Jackie's Ongoing Pregnancy Journal
I decided to write this as a summary of the day to day activities that happened this past week, since things were changing so much. I turn my journals in on Fridays, the same day I start a new week in my pregnancy. So even though this is truly the beginning of my 37th week, the journal is summing up all that happened leading up to today.
Friday Dec. 17th. I wound up back in Labor and Delivery again. After getting Jackson to bed I went in letting them know that my contractions had been five minutes apart for the past four hours. They weren't painful, just uncomfortable. In fact, I drove myself. My doctor's office wanted me to go in any time they were consistently timeable and under eight minutes apart. The nurse hooked me up to the monitor and still the contractions kept on coming. She called my doctor who stayed on the phone while she checked me. I was still a fingertip dilated, but this time I was also 50 percent effaced.
She went to tell my doctor and came back saying they wanted to stop them and would give me another shot of terbutaline...and this time she wants me on bedrest. BEDREST, the week before Christmas. At first I was like, "now what exactly does bedrest mean?" even though I know perfectly well what it means. I just don't know how you do that with a 2 1/2 year old.
My mind started thinking about the tree we're supposed to get the next day and the present wrapping and cookie baking. I was feeling sad, but I knew I better listen to the doctor and lay low. They continued monitoring me for another hour and the nurse called my doctor again to give her an update. The nurse came back to tell me that the next time my contractions pick up to five minutes apart to not come in until I couldn't function through them, that they'd let nature take its course and wouldn't stop my labor. On the sheet they gave me to take home she wrote that I was in early labor. And so began my roller coaster week of wondering if "This is it?"
Saturday Dec. 18th. My first day of bedrest. I didn't sleep well so I took one of the ambien the doctor prescribed at around 5a.m. Neal asked me at 8:30 if I'd like breakfast in bed. I told him I was too tired and wanted to sleep.
I woke at 10a.m. and went out to the kitchen to get more water. I walked into my living room to see the biggest tree we've ever had sitting there. Neal and Jackson were no where to be found. I actually cried. The tears were partially because I couldn't believe he went out and did it all on his own and set it up without me even hearing them and part of me was just sad I wasn't able to share in this part of Christmas that I enjoy so much.
I called him to see where they were to find out they'd just both gotten their hair cut. Jackson has never gone to a hairdresser. I've just trimmed his hair, so this was another momentous occasion I missed. I was just feelilng sad in general. When they came home he looked so grown up. I swear he even acted older. It was so surreal. I sure wish I could have had a camera to take pictures of him sitting on the chair with an apron around him getting his hair cut.
After that I lied on the couch watching the two of them decorate the tree. This was the first time Jackson has really been able to comprehend Christmas and he was so excited about the ornaments and the lights. It made me smile inside watching my two guys doing the decorating. Even though I was sad to not be able to be a part of it, I guess it was nice to at least to have someone else do all the hard work and the clean up too.
Sunday Dec. 19th. The second full day of rest. I woke without plans and knew Neal was home to hang with Jackson. But by around 1:00 it felt like the contractions were getting more painful. I was concerned if I waited until I really hurt that it would be too late for my mom to get up here to be with Jackson. So I called her, saying I'm no where near going to the hospital, but would just feel better if you came up.
My mom got here by 3pm and she and Neal took turns enertaining Jackson while I pretty much laid in bed. I couldn't sleep, but I was resting. After dinner and helping put Jackson to bed (meaning I lied down on his bed while reading to him, so it wasn't too 'exerting') I fell asleep myself. I slept for a couple of hours and woke around 9pm. I realized after lying there for about 40 minutes that my contractions had gone away. That night was a good night.
Monday Dec. 20th. I woke to find the contractions were still very mild and far apart. I felt like maybe it would be awhile before I had her. It was the first time I'd felt like that in a few days. However, when I went to go to bed at 9pm the contractions kicked in. I was up until midnight timing them every 8 minutes. I finally fell asleep, but only for about an hour.
The entire night went on like that. Fading off only to wake to contractions at least once or twice an hour. At five a.m. after lying awake for an hour I got up to eat a banana, drink some water and just surf the internet for baby monitors (which I still haven't purchased for this baby). Needless to say, it was a rough night.
Tuesday December 21st. After not sleeping most of the night, I took another ambien just to get some rest. I was having an emotional morning, just felt like crying over the contractions that won't stop, yet won't get strong enough to go to L&D. My husband suggested I take some ambien so I did just to get some sleep. My mom is still here so she kept Jackson entertained most of the morning while my husband went to the dentist.
After he got home he suggested we go see a movie. I figured it is sitting down so we went. The movie that worked in our time frame was "Finding Neverland." I found it to be a really good movie and was actually moved to tears a couple of times.
But towards the end, for about a half an hour I started having intense low back pain radiating to the front with the strongest contractions throughout my stomach and low in my pelvis. This I could tell was it. I actually had to keep squeezing my husbands hand to get through them. But I kept thinking, I want to make it through the movie. I'm probably hardly dilated at all. I kept breathing threw them and squeezing his hand, but all of a sudden I felt like we better go get my bag and get to the hospital. I was worried if I waited much longer I'd start gushing amniotic fluid everywhere. So we left before the movie was over and by the time we got to the car the contractions had stopped. So what was that all about. I have no idea. It honestly felt like active labor so the fact that it just stopped really threw me for a loop.
