Thursday, March 31, 2005

Lame Visit to the Hospital

So yesterday I had an appointment with my CNM. I'd rescheduled it for a few days sooner because I wanted to check in and let her know what the contractions were doing and make sure I was doing what I needed to be doing. Well, she was not available to see me because she was delivering a baby. Which is fine, we knew she was on call for that and someday it'll be our turn... but of course it HAD to be this appointment when I am so worried about things. Anyways they weighed me (lost four pounds) and got a urine sample, then a nurse measured my fundus (right on target) and listened to baby's heartbeat with the doppler. Then, as I had told her about the contractions I'd been having since my last little stay in L&D, she checked my cervix and thankfully found that it had not changed.

Then she told me that the doctor who had been consulted the last time I called them about my contractions wanted me to be monitored if I was still having them when I came in and to have a fetal fibronectin test done. So off Mr. Peach and I went to another room where I was again hooked up to monitors and given some juice to make baby move around, which it did. Everyone always comments on how active she is and yes, she is very active. I am glad as it is reassuring. We were in that room for quite a while; they wanted me to wait until my CNM was out of delivery to see what she wanted to do.

We waited and waited and finally they told us that we needed to go upstairs, to be hooked up to the monitors in Labor and Delivery, be given water and the fetal fibronectin test. So upstairs we went. I was starving at this point, of course. The nurses in L & D didn't seem to know what to do with us but they got me hooked up to monitors and all that jazz and I lay there for a while and I ask about the test but they don't know anything about what is going on with me, however they say my CNM wants me to have a shot of demoral and something else to help me relax and let the contractions stop. So I get yet another shot and this one hurt like hell. The shot does nothing to the contractions and I don't feel a whole lot different either, maybe a bit more relaxed. My CNM came in to see me at about five and instructed me to lay on my side and not my back. And sure enough the contractions stopped. Gee, I wish the nurses had informed me that I needed to not lie on my back; maybe I could've gotten out of there and not had to get a shot. Argh. Anyways she said she would check in on me in an hour but in about an hour the nurse asked me if I wanted to go home and I sure as hell did so she asked my CNM if it was okay and home we went.

So the only worthwhile thing that came of that whole stupid 3.75 hour visit was learning that these contractions are not apparently affecting my cervix. They didn't even bother to tell me to continue with bed rest but I'm going to assume I'm supposed to, and not on my back! I didn't get to ask my CNM some stuff I wanted to and I didn't get the damn fetal fibronectin test, which I really wanted as it is a very accurate way to tell if one is going to give birth within two weeks. And I had to stay hooked up to those stupid monitors again, they weren't so impressed by my contractions when I phoned in about them, why are they suddenly so important now that they're showing up on the monitors?

Being shuffled around from person to person and each of them wanting to do something different or not knowing what the others wanted done was very frustrating and really makes me wish I had the more personal attention of a midwife. Now that my insurance covers them I am definitely going to be going that route next time. I think that yesterday was also a very hectic day at the hospital, there were certainly tons of people there and women giving birth and whatnot, so I'm sure that didn't help the quality of my care any. I'm trying to keep that in mind and not let myself feel too negatively towards the place, perhaps next time will be better, but right now I just don't want to get anywhere near the place unless I have to.

Tuesday, March 29, 2005

The Creature on the Couch

That would be me. My dear sister hooked me up with a laptop today so I can be on the computer and still be on bed rest, yay! I'm slowly adjusting to this tiny keyboard and strange mouse pad... it's been a very long time since I've been on a laptop.

I'm still having some contractions... not like before though. I'll have a few periods of 15-20 minutes a day where I'll have 5-6 little short contractions, just laying down, and I'm guaranteed to have them if I stand up and I get them much more easily sitting up too. I contacted the hospital about all this and they told me to just stay off my feet, get lots of fluids, and call if anything worsens. I have an appointment with my CNM tomorrow afternoon so we'll see how everything is going then.

