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Archive for the ‘contractions’ Category

Many thanks to my pinch-hitter husband for posting for me this morning. As he said, I was sent to the hospital for monitoring last night after my 4:30 monitoring session had 15 contractions in an hour. Suffice it to say, it was a fun day all around.

So… off to labor and delivery triage we went. Where we quickly discovered I was still having far too many contractions. The nurses were great, the hospital was boring. My doctor called after a bit to suggest some options. We settled on trying 3 doses of Nifedipine over an hour and half and if I was still over threshold after that, she'd admit me over night for observation, get me on Indocin for 24 hours, and check my cervix in the morning and probably let me go after that.

Three doses of Nifedipine later, and just as many contractions, and there was a room with my name on it. And so, my darling husband went home to get some things for me, including (bless him) a toothbrush/toothpaste which hadn't even occurred to me, but BOY DID I LOVE HAVING THAT! And the fun began. They got me back on the monitors… three fetal monitors and a contraction monitor. Now the ironic thing about that set up is that to keep the fetal monitors in the right place, I had to be laying on my back. But that made the contractions worse. But rolling onto my side disturbed the fetal monitors too much. Finally around midnight, the nurses called my doctor and asked if they could just leave the contraction monitor only on so that I could get more comfortable and hopefully sleep. At 1:30, they came in and took off the three fetal monitors, I rolled onto my side and went to sleep. At 4am I got my second dose of Indocin. At 6am, I woke up and my day started… for the last couple hours I'd only had a couple contractions. Miracle! (Indocin works well for me…it's just that it can't be taken long term)

Anywhozit, around 8 I was brought the world's most disgusting breakfast (kosher hospital food… never a good thing… ick!). and a bit before 9 I was taken down for an ultrasound and to meet with my doctor. My cervix was, at its shortest, 1.7cm… shorter than last week, but not so much shorter than it was 5 weeks ago when this whole bed rest crap started in the first place. She recommended raising the basal rate on my terbutaline pump, adding Nifedipine XR again on top of the terbutaline, and having a fetal fibronectin test done weekly along with the already-scheduled weekly cervical measurements.

She was fully prepared to let me go home and asked if I had any questions. And I said, well, I wasn't trying to be picky or anything… but I was doing the 4x daily finger sticks for blood sugar testing because I couldn't take the three hour test, and since I hadn't had a single blood sugar reading out of the range of completely utterly normal, could I maybe cut back on the number of times I had to test…but I was willing to do whatever she wanted me to. She said I could just do it twice a day if I wanted, but forewarned me that as I got later into the pregnancy, they'd probably still make me return to four times a day anyway. No problem. She went off to type up the ultrasound report and then popped back in and said, "Hey, since you're in-house right now anyway, do you want to just DO the three-hour glucola test?" Uh, YEAH! Except I'd already eaten breakfast. No problem. I had eaten breakfast at 8, so they'd do the test at 4 and I could go home after that, unless I'd feel better staying another night (NO THANK YOU).

And so… I spent the most boring day of my life in the hospital today, internet-less, bored, with limited things to read or do. But on Friday, I should know whether I have to keep finger-sticking myself! And I was home at 8pm tonight. Safe and sound. All is well, the babies are all healthy and fine. The contractions are better for the moment. And life is good because I have my precious internet back. Gawd I'm an addict. Thanks everyone for your kind thoughts. I suspect this won't be the last time I have a visit to the hospital before this is all over, but at least this wasn't a terribly long orientation… 🙂 I'll try to catch up on your blogs tomorrow.

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If you read the last post, then you’re aware that there were a lot of contractions – enough that the MD wanted to see Karen in the hospital. After several hours in triage, she was admitted for further observation, medication, etc. Things are under control, and she and the kidlets are well. She’ll be discharged this evening and will likely update again when she can.

-S

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If you read the last post, then you're aware that there were a lot of contractions – enough that the MD wanted to see Karen in the hospital. After several hours in triage, she was admitted for further observation, medication, etc. Things are under control, and she and the kidlets are well. She'll be discharged this evening and will likely update again when she can.

