Since I hit 30 weeks it has been like walking with a ticking bomb. Waiting, worrying, stressing, enduring and anticipating the arrival of my baby boy. Alot of emotions focused on this upcoming event. Since I have a history of pre-term deliveries, it was presumed that Fallon would also arrive early. We began preparing early on for this and as each new problem, each new trial popped up, we wondered would we be able to keep him in long enough?
I started spotting early on in my pregnancy and for awhile we had concerns that my placenta, which had attached to the front of my uterus rather than the back, would not move from its low lying position. (This was the source of the spotting.) But luckily by 22 or 23 weeks it had made its ascent, away from my cervix. No placenta previa this time around.
Then around 24 weeks, Braxton Hicks contractions started and by week 25 I was contracting 8 or more times a day, sometimes close together and others not so close. I began making trips to Labor & Delivery almost weekly. I endured shots of Terbutaline, which sometimes worked and other times didn't. I tried oral Terbutaline at home and had to change to Nifedapine. (That one helped) Yet, I continued to contract and continued to make visits to L&D. We did two sets of steroid shots at 28 weeks (which hurt like hell!). I was also receiving weekly progesterone shots in hopes of helping me stay pregnant longer (My sweet Hubby took on that task and delivered those semi-painful shots into my butt once a week.) My Dr worried that I'd go into complete labor before 30 weeks, but thank heavens I didn't.
Labor & Delivery got to know me quite well. I hated making the long 2 hour drive from home to my hospital of choice (yes there is a hospital closer, but with its bad rep and my two horrible non-pregnancy experiences there, I'll pass on their services!) Often our trips were late at night, which required dragging our 3 poor children from their beds and packing them into our tight fitting Dodge Caliber. It also meant either arranging for the kids to crash on my in-law's floor and my sister or brother-in-law to keep an eye on them or for me to be dropped off at the hospital and spend my visits alone (which I hate!)
I hated making those drives and often I waited a long time before giving in to coming in to get checked out. Luckily, I never dilated more than a one and actually, a visit a week following that showed me back at a finger tip! So for all that contracting I failed to progress and go into actual labor, which sucked and yet was good. Each week, (yes at 30 weeks I began weekly check-ups) my Dr would say 'Our goal is 34 weeks but really if we can go one more week I'll be happy. Each day more he spends inside you, means less time in the NICU.'
Honestly, I began to loathe that phrase and all the other ones like it. 'Just one more week.' 'You can do it, its just one more week.' I still kept on having to make visits to L&D and sometimes they were picking up contractions, sometimes they didn't and sometimes it was just irritation in my uterus. And I never seemed to go in on nights my Dr was on-call.
We made plans to do an amnio test at 35 weeks, if I made it that far. I made it to 34 weeks and he said, 'We'll schedule your amnio for next Thursday morning and if his lungs are mature we'll plan your c-section for Friday morning.' The rest of the week dragged by and so did the beginning of the next week. We made tentative arrangements for Aidan, Aislynn and Rhiannon to be taken care of by Christopher's kid sister and have someone from his family help with the kids all weekend. I was anxious and excited to meet my little Fallon.
Thursday arrived and I arrived at the hospital in the morning about 15 mins prior to my appt. I actually was taken back to the ultrasound room early, where we started to get ready. Now I had actually had an amnio before when I was pregnant with Aidan, so I kind of knew the routine. Now if you've never had one before its kind of scary and fairly painful. The ultrasound tech started checking the baby for his heart rate (for a before rate to compare with the after rate) and then he checked for possible sites that would be good to stick the needle.
He found that my placenta kind of slanted across my belly from right to upper left side and above that upper side was where the umbilical cord was. But there was this nice little pocket of fluid, that was the best place to proceed. So, he went to let the Radiologist know we were ready and then he came back to get everything we needed prepped. The Dr came in and they proceeded to prep my tummy. They cleaned it with a blue cleanser (not betadine since I'm actually allergic to that), set up some plastic chucks around the area that he was going to insert the needle. It was quite the process, but very interesting to watch. Then he gave me a shot to numb me up a little bit and then they used the ultrasound to watch as they slid that long needle into my uterus. It was quite uncomfortable as that huge needle bypassed the numbed area, not something I really wanted to repeat. They drew out the fluid they needed, which he undid the syringe from the needle to place the fluid in three vials. He left the needle in there and that was uncomfortable, I thought he was never going to take it out. (He did though) I watched the monitor as Fallon came really close to swinging his little hand into the needle, but managed to avoid it. The tech reassured me that even if he had it wouldn't have done any damage.
Then I was sent upstairs to be monitored in Labor & Delivery. Fallon actually looked really great, a big worry is that the procedure can cause the baby to become distressed. Now I had actually started having abdominal cramping just before the procedure, which got worse following it (which is common). They could see the irritability on the monitor and the on call Dr ended up ordering me a Terbutaline shot to calm my uterus down. In the mean time the results came back after a very lengthy wait (and no one telling me until I asked the nurse) and it didn't look good. The lung maturity goes from 1 to 55 and they like to see it at 50 or better. Fallon's score was 25! I was devastated. We had done the steroid shots to help his lungs mature faster and it didn't seem like it had helped. No one explained this to me at first it wasn't until later that I found this all out and so I was stressed out that something was wrong with Fallon's lungs. That maybe my baby wasn't healthy after all. It was nice once I learned a few things that I was able to relax some.
So, I was sent home and told to set up an appt for Monday to see my Dr. I bawled, I was so ready to be done and I had thought for sure we'd be having the baby the next day. After getting myself under control (at least for a short amount of time), I called the Dr's office to schedule my appt. Monday was actually one of his surgery days, but he was coming into the office in the afternoon to see a few patients, so I was scheduled to see him at 1 PM. Then I just had to make through the long weekend.
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