I can’t believe I’ve been living in the hospital for two full weeks now. The time has actually gone by pretty quickly. Hopefully that feeling continues and I can hold out another four weeks still pregnant.
Yesterday was medically uneventful (which is a good thing!), so I didn’t feel like writing a separate post. The highlights of the day were that my mom came to see me in the morning (and she brought me breakfast!), and one of my midwives from the hospital I had planned to deliver at visited. It’s such a relief that my mom is here! Nathanael even got to go to the office for work today since Ella did really well with Grandma yesterday. He worked from home yesterday to help ease the transition to Grandma watching her all day. Today Ella even got to go play in the snow! Bonus points for Grandma! :o)
I also really appreciated that my midwife came. Whenever I’ve mentioned her to my mom or Nathanael in the past I identify her as “The one who really went to bat for us over the NICU restrictions when we had Ella.” I see that kind of advocacy now, as well, in things like taking time out of her day off to come see me. We talked through my conversation with the resident about birth plans, and she helped me understand a couple things that I was still a little confused on. She marveled at my mom’s birthing history, starting with twins and not having to have a c-section, a breech baby a couple kids later with a doctor who specialized in breech deliveries present, and ending with having me basically on her own (“The nurse kept her from falling on the floor”). My midwife commented on how great it would be if a breech delivery specialist were still a thing and basically had a “you go girl” moment with my mom for having all those babies and not really blinking when she tells about it. My mom is a pretty impressive lady. The two of them also bonded over essential oils 😛
Today was a really good day. I don’t think our NSTs were perfect (non-stress tests; the technical name for what I continuously refer to as “monitoring,” which the nurses also call it), but there were also no instances of residents coming upstairs to talk about something concerning from the strip (the long piece of paper that prints out during the NST) like this past weekend, so our results must have been good enough.
I stayed in bed for a lot of today, mostly sitting and crocheting while I watched This is Us, because I want to determine whether the walking they’ve been allowing me to do is negatively affecting my fluid level at all. The fluid was a little higher during our BPP today, but it may have been a fluke. I’ll try to keep walking to a minimum again tomorrow and see how it goes. I really don’t want to just not walk at all if there does seem to be a correlation because I know that’s not great for me either, but I can at least cut back if it seems to really make a difference in the fluid. My back in pretty sore from so much sitting today. I see the physical therapist again tomorrow, so I’ll ask if she has any recommendations for targeting my back.
My conversation with the MFM specialist after the BPP today was so encouraging! Today was the first time I met this doctor (there are four specialists upstairs in MFM; I’ve now met three, and I’m guessing I’ll meet the fourth next week). She was caught up on my case from talking with the resident who rounds on me each morning (who I talked to about birth plans last week), and she said “Your birth plans sound very reasonable to me.” She explained that even if I do have to be on magnesium during labor it will begin at a very low dose, and I’ll likely still be able to move around during that phase. Later, in active labor, when it’s a higher dose and I’m dealing with stronger contractions, is when I become a fall risk. But she offered some ways I could still gain some movement and different positions instead of staying in bed. She said I could still sit on a birthing ball and lean on the bed as long as I have people behind me for support. And when I asked if I could sit on a chair in the shower she agreed that as long as the wireless monitors are working and there’s nothing alarming about the monitoring (in which case they would probably want me in bed to see if movement is causing fluctuations in the baby’s heart rate) that should be fine, too. It will be up to the attending on call, though.
When I told the specialist I was relieved that the amount of fluid was higher, especially since we didn’t get the points for it on Sunday because it was too low, she gave me a very helpful explanation of what the fluid levels tell them. She said that the measure of fluid on any given day isn’t that important or doesn’t tell the doctors that much, but they’re looking at the overall process. The fact that my levels are rising and falling while I continue to leak is a good sign. If I weren’t leaking and the fluid remained low or there didn’t seem to be any, that would be a bad sign. That would mean the baby isn’t making fluid (or I’m not? The mystery continues…) either at all or at least not adequately. And this doctor told me that when the baby makes fluid that’s one way she’s showing that she’s still happy in there. No fluid production I assume would indicate that some of her systems are shutting down. We don’t want that!
The most encouraging part of our conversation was right at the end, she told me that in her experience when a baby has made it this far with PPROM and is still doing well, the baby usually continues to do well and the mom is able to carry to the 34 week cutoff. That was a huge relief to hear! There are moments each day that I wonder, “Am I going to develop an infection today and end up having this baby?” This doctor was just super encouraging in her matter-of-fact way of talking about my case as if it all looks just fine :o)
Today I also listened to a wonderful interview (click to listen) on The Happy Hour with Jamie Ivey Podcast, and in looking for something else about the interviewee, Ann Voskamp, I stumbled upon this blog post (click to read). Oh my goodness. I cried reading this. In a good way though. Her insight into the grace that can only be found in brokenness is just incredible. It’s well worth the read. I’d love to say more about the impressions that both the podcast and the blog made on me, but I’m still processing. I just had to share them both so that others can benefit from these resources as well. These are some of my favorite quotes from the blog post:
I’m praying that God helps me to gather the manna that He’s making available only through this situation of being in the hospital waiting for Hope.