A Disney fan blog about the good things in life.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

A Preemie Story - Part 2: "Try Not to Have the Baby"

(Continued from A Preemie Story - Part 1) 

How do you stop a run-away train? Well, the truth is, you can't. Once the chain of events are set into motion, the best case scenario is to delay the inevitable crash.

So that's what we did, we delayed the birth of my son. At 31 weeks he was in the danger zone for a host of problems. None of which were a guarantee, but all of which were a concern. Breathing issues, low birth weight, organ failure. His body needed time to develop and time was the one thing on short supply.

And so began the drugs. An IV drip for magnesium sulfate to slow down the labor and boost his brain development. A round of steroid injections to improve his lungs. An antibiotic drip for group B strep. The machine supplying the drugs became a companion, my hope, my baby's protector (yes this is an actual photo of my IV drip).

One after another I heard babies being born down the hall let out their first cry. "Am I the only one on this floor trying to NOT have a baby?" I asked the doctor. "No," he responded, "There are more like you".

As Wednesday and Thursday passed the mood in my room became a bit more optimistic. The drugs were having some impact and my body began to slow down the labor progression. The question was, when they stopped the magnesium drip, would nature take over again? Somewhere in my heart I knew the answer was yes, but the doctors felt they had a handle on the situation so I tried to be positive along with them.

On Friday-- three days after being admitted to the hospital-- a doctor came into my room.

"So, how are we today?"
"Well, no bleeding," I responded.
"Some, but mild," I answered.

The doctor looked disappointed but informed me that they were thinking of sending me home. Having done as much as they could, it made more sense for me to be at home with my family. I could see the logic, but the nagging thought that this ride was not over would not leave me. I thought of the night it all began. The relief I felt getting to the hospital and having medical professionals watch over me. At home was different. I would be on strict bed rest. For 8 weeks. With a two year old. That's like trying to run a marathon without sneakers-- it probably could be done, but far from ideal.

Friday afternoon I was discharged. The doctor came in and read us the rules of strict bed rest:

1. No stairs (I live in a three story house)
2. A shower is fine but be quick about it
3. No picking up laundry, your son, or anything heavier than a feather
4. Nothing in your vagina

My husband and I giggled at the last one. Sex was the last thing on our minds and of course I would never think to use a tampon.

"Damn," I said to my husband. "Where are we going to store that coin collection?"
"We'll just have to find a new place to keep all those old books," he responded with a smile. 

And off we went. The nurses all waved goodbye. One even gave me her phone number if I needed anything. "Hope not to see you soon," they said. I smiled and thanked them all for taking such good care of me. At that moment, I loved each and every one of them.

I left the labor and delivery ward as pregnant as when I arrived.

Next Up: A Preemie Story - Part 3: The Longest Shortest Bed Rest

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