My pain lasted all afternoon. I thought that maybe if I walked it would help move things around in there. Nope. It made me have pretty bad contractions instead! It was the big Braxton Hicks contractions that I was use to. It started to rain while we were out walking as well so we headed home. By this time I was getting pretty antsy and nervous. I knew what I was feeling was NOT right, but I didn't know HOW wrong it was. I hate being a first time mom for just these reasons!
At about 6:30 I did notice that that the pain was not going away, and at 22 hours into it, I had had enough of uncomfortable hurting. I called the doc on call. It was bad enough for that. She wanted me to go in for monitoring, so DH and I packed a bag, because you just never know, and headed in. We figured that if we packed a bag we wouldn't need it, but if we didn't, I would end up staying and there we would sit without anything again like last time! I even managed to put in a little outfit for Scarlett to come home in and Steve brought a change of work clothes. The only things we forgot were the camera, mom's number where she could be reached on the cruise, and the car seat.
At about 7:00 they hook me up to monitors to monitor her heartbeats and contractions and the nurse does an internal exam which tells that I'm about 50 percent effaced and not dilated at all. The monitor has a field day. Apparently all of my pains were contractions! They had me drink water to try to curb them, and it helped some, but not enough to make them stop. I finally realize what I'm feeling and can ask Steve to look at the monitor and am able to tell him when I'm having a contraction and he can confirm it. It was nice to know what I was feeling was actually something. The nurse that helped me was super nice and I felt completely at ease with her. Meanwhile, little Scarlett's heart rate is just fine and she's boppin' around in there with the hiccups. They give me three shots of terbutaline at 15 minute intervals which immediately take away the contractions. The nurse thought that the doc would send me home with a prescription, but she didn't. She gave me one pill and told me to take it in several hours. Okay, great. Have a nice night.
Fast forward to about 8:00 Monday morning. Did you guess? Yup, contractions were back with a vengeance and I thought I was going to die from them. I had to sit through a motivational speaker for THREE HOURS that morning and only used the bathroom about 12 times. No lie. When I got out of there, I called my doc's office and told them what was going on. They got me an appointment at 1:45 that afternoon. The bad thing is that my doc had hip surgery and was out so I saw Dr. Ford. I liked her well enough, not a problem. I have no worries about getting good care at the practice.
She did an internal, same as the previous night. Effaced but not dilated. However, she did say that her head is really low. I could have told you that from the amount of pressure on my bladder lately! She did a non-stress test which I knew would not be the same from the night before. My contractions had slowed WAY down and I could barely feel them anymore. That's the way it always happens, right? Make an appointment and you will suddenly feel just great! The test showed that there was some irritability in my uterus, not the exact way they want it to be. She also wanted to do a fetal fibronectin test to check for preterm labor. The problem is that you can't have one if you have had an internal exam in the past 24 hours. So, she wanted me to go back Thursday to have that done. She also gave me a prescription for terbutaline to keep the contractions away. She did say that I am nearing the end for preterm labor drugs and that if I was just a couple of days later, they wouldn't start me on any because she would be okay on her own soon. If I had to live with these contractions for the next several weeks, I may stab myself in the eye with a pencil. My fundal height at 34 weeks and 1 day measured 36; the closest it's ever been.
The terbutaline makes me really super shaky. I dropped a bowl of ice cream and smashed the bowl to pieces. I thought lightening would strike me dead for doing that! My Gram said that maybe that was God's way of telling me something ? I told her yes, that it was his way of telling me that I needed more ice cream! The good thing though, is that the drugs make the contractions stop. The shots in the hospital were MUCH more effective than the pills, but the pills work. You just have to wait for them to kick in.
My appointment on 3/23 didn't go as planned. I went in for the fetal fibronectin test and when I got there, my blood pressure was 144/102. It has NEVER been that high before. On top of that, I was shaking like a leaf from the terbutaline. I had fears that my doc would be running late because I only had coverage for my first period class and knew I had to get back for second period. Of course, she was in a c-section that had complications. I told the nurse this and she asked if I would like a nurse practitioner to do the test. I said that I would because I needed to get to work. The nurse came in and was very confused - she asked me if I was on preterm labor drugs, I said yes, and then asked me if I was still working, and I said yes. She just looked at me and said, "huh." I don't think she agreed with it, but I let it go.