-S

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Fifteen contractions this morning. In an hour. I’d say that’s impressive, except, uh, that’s not exactly how this is supposed to be working…

*shrug* I have to take my BP and pulse in a couple minutes, give myself a demand dose, and then remonitor from 10:30-11:30. Hopefully the extra dose will help calm things down. Otherwise, I imagine this will be an… interesting day.

I wonder if there’s an award for hitting the record. Er…. scratch that. I’m pretty sure I don’t want to find out. I have a feeling today I will not be moving much. My husband can wait on me hand and foot, right? Excellent.

Update: 8 contractions in my re-monitoring session. Got an auto-dose of terbutaline at 12pm. Remonitoring from 12:30-1:30. Not worried about it. Likely to go down again… that’s three doses of terbutaline in a short timeframe. Even if it goes down, I may ask the nurse to call my doctor anyway, because that much terbutaline at once is making it hard for me to breathe comfortably. I think it’s time to ask about repeating the Indocin regimen for 48 hours so that I don’t have to keep doing this multi-dose stuff for the next few days. I dunno. I’m not feeling very assertive today, so I guess I’ll just have to figure it out.

Update #2: Now I’m waiting for a call back from the doctor. Third monitoring session was 12 contractions. … And while I was typing this the nurse from Matria called back to say she’d heard from the doctor on call (Dr. R.) and what she wants me to do is give *another* demand dose at 4pm, re-monitor at 4:30 and then decide whether I should come in to be checked. SO…. I’ll update you later!

In other news…. I absolutely could not fall asleep last night, which is unusual for me. I mean, I usually can’t STAY asleep, but most nights, my head hits the pillow and I’m OUT. Not last night. Not sure what the deal was, but I think it was close to 3am before I finally drifted off and I couldn’t drag myself out of bed until about 10 ’til 8 (normally I wake up around 6, even if I don’t get out of bed that early). Anyway, in my supreme irritation at not sleeping, I read a couple blogs I’ve never read before and then got curious about something and got myself a tape measure…

Now, I’ve lost about 20-24 pounds this pregnancy (depending on the week… I seem to gain and lose the same 2-4 pounds week to week lately). But what wasn’t making sense was that recently, many of my pre-pregnancy clothes have been fitting just fine. My skirts have fit me all along, but I grew out of my blouses pretty quickly after I started showing. (my skirts fit me primarily because I don’t like things ON my belly; I prefer that they be under my belly… but recently, I’ve noticed that even my pre-pregnancy skirts are sometimes falling a little too low if I wear them and I realized I could actually pull them up around the largest part of my belly without any real discomfort other than my normal “I don’t like things touching my belly” discomfort)

Anywhozit, I pulled out a tape measure and measured my girth. And sadly? My “waist” measurement (not that you can really call it a waist anymore) is only about an inch larger than it was last summer (the last time I measured my waist). I lost a bunch of weight (maybe 15 pounds in three months?) in my first pregnancy and only gained 3-5 pounds back after the miscarriage (some of which was attributable to the fertility drugs, I think). And I’ve lost about 20 in this pregnancy… but when you consider that the babies keep gaining weight and I’m not gaining weight… my total loss is probably much higher than 20 pounds. HOLY HECK! I wonder how much I’m going to weigh a few weeks after these babies are born. I mean, seriously, I’m overweight, there’s no question. And I had a lot of weight to lose. But sheesh! I was JOKING after my first pregnancy when I said all I have to do to get to my idea weight is get pregnancy 3-4 times, but apparently pregnancy really IS the great weight-loss plan for me. How ridiculously odd.

(to be fair, a lot of this weight loss is probably due to the fact that I’ve been off of Depakote for a while now… I gained a LOT of weight taking Depakote, but had to get off of it because Depakote = EVIL in early pregnancy. And now I’m taking Topamax, which does have a weight loss side effect for some people… but when I last took it [at a significantly higher dose] I didn’t have this kind of a drastic weight loss – not even close. Anywhozit, I think it’s fair to say that I’m taking off that 20 pounds per year that the Depakote helped put on me… at a somewhat faster rate than I put it on)

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Fifteen contractions this morning. In an hour. I'd say that's impressive, except, uh, that's not exactly how this is supposed to be working…

*shrug* I have to take my BP and pulse in a couple minutes, give myself a demand dose, and then remonitor from 10:30-11:30. Hopefully the extra dose will help calm things down. Otherwise, I imagine this will be an… interesting day.

