Saturday, December 21, 2013

33 Weeks

I've managed to make it to 33 weeks so far, despite the adventure of Baby A's water breaking on Tuesday.  It's been an eventful, yet boring last couple of days.

Once they got me checked in on Tuesday, they gave me the first of two steroid injections, used to develop the babies lungs faster in preparation for possible delivery.  I also got started on a magnesium IV drip, in addition to antibiotics.  The magnesium, or The Mag, was to help provide neural protection/development for the babies and to slow the labor process.  The high dose of antibiotics was to help prevent infection due to the water breaking.  In addition to being drugged up, I was also hooked up to monitors for the babies - pretty much like a non stress test, only the monitors stayed on continuously.

The drugs and the monitors were a constant for all of Tuesday and Wednesday.  I had some minor contractions at first, but nothing major, only Braxton Hicks type contractions.  I have not had ANY leaking or bleeding the entire time I've been here.

Tony has stayed the night every single night so far, sleeping on the little sofa couch in the room.  He did go to work on Wednesday for about half day, then went home to pick up a few things for the both of us and pick up the house a bit.  Other than being constantly monitored, Wednesday was fairly uneventful.  I did get the second steroid shot, and The Mag and IV antibiotics continued.  My day was mostly filled with letting people know I was doing okay and the babies were holding tight.

Let me tell you about The Mag.  It wasn't too bad at first, but it definitely has unpleasant side effects.  It makes you really hot, so I've been freezing poor Tony out.  He's a trooper though and just keeps layers of clothes on.  The Mag also made me feel pretty woozy.  I had a hard time focusing my eyes on anything.  I had a friend come visit and I had to apologize to her because I just couldn't look at her for very long during our conversations because I couldn't focus enough to really see her.  Of course she understood.

I was mostly fine while laying in bed, but when I got up to go to the bathroom, I was starting to get a little bit more dizzy and feel sick with each trip.  At about 4:00am Thursday morning, I was really feeling out of it.  I thought a lot of it was because I wasn't sleeping well and sooooo exhausted.  I could not keep my eyes open to save my life, but I also couldn't make myself sleep while my eyes were closed.  I was supposed to continue The Mag for another 10 hours, but at 4:00am, they decided to take me off of it because it was making me so sick.

I was trying to be a trooper and do what was best for the babies, so was willing to stay on it, but they said it was okay.  The steroids were in effect and The Mag was just making me too sick.  As it wore off throughout the day on Thursday, I did feel more like myself again.  The only remaining side effect is that I am incredibly swollen from the tips of my toes all the way up to my waist and into my back.  My thighs have never been so huge, not to mention what it's done to my lady bits.

Tony went to work again on Thursday, but it was very hard for him to concentrate.  Most especially because Thursday was a little bit more stressful.  Baby A took a dip in her monitoring that morning, so the doctor ordered an ultrasound to check on things.  I had called Tony to let him know there was a little concern, so of course he was on pins and needles waiting for more news. 

During the ultrasound, Baby A did great.  However, Baby B was lethargic and wouldn't move.  He had a stable heart rate, but didn't meet the other standards they were looking for.  I knew there was a problem when I got back to my room and was about ready to eat lunch, and the nurse took my tray away right as I was about to dig in.  I told her it can't be good if I'm not allowed to eat or drink anything.  She confirmed that they were very concerned.  I called Tony and he immediately left work at that point.  They were preparing for a possible c-section that night.  They hooked all the monitors back on me for the rest of the day and continued to watch the babies heartbeats and movement patterns.

By that afternoon, they determined that it was just very bad timing for the u/s because both babies looked great after that point.  They had most likely just been feeling the effects from the steroid shots and The Mag as well, which made them pretty sluggish.  As the meds wore off throughout the day, both of them were doing fantastic and have been having Kung Fu matches inside.  They have been very, very active babies since that scare.

The doctors now think there is every reason to believe I may hold onto these babies until next Saturday, when I will reach 34 weeks.  At that point, they will induce.  They believe that at 34 weeks the babies are developed enough not to have significant health complications, but the continued risk of infection and placenta problems that could potentially occur because of the water already breaking just become too high, so they will induce at that point in time.

