Friday, September 30, 2005

Irritable Uterus

On Tuesday Bubbles wasn't moving enough to keep the mama happy. Luckily, OB-friend is always accommodating my fears - rational and irrational - and of course said to come right down for an NST. He has flipped himself from breech to vertex more times than I can count. You would think all that movement would make the mama happy, but it actually begins to freak me out, as I imagine he is strangling himself in his cord with each turn. (I need SOMEthing to worry about, right?) So off I went for my NST because he wasn't kicking me in the cervix. He was, of course, just having his morning nap, because as soon as I was hooked up it was clear that his strip (heartrate) was FINE. Mine, however, was not as wonderful. Laura came in after about 40 minutes on the monitor, said that Bubbles looked great, but frowned at my strip (the contraction contraption), saying that perhaps I should go upstairs to the hospital and get some terbutaline and more monitoring, as the contractions were FOUR MINUTES apart. Whoa...hadn't even noticed.
So off I went, except that the walk from one end of the hospital to the other, and the nervous energy I had worked up in between, worked out to equal contractions TWO MINUTES apart by the time I was hooked up to a monitor in L&D. Shit.
So I got a shot of terbutaline, then another, then another....and my body did the 'pppttttthhhhht' thing at the terb - as in 'haha you can't do anything to me!' - didn't even raise my pulse or heartrate, which is just something that is DOES, along with hopefully slowing the contractions. So I got to have an IV for rehydration (take THAT, contractions) and then we tried nifedipine, which finally did work - not only in slowing the contractions but also in causing a raging migraine (which has kept me from updating here). Then, because I was already such a captive audience, they gave me a dose of steroids (beta-methazone) to jump-start the development of Bubbles' lungs - just in case he decided to come this early (33 wks +1day). Of course this all took quite a few hours, with me calling dh from the hospital bed (no, don't come, just stay near the phone) and eventually realizing by 7pm that, not only had I skipped lunch to come to the NST (figuring I would pick up a hearty Dharma's sandwich on the way home...mmm...the Nuclear Bluff which has carried me through 3 pregnancies now), but also had been brought no dinner whatsoever from the hospital! I asked a nurse for some food, and she asked me if I was 'allowed' to eat! To which I responded, 'Oh, do you routinely starve just the pregnant mommies?' I was cranky. And HUNGRY! You know, that I am pregnant, don't fuck with me kind of hungry.
Now let me say something about the food at this hospital. I have had two children at this place and as far as care goes - nursing and my stellar OB - it is FABULOUS. But as far as the food goes...well, it's barely shy of poison. If you are not sick when admitted, you will be from eating the food when you leave. I had supergirl there four years ago, and it was really bad then, but it seems that someone has put a lot of effort into making it EVEN WORSE since then.
It turns out that I had not been brought food either as a precaution (anyone in L&D MAY have to have a c-section so better not feed her just in case) OR as an oversight (whoops, sorry cranky lady). Finally, one nurse found both of these excuses ridiculous and ordered me a tray of food just as they were trying to close down the kitchen. Unfortunately, I had forgotten the discovery I had made last time about the kitchen, which was that the ONLY edible foods they are able to produce and deliver are tofu dogs and cottage cheese. So what I got was not quite that edible. It consisted of some whitish chunks of mystery meat (resembled chicken, tasted like...well, rubber), covered in a shiny brown gelatinous 'sauce', sprinkled with 3 sliced canned mushrooms. To the side of this, umm, meat, were small piles of mushy rice and succotash - did I mention my fear of lima beans? And did I mention that the kitchen was no longer 'open'? They also kindly provided me with a small container of nearly frozen salad that would have made an airplane meal salad look like lunch at Chez Panisse! People, do you have any idea what nearly freezing a salad DOES to that salad? I would go into more detail but I am, after all, pregnant and slightly sensitive to DISGUSTING THINGS that have to do with food. You can talk to me about blood and vaginas all you want right now, but the food - that had better be smelling and looking and sounding GOOD!
Okay, so back to the important stuff. The contractions slowed down, Bubbles' heart rate stayed even and strong, I got to have yet another cervical check, and finally got to go home at around 10pm. Oh, it helps to have friends (OB) in high places!
All of this was somewhat nervewracking, but after so much time spent with my very own irritable uterus, I am also somewhat pragmatic now. I decided that if it was just a matter of me lying in the bed with a few inconvenient needles OR me visiting my baby in the NICU, then the answer was certainly obvious. Stay lying on my ass! There is no debating that one. We have lived through the NICU experience, and I have said more than once that it would be potentially a one way ticket to the asylum for mama to have to repeat that. Elijah spent three long weeks in the NICU at another hospital (about which I have nothing positive to say), and I did not make any friends there. Mainly because I would not leave my child. They don't like that - makes them feel like they have less control. GUESS WHAT, YOU MORONS???? IT'S MY KID!!!! We don't have to go there just now. Just take it from me, it's not an experience that they or I would like to have repeated.
The good news is that I got the results back from the fetal fibronectin test and they were negative. Which means that it is highly unlikely that Bubbles will be making his appearance this week. OB-friend is telling him to stay in until 37 weeks. I am predicting Halloween (which would be 38 wks exactly). BOO! With all these predictions, I am most likely to end up with an induction of a potentially large baby at 39 weeks.
Next week we have yet another growth scan with the Stanford perinatal diagnostic clinic - they who have been following the growth of this little guy very carefully, looking for signs of the mystery growth disorder that kept everyone scratching their heads about Elijah. So far he has been growing very well. Was 3lbs 10oz at 30 weeks. If this growth rate continues, he may be about 7-7.5 lbs. This, for us, is a BIG baby. So, as much as my vagina screams in protest at this possibility, we are hoping for another steady incline in growth at our appointment on Oct 7th. I think I will need a few more pumpkin frappucinos before then.
So I am home now, on bedrest, which I interpret as 'sit around on ass unless I have enough contractions to actually go horizontal'. It also means dh has to assume most of the childcare, cooking, laundry, entertaining of supergirl, and general maintenance. This is not such a bad thing. I DO love my OB!!!
By next week I will be ready once again to face the world, the shopping, the farmers markets, the library (which can provide me with more on-my-ass reading entertainment), acupuncture, etc. I am feeling very nesty. I may even venture into the 'washing of the crib bedding' and the 'stacking of the diapers' territory. This would mean that I have to think positively and expect to actually bring a baby home. I am just a little bit closer to that concept.

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