I wonder if there's an award for hitting the record. Er…. scratch that. I'm pretty sure I don't want to find out. I have a feeling today I will not be moving much. My husband can wait on me hand and foot, right? Excellent.

Update: 8 contractions in my re-monitoring session. Got an auto-dose of terbutaline at 12pm. Remonitoring from 12:30-1:30. Not worried about it. Likely to go down again… that's three doses of terbutaline in a short timeframe. Even if it goes down, I may ask the nurse to call my doctor anyway, because that much terbutaline at once is making it hard for me to breathe comfortably. I think it's time to ask about repeating the Indocin regimen for 48 hours so that I don't have to keep doing this multi-dose stuff for the next few days. I dunno. I'm not feeling very assertive today, so I guess I'll just have to figure it out.

Update #2: Now I'm waiting for a call back from the doctor. Third monitoring session was 12 contractions. … And while I was typing this the nurse from Matria called back to say she'd heard from the doctor on call (Dr. R.) and what she wants me to do is give *another* demand dose at 4pm, re-monitor at 4:30 and then decide whether I should come in to be checked. SO…. I'll update you later!

In other news…. I absolutely could not fall asleep last night, which is unusual for me. I mean, I usually can't STAY asleep, but most nights, my head hits the pillow and I'm OUT. Not last night. Not sure what the deal was, but I think it was close to 3am before I finally drifted off and I couldn't drag myself out of bed until about 10 'til 8 (normally I wake up around 6, even if I don't get out of bed that early). Anyway, in my supreme irritation at not sleeping, I read a couple blogs I've never read before and then got curious about something and got myself a tape measure…

Now, I've lost about 20-24 pounds this pregnancy (depending on the week… I seem to gain and lose the same 2-4 pounds week to week lately). But what wasn't making sense was that recently, many of my pre-pregnancy clothes have been fitting just fine. My skirts have fit me all along, but I grew out of my blouses pretty quickly after I started showing. (my skirts fit me primarily because I don't like things ON my belly; I prefer that they be under my belly… but recently, I've noticed that even my pre-pregnancy skirts are sometimes falling a little too low if I wear them and I realized I could actually pull them up around the largest part of my belly without any real discomfort other than my normal "I don't like things touching my belly" discomfort)

Anywhozit, I pulled out a tape measure and measured my girth. And sadly? My "waist" measurement (not that you can really call it a waist anymore) is only about an inch larger than it was last summer (the last time I measured my waist). I lost a bunch of weight (maybe 15 pounds in three months?) in my first pregnancy and only gained 3-5 pounds back after the miscarriage (some of which was attributable to the fertility drugs, I think). And I've lost about 20 in this pregnancy… but when you consider that the babies keep gaining weight and I'm not gaining weight… my total loss is probably much higher than 20 pounds. HOLY HECK! I wonder how much I'm going to weigh a few weeks after these babies are born. I mean, seriously, I'm overweight, there's no question. And I had a lot of weight to lose. But sheesh! I was JOKING after my first pregnancy when I said all I have to do to get to my idea weight is get pregnancy 3-4 times, but apparently pregnancy really IS the great weight-loss plan for me. How ridiculously odd.

(to be fair, a lot of this weight loss is probably due to the fact that I've been off of Depakote for a while now… I gained a LOT of weight taking Depakote, but had to get off of it because Depakote = EVIL in early pregnancy. And now I'm taking Topamax, which does have a weight loss side effect for some people… but when I last took it [at a significantly higher dose] I didn't have this kind of a drastic weight loss – not even close. Anywhozit, I think it's fair to say that I'm taking off that 20 pounds per year that the Depakote helped put on me… at a somewhat faster rate than I put it on)

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First, I should note that this is my 198th post. I’m pointing this out because of the unlikelihood that I’ll notice when it’s my 200th post, so there you go. This is fair warning that apparently, I am verbose.