Yesterday, they did a repeat u/s on the babies, just to be sure everything was okay.  Both of them scored 8/8 and looked fantastic.  They seem to be pretty content hanging out on the inside.  My vitals have stayed very stable.  In fact, my blood pressure has dropped lower than it has in a long time!  It was hanging around 117/66 most of the day yesterday.  Woo-Hoo!  No temperature.  No sign of infection or of labor.

We also got a tour of the NICU yesterday.  Even if our babies make it to the 34 week mark, they will still spend at least a little bit of time in the NICU, a minimum of about two weeks and up to maybe four.  It is totally dependent on how our babies are doing.  It was very important to both Tony and I to get this tour so we could mentally prepare ourselves for the first time we see our own babies in there.  It is so difficult to see little tiny babies hooked up to machines.  I know it will be even more difficult when it is our own.  One thing I am very certain of though, is that we are in one of the best facilities in the state for NICU care.

For now, we are just riding the tide and hoping to make it to next Saturday!  We are celebrating the fact that we have at least made it to 33 weeks.  The babies are being monitored twice daily, and they continue to check my vitals  about the same.  The main target right now is finding a way to hopefully reduce the swelling in my legs and lady bits.  If the swelling doesn't come down, I may not have a choice and be required to have a c-section, which is not high on my list of plans.

There is so much more I could tell you about, but this catches you up to date with the most important part, and that is that I am still pregnant and the babies appear to be doing great.

Just hanging out in my new home

29 comments:

  1. Oh my goodness, thinking of you and the babies. Hope everything goes smoothly until 34 weeks! Best wishes!

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  2. Still smiling, even with all this going on! I had no idea that your water could break and you could still hang out and not go into labour. Glad to hear that they've figured out how to make you feel better meds-wise, and sending you lots of healthy vibes to hold out until 34 weeks! Wishing you all the best, Amber.

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    1. I reall had no idea that could happen either. I've had lots of people say the same thing. My body is either just an incredible phenomenon, or that magnesium truly just did what it's supposed to to stop labor. Although I've heard from others that as soon as The Mag stopped, labor started for them, and the hasn't been the case for me.

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  3. Gah. Totally having flashbacks to my time in the hospital. I was on Mag and it was awful. I was on it for 24 hours...so hot, couldn't focus, couldn't sleep or keep my eyes open. I felt like I was having waking dreams and my husband said I was slurring my words. They wouldn't even let me out of bed while I was on it.
    As for the NICU - I found that they totally over estimate how long babies will be in there. I'm sure they do it to prepare us, just in case. We were first told our babies would be released by their due date which would have been 7 weeks in the NICU. They ended up only staying 10 days. I think if you can make it to 34 weeks, you will have a very minimal stay there (my hospital only requires a NICU stay before 34 weeks, after that it's a case by case basis but they assume you won't need it). Obviously, it depends on the babies but it sounds like they are doing really well right now. I bet those babies are out of the NICU in way less than 2 weeks. It's great you had a tour and know what to expect. I wish I had done that. It's really hard seeing your babies all hooked up to all those machines. If you want to talk about it, feel free to email me.
    Sounds like you will be spending Christmas in the hospital. That sucks. I hope someone brings you some christmas dinner so you aren't stuck eating hospital food. And, of course, some presents :)

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    1. I love hearing about other's experiences in the NICU, because it really does help prepare. My husband and I heard two different things about how long we should expect. I heard as little as a week and a half and Hubby has stuck in his brain that it will be at least a month. I don't anticipate it being that long, but as the NICU nurse told us, it's up to the babies. They are the ones that ultimately make the decision!

      We had a little Christmas party in my room last night with Tony's family. I'm not worried about spending Christmas in here. Of course I'd rather spend it with my family, but really, it's just not that big a deal with all things considered.

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  4. Glad things are going well. Mag is the devil. Seriously. The worst drug I've ever had. I had steroid shots for both my kids and noticed a marked decrease in movement in the day or so after each shot. Freaked me out the first time.

    Praying that babies continue to look good and you make it to 34 weeks.

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    1. It freaked everyone else out around here too! Freaked might not be the right word, as the staff stays generally calm, but they were preparing to take the babies if needed based in their low responses. I'm glad that all resolved itself. Thank you so much for your prayers. They are greatly appreciated.

