D-day comes early

Fluid levels down to 4 cm, so looks like I’m in for a c-section tonight. Off to the hospital now.  Please send good thoughts our way. Will post updates when I can.

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Reporting from the couch

So… what was supposed to be a couple of days of bed rest didn’t exactly go as planned (but what has these days?).  I went in to the ultrasound appointment on Thursday expecting to be told that everything is fine and that I would be back at work tomorrow.  Instead, I got an envelope and a one-way ticket to the hospital.  My fluid had dropped another centimeter, which was very concerning since I’d been drinking like a fish (why does that metaphor rub me the wrong way?) and hadn’t been on my feet TOO much.  The doctor decided to get me hooked up on IV fluids to see if that would help.

Poor doctor didn’t know what hit him because, with this news, I immediately burst into tears.  Poor David, too, because he’s been dealing with me crying every other day for a few days now (and I’m not usually a crier).  I think all the hormones have finally taken their toll on my tear ducts (although why couldn’t all this fluid go into my amniotic sac, hmmm????).

Anyhoo, we went home to pack a small hospital bag – which was, I’m sure, the reason I was sent to the hospital, because I hadn’t packed my hospital bag yet – and call my mom so that she could switch off shifts with the hubby as  he had to pick up our rocking chair that had just been delivered to the store with my in-laws and gather his stuff since he started his research assistant position that day.  We stopped off for dinner, since who knows when I would eat next, then to the hospital for admittance to labor and delivery.  I also made the mistake of reading the paperwork in the envelope on the way over, which gave guidelines for the various fluid levels: if they go above 8 cm, I go home; between 5 & 8, they wait until 37 weeks (which was in a week), then deliver; below 5, deliver immediately.  Now, the nice doctor didn’t mention the “deliver if under 5 cm” part to me, so this was a bit of a shock considering I was at 6 cm.

Once I was finally admitted, which was also my first chance to see the L&D rooms as the hospital doesn’t allow tours, I waited around for a while, then was finally hooked up to the IV fluids.  I also got my first cervical exam.  I got to find out the hard way that, apparently, my cervix is set far back.  For someone who is only 5 feet tall, I certainly got worn like a glove right then.  On the bright side, there was no dilation or effacement and no signs of any amniotic fluid leaking.

Once the fluids started, I swelled up like a Thanksgiving day parade balloon.  It was bad enough that my sister was able to tell that my IV arm was MORE swollen than the other over Skype.  And not even a GOOD Skype video connection!  I also shocked a nurse by sleeping through a whole slew of contractions.  Then, I got to see her face when telling her that I’ve had Braxton Hicks contractions since 19 weeks pregnant.  Poor hubby worked mostly through the night on his research while occasionally helping me with all my wires when I needed to use the bathroom, but that luckily impressed the professor he’s working for tremendously that he would work while his wife was in the hospital (it wasn’t like there was much else he could do while I was loaded up with saline).  I slept intermittently and was never so thankful for the horrible mattress we have at home compared to the hospital bed.

The next morning, we had the ultrasound, which, THANK THE SWEET BABY JEBUS, showed my fluid up to 9.5 cm.  This made me seriously pissed at the ultrasound tech the day before (especially since she was kind of mean, particularly when I asked what kind of breech position the baby was in, and her response was “it doesn’t matter, you’re going to have a c-section”).  The hospital tech thought that there could have been a chance that the one from yesterday couldn’t see some of the fluid pockets.  Either way, I got to get discharged with stricter bed rest instructions and a duty to drink even MORE water, which I’m not sure is possible, but I’m trying.

Even with the bed rest, hubby tried to make sure that I had a nice Mother’s Day yesterday.  He even drove me to the park across the street so that I could lay down on a bench outside to get some fresh air. Unfortunately, I also got a visit from my mom (not the unfortunate part) and my grandmother (that’s the ticket).  My grandmother, within 5 minutes of arriving, deemed that I looked like an elephant and asked me how much weight I’ve gained.  Now, I wouldn’t admit to her that I know how much I’ve gained, but for those of you playing the home game, it’s about 40 pounds, 14 of which happened between weeks 32 & 34 and are at least partly due to the fluid retained in my legs and hands.

