Saturday, September 12, 2015

A birthday week surprise...

On September 1 with Andy on business travel in Dallas and Adam spending the day with Grandma (it was her birthday!) and Granpda, I headed off to the doctor for my 28 week check-up and dreaded glucose test. I'll admit it was actually the second day in the row that I was at the doctor's office as I had some contractions the day before which I had checked out but was sent home to monitor the situation. Well, the situation had progressed a bit so after my blood was drawn I had my check-up and it was determined I had better head next door to the hospital to be checked out and monitored. Thus began a pretty crazy week. 

Grandma was sweet and came to the hospital to keep me company & Andy was on the next flight home. Grandpa was the real hero who took Adam & Olivia to Frying Pan Park and out to lunch all by himself - way to go Grandpa! 

Once placed on monitors it was determined that I was in pre-term labor and so they started me on an IV and some medicine to try and calm the contractions. After about four hours it seemed the measures they were taking weren't quite doing the trick so I was prepped for a steroid shot (given in the hip - ouch) that would be really helpful in preparing baby boy's lungs for possible early arrival and then I was placed on a 24 hour IV of magnesium - a pretty powerful tool to calm down contractions which had some great side affects like wooziness, headaches, and hot flashes. 

Soon after I was ordered to stay in bed for 24 hours (can't get up when you're on magnesium) Andy arrived. This allowed my mom to head home so she could participate in her birthday celebration at home - was supposed to be for Adam and me as well, but luckily Adam still got to participate. 

After a long 24 hours, and one more steroid shot in the hip (everyone was thrilled I was able to get both doses as it is so critical for the baby's lungs) it was finally time to stop the magnesium and according to the monitor and doctor the contractions had subsided and I was cleared to head home - albeit with strict "bed rest" orders for remainder of pregnancy - which they were hoping would be at least 7 more weeks. 

I was so happy to head home the evening of the 2nd, not only because it meant sleeping monitor, wire, IV, and catheter free, but also because I knew it meant I'd be able to spend Adam's and my birthday at home. 

Even though I was glued to the couch all day, we both managed to have great birthdays (thanks to Andy!) and while the thought of bed rest was throwing us all for a loop we had already heard from so many friends, family and neighbors who were going to be willing to pitch in for the next two months as I worked on keeping baby boy cooking away. 

Though that was all about to change when I woke up to strong and frequent contractions Friday morning (the 4th). A quick call to the on-call doctor verified what I already knew - it was back to the hospital for me. And back on the dreaded magnesium. 

It wasn't long before the doctor was in to see me and realized that I was dilated further than I was on Tuesday and with results from a blood test indicating a rise in my white blood count, a possible sign of infection, he had a hunch that delivering this baby was a possibility. Since I was 28 weeks and 6 days (one day shy of the 29 week mark and the cut off for babies that Fair Oaks Hospital will take in their NICU) I had to be transferred to Fairfax Hospital.

The good news there is that we already knew they have one of the best NICU's in the country and we already knew one of the nurses - Auntie Amy! She had been so sweet to already spend time with us during our first hospital stay and the minute she heard I was back in the hospital Friday morning she headed right over to be with us. 

The transfer was quite an experience - I got to ride on a stretcher in an ambulance - no lights flashing or sirens going - but still, that was a first (and hopefully a last). I was still on the magnesium and I think everyone's hope was that I could still keep this baby on the inside. However after the results of another blood test indicated another increase in my white blood count the doctor made her determination that I would in fact need to deliver this baby. 

Wow. That was something to hear. However I'll admit there was a slight sigh of relief to finally have an answer one way or another. So this was really happening - and the arrival of the anesthesiologist with the epidural kit was the reality check that indeed I was giving birth in the next 5 or so hours. After 7 attempts (Andy counted the needle marks on my back the next day - fun) the epidural was finally in and it was a welcomed relief from the painful contractions I'd been having all day. Once I was resting comfortably Andy & Amy went and grabbed some dinner and took a tour of the NICU. Though I was jealous of their ability to eat - I was happy to catch some "z's" while they were gone. 

The rest didn't last too long as Dr. King (the best doctor - seriously - she was amazing and funny and comforting) was in there checking me and breaking my water. She said to let her know when I felt any pressure - which I felt about 3 minutes after she left. Luckily Amy was standing there and not two seconds after she hit the call button Dr. King and her crew were coming in as they knew it was "go time." 

Delivering a premature baby means you get lots of extra company in the room - like a lot of extra company. I didn't really count (was a bit distracted) but I think at least 12 people and all but 2 of them were there for the baby. 

Before I knew it, seriously it took about 4 minutes, our baby boy had arrived...

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