This is not a blog; it’s a novel

First of all, GO COLTS! Ryan and I have been watching football all afternoon (yes, I’ve been watching football). I wore my Manning jersey, hehe, that barely covered my bellybutton. Don’t worry, I took pictures.

At 31 weeks and 1 day, the belly is ever expanding. And Carson is getting heavy to carry around, even though I only carry him a few minutes at a time. I can’t imagine what it will be like lugging him around when he’s 7 and 8 pounds.

So, if you haven’t heard already, I spent a lovely 27 or so hours being tortured in labor & delivery the other day. It all started with the crazy nurse… All the days run together when you’re stuck in the hospital, but I think it was Wednesday night. Well, technically, it was very early Thursday morning. Two am to be exact. She came in to listen to Carson with the doppler. Why she comes in during the middle of the night to listen, I’m not sure, but she had a lot of trouble finding him. When she finally did, his heart rate was slow–in the 90s. I wasn’t worried; Dr. Stitt had already told me that his decelerations were nothing to worry about as long as they lasted less than 9 minutes and he kept bouncing back like he does. However, this woman takes the cake for overreacting, and she started yelling for a monitor. So, she strapped me down, and Carson’s heart rate jumped back up into the 130s. Meanwhile, I started having a few irregular contractions–normal for me when they strap the monitors on and Carson starts kicking around. Again, she goes into overdrive and calls the doctor. She left me on for over 2 hours because every time she supposedly was going to take me off, I would have another contraction. Keep in mind, Braxton-Hicks contractions are normal at this stage of pregnancy. So, a few minutes later she comes in with an IV catheter and fluids. Now I’m wide awake. She gets a line going in my left hand (I hate it when they use my left hand–renders me useless) and mentions terbutalene. Oh no. By this time I’m full on furious at her, and thinking, there had better be a REALLY good reason you’re doing all this and making me worried. Sure enough, she comes back with the little bottle of terbutalene, shows it to me (was she trying to scare me?), and proceeds to inject me with possibly the worst medication on the planet. Almost immediately my heart rate jumps into the 100s, and the panic attack feeling starts.  Meanwhile it’s nearly 6 am, I’m wide awake, a little scared, and have already alerted Ryan to be on standby, thinking she knows something I don’t, because, looking at the monitor, I can’t see any reason to be worried. By 6 am, I’m on a stretcher headed to labor & delivery. I’m simultaneously angry and scared because I’m not sure if I need to be worried about Carson or if the nurse just overreacted. Once I arrive, I get hooked up to an IV pump, a blood pressure cuff, and the fetal/uterine monitor. I brace myself. Around 730, I’m hoping they’ll let me go back to my room in time for breakfast because I’m starting to get hungry, and no one seems to be terribly worried in l&d. Then the doctor stopped by. He told me he wasn’t worried about Carson’s decels since they were only lasting 6 minutes, and he had such great variability (has accels and decels). He was a little concerned about the contractions, so he did a fetal fibrinectin and a manual cervix exam. Once he had done that, he wasn’t worried at all–the contractions weren’t affecting my cervix. However, he said that since I was over there, we’d just hang out and get a 24 hour monitor strip on Carson. I almost screamed. Here’s why: when you’re strapped down for continuous monitoring in l&d, you’re not allowed to move. If you want to roll over, you have to call a nurse to have them reset the monitor. If you want to use the bathroom, you have to call a nurse to get a bedpan. The elastic straps for the monitors are so tight it hurts to take a deep breath, there’s an IV catheter in your hand, and a blood pressure cuff that checks your bp every 30 minutes (try to sleep through that). The beds are not made for sleeping anyway. They’re made for delivering babies. After about 30 minutes on one side, it feels like laying on concrete, and your hips feel like they’ll collapse. Oh, and did I mention, there’s no eating? Yeah, if you’re in there, they assume you may need an emergency c-section at some point, so the most you can have is clear liquids. They promised me clear liquids for lunch, but noon rolled around, then one o’clock, and every