Then there’s the fact that I made it to 28 weeks this week. And… I have mixed feeling about this. On the one hand, this is definitely a milestone. Babies born at 28 weeks do much better than babies born at, say, 25 weeks. But it would still be utterly devastating to me if they were born right now. Apparently I’d had my doctor worried over the weekend that he was going to be delivering me at 27+ weeks. That’s not good. What is good is that he didn’t make me think there was that much reason to worry until it was clear that we didn’t need to worry. But anyway, in a lot of ways, I’m very sorry that I ever, ever, ever told anyone that 28 weeks was a milestone. It IS a milestone, but it is NOT the goal. The goal is 34 weeks. The first milestone along the way was 28 weeks, and here we are. But now people (not YOU people… but stupid people) keep thinking it’s okay to say stupid shit like, “Well, great, you got to 28 weeks, so it’s all good now, the babies can be born any time, right?!?” WRONG. And when I try to explain to these people that I appreciate their optimism and enthusiasm, but 28 weeks would still be horrifying, they tell me to stop being such a pessimist and proceed to tell me all these statistics about babies born at 28 weeks.

Yes… 90ish percent of babies born at 28 weeks survive. And most of them do not have long-term issues. But 10% don’t survive. And 28 weeks, need I remind anyone, is twelve weeks early. Twelve. That’s too early. If my babies were born right now, they would be about 2 pounds. That’s not enough. Not when they should have the opportunity to grow to be close to 4 pounds. If my babies were born today, they would probably do just fine. But that is not what I want. And that is not what is best for them or for me. And I am so sick and tired of people accusing me of being a pessimist for not thinking it would be so great for these babies to be born this week. Case en pointe: My foster-son’s grandmother called me on Wednesday (GAWD, why did I EVER acknowledge that Wednesdays are the days that I hit the new-week-milestones? WHY WHY WHY?). I was waiting for my Matria nurse to call me with my morning monitoring numbers and I’d had a terrible night the night before (10 contractions in an hour, two hours in a row), so I was a bit on edge when I picked up the phone.

“Hello?”
“28.”
“28?”
“28!” (I’m still trying to figure out who the flying fig is on the other end of the phone)
“What do you mean, 28?”
“You’re at 28!”
“That’s not possible!” (I knew it wasn’t my nurse from Matria, because she always identifies herself, but I was still in that contraction-counting-mode, and I was doing the math and there’s no WAY I could have had 28 contractions in an hour)
“What do you think it is?”
“What do you mean 28?”
“28!”
“28??”
“Yes! 28!” (this went on for about two minutes)
“28 what????”
“You’re at 28 weeks!!” (I finally at this point figured out who it was who was calling because this is the one person in the world who cannot seem to get the point that I need her to stop harping on the 28 week thing, plus I finally recognized her voice)

I was livid, really. I told her flat out that I don’t know any other nice way of telling her that I need her to stop dwelling on this 28 week bullshit. YES, it’s a milestone. NO, it’s not the goal. YES, babies do very well at 28 weeks (at which point she broke in and said, “I even talked to my sister who’s an OB/GYN and she said…”). But NO, it would NOT be good if these babies were born at 28 weeks. They will have so many disadvantages already. We really want to get into the thirties. Thirty-four weeks is absolutely ideal. And please, please, please, I’m begging you, stop acting like it’s okay for these babies to come out right now!

I swear, it’s like I almost feel like all these people who think it’s “okay” now for these babies to come out are almost willing it to happen and it terrifies me. Yes, they really probably would be okay, but I don’t want to find out the hard way. I just want these babies to have every chance possible. I don’t want them to come out now. I’m not ready. They’re not ready. They’re too tiny. I’m too scared for them. Please don’t come now. Please. I don’t know how we’d bear it. I don’t. I know we’d just do it, but I don’t want to find out. I really don’t. I can’t.

