after work to visit.  He has recently spent long days in the hospital w/ his daughter, so he asked if we had cards, crossword books, etc... We said "no" and we continued to talk about food, candy, books & such. He ended up running downstairs and came back w/ cards, sudoku, word find, candy, and some sodas for Ben.  He also said that his wife is a book hoarder and asked what kind of books he should bring back the next day.  Again, we are so blessed by those around us!  (the next day, another woman from Ben's office stopped by to drop off the books from Pa.  She let us know that she lived close if we needed anything, since we dont have family in town.)  We loved the cards and played some intense games of Gin and Rummy over the next 2 days!

That night, I didn't take the Ambien when it was offered, but was still awake at 2AM, so I rang the nurse and got some then.  I was OUT and asleep until 7 the next morning when I was suddenly WIDE awake. I woke up, ordered breakfast, ate, and took a shower (and shaved my legs!).

My friend, Jana, stop by...followed shortly by Lauren...and then my Dr came in.

He said "you look too good to be here!" so I said "Great! Let me go, then!"  Same as yesterday, we had lots of questions and he explained some more things (I failed my glucose test...oops!). Nothing new going on, just lots of questions.  After that, we had lunch brought from my friend, Amy, another steroid shot, monitoring of the baby for an hr (she has a great heart beat and still no contractions).

This day was more "normal" feeling.
I had real clothes on (yoga pants and a Ch-Yo-Ca shirt!) and the reality of everything was starting to sink in.
Finleigh was starting to sink in!

Nothing was as important as her...everything that we had scheduled on our calendars was OK to cancel.  Nothing mattered as long as she was healthy and I was/am willing to do whatever I can to keep her in there as long as possible.

Later that night, my friend, Katie, came up to visit.  She is a NICU nurse just one floor down.  She was a relief and terrified us all the same!!  She gave me some more rules for bedrest, like not showering everyday and not sneaking out for church, even on Easter. Yes ma'am! We loved her visit and I vowed that my baby would NOT be coming to see her...even though she has her friends on alert should we go in.  We know Finleigh will be taken care of, we'd just rather do it ourselves, so we will follow her rules!

This night, I accepted the Ambien and took it around 11.  I slept great, until 4AM when I was WIDE awake.  I never went back to sleep.  Apparently, I am good for 5 hours on Ambien and then am wide awake.  I need to remember this!  Around 7 I turned the TV on and Ben started stirring.

At 7:30, they came and got me for my sonogram.  Dr Greer did the sono again and was pleased that nothing had changed.  She agreed w/ Dr Richards that I would be fine at home, but that she had stricter instructions for the bed rest.  HA!  Between her, my friend Katie, and Dr Richards...I got a pretty good grasp of what this was going to look like!

I got back to my room and took another shower.  I then ordered breakfast and Dr Richards came in to see me.  We had a mini celebration b/c I was going home and he gave me my instructions for home.  "No more than 10 minutes on your feet at a time (and limit those).  Bathroom and showering privileges and up long enough to fix a sandwich."  Yes Sir!  Anything to keep her healthy, but be able to stay at home!!  We still weren't sure how long discharge would take, so Ben jumped in the shower.  My breakfast came and they actually came and said that as soon as I was ready, I could call the nurse and get out of there!  As soon as he was out, we packed up and were home by lunch time!

Sister came on Friday and stayed through the weekend.  Ben went to the grocery store (and only texted w/ questions twice!) and Sister painted some tables I had bough raw in Canton.

Bed rest has been a learning curve, but again, I'll do anything for this little girl!!

We have weekly appts w/ the perinatologist and also see Dr Richards every 2 of those.  Our friends have set up a "Care Calendar" for us, so we are continuing to be blessed by people bringing lunches for me and dinner for us.  The hardest day that I've found has been Sundays.  It's the day that never ends.  Anything to take up chunks of time & break up my day are welcomed!

One highlight was girls night with Lauren (plus Ben) to watch the 3 HOUR Bachelorette finale while eating MiCocina take out that she brought!  YUM!  With last week being Spring Break, it was tough seeing every one's pics at the zoo, the arboretum, the parks, etc...so on Sat, we busted out the hammock and I actually sunburned my pregnant belly! Not cute.

Thanks to all of our friends to visiting, texting, sending messages, taking care of our dog (THANKS Leah, Jana, and Erin!), bringing food, and most of all PRAYING for us!!

We are 2 weeks in...made the 28 week mark (which is such a big milestone for her success in the NICU should she come early) and we are praying for 9 more weeks of the same.  Bed rest & no drama!   I've had 2 Drs appointments and my cervix is holding steady and there are no changes.  Today, the Dr talked more about getting to 34/36 weeks instead of the dangers of delivering before 30.  Our favorite parts of the appointments are the ways that the sono techs and Drs always laugh at Finleigh! We love that she can bring some joy into their day and love what a clown she is already proving to be!

I have a couple of other posts coming this week and will be writing more later.

I'll be here.


Sandy said...

My sister-in-law had the same issue with Funneling. She was on bed rest for 11 weeks, and they finally had to do a c-section on her! Today, I have a VERY healthy niece who just turned 3. Good luck with bed rest!

Jill said...

So happy for you and glad to be reading all your updates! The Snoogle pillow was my pregnancy lifesaver...I remember making my husband turn around to go back home for my Snoogle 30 min into a road trip when I realized I had forgotten it.

Mama M. said...

Love this and sooooo glad to see that you are so committed to Finleigh's health! (Not all mom's are..."I get so cooped up", "I just can't lay around all day", blah blah blah...) Grow baby grow!!!

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