Monday, May 28, 2012

Biggest Scare of Our Lives

This post is mostly for me to remember and document what has happened this last week.  It may be too much information and way too long for some of you, so don't feel like you have to read it!

So last Monday, the 21st, I was having Braxton Hicks contractions about every 5-10 minutes at school all day.  This is actually pretty normal for me but something felt wrong.  I was supposed to have my 32 week appt with the doctor on Thursday (I would be 32 weeks on Wednesday) but thought I should move it up to that afternoon just to make sure everything was ok.  Well I just felt like something was wrong and had no idea what it was.  I called Steve crying and told him something felt weird and I felt like he should go to my appt that afternoon with me (he usually can never take off work for any of my appointments).  He quickly got out of work and we headed over the the doctor's office around 3:30.

My doctor was nice enough to stay later to accommodate me and I found out that the contractions were actual labor contractions and I was almost 2 cm dilated and 70% effaced.  We were shocked (I had been checked previously and they always said my cervix was closed).  He also did a Fetal Fibronectin test on me to see if my body was releasing a hormone that indicates if I would go into labor.  The test takes a couple of hours to get the results.  He told us that we needed to go to the hospital immediately so they could monitor me and give me a steroid shot for the baby.

We headed over the American Fork hospital and got all hooked up.  I got the first steroid shot to help the baby's lungs and they told me to come back the next day to get the second.  This shot helps the baby's lungs do better if they are born prematurely.  We got the results of the Fetal Fibronectin test--it was negative!  Which supposedly means there is less than a 1% chance you will go into labor in the next 2 weeks.  Well my doctor was absolutely shocked that it was negative.  He basically told us to ignore it and that I needed to go on bed rest ASAP.  I was still having regular contractions, but they were able to stop them with 3 Terbutaline shots and sent me home.

When we got home, I called my principal to tell her I couldn't finish out the school year and found a great sub for my students.  I headed over the the school (much to my mom and Steve's dismay) to get everything ready for the sub.  Then, I went to bed.

I couldn't sleep because I was SO worried and kept waking up with horrible cramps and contractions that seemed to never go away.  Eventually, around 5 I called my mom and we started timing them.  They were about 3 minutes apart and she told me to go back to the hospital.  So, Steve and I grabbed a few things and rushed over.  My doctor was still at the hospital and checked my cervix again.  I was now almost 3 cm and 90% effaced.  I burst into tears because the nurse and doctor basically had to treat me like I was going to have the baby that day.  They quickly did my next steroid shot and told me the goal was to get me through the next 24 hours so that the shot would go into effect.  I got hooked to an IV and put on Magnesium to stop my contractions.

An ambulance and team of 6 EMTs came into my room and put me on a gurney.  They rushed me over to Utah Valley Regional in Provo because that hospital is much better equipped to handle such an early preemie.  My contractions were now about 5 minutes apart and the medicine was starting to work.  At about 5 that night my contractions were pretty much gone.  My mom took the soonest flight that day and was there by the nighttime.  What a great mom!

I think that may have been the worst day and night of my life.  With all of the anxiety from the situation and feeling awful from the Magnesium, I couldn't have felt worse.  A nurse had to come into my room every hour throughout the night to do different tests on me to make sure my body could handle the medicine.

Around 8:00 the next morning (Wednesday), they took me off of Magnesium and started me on Nifedipine.  Nifedipine is a pill that is supposed to slow contractions as well.  Luckily, my body did well with the pill and my contractions were pretty much gone (only one every half hour or so).  They monitored me in the hospital until Sunday and then released me.  I am now at home on strict bedrest.  I am only allowed to shower and use the bathroom.  I'm also on medicine every 4 hours to slow my contractions.  So far it has been working!  I have been feeling great and have to keep reminding myself not to do anything extra.

This Wednesday I will be 33 weeks, and the doctor's biggest goal is to get me to 34 weeks.  They say that at 34 weeks the baby will likely have no problems with breathing and would probably have little to no NICU stay.  If I go into labor again before 34 weeks, they will attempt to stop it and I will need to go to the hospital in Provo.  Once I am 34 weeks, I will be able to deliver at American Fork and they will not stop the delivery.  We are hopeful to make it to 34 weeks, but we honestly have no idea when this baby will come!