Tuesday, June 16, 2009

23 Weeks 2 Days

One year ago today, at 23 weeks 2 days, I went to see my OB. I knew something wasn't right but expected it to be something minor.

When Dr. H came in to see me the mood was very light. She measured my uterus and used the dopplar to let us hear the baby's heart beat. Then she went to examine me and said words I will never forget "You are 3 - 4 cm dilated, we're going to the hospital". Everything from that point on was a blur. I went to call Doug and realized that I had left my phone in the car. My mom ran to the car while I was taken (very quickly I might add) into the ultrasound room. Because they thought I was leaking amniotic fluid we were glad to see quite a bit of fluid still in the sac. I was then taken back to the exam room to wait for the paperwork so that I could be admitted to the hospital. Sitting there, I called Doug and told him to come to Birmingham. He was only an hour away but it felt like forever before he got there.

My mom was with me as I was wheeled to the hospital, begging the nurse to tell me if my baby was a boy or a girl. I was immediately given an IV filled with magnesium sulfate to stop labor, a steroid shot to help the baby's lungs develop, antibiotics because of the infection in my uterus, and a catheter because urine output has to be monitored when you are on magnesium.

My dad beat Doug to the hospital and for whatever reason, seeing him walk into my room made it all so real. So real, in fact, that I had to ask him to leave. The doctor came to see me, probably more than once that day. I was told that no one knew the sex of the baby but that because of the amount of amniotic fluid they believed that it was the infection causing the leakage. I was also told that I would be on bed rest for the rest of my pregnancy. It was explained to us that if we didn't make it to 24 weeks in the pregnancy, there was virtually no hope for the baby but that every day after 24 weeks was a huge victory.

Throughout the next few days, the situation changed several times. After another ultrasound in the hospital I was told that I still had enough fluid and that I was having a baby girl who we named Emily Rebecca. There was a point where my doctor even talked about releasing me to my mom's house, just 10 min. away, where I would still be on bed rest, but not in the hospital.

That never happened. A few days later, at another ultrasound we found out that all of the amniotic fluid was gone. It was determined that I had been leaking fluid the whole time and that now it was empty. I was told that the fluid could build back up but the chances were slim. Dr. H decided that the best course of action was to keep me in the hospital where I could be constantly monitored. If at any point my health was in danger the baby would have to be delivered, but in the meantime, the best thing for the baby was to be inside of me, growing as much as possible.

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