She did the test and an internal - although she didn't tell me what the results of the internal were. I am assuming that they were okay since I didn't hear.
The regular nurse comes back in and tells me to lay on my left side for a while because they want to take my blood pressure again. So, I do. The blood pressure is the same.
About three or four minutes later the doc walks in and says that she wants me to go to L&D to be monitored because of my blood pressure. Great. She also wanted me to take the day off from work. It's not a big deal to do that, but I hate to use my vacation time now instead of for maternity leave since I have barely enough days to cover the month of May as it is. She also wants me to take the terbutaline every six hours instead of four. I was okay with that since it has such an immense effect on my system between 2-3 hours into the drug. I am so shaky it's unreal. I feel like a crack addict.
I call school, call Steve, and head over to L&D. Get undressed, they hook me up - no contractions. My first blood pressure reading is 137/87, which is pretty normal for me. I do have borderline high blood pressure. I didn't get why it was so drastically different in that ten minute change, but whatever. I stayed there for about two hours and had labs done (which came back fine) and had my blood pressure taken every 15 minutes. They all were okay, too.
So, the doc wants me to follow up on Monday again with her, but I really wanted to see Dr. Baker since he IS my OB. I did make an appointment with Dr. Ford. But, later on in the afternoon I called the doc's office and asked if Dr. Baker was seeing patients again because I knew he was out on surgery but should be back soon. Come to find out he was back!!! I wanted to see him! I called on Friday morning to see if I could be squeezed in to see him because he didn't have any appointments until APRIL 11TH!!! That just won't work. This baby isn't giving me any rest at the moment. I finally get a call back from his nurse, Jenita, and she squeezes me in on Monday at 1:45. I have to take a half day, but to me it's worth it. I want to see Baker and get his take on all of this crap.
The results of the fetal fibronectin test should have been back on Thursday (3/23) or Friday (3/24) and I asked Dr. Ford TWICE and her nurse TWICE when I could get them. I was told I would be called but to call on Friday afternoon if I hadn't heard. So, of course, by Friday afternoon I hadn't heard and called when I got out of work. I cannot tell you my disappointment and dismay when I called and found out that their office hours stopped at NOON on Friday. How in the hell am I suppose to find out the test results in the AFTERNOON when you close at the stroke of noon?? I was just a little frustrated and I'll let Dr. Baker know this when I go to see him. Not that I'm mad at him, but irritated with the treatment that I got from that.
Of course, I am making the ASSumption that the test will come back positive because Friday morning I lost what I think to be a good chunk of my mucus plug. Without going into too much graphic detail (although it was really cool!) it was about the size of a super ball and just like snot. The test detects the protein that will make you lose your plug from what I am reading online. On one website it states: "The finding of fetal fibronectin, a fetal protein involved in cell to cell adhesion, in vaginal secretions suggests that the cervical mucus plug is becoming ineffective" Well, I would say it's become ineffective if it came out, right?? But, being a first time mother, I could be wrong.
I did have Steve take pictures of my belly Saturday morning because I swear she is sitting lower in my belly. No longer do I have the Rib Butter that I did. Her butt is nowhere near my ribs anymore. Now, don't get me wrong, she doesn't have far to go, but I'm not pushing her out of the way anymore to get her out of my ribs. From the pictures just four days ago, my belly is sitting differently.
The good news about all of this?? My MOM FINALLY COMES HOME SUNDAY. She and Dad have been on a cruise this past week and it's been KILLING me. Not having my mom around has been like torture. She is so damn sweet though; while she has been gone she's set up a e-card to be sent to me every day from Hallmark. On Wednesday it made me cry. Hormones. She is going to mess her britches when she gets home and gets this story from me. I just have to hold this baby in until she gets here; my life depends on it.
Steve and I have a bag halfway packed for the hospital already, but I'll finish packing it this weekend just to have it set to go. I'd much rather be safe than sorry.