I haven’t been a seriously emotional wreck through this pregnancy. I’m not more snippy than I am when I’m not pregnant (I’m very snippy when I’m not pregnant, so who can tell the difference?). I rarely cry, though I’m crying now just thinking about these babies coming out now. I keep it together. After the first few weeks of the triplet-shock, I’ve been okay. I’ve had my moments of “oh my god how are we going to take care of triplets??” but nothing too horrifying since those early weeks. And now, with people continually acting like 28 weeks was such a huge milestone and that everything’s okay now… I just feel like … like they’re saying it’s okay for all my worst fears from the beginning to come true.

And it’s not helping that the contractions really are out of control. I mean, the good news is they’re not seriously affecting my cervix. Contracting is, apparently, just what I DO (sort of like how we discovered that bleeding in early pregnancy is just something I DO…). I’m just lucky. Somehow, that doesn’t bring any peace of mind, because it makes me worry that if there really IS a problem, we’ll miss it. But then again, my doctors have been careful never to assume that my contractions are just “normal for me” when they get up to a certain level. They’ll bring me in any time I feel uncomfortable with the pattern or feel like I should be seen. Or if anything’s different. So it’s not like they’re blowing it off, thankfully. And they are awesome. I love my doctors. All of them.

But I’m having so many contractions that they keep changing the terbutaline dose. And I can’t keep taking the Indocin (though I suspect I’ll be back on it for another 48 hours next week), even though it worked. Unfortunately, I’ve gotten to a point where the terbutaline side effects may be outweighing the benefits. I was having difficulty breathing, so they’ve lowered the dose a little, but my contractions are going up even though breathing is a little easier. I can barely keep any food down. My head hurts constantly (and these aren’t “just” migraines… this is definitely terbutaline-induced). I’m afraid that we’re to the point where even though I haven’t topped out pharmacologically on the terbutaline, I may have topped out on how much terbutaline my body can handle.

So we’ll see. I’m trying not to be frustrated. I’m trying not to be angry at people for their good intentions. I’m trying not to be too anxious about these babies. I’m trying to remember that I chose my doctors because I trust them and have nothing but faith in the care I receive from them. I’m trying to remember that there are more options after the terbutaline and even if those options require that I go into the hospital temporarily or permanently, it doesn’t matter. All that matters is keeping these babies in for another 6 weeks.

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First, I should note that this is my 198th post. I'm pointing this out because of the unlikelihood that I'll notice when it's my 200th post, so there you go. This is fair warning that apparently, I am verbose.

Then there's the fact that I made it to 28 weeks this week. And… I have mixed feeling about this. On the one hand, this is definitely a milestone. Babies born at 28 weeks do much better than babies born at, say, 25 weeks. But it would still be utterly devastating to me if they were born right now. Apparently I'd had my doctor worried over the weekend that he was going to be delivering me at 27+ weeks. That's not good. What is good is that he didn't make me think there was that much reason to worry until it was clear that we didn't need to worry. But anyway, in a lot of ways, I'm very sorry that I ever, ever, ever told anyone that 28 weeks was a milestone. It IS a milestone, but it is NOT the goal. The goal is 34 weeks. The first milestone along the way was 28 weeks, and here we are. But now people (not YOU people… but stupid people) keep thinking it's okay to say stupid shit like, "Well, great, you got to 28 weeks, so it's all good now, the babies can be born any time, right?!?" WRONG. And when I try to explain to these people that I appreciate their optimism and enthusiasm, but 28 weeks would still be horrifying, they tell me to stop being such a pessimist and proceed to tell me all these statistics about babies born at 28 weeks.

Yes… 90ish percent of babies born at 28 weeks survive. And most of them do not have long-term issues. But 10% don't survive. And 28 weeks, need I remind anyone, is twelve weeks early. Twelve. That's too early. If my babies were born right now, they would be about 2 pounds. That's not enough. Not when they should have the opportunity to grow to be close to 4 pounds. If my babies were born today, they would probably do just fine. But that is not what I want. And that is not what is best for them or for me. And I am so sick and tired of people accusing me of being a pessimist for not thinking it would be so great for these babies to be born this week. Case en pointe: My foster-son's grandmother called me on Wednesday (GAWD, why did I EVER acknowledge that Wednesdays are the days that I hit the new-week-milestones? WHY WHY WHY?). I was waiting for my Matria nurse to call me with my morning monitoring numbers and I'd had a terrible night the night before (10 contractions in an hour, two hours in a row), so I was a bit on edge when I picked up the phone.

