Friday, July 18, 2014

The Preggo Diaries #5

The nurse was able to quickly get the baby's heartbeat back on the monitor. She explained that decelerations in the heartbeat had probably been happening through out the pregnancy, but since they had caught it on the monitor, I would now be kept over night for more observation.

A couple of more times throughout the night the baby's heartbeat would drop, and a nurse would rush in to find it again. Sometimes I'd need to go to the restroom, so a nurse would come in and disconnect me and help me over to the small bathroom. Then we'd spend several minutes trying to relocate the baby on the monitor. It got so bad at one point that the nurses threatened me with bedpans!

Despite the drama with his heartbeat, our son also discovered that whenever he kicked the sensors, the monitor would make noise... so every so often, my husband would hear static from the monitors due to the baby kicking the sensors. First it'd be little spurts, then there'd be longer periods of static as he figured out that dragging his foot across it made even more noise.

Crazy kid.

In the morning, the doctors started giving me steroids to help the baby's lungs develop just in case something happened. Since the next dose couldn't be given until the next day, I was told that I wouldn't be able to leave until Tuesday at the earliest. This would be the longest I had stayed at a hospital, so I was a little nervous, but our nurses were pretty awesome (when I had a bout of nausea earlier in the morning, they joked about it, comparing the aftermath to the Exorcist, instead of complaining), and the room was nice. I felt bad for my poor husband though: his bed was a chair that pulled out into a cot that was obviously meant for kids - not a 6'4 man. But he was willing to put up with it for another night as long as the baby and I were taken care of.

I updated my work, and let them know that there was a good chance that I might not be returning to work even after I was released. They were very understanding about the whole situation, thank God!

My husband's parents had just stopped by to visit when another deceleration happened. However this time when the nurses couldn't find the baby's heartbeat again, I was put on oxygen. When that didn't help, more nurses came rushing in as well as a couple of doctors, and they dragged in an ultrasound machine to help them locate it. Five minutes later they were able to finally able to find the baby again, and eventually the oxygen mask was removed.

The doctors overseeing me came in to visit us at this point. They acknowledged that the decelerations were scary, but they didn't see any need to deliver the baby right then and there. As soon as the deceleration had ended, our baby had bounced right back without any issues.

They thought the cause of both the decels and the contractions was probably my fibroid. It was so big that the baby was running out of room, which meant he might be laying against his umbilical cord. Plus it was located near where the placenta had formed on the inside of the uterus, so it could be pulling blood away from the placenta and the baby. In addition to that it was so large that it was putting stress on my uterus and causing it to be irritated.

Their goal was to try to keep our baby in there until 30 weeks. By then the steroids would have had more than enough time to help our baby's lungs develop, and he would have put on more weight. Also his odds as a 30 week old were much better than a 28 week old - though, the NICU doctor was quick to reassure us, if something did happen, and we had to deliver early, 28 week olds did very very well.

I started doing some research and confirmed what the doctors told me; 28 week old preemies did have extremely good odds. They were a little behind developmentally, but once you factored in what their due date was instead of going by their birth date, they were often on track.

Plus it turned out a lot of people we knew were preemies or had had preemies and were doing quite well.

I began to trust that if something happened, we were in extremely good hands.

A second decel happened when my family stopped by to visit. My mom, my aunt, and uncle were quickly ushered out of the room while the nurses tried, yet again, to find our baby. I was put back on oxygen, and it took another five minutes to locate him, but at least they didn't need to drag the ultrasound back in. When my mom was allowed back in and saw me on the oxygen she began to get a bit teary eyed. My husband and I reassured her that the baby just liked to move around a lot, and that we were in the best place possible, the oxygen was really for the baby, not for me, and that we were fine. She, my aunt, and my uncle all gathered around and prayed before they left.

Around 3 my OBGYN finally stopped by my room. She explained that she had been out of town, and that her back up had been on vacation, and apologized profusely for the fact that her phone service had given the wrong information. She also apologized for not coming down sooner and for letting the doctors at the hospital handle everything. Apparently she had injured her hand in a car accident recently (something my husband had noticed at our last appointment, but I had not) and was currently in the middle of rehab - so if something had happened, like I needed surgery, she wouldn't have been able to do anything. As a result she had stayed away so she wouldn't step on the other doctors toes.

We all agreed that that was for the best - and  told her we would keep her updated.

Then curiosity got the best of her. She began to ask the nurse questions, and took a look at my file and the sheets from my monitor showing the baby's decels.

After reading over everything, she stepped out of the room for a few minutes. We later found out that she had called and talked to a perinatologist who was consultanting with one of the other doctors on my case. Apparently she and the perinatologist had done their residency together and were good friends. They quickly agreed that while Orange Coast Memoria was a good hospital, I really needed to be moved somewhere that was better equipped to handle high risk cases like mine. They decided to send me to Long Beach Memorial, which was about 20 minutes away. However they had perinatologists on staff, where Orange Coast only had them on call, and a level 3 NICU - just in case I did deliver early.

While my husband and I were sad to leave where we were at, we agreed that we needed to do whatever was best for the baby and I.

Three hours later I was loaded up in an ambulance, which was fun, and driven to Long Beach.

Little did we know that things were about to get much much worse...


  1. ((Hugs)) 33.5wk preemie mama here - didn't go through what you have but it's all so terrifying. Except for the ambulance ride which was just painful (would it kill someone to put shocks on those things?).

    1. It's been quite a crazy ride, but it was worth it in the end! The ambulance wasn't too bad, but I thought it was rediculous that they wanted me to sign my admission paperwork while I was en route! My signature looked like a scribble!