Friday, December 23, 2011

Guess where I’m spending Christmas, and hopefully the next seven weeks?

December 14, I had an appointment with my high risk OB. Her plan, at that time, was steroid shots (for Baby B’s lungs) at 34 weeks, amnio to check lung maturity at 35 weeks, then schedule the c-section depending on the amnio results. She’d also met with her department to discuss my wishes with them. Basically, that I don’t care what the department policy is, or who’s on call, I want her at delivery. Everyone was in agreement that under the circumstances, that was okay. The meeting also brought them up to date on my case and history, information that would prove invaluable in the coming days.

Two days later, last Friday night, at 26 weeks 5 days, I was at the mall with my mom, grandmother, and Kate. All of the sudden, I felt my water break. Blood, amniotic fluid, and a mad dash to the hospital. I’d called ahead and they were expecting me in L&D. I had a room full of people, starting lines, asking questions, making phone calls, blood work, ultrasound, the works. The ultrasound showed that Baby B had a good fluid level and strong heartbeat, and it appeared that it was Baby A’s sac (the “non viable baby” as he’s called, tears) that had ruptured. Then the contractions started.

I was put on a very high dose of Magnesium Sulfate. I’d heard of this med before, but wow, nothing compares to the experience. To be honest, the details of last weekend are a little fuzzy; that is a strong drug and I was so, so sick. Imagine the worst flu you’ve ever had, hot flashes, inability to control your limbs, light sensitivity, vomiting. Yeah, that’s Magnesium Sulfate.

Back to Friday. So yeah, I was now contracting every two minutes and SCARED. It takes A LOT to scare me, especially in a medical setting. I was terrified, shaking, and even tearful. I know 26 weekers can survive, but I really wanted 35 weeks, and still do. While they worked on me, they had the NICU team come in. After speaking with the neonatologist, I thanked him and said I hoped to not see him for 8 weeks or so. The look of disbelief on the staff’s faces was too much. They said they were just hoping for 48 hours at that point, enough to get the steroid shots in for Baby B’s lungs. I also found out they chose the Mag Sulfate because it offers “neuro protection” and because I was on heparin. I couldn’t believe this was happening, most of the time, I still don’t.

Over the weekend they tried to make me comfortable and prepare me for the worst. I am happy to say that I was able to get the two doses of Betamethasone (for lung maturity) and eventually the contractions stopped, so I was weaned off of the Mag, though not before becoming violently ill Saturday night. They did blood work several times a day to test my Mag levels, which I later found out were sky-high. In addition to the contractions, infection is a major concern. The sac that provided a barrier of protection is gone, so I’m getting Erythromycin and Amoxicillin every six hours, vitals every two. The other big concerns are cord prolapse and placental abruption, though one doctor said the risk of abruption goes down after 24 hours of PPROM, so I’m way past that.

After passing the initial 48 hours, people seemed to relax a bit, and then it was time to make longer plans. My perinatologist is out of town, but my high risk OB spoke with his partner. The perinatologist said that he absolutely wouldn’t let me go past 34 weeks. Her response to him was that she was just trying to get me to 30 at this point. I’m sure I was visibly disappointed when she told me that, and I mentioned that I’d hoped for 35. She said no, but that if I make it to 30, we can set new goals.

Strict hospital bed rest is hard. And before I explain, I KNOW I’m in the best place, and I KNOW that every day I’m here, is a day Baby B is not in the NICU, but yes, this is tough, so now I’ll whine, a bit. For the first several days I had multiple IVs, a catheter, 24 hour monitoring of Baby B, and zero privileges. As in, you do not get up from bed for any reason, none. Want to brush your teeth, the nurse brings your toothbrush and a Styrofoam cup. Need to go to the bathroom, voila, the foley catheter is already in. Want to stretch your legs, too bad, you’re hooked up to the sequential compression device, which inflates every five seconds, yes, I counted. Little by little, the doctors have “liberalized” my privileges. I’m now catheter free and depending on which doctor is rounding, I get sitting showers of either 2, 5 or 10 minutes.

