Saturday, October 11, 2008

Like to hear about it? Here it go...

Part I - Appointment
On Monday, 10/6/08, I had my usual 2 week cervical sono and checkup, and I was all fired up to go because Sunday was a really bad day. I had pressure, pain, and overall discomfort, but still no leaking or anything drastic like that. My appointment was for 11am, and I got there at about 10:45 with a parking spot right in front (I should have known drama would ensue, I never get the first spot). I always have the sono first and then meet with the OB, and this time it was with OB1 so I couldn't wait to see him. The ultrasound tech did the external first as usual and told me that Slinky was up to 2lbs 6oz - YAY - and that the fluid around him was still good. Then she did the internal. I knew something was wrong when she asked, "What was your length at your last appointment?" I told her 2.9, she told me that that was impossible, I checked my appointment book b/c I always jot down my results and told her, "Uh uh, it's been 2.9 for that past few weeks". She looked at my chart, "I don't why she told you that but it's been 1.9, and now maybe it's about" I finally stopped her and said, "Please don't try to sugarcoat it, I'd rather you'd be painfully accurate than try to spare my feelings." She then said, "I'm sorry the most I can see is 1.4". I got dressed and waited to meet with OB1. Remember, I was excited to see him. I shared my difficult Sunday with him, and he was mildly worried. He told me to make an appointment to come back in on Thursday to check the length again and just continue taking it easy. I get to the receptionist and we're making the appointment when he comes up front and drops the bomb, "You know, I'm not comfortable sending you home without at least monitoring you first. I'm going to call over to Labor & Delivery, why don't you go there right now?" Like I had a choice, right?
Part II - Monitoring & Admission
I get over to L&D and they put me on the monitor for about an hour. I have about 3 contractions. Then my MFM comes in with the same sono tech from my previous hospital stay and they confirm my length is indeed 1.4 and my uterus is slightly aggravated (i.e. minor contractions with irritability throughout). They do a culture for the fetal fibronectin test, which basically looks at the fluid in the vaginal walls to determine whether I will deliver in the next 2 weeks. My MFM decides to have me admitted to await the results of the test and give me a round of steroids to help speed up lung development for the baby in the event I go this early. Once I'm upstairs in the antipardum section, it becomes a lovely game of waiting. I'm given my first steroid shot at about 8pm that night and am told the 2nd shot will be 24 hours later.
Part III - My 5 day stay
On the 2nd day, they noted on the monitor that I was indeed having some whopper contractions, one that got up to the 50s - ouch. They then put me on Procardia which is really a blood pressure medication. This meant that because I have already low blood pressure, I had to be watched closely before taking each dose. Originally they were giving it to me every 8 hours until I started having monster contractions at hour 6 1/2, so they changed the dose to every 6 hours. Much better. The entire time I was only on IV the first 24 hours with the steroids, but once I was put on the Procardia I was taken off, and just had to keep tabs on my input and output. I still absolutely love my MFM SuperTEAM. They would come every morning by 8am to check on me, as did a member of my OB1's team. And everyday they would say, "Let's just take it one day at a time, we don't want to send you home, only to have you come right back". I remained positive and optimistic, which wasn't hard considering the nurses were awesome and my family and friends kept calling and visiting to make my stay easier. I cried only twice, which is impressive for me, one night cuz DH was exhausted and had to sleep so I didn't get to see him, and one morning when I had horrible nightmares after some whopper contractions. I slept alot, knitted, watched alot of TV, and cursed my roommate under my breath (I'll talk about her ass in a minute). I did however, lose 4lbs in 4 days because the hospital food sucked ass!! And mom is in Florida so I got no home cooking. DH tried to make it easier for me by bringing me Dunkin Donuts every visit - YUM. Hopefully, now that I'm home, I'll recoup those pounds.
While I was there, I figured I might as well make the most of my time and asked if I could get a tour and information about Labor & Delivery and the NICU. On my last day, the hospital coordinator came to my room and gave me 30 minutes worth of information. She explained what will take place with either a vaginal delivery or a c-section at the hospital when a woman delivers before 35 weeks. She described how L&D works closely with the NICU as they are right next door to each other, and what happens during postpartum. She answered my gabbillion questions, and then went into explicit detail describing their NICU. She was honest about what each tube, wire, and machine was for and how the NICU team worked to save premature babies. After our discussion, she got me a wheelchair and personally gave me a tour of the L&D unit and the NICU. I got to see the lay of the land, but not an actual delivery room, they were all occupied, but more importantly, I got to see the NICU. For me, this was the best and worst part of my stay. I