I suppose its time I update this blog.
Today I’m in week 35 (can’t believe it’s already week 35!) and I’ve spent the last 2 weeks in the hospital.
I don’t feel like elaborating tons so I’m just going to try to keep it brief.
When I came back from the states my doc expressed concern that the baby was averaging a little small for his age. 2 weeks later the baby was still the same size and an internal exam showed my cervix was already quite thin most likely caused by the frequent braxton hick contractions I was getting. I also had very light spotting so the doctor felt it was best for me to stay in the hospital on bedrest.
The day I was admitted to the hospital I was bleeding more heavily than before, felt extreme pressure on my pelvic floor, and stronger and frequent braxton hicks. A second check up after arriving at the hospital showed my cervix was even thinner than just the day before and they were worried I’d go into preterm labor so they hooked me up on a IV drip for a medicine called Uteron that suppresses the preterm labor symptoms. I was told I was only allowed to walk to the bathroom in my room and if I wanted/needed to roam the floors I needed to be pushed in a wheelchair. Because the IV was/is 24/7 I could only shower every 4 days when they’d change the needle and I was told it’ll be better for me to spend my time laying down rather than sitting.
Painful IV the first day. Its really hit and miss each time they change the needle. Sometimes it doesn’t bother and other times it gives me trouble.
The next few days I went through a series of tests to determine why the baby was measuring so small. The main concern was that something was wrong with the placenta or cord in which case the flow of nutrients of oxygen was restricted. Motozo and I were very concerned that the baby may have some health issues because of this and I was stressed and emotional beyond words!
A specialist examined me and luckily seemed to think nothing was wrong with either the placenta or cord, but they really can’t be certain until after its delivered. Daily monitoring of the baby showed him to be healthy with lots of movement and a strong heartbeat, but because of his small size they were worried of the possibility of him going into stress suddenly, especially, with the frequent braxon hicks. We were told I must have an emergency cesarean if the baby showed any signs of stress and Motozo and I were explained the procedure and signed the waiver forum in case there was a need for the c-section. I was really stressed about the possibility of this and disappointed being that I really wanted a natural water birth. The water birth was ruled out immediately after I was admitted and a c-section seemed more likely than a vaginal birth. With the emotional support and advice from friends and family though I was able to make some peace with it (of course with BUCKETS full of tears and anger) and I realize that it is what it is. Even now, although things have settled down quite a bit and its possible that I can have a natural birth, just like any other delivery, I could suddenly have to have a c-section and I’ve more or less accepted whatever happens. Of course, I won’t be thrilled if I have surgery, but the most important thing is that the baby is delivered safe and healthy.
The first week in the hospital was really tough. I was worried I’d suddenly have to have an emergency c-section and the lack of activity made me very restless and stressed. Its super hard to go from being active to almost zero activity. It was hard to sleep at night because of the IV cord, hard bed, nurse visits, early blood tests, doppler checks and most of all stress. The lack of vegetables, fruits, (they are able to serve me vegan meals) and tofu being the only source of protein in the meals served made me worry about developing some nutrient deficiency, but Motozo brought me big salads and fruits and friends visited with lots of other vegan goodies. Unfortunately, the lack of movement and bad emotional state decreased my appetite quite a bit. Motozo asked the doctors whether my vegan and active lifestyle could possibility be the cause for the low weight of the baby. The doctors didn’t think that was the cause, but felt I just needed to spend some time off my feet. I felt being in the hospital was counter productive if “fattening me up” was the solution as I certainly was eating more at home than in the hospital.
Bland Hospital Food
In the middle of the 33 weeks the doctors suggested I get 2 shots of steroids to speeds up the development of the baby’s lungs just in case he’s born before 34 weeks. I told them I didn’t think it was necessary because a baby’s lungs develops fully by 34 weeks and it was only a couple of days away. The docs insisted though, assuring me that it wouldn’t hurt to still get the shots and there was no bad side effects. I grudgingly accepted and Motozo and friends helped me see some humor in the situation by joking around that the baby is going to come out with bulging muscles and uber strong lungs.
I had my good days and my bad days. I admit, more bad days than good, but what helped manage the long hours in the hospital and keep my spirits up was the daily visits I got from Motozo, family and friends. For a couple of hours I was able to laugh a little and feel alright. In the evenings when the visiting hours were over I had lots of magazines, books, downloaded movies/tv shows, etc that everyone brought me to keep me occupied. I still struggle daily with the lack of movement and worry about the baby’s size, but some how I managed 2 weeks and things are looking a little more promising.
Motozo made me a delicious green smoothie! First time for him to use the Vita-Mix. I was very impressed! 🙂
I made it to 35 weeks and I can rest assure that if the baby does arrive any time now he’ll have a very high chance of surviving and being healthy. The hospital has an excellent NICU care which Motozo and I took a tour of. Regardless of when the baby is born, he’ll most likely have to spend some time in there until the doctors deem him fit to go home. One excellent point I like about this hospital is that they don’t discharge the baby based on his weight, but rather his health status and ability to drink. So even if he’s say only 2200grams, if he has no problems drinking, and his health is good then he can go home with me 🙂
Lovely bright flowers from Jayne to cheer me up.
My last check up yesterday the doctors were thrilled to see my cervix closed a little, although I am 1cm dilated and I’m being weened off of the IV drip so that by 36 weeks I’ll be completely off it. If I go into labor any time after that they figure it’s alright, but of course, we want the baby to stay in for as long as possible to give him more time to grow. His growth is still slow, but some growth is better than none. I still don’t buy bedrest as the solution for fetal growth, but I suppose it does help to prevent preterm labor. Nothing we can do now but wait, see, and hope he grows as much as possible. Although only at a meager 1600 grams the doctors keep assuring us that he is healthy. Our hope is that he gets to 2000 before he decides to make his appearance.
Another thing that’s made my stay in the hospital a little less tortuous are the lovely 3 roommates I have. All the nurses and doctors comment that our room is the most fun and bright. We like leaving our bed curtains open and have lots of chats and laughs. We cheer and encourage each other when we get down or worried, share the goodies our friends bring, and sympathize with each others situation. We all hope to keep in contact with each other after we leave the hospital and meet up after our babies are born. I really got lucky with the room!
Ii-san has been in the hospital for the longest out of the my room mates and has the best attitude. She made friends with her 24/7 pole.
And that’s a brief 2 week update on the situation over here. I’ll probably still be in the hospital for another 2 weeks so the baby can be monitored, but hopefully not long after 36 weeks I can go home! I do get upset that I’m spending my last days of pregnancy cooped up in a hospital when really I’d love to be outside doing things that will be hard to do when the baby comes and not to mention prepping for the baby, but oh well. Motozo has been most wonderful setting up the crib, dresser, and running around daily after work to fetch me things! He really is so wonderful!
Thanks everyone who’s written, called, and visited! All the stories I hear of small babies growing up to be healthy adults are very comforting to hear and I appreciate everything everyone has done for me! This has been a really tough time for both Motozo and I, but I’m taking all you mothers advice s that it’ll be worth it in the end. And taking Lilia’s advice on focusing on life with the baby, what I’m forward to doing with him has really helped me stay sane.
I have to say though, what I’m looking forward to the most after I get out of the hospital is feeling the sun and wind on my skin, eating whenever/whatever I want, and TAKING SHOWERS DAILY ha. And of course, meeting the little bub who obviously has his own plans and ideas on when and how he wants to arrive.