Monday, October 12, 2009

It's a boy! Thankfully...NOT YET (and lovely lady lumps week 24!)

From Lovely Lady Lumps: 24 weeks
This is not really news to about half of the contacts in our cell phone as either Eric or I panicked in an SOS on Saturday AM to anyone who has ever offered up to help us out with Miles. My worst fears almost came true:

Eric was chartered away on a bus to a XC meet almost 2 hours away early Saturday morning. No biggie. We do this every weekend. Mom was home, playing with Miles who was in great spirits, but not at all close to needing a nap. Kilo must have pressed that hidden overdrive button on my uterus as it started up with its Braxton-Hicks contractions (BH-ctx)--this time, they wouldn't let down--and started to hurt. Ruh-roh! This was a new sensation for me and given that I never went into labor naturally with Miles, I have NO idea what to expect. I made a brief mention to Eric when I finally got him on the phone that my BH-ctx were delightfully regular. He said to call the Dr. Nah! I was fine. But then--I wasn't. The soccer ball in my abdomen was tightening over and over and over. (Yes, apparently my uterus is the size of a soccer ball according to Miles could sense I was "off" and kept wanting to nurse, or be held, or have me pick him up. I tried to put him down for a nap prematurely (we was not very obliging), and quickly drank a gallon (no, really, a gallon) of water and went straight to the couch on my left side. They kept coming. I called the OB who just happened to be on call at the hospital and he told me to get in as soon as I could.

WHO IS GOING TO WATCH MILES? This is what we had not discussed. I have made casual remarks about our list of people we need on call, but have yet to make a formal plan. And we haven't gone to our birthing classes, haven't had our pre-planning with the doula, the co-sleeper isn't set up, the guest room isn't converted, we haven't picked out a mobile or gotten a new rectal know, all these irrational and panicked thoughts start flooding my brain. I called Eric in a panic crying, and started calling my most trusted friends, but was having trouble making contact with a live human being. Eric called Miles's childcare director (surrogate grandmother Mrs J), and she flew out of her pedicure, and drove straight to our house. (Let me break by saying over the course of the day, we got called by so many loving people ready in the wings to help out--I guess Saturday mornings are just a hard time to get a hold of people initially!) Mrs J swept my tearful contracting body from the house, drove me and Miles to the hospital and then scurried back to our house with Miles and just loved on him for the rest of the day. Eric was involved in a number of traffic violations on his way down to the hospital courtesy of a XC parent, and made it in time as I was ushered back in labor and delivery for assessment. The receptionist was very kind as I bawled through filling out gads of registration paperwork. "At least you won't have to fill these out next time!" I kept thinking, dear God, please let there be a next time. This was all too familiar to when I checked in for an assessment last time, and ended up with a baby that night.

I know slightly too much about fetal/maternal monitors in a L&D room due to my stint in nursing school AND a rotation on the exact floor I was currently sitting on. I could see that Kilo was fine (after the nurse took a little too long to find his heartbeat), but my contractions had quite a regular and frequent pattern. The nurse was pretty sure it would be a long stay if things couldn't change. I gave my urine sample to rule out any sort of infection (they can cause preterm contractions), and I think the entire floor looked at my sample. It was as clear as water. I don't think anyone believed me when I said I drank a gallon of water. I also got the uncomfortable fetal fibronectin test (fFN) and waited for my info to be reviewed by the doctor.

Interestingly, relieving my bladder helped dramatically in calming my irritable uterus. Every time my contractions started to flare up, the nurse came in on cue and said, "do you need to use the bathroom? I was watching your monitor from our station and it looks like your bladder is bothering your uterus again." So, we did that song and dance over and over. The trouble when you are hooked to monitors is that you need help getting them on and off, so I couldn't just unhook and go at my leisure.

The Dr came in, and as I expected, said he has no idea why I have an irritable uterus, but what this all results in is closer monitoring. He started me on maintenance terbutaline every 4 hours, which for all you pharma heads, is traditionally used for asthma--it relaxes smooth muscles. It also has a lovely side effect of anxiety/jitteriness and headache. I'll take it! (What I cannot remember is the pharmacokinetics of why you are anxious--anyone??). I've been taking the terb as prescribed, and it is helping. I still have contractions, but not as bad. I'll go back to the Dr this Thur, we'll do another fFN test and also start the cervical length checks. And I am not to do anything I don't have to do. I am NOT on prescribed bedrest, but on "modified bedrest" and have a feeling if I show my face again at the hospital, that I may be laid up on the couch for a few months. Until then, it is modified bedrest, hydration, terbutaline and monitoring.

Probably more than you all needed to know, but there you have it!

And here I had JUST commented to Eric how delightfully uneventful the pregnancy had been. Maybe this is just Kilo being a show-off...competing with his brother already.

In the spirit of positive energy (I think I was put on every prayer chain on the east coast--from my family, to work and even my Doula have positive vibes going for me--I love you all!), I decided to take one of Miles's art pieces (i.e. scribble pad pages he doodled on recently), and turned it into a paper chain marking all of the major holidays I need to get through before Kilo is born: Halloween, Thanksgiving, X-mas, New Years, 30th Birthday (and Eric's 29th on the same day), and finally...Due Date/Groundhog Day!
From Lovely Lady Lumps: 24 weeks

(More 24 week belly shots seen here. We're getting big! Don't mind my tired eyes. It was a long day that ended in some unexpected tears. Just one of those days--Miles is struggling with a molar coming through and being incredibly needy...right as I am trying to wean him completely b/c nursing seems to cause some ctx. It's hard when he points and pulls on the shirt, and then cries when I deny him. The goal was to go until 18 months, but I think we may have to stop at 17.)


  1. Oh thank goodness everything turned out alright! I've been anxiously awaiting this blog post.

    TAKE CARE OF YOU! You are so lucky to have so many terrific people around!

  2. ali,
    your belly is so beautiful.
    seriously, even your belly skin is glowing...when i was preggo, it was always dry, dull and itchy.
    lucky you!
    random comment, i know, but i just wanted to make sure you kown how absolutely beautiful you are right now.

  3. You do look good, honey. The bigger the belly, the better! It means Kilo is still in and growing strong. Take good care of yourself, the best you can. I'm sure it's wrenching to deny Miles nursing, but you did great to have nursed him for 17 months!