nurse I asked said she’d ask about a tray. By 2 o’clock, I was in agony. Luckily a tech came in and must have felt really sorry for me, because she tracked down a tray of jello, 2 popsicles, 2 6 ounce containers of cranberry juice cocktail, and chicken bouillon. I really needed the bouillon, but  I could only stomach about half of it. I tried adding some water, but all it did was cool it down, which made it worse. So, I downed the juice, jello, and popsicles. Ten minutes later, my esophagus was on fire with acid reflux. As if I needed any more misery. My contractions had nearly stopped completely, but Carson was still having the occasional deceleration. Every time he did, I got put on oxygen and had the fluids cranked on high. By 7 o’clock that evening, I was laying in urine soaked bedsheets. No matter how well you place a bed pan under your bottom, it still leaks. Not to mention, you can’t wipe your own butt very well when you’re trying to do it with your non-dominant hand. Around dinner time, I was expecting some sort of nutrition, but no luck. My stomach was on fire, and all I could think about was food. Ryan ran back to my room to get my cell phone charger before he left for the evening, and when he came back, I smelled peanut butter. At first, I thought it was my imagination. Surely he wouldn’t have eaten the peanut butter crackers I had stashed in my snack drawer…would he? Yes. Yes, he would. Just so you know, it’s a miracle the boy is still alive with all body parts still attached. My only chance to get through the night was to sleep as much as possible. Luckily, I got a really cool nurse who said she wouldn’t bother me unless Carson’s heart rate dropped for longer than 6 minutes. The previous nurse had said that she thought they would want to take Carson if he had another decel, but the doctor called right at bedtime and said he was no longer worried about the decels at all. He was pretty sure that Carson had the cord wrapped around a foot or leg and that’s what was going on . I managed to get a few hours of sleep, and  6 am rolled around quicker than I expected. I had now gone without food for over 24 hours, and was hoping for at least a clear liquids tray for breakfast, but apparently, no tray had been ordered for me (thanks, thanks a lot). At 73o, the doctor came in and said I could head back to my room that morning. Thank goodness I already had one, because three different nurses told me, “I don’t think they have any rooms over there, it’s probably going to be awhile.” To which I replied that I already had a room; I just needed means to get there. Finally a nurse took me off the monitor (I can breathe!), and sent a tech in to cap off my IV catheter. Before it was over, I was covered in my own blood and insisting she just remove the darn thing. Why are nurses so insistent about leaving those things in your veins? She finally managed to get it capped off and taped down, but not without making a mess. I arrived back at 4th main as the food services lady was retrieving the breakfast trays. All the nurses were excited to see me. And, by the time I made it down the hall to my room, the food services lady (I swear I’m taking her home with me; she rocks) was walking in with a breakfast tray. I was torn: eat breakfast or shower first? I smelled like a dirty hamster cage (that stale urine smell) and felt pretty disgusting, but I sure was hungry. I wolfed down my breakfast standing there with my rear end hanging out of the gown, not caring if anyone walked in. Even hospital food tastes pretty dang good when you haven’t eaten in 36 hours. I took a shower with a big floppy non-latex exam glove taped over my IV cathetered hand. Then I slept. Wet hair and all, I slept like a baby.

Ryan must have felt pretty bad for eating my peanut butter crackers, because Saturday he went to motherhood maternity and bought me a pair of lounge pants, and came back here with ice cream from Baskin Robbins. Then, he took me on a “date” to the hospital Chick-fil-a that evening. I’ve filed the cracker issue in the back of my mind for future use.

So, it’s now Sunday night, and we’ve had one further deceleration (I’ve meanwhile warned all the nurses that this is normal for Carson and they should not get worked up about it) but no other issues. Carson now kicks when I talk to him. And, the doctor has said I may get to go home Tuesday if my cervical ultrasound looks good. Keep your fingers crossed and keep praying!


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