Now, the coming attractions for this week: OB on Tuesday to schedule c-section if baby is still breech and general checkup, possible chiropractor on Wednesday with approval from OB if baby still hasn’t flipped, and the next ultrasound on Thursday to check fluid levels.  If fluid goes down again below 8, we could be looking at delivery this weekend.  Otherwise, we should be looking at delivering at beginning of June if breech, or, haha, when I go into labor if vertex (again, haha).  Tonight, my mom is coming over to help me pack my hospital bag for real.  We figure, it’s kind of like bringing an umbrella somewhere to make sure it doesn’t rain.  I’ve learned my lesson!!!

Taking off the boxing gloves, psychologically-speaking

So, after mentally psyching myself up for a fight with my OB about low intervention and monitoring the baby to see if/when he turns, blah blah blah, guess who still has a breech baby but no c-section scheduled… yet!

I’m getting one more week to get the baby on board with the whole “if you would just put your head down, you would probably be a lot more comfortable”-thing.  I’m still going to the chiropractor, and I think I can actually identify what position the baby is in at this point most of the time (I helped my doctor find the baby’s head this morning for the ultrasound even).  However, she is not forcing me to get induced if I show up on c-section day and the baby has flipped.  I feel a lot better knowing that my, er, his deadline is no longer at 36 weeks and is now up until 39 and a half (or whenever we’re scheduling the slice and dice) and that I don’t have to worry about an induction right now.

Rest is going less restful than it probably should be.  Saturday was my baby shower, and it was the most exhausted I’ve ever been after sitting for most of the time.  We got some nice swag and shouldn’t have TOO much more to get before this baby shows up.  We also had plenty of people show up, so we didn’t look like complete losers. It was  just the way we like a party – low-key and not too traditional.  I am still trying to eat all the leftover cupcakes from the cake… getting nice and buzzed on some artificial food coloring… yum.

Otherwise, trying to stay (get?) positive.  Supposedly, that can help everything relax and help the baby get into position.  That means no more talk about grounding a fetus and maybe using a nice tone of voice to relax him when he gets into awkward positions rather than grumble.  I have thank you cards to work on from the shower, and I’m trying to use this time to actually rest up so that I can maybe recover from some of this exhaustion that I’ve dealt with the past few weeks.  Perhaps I will actually be able to get stuff done when I get back to work.

Tips for increasing amniotic fluid levels or flipping breech babies while on semi-bed rest are welcome!

So, who didn’t see this coming…

Apparently, I didn’t.  Went in for my measuring ultrasound today and got put on rest to get my amniotic fluid levels up.  Baby is looking fine – all perfect scores on the biophysical profile (lots of movement, good muscle tone, strong heart rate, placenta doing it’s job, etc.), but my fluid levels were low.  At 35 weeks, they should be between 10-15 cm.  Critical level, which would be a 1-way ticket to the ER for IV fluids, is 5 cm.  I’m at 7 cm.  It’s not full bed rest, but I have to be resting for at least 50% of the day (laying on left side, blah blah blah).  I’m also supposed to be drinking enough water to be peeing every half-hour or so (now, even as a pregnant lady, I have a decent-sized bladder, so I don’t know how realistic that is), especially considering that I was already up to about a gallon a day (and did I mention I’m only 5 ft. tall???).

Also, baby STILL hasn’t flipped, despite my trips to the chiropractor and some other random tricks (most of which I don’t think I can do while on rest).  The doctor at the ultrasound facility seemed to still think there is time & room for the baby to turn over, so here’s to hoping something happens before my next ultrasound.  Baby is measuring, according to ultrasound (which I know is not very accurate), at around 5 lbs, 7 oz, which is a good size for gestational age and would predict around a 7-pounder at birth.  Not bad at all.

My next ultrasound is on Thursday, and I’m not allowed to go back to work until they check my fluids again.  I didn’t really have enough paid time off to get me through maternity leave before, so I have no idea what I’m going to do with missing 5 days of work.   Since I have to lay down most of the time, it’s not like I can even do much cleaning around the house or anything like that to be semi-productive.  At least baby is moving around like crazy right now to keep me company while hubby is in his second of 3 final exams.  Maybe I will try to restring my guitar – I had wanted to start playing again while I was pregnant so that the baby could hear the music when it was up against my belly.  Who has some tips for things to get done while on not-bed rest???