"Hello?"
"28."
"28?"
"28!" (I'm still trying to figure out who the flying fig is on the other end of the phone)
"What do you mean, 28?"
"You're at 28!"
"That's not possible!" (I knew it wasn't my nurse from Matria, because she always identifies herself, but I was still in that contraction-counting-mode, and I was doing the math and there's no WAY I could have had 28 contractions in an hour)
"What do you think it is?"
"What do you mean 28?"
"28!"
"28??"
"Yes! 28!" (this went on for about two minutes)
"28 what????"
"You're at 28 weeks!!" (I finally at this point figured out who it was who was calling because this is the one person in the world who cannot seem to get the point that I need her to stop harping on the 28 week thing, plus I finally recognized her voice)

I was livid, really. I told her flat out that I don't know any other nice way of telling her that I need her to stop dwelling on this 28 week bullshit. YES, it's a milestone. NO, it's not the goal. YES, babies do very well at 28 weeks (at which point she broke in and said, "I even talked to my sister who's an OB/GYN and she said…"). But NO, it would NOT be good if these babies were born at 28 weeks. They will have so many disadvantages already. We really want to get into the thirties. Thirty-four weeks is absolutely ideal. And please, please, please, I'm begging you, stop acting like it's okay for these babies to come out right now!

I swear, it's like I almost feel like all these people who think it's "okay" now for these babies to come out are almost willing it to happen and it terrifies me. Yes, they really probably would be okay, but I don't want to find out the hard way. I just want these babies to have every chance possible. I don't want them to come out now. I'm not ready. They're not ready. They're too tiny. I'm too scared for them. Please don't come now. Please. I don't know how we'd bear it. I don't. I know we'd just do it, but I don't want to find out. I really don't. I can't.

I haven't been a seriously emotional wreck through this pregnancy. I'm not more snippy than I am when I'm not pregnant (I'm very snippy when I'm not pregnant, so who can tell the difference?). I rarely cry, though I'm crying now just thinking about these babies coming out now. I keep it together. After the first few weeks of the triplet-shock, I've been okay. I've had my moments of "oh my god how are we going to take care of triplets??" but nothing too horrifying since those early weeks. And now, with people continually acting like 28 weeks was such a huge milestone and that everything's okay now… I just feel like … like they're saying it's okay for all my worst fears from the beginning to come true.

And it's not helping that the contractions really are out of control. I mean, the good news is they're not seriously affecting my cervix. Contracting is, apparently, just what I DO (sort of like how we discovered that bleeding in early pregnancy is just something I DO…). I'm just lucky. Somehow, that doesn't bring any peace of mind, because it makes me worry that if there really IS a problem, we'll miss it. But then again, my doctors have been careful never to assume that my contractions are just "normal for me" when they get up to a certain level. They'll bring me in any time I feel uncomfortable with the pattern or feel like I should be seen. Or if anything's different. So it's not like they're blowing it off, thankfully. And they are awesome. I love my doctors. All of them.

But I'm having so many contractions that they keep changing the terbutaline dose. And I can't keep taking the Indocin (though I suspect I'll be back on it for another 48 hours next week), even though it worked. Unfortunately, I've gotten to a point where the terbutaline side effects may be outweighing the benefits. I was having difficulty breathing, so they've lowered the dose a little, but my contractions are going up even though breathing is a little easier. I can barely keep any food down. My head hurts constantly (and these aren't "just" migraines… this is definitely terbutaline-induced). I'm afraid that we're to the point where even though I haven't topped out pharmacologically on the terbutaline, I may have topped out on how much terbutaline my body can handle.

So we'll see. I'm trying not to be frustrated. I'm trying not to be angry at people for their good intentions. I'm trying not to be too anxious about these babies. I'm trying to remember that I chose my doctors because I trust them and have nothing but faith in the care I receive from them. I'm trying to remember that there are more options after the terbutaline and even if those options require that I go into the hospital temporarily or permanently, it doesn't matter. All that matters is keeping these babies in for another 6 weeks.

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