Last year on November 28th, I went into Northside Hospital for a D&C after learning that I’d had a miscarriage. For a couple of weeks now, I sort of had it in my head that I was going to write a post about how November 28th of this year was so different and instead of being in the hospital, I was in DC with my mom. Well, it didn’t quite go that way, though I’m fine and so is the baby.
During my last OB appointment, the doctor scheduled me for a growth scan on November 28th. I wasn’t really happy with the coincidence in dates (thinking the day was somehow cursed or something) but what could I do? I also found out last Friday that I failed my 1-hour gestational diabetes test and had to take the more accurate 3-hour one. Since I was already going to the doctor, I scheduled that one for the same time. First blood draw for GD test was at 8:30. They took my fasting blood sugar number and gave me that gross drink. Lemon-lime this time, which was only slightly more appetizing that orange.
After I drank it, I headed over to the MFM (high-risk) part of the office for the growth scan, which was at 9. As the tech did the scan, she didn’t really say much. I’ve had this tech before and she’ll usually point out different things. His heart rate was fine though, so I wasn’t that concerned at first. At the end she said something about, “He’s 2.5 lbs, which is a little small. Let me look something up on the computer.” and left the room. This was strange because the computer is right there, attached to the ultrasound machine and they usually tell you what percentile the baby is in when they are done. After about 10 minutes of her not returning, I really started to think that she must have gone to get a doctor, but I was so pre-occupied with getting back to the lab for my next blood draw (they have to be exactly an hour apart), that I wasn’t really thinking about it
I went to the blood draw and came back 10 minutes or so later. Jason had stayed in the ultrasound room to wait for the tech (or whomever) to come back. When I got back there, I asked if she’d come back and he kind of had a funny look on his face and told me to sit down. The doctor (I was right about why the tech left) had, in fact, come back and told him some news that we weren’t expecting.
My amniotic fluid level was low, the cord flow wasn’t great and they were worried that the baby wasn’t getting enough nutrition from the placenta and was falling off the growth charts. He was at the 22nd percentile overall, which isn’t that bad, but certain parts of him – primarily his belly and his femur, were much smaller. Because of all this, I was directly admitted into the hospital. I went to the doctor’s office in my car and left in a wheelchair. Fortunately, my doctor’s office is in a building that’s attached to the hospital.
Surprisingly, and really surprisingly if you know me, I was pretty calm about all of this. I think I was just relieved that my fears of being so small were actually valid. This is not what 29 weeks is supposed to look like:
Because I was in the middle of this 3-hour glucose test, the first order of business was to get someone in there to draw my blood for it. After that, I got hooked up to a fetal heart rate monitor and just sort of laid in the bed, texting and calling people to let them know what was going on. Honestly, this part of the afternoon was sort of a blur for me. Nurses and doctors came in and basically said that they were going to assess me for 24 hours and then decide what to do then. My biggest fear was that I’d have to deliver the baby this early.
One thing they wanted was to test my urine for protein, which is a sign of pre-eclampsia. They do this for 24 hours, so basically, I had to pee into this holder thing that was in the toilet and then pour it into a gas canister looking thing. So yeah, fun. The worst part about it was that every time I had to pee, I would have to unhook the cords from the heart monitor and it would make this annoying beeping sound.
I sent Jason home to get me some stuff – phone charger, computer, change of clothes (they said I didn’t have to wear a hospital gown) and some other stuff. I don’t really know what I did for the afternoon – more texting and I read some on my kindle. The hospital had a book of menus of restaurants that deliver there, so I decided to get some Chinese food for dinner. It was pretty gross, but I’m glad I ate, because at about 7:30, the nurses came in and said there were a few decelerations on the heart rate monitor and they wanted to hook me up to an IV to get more fluids in me and I couldn’t drink or eat.
If I thought going to the bathroom with the cords from the fetal heart rate machine was bad, going dragging an IV machine was even worse. And because they pumped me full of fluids, I had to pee like every half hour.
The night was harder than the day. I was worried about the decelerations and spent a lot of time just staring at the heart rate machine. It was really hard to sleep and I felt like every time I finally would fall asleep, a nurse would come in for one reason or another. Nothing bad, just general stuff.
Though the doctor had told me that there wasn’t anything that indicated that I would need to deliver now, the heart decelerations worried me and I thought I’d be in the hospital for a while. It was much to my surprise when a doctor came in Thursday morning and told me that if everything looked okay on the ultrasound that they were planning on doing, I could go home. He said the heart decelerations weren’t anything to be concerned about because his heart rate went back up every time and the general variations were good.
When they did the ultrasound, the doctor said my fluid had gone up some (from a 5 to an 8) and the doppler flow – the flow from the cord – looked fine. I could, in fact, go home. We also met with a nurse from the NICU who went over what exactly would happen if we were to deliver this early. It was actually pretty reassuring. She said something like 90% of babies born at 29 weeks survive. The biggest issue with premies is that their lungs aren’t mature, so they gave me two steroid shots (in my butt!) to help mature the lungs if I were to deliver.
But I didn’t and instead, I went home.
I’m on bed rest right now, but I’ll take bed rest at home over being in the hospital any day. I have to start going to the doctor twice a week and I don’t know when or if the bed rest restriction is going to be lifted.
I didn’t spend Thanksgiving in DC like I thought. My mom actually came to me. There was no pumpkin pie or sweet potato casserole. We had frozen pizza for Thanksgiving dinner. But the baby is okay, I’m home and for that, I am thankful.