We have had an exciting past few days, probably a little too exciting!
Here are my email updates that I sent out yesterday and today:
We have had quite the adventure this past evening. Around two o'clock yesterday afternoon, I (Caroline) was having contractions and cramping that seemed out of the ordinary. When they had not stopped by five o'clock, I called the midwives- and they suggested taking a bath, but said that if the bath did not help relax the contractions, to come straight into the Emergency Room. David came home from work early, and we left straight for the Emergency Room when the bath only seemed to make it worse.
After getting checked in and admitted to labor and delivery (I guess there is no longer a need to take a tour!) they got a fetal monitor and a monitor for the contractions hooked up right away. When our nurse saw the contractions, she said, "Woah, those are a lot stronger and closer together than I was expecting." She immediately went and talked to the midwives on call, who were in the midst of delivering a baby. They drew blood and then got an IV started, which pretty much ruins any day, as I'm incredibly afraid of needles. At this point, I had no idea that this was just the beginning of the poking and stinging! The IV caused uncontrollable shivering and shaking, which David helped alieve by putting about five blankets on me! After monitoring and being on fluids for almost two hours, the contractions were still steady, so the original thought of dehydration was not likely.
The midwives then ran three lab tests to check for the likelihood of pre-term labor. Unfortunately, there are factors that can cause a false positive, and so the tests were inconclusive, though they did come back positive. At this point, the midwives really wanted to get the contractions to stop, so the doctor put me on blood pressure medication (which is also supposed to stop contractions) and a sleeping pill, hoping that the combination would knock them out. Incidentally, the sleeping pill had the reverse effect on me- and I was bright eyed the rest of the night! The other medication had no effect on the contractions, whatsoever. At 1:30 AM, they checked my cervix again, and noted that it was soft, but not open. The contractions were still strong and regular, so they gave me Nubain through my IV (a narcotic) hoping to help me sleep and at least take away the pain from the contractions, and a shot of Terbutaline, which is used to stop labor. The downside to Terbutaline is that it causes your heart to race. Because of the drugs, the nurses were monitoring mine and Dmitri's heart rates very closely, and they found it difficult to distinguish our heart rates because mine was so high. The Nubain was very effective and made me feel better than I'd felt all night- however the Terbutaline was awful, and made me feel like I had just run a marathon, but could never recover my breath! Despite the terrible side effects, the Terbutaline was effective and slowed down the contractions immensly. My heart calmed down around seven AM, and I was able to sleep for about twenty minutes- the only sleep I got all night (David on the other hand, got seven hours or so, though it was interrupted frequently, since going to the bathroom was a huge ordeal due to all the machines I was hooked up to, and remember...there's still a four pound baby sititng on my bladder!) The fetal monitors were difficult to use, because Dmitri is incredibly active, all the time, so about every five minutes, the nurse would have to move them again!
After the Terbutaline had worn off, the contractions began to strengthen and return to the same state they were in last night, which was discouraging. At this point I was ready to go home! The midwife examined my cervix again, and there were still no changes, but because of the softness she was still a little concerned. They then gave me a steroid shot- which was one of the most painful things I've ever experienced! The steroid shot will help Dmitri's lungs mature, in case he does decide to come early. I am on bedrest and pelvic rest until my appointment tomorrow morning, at which they will run more tests to check for pre-term labor. We will have to wait and see from the test results what our long term plan of action is.
As for now, I am sore, exhausted, and pretty moody- but doing ok. After a long nap, I should feel a lot better. David is taking my shift at work today, since I'm not supposed to be on my feet. He has been so sweet, and was trying to read Harry Potter books to Dmitri while we were bored in the hospital! He's going to be such a great dad! = )
David and I just wanted to keep you in the loop, and we will continue with any updates!
Thanks for your thoughts and prayers!
Caroline (David and Dmitri)
A Final Update:
We have talked to many of you, but we just wanted to give a final update (for now) on all of the happenings of the past few days!
We went back to the midwives for further testing on Thursday morning, and there has been no cervical change. I am continuing to have contractions, but they aren't as strong or painful as they originally were when we were in the hospital. I had another FERN test (which checks for amniotic fluid) and this one came back negative, which is very good! So for now, things are stable and it looks like Dmitri is going to stay in the womb a little longer for baking! (yay!) I did have a second round of betamethasone (the steroid shot) so that his lungs are mature, should he be born early. Both David and I felt it was the wisest thing to do for Dmitri, even though I really didn't want to have another one (man, do they hurt like the dickens. And I wasn't under the influence of Nubain this time, unfortunately.)
The midwives have told me to rest, and to take three - one hour naps during the day (morning, afternoon, and evening). And to take it easy on the shopping! = )
This experience has stretched David and I in ways that we never knew were possible. We were both able to realize that many of the fears we have really aren't very big in comparison to the importance of other things. An IV, needles, and vaccines, some of my hugest fears to have during labor, don't even faze me now (even though its far from fun). All that matters to us at this point is Dmitri's safety, health, and arrival. We are learning to grow outside of ourselves, and to grasp some perspective! It's been a blessing.
David and I both want to thank all of you who have shown your love and support to us during this nerve-wracking time! Your phone calls and notes have meant the world, and we realize how blessed we are to have such supportive friends and family.
Please keep us in your thoughts and prayers, and we hope that we won't be sending out anymore emails until the real deal - and hopefully not for a couple more weeks!
David, Caroline, and Dmitri
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