My family has been very helpful and supportive. My sister and brother-in-law brought me some Easter dinner on Sunday since I couldn't make it to the family festivities, and my mom came to spend the day with me yesterday, and my sister brought me the laptop this afternoon and visited a bit again so I haven't been lacking company. Mmmmm and my mom brought me eggrolls. How can I love eggrolls so much? I don't know but I do. I need to find a good recipe for them.

Bed rest has allowed me to get much crocheting done. I'm making enormous progress on that lacy jacket. But other than that I don't really like having to lie around. It's lovely and springlike outside; I want to get some exercise... I want to go shopping and bake and do housework and see my kitty but I can't. Hopefully I won't be on bed rest the rest of the pregnancy; hopefully all these shenanigans are due to the UTI. In fact I'm going to go research that right now.

Saturday, March 26, 2005

Fun with Preterm Labor

Early Friday morning I woke up at around 2am, went and peed, then lay back down. I couldn't return to sleep and soon realized that I was having Braxton Hicks contractions. Then I noticed that I kept having them (which is weird) even though I was just laying there (I usually only get them when active, never while just laying in bed). I got back up and drink a bunch of water, twice, hoping that is the problem but it didn't do any good. I realized that these contractions were getting painful - not bad, I rated them 2-3 on a scale of ten, but still they hurt my lower belly and back, and I could feel them gathering and peaking and squeezing and that was worrisome as I've never felt that before. They were about 30 seconds long with about 30 seconds between, pretty regular.

So I got up and looked in The Birth Partner and online to see about preterm labor and when I should go in to the hospital. I read that before 37 weeks if I had four contractions an hour (yeah, um, I'm having them four every five minutes at least?!), I should go in to the hospital.

I lay back down in bed and the contractions were much more noticeable/uncomfortable then, which is interesting... I'll have to remember that when I really go into labor. Anyways I was still having them and it'd been almost two hours at that point. Mr. Peach asked if I wanted to call the hospital, and I told him I didn't want to but wasn't sure if I needed to or not. I really don't want to be 'that woman' who is always running to the hospital because she thinks she's in labor. However I finally told myself I'd just have to suffer any embarrassment this might bring me because I do not want a 30wk old baby. I paged my CNM.

She called back and we talked a bit, she said they didn't sound like real labor contractions because of their short duration, but that perhaps I had a bladder infection, so go to the hospital and they would hook my up to monitors and test my urine.

Off we went to the hospital. I was sitting up in the car so couldn't feel the contractions and thought, 'Great, they've stopped' which would have been good but was irritating because I didn't want them thinking I was crying wolf.

Since it wasn't even 5am we had to get to L&D through the emergency entrance. I told them I'm supposed to go to L&D, and the nurse asked, "Are you in labor?" I said I didn't think so but they brought out the wheelchair anyways and another quite chipper nurse pushed me over to L&D. I asked "Do I really have to ride in this?" But I'm glad I did as I was still having contractions, and it was quite a ways to L&D from the emergency entrance.

She got me to L&D and into a room there. Another nurse got me changed into a gown and took a urine sample, got me hooked up to fetal heart tones and contractions monitor, pulse checker thing, BP cuff.. checked my cervix which the nurse said felt thick and a little over 1cm dilated. She had me lie on my side and chill while the monitors monitored me. Soon I was able to feel the contractions again, a little less regular and frequent than they had been. But they were definitely still there. Baby's heart and movements were sounding good, I could tell she'd been okay all this time because I could feel her thumping around between contractions.

After a while the nurse returned and says it looks like I may have a UTI but they're waiting on the rest of the results. She gave me a big cup of water to hydrate me and told me once the results come in they'd call my CNM and see what she wanted to do. I lay there a while more, at one point my cervix was checked again, no change thank goodness. I had to page the nurses soon after that because I reallllllly had to pee and that is no fun during a contraction! Who knew! Not me.