The loss of independence has been hard, very hard. I’m used to doing things myself, when I need to. If I go to the bathroom, I have to ring for the nurse, then have monitoring upon returning to bed. My meds are brought in on a schedule. Food is eaten in bed. I’m dependent on everyone for everything. That is hard.

Kate is doing well, under the circumstances. We are VERY lucky in that this (PPROM) happened here. My mom and Kate are close, so she’s enjoying her time with Nana. They visit often, but it’s difficult. She’s too young to understand, and this is a scary place for kids. We’re getting the room decorated and hopefully with more time, she’ll become more comfortable. I’ve just never had to be away from her before, so this is tough.

I’ll be updating the blog a lot more often. As of today, I’m 27 weeks 6 days, and still planning for a 2012 delivery!

Thank you for your continued support and prayers.

Wishing you a very Merry Christmas!


  1. Oh wow, how scary! So pleased things have calmed down. I'm sure bed rest must be hard, I would go crazy! I really hope things continue to remain stable and no arrival until 2012

  2. Oh my goodness. I've been checking your blog every few days, hoping for an update, and this was not what I had hoped to read. I'm so sorry for the loss of your sweet baby A, and I will continue to keep you and Baby B in my prayers. I hope that you can have a baby in 2012...maybe even the second month of 2012!

  3. Oh sweety I'm so sorry and praying for you and that little one. Stay strong!

  4. You really are in the best possible place. Your post takes me back -- being so woozy and blah from the Mag, the betamethasone shots, that damn foley which I was so thrilled to get rid of (though I got it back and lost it several more times), not being able to shower... I was in the hospital for a total of 5 weeks before giving birth and as long as you have your laptop and a good wireless connection, you will stay sane. An iPad would be even better; they didn't exist when I was in your position, but it would have been awesome since I had to be on my side all the time and reading the screen sideways was tough, nevermind typing sideways.

    If there are any TV series you've ever wanted to get caught up on (I watched, I don't know, 8 full series?), now's your chance. Any computer-based projects like photo scrapbooks, you will never have a better time. Emails to write, research to do, books to read, plans to make, languages to learn: keeping busy really helps. I helped a relative plan her whole wedding from that hospital bed. It really helped me get through the day to have a To Do list (though I was also trying, and mostly failing, to get work done, plus working on our taxes, bleech). Even silly stuff like shower, ask the doctor a certain question during rounds, watch this movie: all felt like I was accomplishing something rather than twiddling my thumbs. Every day you spend in that bed will pay off double in a shorter NICU stay for B, plus better long-term health. It is absolutely worth it, even if it's no fun sometimes, esp. with Kate not with you.

    Comfy maternity clothes, rather than those horrid gowns, will help you feel like a person.

    Hang in there. You can do it!

  5. I am so sorry about the loss of your sweet little one. Will keep you and Baby B in my thoughts and prayers. I hope you are able to beat their expectations by many days to help Baby B get the best start. You are such a great, dedicated mom.

  6. Wow, lady! So scary and so hard what you are going through. Big hugs on the loss of baby A. Praying hard here that baby B sits tight for at least 5 weeks and hoping for more. I'm sorry you are separated from Kate, but glad she is on good hands and can visit. You seem to have wonderful doctors who are absolutely devoted to you and your baby - sounds like just what you need. Good luck with your temporary loss of independence. I was in bed for about 2 days after Isobel with mag sulph and although I didn't have a violent reaction to it I was so glad to get my bathroom privileges back. Take care:))

  7. As hard as it is, I hope you are on strict hospital bed rest for many more days so that you can lessen Baby B's NICU time.

  8. I am so sorry to hear about all that has happened. I am glad to hear that you still have sweet baby B in your womb, though. I hope that the bed rest goes okay. I can't imagine.

    Sending prayers your way.

  9. Hello. I am new here but I wanted to tell you how sorry I am for the loss of your twin. I went through a rather similar situation a few years ago and your story- the mag, the wonderful nurses, the fear and uncertainty, is amazingly familiar. I ended up spending 5 weeks in the hospital on bed rest and my son came home after a short NICU stay. It all turned out for the best and I'm sure that your story will as well but I know that it will continue to be difficult until you get there. It must be especially hard with a toddler at home.