Monday, September 2, 2013

"Labor" Day

I planned to spend Labor Day they way someone who works in higher ed usually does-laboring at work to prepare for the start of the school year. Instead, I ended up spending most of the day in labor and delivery. Baby and I are fine, just tired. I started having mild, painless contractions around midnight, and by 2am they were frequent enough that I decided I needed to call the doctor. The OB on call told me to come in to get checked. I knew this was the right thing to do, but a part of me really didn't want to make another early-morning trip to labor and delivery. But this time was much different, luckily. I knew baby was fine. He was consistently moving around between, and sometimes during, contractions (I think they made him mad-he's very protective of his space). So, I woke Taison, tried to explain the situation without alarming him, and we headed to Mt. Auburn hospital.

Walking into the labor and delivery unit for the first time since last year wasn't as hard as I feared it might be. It helped that they've remodeled a little since last year, so the triage rooms are completely different. It did not help that our nurse couldn't find baby's heartbeat at first. Another nurse came in and found it pretty quickly. We breathed sighs of relief (and shed a few tears), and settled in to try to figure out what was going on.

In triage around 5am-waiting for answers but glad to hear baby's strong heartbeat on the monitor (don't I look glad?)

They did a bunch of tests and gave me some IV fluids (even though I'm pretty sure I wasn't dehydrated), and the contractions continued but didn't strengthen. Our favorite nurse from last year, Kathy, came on shift around 7am. It was nice to see her, even if it wasn't under ideal circumstances. Around 8am they decided to transfer me to a bigger hospital with a NICU that could care for a 26 week old if the worst-case scenario came to pass. Taison and I decided on Brigham and Women's, and drove over (I'm glad they didn't make me go in an ambulance).

By the time we got to the Brigham, the contractions had stopped. They did an ultrasound to make sure my cervix looked okay. It did, and the ultrasound tech gave us a printout of baby's measurements. He's big! 85th percentile for weight (a little over two pounds), and measuring closer to 28 weeks. I felt like he'd grown a lot over the last few weeks. That explains where all this food I've been eating has been going. Since the ultrasound looked good and all of my labs came back normal, they decided to discharge me. I was so glad not to have to spend the night there. By then it was after 1pm, and all I wanted to do was get some lunch, shower, and take a nap.

I was just told to take it easy-neither the doctors nor Taison and I are particularly concerned about this turning into preterm labor, and I'm not on bedrest or anything like that. A lot of today's testing had more to do with my OB history than the severity of symptoms I was actually having. This was fine with us-we would rather over-test than leave things up to chance. I did decide (with Taison's help) to take tomorrow off from work to rest up some more, and to give myself time to process any emotional effects of this whole ordeal. Luckily, my regular prenatal appointment is tomorrow afternoon, so that will be an  opportunity to debrief. I'm hopeful and cautiously optimistic that we won't have to go back to any labor and delivery unit until much closer to baby's actual due date. In the meantime, I'm enjoying still having baby inside as we continue week 26:

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