Anyways a phlebotomist came and took some blood and the nurse said that after that she'd be back to help me get out of bed to pee and give me a shot. Shot?? What shot?? Terbutaline, a muscle relaxer used to stop contractions. My contractions had gotten more frequent since settling in there. They said they'd give me one shot and see if it worked and if not, another, and if not still, another. So they gave me shot and after that I didn't feel any more contractions. I felt woozy and icky from the terb, and from not eating... not allowed to eat in L&D, shoulda ate first. I'll remember that come real labor...

I called my mom at this point as she had said the day before, "You call me if you go to the hospital for any reason!!" I reassured her everything was ok, told her what was going on. Anyways I couldn't feel the contractions but apparently I was still having them enough to worry the nurses, although they were much smaller on the monitor than they had been. So over the next couple hours I got the other two shots.

Just after the last one my CNM came in to see me. The nurses told me she might put me on oral terb and send me home but she didn't. She asked how I was doing and made me feel like she was concerned and cared about me. She prescribed some antibiotics as it looked like I might be starting a UTI, and that may be what was causing the contractions... said she wasn't going to do an internal exam as that tended to get things stirred up. She told me she was going to have them give me steroids shots for the baby in case I do go into labor, and that I'd have to return tomorrow at the same time for the second shot. I'm on bed rest for the next 5 days or so, and I'm to call or come in if I have any problems. Then she returned and told me that the doctor on call is making her do an internal. She apologized and checked, I was still a little over 1 cm, no more than 50% effaced but my cervix felt soft. And sure enough right after that the monitor showed some little contractions.

Anyways that was like 9:40am, and finally we could go home. Mr. Peach went and got the car, we went and got my pills, ate some scones for breakfast, and drove home. I had a few spells of contractions later that afternoon, and timed them carefully. I sure didn't want to go back to the hospital but if they progressed in any way of course I would. I didn't have any by that evening so went to bed and had a thankfully uneventful night.

This morning we went in and got the second shot to mature baby's brain and lungs and stuff in case I do deliver in the next 7 days... they asked me if I'd been having more contractions and I told them just some, not like before, so they sent me home to rest again. Which is what I have been doing all day. I had another short spell of contractions at around 4pm, but again not as frequent or strong as the other night.

So it's pretty mysterious and worrisome, why this is going on... the UTI might be the cause of it (ah, the yootie-eye, my old nemesis....) but while the first nurse said it looked like I had one, my CNM didn't sound so sure, said it looked like I might be starting one. But I'm the antibiotics for it so it'll get taken care of if that is the problem. But maybe it was the full moon, or the line of storms that came through before I started feeling the contractions... or maybe I wasn't drinking enough water. I don't know. I hope this is an isolated incident though because like I said I don't want a preemie, I want her to stay safe in there a while longer. I also do not like bed rest (couch-rest in my case, I can't bear the thought of being shut up in the bedroom at the back of the house like someone's abandoned dying grandmother). I want to take care of the house and go outside and walk around and get some exercise.

Mr. Peach has been a good helper, doing dishes and laundry and cooking supper, and fetching anything I need. I felt bad about waking him and dragging him to the hospital, he was tired, poor guy, we both were, but I'm glad we went. I just hope we don't have to go in again.

Thursday, March 24, 2005

Another Appointment, Another Ultrasound

Yesterday was the first of the every-two-weeks prenatals and the glucose tolerance test. I also had another followup ultrasound because my CNM is forgetful. I didn't really mind because ultrasounds are fun. However her absentmindedness is tiny bit worrisome.

Baby was head up this time, her head right below my right ribs, which is where she's been hanging out a lot these days. I saw her little face pretty well, and a foot, and of course her little heart, beating away. Got a few pictures, which is good as Scott didn't get to come to this appointment.

My blood sugar and iron levels were good! I wasn't terribly worried about it but it's nice to know that everything appears normal.