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  5. Still smiling- what a trooper! You are doing great. Fingers crossed everything continues to go well (despite the swelling) and I'm so excited for you to meet your babies!!

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    1. I'm excited to meet them too! Although, I can patiently wait a week :)

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  6. Sounds great! I am sure it is so hard to sleep there! Glad the babies are doing well and I hope they hang out for another week to minimize that NICU time!! Keep us updated!!

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    1. My husband reminded me that it had been hard for me to sleep at home also, and he is right. Actually the nurses have been fantastic and only come in twice during the night to check my vitals, so it really hasn't been too bad with people constantly coming in and out. It is also really pretty quiet. It truly is a great birthing center to be stuck in, if, you know, I have to be stuck in one!

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  7. I love that you are staying so positive during all this. You're already a great mom!

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    1. Aww, thank you so much. What a super nice thing to say!

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  8. Amber - I don't have time to read up on all the details at the moment, but I'm so glad to hear that the babies are still doing well! Hang in there!

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    1. I continually am impressed that you follow my story at all and are a source of encouragement, despite what you have been through yourself. Thank you so much for thinking of me. It really means a lot!

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  9. Even though you're in the hospital I'm so happy that things are going well and that those babies are staying put for now!! XOXO

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  10. So glad you're so far along and only six days shy of 34 weeks. I've heard the same thing you have about the 34 week milestone...that babies born at 34+ weeks do just fine! My OB's first goal for me is 34 weeks as well.

    If the babies do end up in the NICU, hang in there. It's tough and weird to leave the hospital without them, but I'm sure you'll find a routine. The one great thing about the NICU was all the "on the job training" that we got from the NICU nurses. They have so many tips and tricks that would have taken me a long time to figure out. By the time we left the hospital with our first (she came home at 9 days old), we really felt comfortable caring for her. We didn't have much/any experience with babies, so we really appreciated everything we learned.

    Hang in there this week! I hope the babies stay put and infection stays at bay as long as you need! I'll be thinking of you!

    BTW, yuck...mag. I've been there twice and had a similar experience. I remember having such a hard time keeping my eyes open when I had visitors because it was so hard to focus! I also remember that the bolus caused me to vomit. Good times. And I'm glad you're off it.

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    1. I can't imagine leaving the hospital without my babies, but I know it gets done. I'm just so thankful we've made it as far as we have. The mag... such a weird feeling to not be able to keep your eyes open, but not sleeping either!

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  11. I am glad things are stable! I wish you were home and moving around but at least things are looking good and everyone is okay! Thinking of you always!

    You're gonna be a mommy soon!!! XOXO

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    1. I miss home, but it's really okay. I do at least get to get up and go to the bathroom, which I am a fairly frequent visitor of. Otherwise, yeah, I'm stuck in bed. But oh my gosh! You are right! In just a week, I will be a Mommy! Wow.

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  12. We were told the risks for long term issues for 34 weekers were the same as the would be for full term. That's why everyone does that huge sigh of relief once you get there.

    As far as your NICU stay, they'll tell you to expect to be there until your due date. With the steroids, that may speed your discharge date, but the sucking/swallowing issue can be a hurdle for some. Generally girls get a hang on things faster than boys, too.

    Hang in there! You are doing great!

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  13. Thanks for the update, was thinking about you! Good luck with everything... the mag sounds all kinds of awful, but I'm happy to hear the babies are doing so well. They'll be here so soon!! Yay!

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    1. The babies seem to be doing great, which I am so very thankful for!

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  14. Grandma was concerned about you missing out on Christmas but said that your mil would probably take good care of you! Told her that you would be willing to do anything to keep these babies safe! She had to agree! I'm glad that you got to see NICU. I agree it's a different world but bless them for taking such good care of our little ones! You are in my thoughts and prayers constantly! Tony too as I am a firm believer it's so much harder on the one watching over their loved one. Hope you are being able to keep yourselves entertained! Love you, Auntie

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    1. I'm sad to be missing Christmas with our family but really, I don't mind. Tony and I plan to get dinner from somewhere, maybe Olive Garden, and watch the Bowl game: Oregon State vs. Boise State. Yeah, it is hard on Tony because he just feels pretty helpless, but he is doing a great job.

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