say best because at least now I won't have that shock value of seeing my baby for the first time hooked up to the machines, and worst because I did get to actually see it - you know? The NICU has 3 stations (A, B, C), each one identical to the next just with different babies and nurses. I was brought into station A. There were about 7 icelets in the room with 3 nurses assigned to 3-4 babies each. The 3 nurses at the time were feeding 3 of the NICU babies so I got to see first hand what she meant by the amount of cc's a tiny baby would require. Only 1 of the babies being fed was nursing from an actual bottle. Mary Lynn, the coordinator, brought me over to the first icelet and reexplained each of the wires, tubes and machines as they were connected to the baby, and again patiently answered my questions about the incline of the machine, how the baby was on its stomach, and what certain sounds meant. Then she did me a remarkable favor, I think, she brought me over to an icelet of a 29 week old baby boy. I actually stood up and stared for about 5 minutes realizing that is how tiny my baby would be and what it would take to help him grow. Plus since my daughter had Jaundice we had talked about how this baby would probably have Jaundice as well, so I got to see this tiny baby with the Billy lights for his Jaundice. It was a very humbling, enlightening, frightening, and strangely peaceful moment in my life. I looked around the room at the nurses who while they welcomed me in, continued caring for these babies as if they were their own, and I knew my baby would be safe here. I was overcome with love as I rubbed my belly and told Slinky to hold on just a little bit longer. In that moment, I realized that God has his plan and if it means Slinky will be here early to teach him to fight harder than most, then so be it. My job is to keep him safe until then and now that I'm home, I feel so much healthier emotionally, you know?
Part V - Crazy Lady
My roommate was suffering from Placenta Previa and had already been in the hospital for a week and had another 2 weeks to go before she would be allowed to go home. She was almost 26 weeks and would be released at 28 weeks. She came in due to bleeding. Now I got all of this lowdown because she's a loud talker. Not to mention she has to be the most negative pregnant person I had ever known. She complained about everything, loudly, and cursed the majority of the time. Now in my opinion her condition is ten times worse than mine since her condition can change from bad to worse in an instant. All she did was complain how she wished this was over, that they would just take the baby already, so what if he would be tiny, she hated being pregnant. This was all day, everyday for the past 5 days. The other issues, I mentioned she was loud, right? Now when my phone would ring, I'd lower the volume on my tv speaker and whisper. Her tv volume remained loud, had to ask her to lower it several times as did the nurses, but it was as if she screamed into the phone when she talked. Also, she was nasty, as in dirty. I was in the bed closest to the door and bathroom, and every time she finished with the bathroom I had to ask her to close the door, I mean, who wants to smell behind somebody else? ILL! Then, not to be graphic but I have to get this out. I told you how I had to note my input and output, so we each had measuring "hats" for our output (pee). Each time I used mine, I would rinse it out. Hers?!! Sat with the same piss and blood in it for 3 days until I asked the nurse to suggest she change hers. Just nasty, you know you're sharing a space, you act accordingly, right? Neither one of us had bathroom restrictions, so everyday we were given towels and fresh gowns to put on, and asked to change our sheets. Everyday I woke up eager to be fresh, and everyday the nurses would ask her if she wanted her bed changed or ask if she used her previous days clean materials - for 4 days she said no! Four DAys!!! Nasty, nasty, nasty. Finally on Thursday she took a shower! I mean, eeeeesssshhhhh!!! Originally, my MFM was talking about my staying until 30weeks, and I quickly and quietly shut that down saying, "You better move me out of this room if that's the case, cuz she's here for the same amount of time". I've of the mind set that nurses, especially nurses in hospitals, are special people becuase they put up with so much. I made sure I said my "pleases, thank you's" and smiled when they did anything for me. She never said thank you. I watched nurse after nurse come from her curtain with looks of distaste and frustration and I felt for them. Even her doctors were cold to her, while mine came in cheery and high-fiving. I tell you, niceness goes a long way. When they discharged me, all of my nurses, and even the PCA's (Patient Care Assistants) came to say goodbye and were sad to see me leave. That meant so much to me, and I felt sorry for them leaving them with her and no happy buffer - ME!!

OK- I'm sure I've left out tons of stuff, but that's the gist of it all! I'm home and hopefully here for a while. I told DH that if I go back to the hospital now, I know that they won't let me leave next time. I stay positive and optimistic, hopeful and prayerful, and know my little Slinky will be safe no matter what!!!

1 comment:

Christine said...

Oh my what an ordeal. I am so happy to know you and slinky are doing okay though!

and you are right, niceness goes a really long way in care and appreciation.