It was all very un-dramatic, to be honest. I woke up at 3am a few days ago and I couldn't get back to sleep. That happens to me sometimes. I had a little cold and wasn't feeling great, and I have sleepless nights on the reg, so it wasn't that concerning at first. I had one just a few days ago after a particularly distressing social interaction at a party. It's not unheard of for me. So I just filled the time watching old Law & Order SVU reruns and waiting to relax. Only, I couldn't relax. I felt ... odd. I had an OB appointment in the afternoon anyway, but once 10 am hit, I decided to just roll out early to see what was what.
Cut to one hour later and I was already waiting to be admitted to the high risk antenatal unit of my hospital, where I now am. It happened fast. My regular doc saw me fast and she was going on call at the hospital anyway so everything else happened fast too. The issue was/is that they thought I was TPTL (threatening preterm labour). No way to know for sure. There was just enough of a possibility that I MIGHT go into preterm labour to justify keeping me here for monitoring. Wah wah wah.
So yeah. Like I mentioned in the first instalment of this series, I spent most of that first day waiting in L&D triage, taking note of the other patients (including The Zombie Lady, Moaning -With Reason- Myrtle, and The Unnamed But Unfortunate Vomittess). Poor ladies.
I passed the time having various tests and slowly working my way through an absolutely inane out-of-date copy of O Magazine, which featured Oprah on the cover (obvs), decked out in enormous emeralds and an emerald-green velvet dress, while posed seductively next to an apparently benevolent, sleepy-eyed male lion. (Truth: She actually posed next to a man in a stuffed lion costume. They Photoshopped the real lion in later. Just one of the things I learned reading every page of that boring magazine.)
RIDICULOUS. But as I wasn't actually expecting to be hospitalized, it was all I had. Feast your eyes, my friends.
Urine Test: Fine. Done to check for stuff like UTIs/Bladder infections, which can cause labour cramps, I guess. Negative. No problem there.
Ultrasound: Fine. Decent movement (though I'd been noticing it less in the last couple of days.) Baby a good size. Cervix long and strong. Not unlike a man's peen. (PENIS JOKE.)
Betke-Kleihauer Blood Test: Fine. I think this checks if maternal and fetal blood have mixed at all. So it can tell you if you've got any bleeding in the uterus you might not have noticed, from the placenta detaching a little bit or something. I don't know. Doesn't matter. It was negative anyway. No blood mixing. All good.
Non-Stress Fetal Monitoring: They did this twice a day, every day I was here. It shows the baby's heart rate, baby's movements, my heart rate, and any uterine cramps, contractions or tightenings, and then spits the whole report out onto paper so you can see any patterns and trends. Surprisingly, this is where I didn't do so well. Even though they were mild, not what I would call painful at all, I WAS having "tightenings" and they were regular. So NOT Braxton Hicks, basically. Apparently, this was a concern. As soon as the staff doc glanced at the tracing, he was like, "Yep. Well, you're going to be here awhile. Not Braxton Hicks. See you tonight!" VERY UNEXPECTED. I mean, maybe that is silly, but I really didn't think anything was happening. I wasn't in pain. I just felt a little funny! I thought for sure they'd say "Nah. It's nothing. Gas, probably, you farty monster." And that they'd then just send me home. Not so!
Shows what I know, both about farts and about the uterus. (FART JOKE.)
Fetal Fibronectin Screening Test: Another issue. Mine was positive. Boo! Fetal Fibronectin is a protein that is like a sticky glue, from what I understand. Anyway, it leaks from where it's supposed to be and can be found behind/below the cervix if a preterm labour is likely (or rather, more likely) to occur. The test is sort of like a Pap, but more unpleasant. Hurts way more. I don't know why. Just another pregnancy evil, I guess. Anyway, they swab for it, and if you have it (and I did) then they say you are a bit likelier to go into labour sooner.