My contractions remained calm most of the night. Though they weren't consistently close together, they were feeling more intense with low back pain and pelvic pain. I just had a sense that she was moving down or something was going on. Two more days until I see my OB for my weekly check up. I'm hoping she'll let me know what's going on.
Wednesday Dec. 22nd - My sister and her boyfriend have arrived from New York. My mom went back home to get things done there before coming back up for Christmas Eve. My sister took Jackson for a walk to his favorite shopping center. It's a little center with a few shops including a toy store and lots of restaurants, but also a merry go round. That afforded me quite a bit of quiet time at home. I handled some of the phone calls I needed to make, like to my health insurance company and then lied down.
I think I rested. These days it's so hard to tell. Most of the time I feel like I'm just lying there. I'm tired, my eyes hurt, I want to sleep. But the mild contractions keep me awake. I also have noticed my dreams are very much real and like what's happening in my life so when I wake I'm not sure if I was just thinking or dreaming. I did manage to find the baby monitor I wanted way on sale so that made me happy. One more day until my doctor visit and I can't wait.
Thursday Dec. 23rd - Bright and early, I'm her first appointment at 8:15. Neal stayed home with Jackson (who by the way has come down with a cold so we were all up at 5:00a.m. this morning.) Now added to my list of minor concerns is wanting him to get well before bringing a newborn home.
Anyway, my doctor was a little late so we stood in the hallway. Any prolonged standing right now makes me nervous that she's going to decide to come out. My doctor had me do the regular, urine sample, blood pressure and weight gain. All looked fine. I've officially gained 36 pounds, that's three more than I did with Jackson. I've stayed at about the same weight the last three weeks so now I know she's taking the weight and not me.
My mind is rushing back with all sorts of memories about how hard it was at first to see any of the weight leave me and the big maxi pads and the sitz bath. Oh joy. It's funny how we forget these things, but they sort of come back as little reminders when we're almost there again.
Back to the appointment. She did an ultrasound and showed me that her head is in the right position, facing the right way, which put me at ease knowning she's not posterior. Then she did the internal exam to see what all this irritation has been about. Turns out I'm 1 centimeter, which isn't that big of a deal. But I'm now 80% effaced and the baby is already at zero station. With Jackson, at my last appointment I was 1 cm, 100% effaced and at plus one station. I had him three days later.
My doctor said, wow, she's really low and said when I go into labor she thinks it's going to be really fast. She said, "you're going to have to tell them, the head is coming out." Ironically, that's exactly what happened with Jackson. I muttered through the contractions to tell Neal I thought the head was coming out and since we were alone he went down the hall to get the on call doctor. They laughed at him at first thinking, yea, she's a first time mom, she's far from delivering. He had to go out a second time because at this point he was getting scared about being alone with me. They came in to find out I was right, the head was coming out.
She did say I could get off bedrest. As of Christmas Eve I'm now 37 weeks. But she added, if you want to try to wait until I get back from vacation on January 2nd, you should lay low. So after the appointment we did a quick errand, but I am still trying to stay mellow. I had a few bags with receipts ready for returns I've been needing to do for a couple of weeks. With Jackson I knew I wouldn't be able to do them all in a day so I'd try to do what I could when I could. Needless to say, not many things had been returned. So my sister offered to just do a massive errand run for me and returned them all. That felt great, to know that it's not hanging over my head.
Friday Dec. 24th. - It's Chrismtas Eve. It's amazing to me that I've made it this far, judging by the way I felt earlier in the week. I'm still sleeping horribly and having contractions, though nothing major. I plan to go to church tonight, but other than that no plans at all. Laying low.
I did get a call yesterday that my group B strep test was done wrong accidentally so they need me to come back in on Monday to have it redone. I'm hoping to at least hold out until after the results are back from that so they don't automatically have to hook me up to antibiotics 'just in case.' That's what they said they'd do if I went into labor before getting the the test done.
Well...my parents just arrived. Everyone's here now to start the cooking. Jackson and Daddy are off doing some last minute shopping. Neal gave him an early present of a little sweat suit and soccer shirt. He loves it and looks so grown up in it. So they've been gone all morning. I guess this Christmas I'm truly getting to see what Mary felt like. I'm trying to look at all of this as a blessing and to just stay calm and try to enjoy these last few days of having her inside my tummy. I know, soon enough I'll be holding her in my arms.
I pray that no matter when she's born, she's born healthy and all goes smoothly for me. Compared to my last pregnancy, I feel like these last few days have been spent really pondering all these things so much more. I've had so much down time to just think about this miracle and this little human being I'm carrying inside me. I'm excited to meet her and get to know her. I'm much more sentimental than I'm sounding right now, but I'm trying to hurry. Gosh, it's so weird to think this journey is almost coming to an end.
Merry Christmas to everyone...and who knows, maybe I'll have a birth story by next week. We'll have to wait and see. It's kind of exciting not knowing and each day wondering, will this be the day. Only the man upstairs knows, but soon His perfect timing will fall into place. Again, another way I've realized that this pregnancy has really been about letting go and learning to trust in God.
Until next week, I hope you all have a blessed holiday and feel the true spirit of Christmas,