Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Week 36: Antibiotics, Contractions and Misery

It might be sunny and beautiful outside right now, but if you want my straight up honest appraisal of things I think that it is fricking pouring here inside over my head.  Since Sunday night at about 7 PM, I've had contractions at regular intervals that have been more intense and more punctual than I've experenced in several weeks. Given the distance from the doctor and the reality that GW was born at week 36 and change, HB and I decided that false alarm or not it was worth calling the perinatologist and (go figure, it'd have to be Doogie Howser on call) he said "to be better safe than sorry" and come on in for a labor check. 

So with somewhat high hopes that Baby would be born early Monday morning - Nov 12 is HB's birthday after all - we drove our way up to Fairfax INOVA without a hiccup (sign number one that we weren't having a baby).  After re-registering for labor and delivery (gotta love new hospital computer systems), we were checked into the L&D Triage bed # 5 for evaluation.  Hooked right back up to the fetal heart rate and uterine activity monitors that I seem to accessorize with daily, I watched Baby's heart beat away in complete appathy to the peaks of contractions I was showing at 8-9 minutes apart.  After about four hours of monitoring, a horrible (seriously, the worst one I've ever met) OBGYN resident came into check for dilation and with about as much grace as an elephant ripping off the door of a smart car in attempts to climb in and drive, she uncermoneously checked my cervix and mumbled her way out of the room. My nurse had to come back and translate for me that the contractions weren't causing dilation yet and that they were going to send me home because it could be a while more.

#-05 in the lower left corner shows my contractions in green and Baby's
heart rate in blue.  Fair sized contractions, but not strong enough to start labor.

Albiet slightly disappointed that the show wasn't on the road already, HB and I were glad that Baby wasn't quite ready to come out since she was only 35 weeks and 5 days at that point - which significantly increases her risks with lung development and the likelihood of a NICU stay.  Course, last Friday, Dr. Rogacz had a very serious and frank discussion with me that most type 1 babies wind up in the NICU for blood glucose abnormalities regardless of what the mommies do to prevent it... So taking a deep breath and trying to maintain the big picture here, we at least were making it one day farther along in the pregnancy than we thought when we first arrived at the hospital on Sunday night.

But would that be the end of things? Of course not! 

As we're driving back home, and yes while still contracting, I begin to cough.  By the time we got home by 2 AM, it was all I could do to make it to the bathroom where I promptly spent the next few hours lying on the floor coughing and vommiting up grotesque amounts of mucus.  Starting out clear and then turning bloody over time, one very concerned HB resolved to take me into urgent care first thing in the morning to get evaluated.  Needless to say, after spending the rest of the night with a deep chest cough and routine trips to the bathroom for more intimate sessions with the toilet, I was releived when 8 AM Monday morning finally came around and I was moved - contractions and all - back to the car for another round of medical proding. 

At urgent care, the doc ran some tests and without anything specific to go on gave me a perscription for azithromycin and told me to come back at the end of the week if I wasn't feeling better.  Not exactly the most confidence inspiring diagnosis, but it's at least something...  It was about that time that we got a call from my Mom saying that GW was throwing up as well, which as all of the mothers out there know, is just about the best news you can get when you're already sick yourself - boo! Swinging home and picking him up we took him back to the same urgent care doc (our pediatrician is up in NOVA as well) and even after he behaved so beautifully for her examination she couldn't put her finger on one specific thing that was making him ill.  Instructing us to keep him quiet and on a bland food diet, she sent him home with us with little more than a look of pity.

So, let's tally this up so far: contractions, check.  Vommitting, check check.  Coughing until crying, check.  Sick kid, check. 

What else can we add to this list?

OH YEAH! It's HB's birthday!  Given that I always have big plans to celebrate my boys on their birthdays, you can imagine the increased frustration I felt with myself for ruining HB's birthday with my attempts to cough up a lung and GW's saddening vomit episodes.  So instead of spending the day in the kitchen making him a lavish birthday cake and dinner as I normally would, I spent the day amid piles of blankets and kleenex.  I downed my first dose of antibiotics, took acetomenaphin for my newly setting in migraine and attempted to only vomit when absolutely necessary.  I don't know if any of you have ever tried to out will your body from being sick, but let me tell you, it doesn't work.  My body is just as stubborn - probably more so - than I am.  Between the respiratory thing I've contracted, body aches, head aches and these fricking inconsiderate, irrelevant contractions I don't think I could be more miserable or be more unhappy with the current state of things.

The really unfortunate thing about all of this is that if Baby decides to be born while I'm still sick and if (I'm not ready to say when yet) she needs to be in the NICU, then I can't see her. Fairfax INOVA has an increadibly strict policy for NICU visitors - as they should - and even if I'm one of the two approved people to be allowed in to see her, I can't (nor would I) go if I am even remotely sick... it's not worth the risk to her fragile immune system. Even if it'd break my heart to be away from her.  So while the doctors at my perinatal appointment this morning are pleased with Baby's development and how things look with her NST and sonogram (#16) stats -- she's 6 lbs 2 oz right now and her head size is at 38 weeks -- they're not thrilled by my continuing contractions or the thought of delivering a high risk baby to not only a high risk, but sick mother.


Thus under orders to do everything I possibly can to get better and quick (increased fluid intake, tylonal and loads of rest) all I can do at this point is keep things as quiet and non-stressful here as possible.  I can't do much to stop the contractions and I certainly can't replace the mucus plug that dislodged itself in anticipation of labor, but I can pray that the antibiotics work and hope that Baby waits until at least later this week to make her big (albiet she's smaller than GW was at this point) debute.

I'll keep you all posted as to how things are going...

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