I've gained a whole lotta weight. The nurse was WRONG last time and I was right, *grumble*, I had gained eleven pounds, not one. And since then I've gained four pounds which is like twice as many as I should've. So I'm going to make myself exercise every day and keep a closer eye on what I'm eating. All together I have gained about thirty pounds, and I'm only twenty-eight weeks along. To make myself feel better about it I remind myself that I usually gain five to eight pounds in the winter so those pounds don't count.

Friday, March 18, 2005

Playing with Baby

Lately I've been 'playing' with baby... I call it that somewhat doubtfully, as I have no idea if she's having fun, but it is a neat thing. Like how she was interacting with Mr. Peach. If she's kicking me in a certain place and I press my fingers there, she will get really active and increase her thumps, kicking more, and more forcefully at my hand. Maybe it's her way of saying "Hi there!" or perhaps it's just "Shoo, you're invading my space here!" But she knows something is going on! It feels so strange to actually feel her with my hands, through my skin, through the womb. It makes it easier to imagine her outside the womb, flailing arms and legs, looking around.

Lately I've been playing Mozart through headphones on the lower part of my belly, trying to get her to turn head down and out of my ribs. I think it worked! The kicks I was feeling this morning and last night were high up, and smaller movements down low, not quite straight up and down but pretty close. However earlier I felt the same old ache in my right ribs so who knows. I'm not really worried about her position yet, she has plenty of time to turn around, but the head-in-the-ribs is a pain. Literally.

Wednesday, March 16, 2005

Twenty-Nine Weeks

I am feeling decidedly unmotivated today. There are lots of things that need doing around the house but it is impossible to inspire myself to do them... I blame the rainy weather. It makes me want to just crawl back into bed and let the day go on by itself, and maybe come back out tomorrow.

Monday, March 14, 2005

Too Small

I've been working on a lacy sort of jacket, this one to be precise, with the intent of wearing it over a dress I have to my older brother's wedding on May 13. I'm not nearly done with it, and it's hard to tell at this point, but I'm reasonably sure it's too small. 85% sure we'll say. Now my gauge measures almost exactly as it should - and yet it's too small! The same thing happened with the wool soakers (another of which I recently completed, by the way), my gauge was great but they just didn't turn out big enough. What the heck? I taught myself how to crochet so it's not surprising that I do it a little off. These projects are the first things I've done where gauge is important so I'm just now realizing how off I am and it's rather frustrating. Now I have to decide whether to start all over and use the same hook, just make the bigger sized jacket, or start all over with a bigger hook and make the same sized jacket. Either way I will be starting all over. Grrrr.

Wednesday, March 02, 2005

Denim Jumpers and Organic Chocolate!

As mentioned yesterday, today I went into town and did some shopping. Not just grocery shopping, although I did lots of that. I bought some dirt and some wool yarn and even a dress - not for the baby, for me! This is the first time I have bought myself something to wear since I bought my beloved overalls, months ago. It's a denim jumper, very cute. I went into Motherhood intending to buy maternity overalls but they didn't have any that satisfied my oh-so stringent standards so I tried on and purchased the jumper instead, yay, cute, hooray.

I got some delicious chocolate too. I'm keeping it a secret from my husband but as soon as he reads this he'll know and I'll have to share... ah well. Lately I have been sucking down Cadbury Mini Eggs by the bag (healthy huh? I can't help it. If they're in the house, I'm eating them.) but today I bought a big bar of Endangered Species Chocolate Company Dark Chocolate with Cranberries and Almonds (organic, if the title didn't yell HIPPIE at you right away) and a slightly smaller bar of Dagoba Organic Chocolate - xocolatl, which is supposedly like the chocolate the Mayans used to eat, the real original deal. I haven't tried it yet but it sounds enticing - "dark chocolate infused with chilis, cacao nibs (nibs???), maca (maca???) vanilla, & nutmeg." Okay, so the only part I saw in the store was chilis and nutmeg, otherwise the nibs and maca might've scared me off.

Google tells me that maca is an herbal treatment for a variety of reproductive issues like sperm production and menopause and arousal! Fun!

Awwwww, they list love as one of the ingredients!