Anyway, all this boils down to the following: The results of the Fetal Fibronectin test and the Wee Contractions combined made them admit me and keep me for the last few days. They also decide to give me a steroid treatment that helps the baby's lungs develop if by chance it IS born in the next two days or so. It's not like an anabolic sports steroid in any way save one. Guess how they give it to you? As a series of two shots ... IN YOUR BUTT.
THAT'S RIGHT. I HAD TWO STEROID SHOTS, RIGHT IN THE BUTT. I AM BASICALLY JOSE CANSECO.* (*You know, I keep making this Jose Canseco joke, but nobody seems to appreciate it besides Nathan. Note to kids: If you are thinking you might want to get married one day, I suggest you seek out someone who appreciates your bad jokes. Even if your jokes are truly awful and have no punch line, like mine, just find someone who likes them. This is quite possibly the key to a happy marriage.)
Anyway. That's the whole deal! It's Friday now and the tightenings have decreased/stopped and they're springing me, so I'll be home really shortly. HOORAY! So far, I haven't gone into labour, and I'm not officially on bed rest. I'm just supposed to take it easy, not walk much, not lift anything, stay home, and chill. And indeed, when I do walk around, the tightenings start up again, so I guess I better listen. It sucks because there is a LOT to do at home. The apartment is a mess, the crib isn't built, The bathroom is filthy, and I have loads of crap to take to Goodwill, and so much laundry...
Whatever. I guess I'll just lay on the sofa like a queen and order Nathan around. Good thing he likes my jokes. (HE REALLY DOES, TOO. HE READ THIS LINE JUST NOW AND WAS LIKE "HAHA, THAT'S FUNNY!" EVEN THOUGH IT WASN'T, REALLY.)
I've actually enjoyed my time in the hospital. I expect everyone was extra nice to me, because my sister is a staff doc here and they all know her, so that was a perk. I think that's why I ended up in a nice, semi-private room, why I had a big window view, and why everyone was just super sweet to me. (Don't get me wrong, it's a good hospital and I'm sure the staff are nice to everybody, but I think they were probably EXTRA nice to me. I detected a little extra niceness. I'll take it!)
The whole experience, except for worrying about actual preterm labour, has been restful, like a holiday. I just lay around in my blue hospital gown, looking like a slug and listening to the baby. I couldn't do anything, so I didn't do anything, and I think that was positive. My nature is to do a million things at once, even though I haven't been feeling great for awhile. Even walking a kilometre to the Dollarama was tiring me out. I push myself too hard sometimes. So this little hospital sojourn was probably a good thing. I was actually supposed to be out of town this week, and that fell through, which was disappointing at first, but worked out for the best. Had I been in Owen Sound or something, this whole experience would have been a shit show.
Anyway, I better wake Nathan. He is sleeping in the chair beside my bed, where he's been, basically the whole time. I snapped a picture of him napping there yesterday, which I'll include below. He looks kind of stiff. Maybe he knew I was taking his picture. Haha. He is embarrassed by that Adidas shirt he was wearing (which he got for free, so don't judge him). Don't worry, I did send him home at night. It's not good to indulge a worry wart TOO much and I didn't see the need for him to sleep at the hospital when I was feeling fine.
He looks pretty cute, actually. Especially now that he's not in the Adidas shirt. (ZING!) Partners get their own wrist bands and can come and go at all hours. Not like regular visitors who get kicked out at 8pm. It's nice.
SO. Yeah. That's pretty much it. All is well and I am going home. The baby remains alive. I can tell, even though I'm off the monitors, because he/she/it has had hiccoughs for the past six minutes. Poor little weirdo fetus. I'm betting it's going to be cute. Cross your fingers that I don't find out for sure for at least a couple more weeks, though. 34 weeks is my minimum goal. (Can you hear me, baby? I know you can't read, but just in case you can tell what I'm thinking through some magic baby osmosis or something, here is my message to you: Stay in there for a little longer, please. Don't be an asshole.)
Anyway. All is well. Home soon. Series complete.