Thursday, May 20, 2010

Don't forget to pee before you start reading this (part 2)

Okay, so I left off at them telling me I was in labor.

I should preface this by saying I HAD NO IDEA that "more than four in an hour" equalled LABOR. No idea. I thought it meant that I just had an overactive ute or something. Rusty even asked me what they would do after we got to the hospital. I told him I didn't know, but that I thought they might just give me a pill to calm my uterus down. I didn't actually think that there would be change to my cervix. So when they told me I was three centimeters at 29 weeks, I nearly passed out from shock.

I can't remember if they had already gotten an IV in me, but at some point, they got an IV in (which took SEVEN tries), took blood, and all that jazz. They then told me that they would start me on a bolis of magnesium sulfate.

Some technical stuff I should explain: 1). Magnesium sulfate is actually a blood pressure medication. It has a happy side effect for relaxing 2) A bolis is a concentrated amount of the drug. It essentially gives a two hours dose in a period of 20 minutes. They do this to sort of jump start the process and then take you back down to the normal high dosage until the contractions relax.

So my "BH" were not the fake contractions that everyone talks about. They were 100% real. I am here to tell you that NOT everyone knows when they go into labor. I likely had started having contractions at my 28 week appointment that would have given signs of PTL, but didn't even notice them. They did not hurt. They were not regular (that I could feel anyway).

Going back to Part 1 where they told me that I was having contractions every two minutes, I was having them that often, but I was only feeling them sporadically. They were real contractions, but so soft I didn't even notice them.

This bring me to my next point. The ONLY difference between BH and "real" contractions (THE ONLY) is the change that occurs in your cervix. This can only be determined by a professional. It is not the amount of pain, the timing, none of that. They can feel the EXACT same, but only one changes your cervix. You can have really painful BH or painless contractions. Write that down. (I'll get off my soapbox now. I just got sick and tired of people giving false information concerning this. I had listened to the people that said, "Wait until they hurt," I'd have had my baby at home.)

Back to the story...

So as they were hooking up the mag to my IV, the nurse warned me that I would feel "warm and crappy."


That really was the only way to describe it. I instantly felt hot, which was a relief on that cold November night, but only for about 5 seconds. I immediately felt like I had a fever. I was nauseous, but felt like I just needed a cool wash cloth.

It had been about ten minutes when I REALLY started feeling bad. I felt like I was going to pass out. I asked for a wash cloth again and Rusty looked at me. His face turned grim.

"Um, nurse, she doesn't look right."

The nurse looked at me and I had gone completely white (and I'm a redhead, rosy cheeks come with the territory). She checked the monitors.

An alarm started going off.

She started doing the whole "I'm freaking out, but need to remain calm" thing.

Nurses came rushing in, "Turn it off. Turn it off."

They turned off the mag.

Rusty, of course, is freaking out, "What is going on?!"

"Her BP dropped. Like. A lot."

You see, I have naturally low blood pressure. My bp is regularly around 100/55 anyway. My pregnancy actually kept my blood pressure just a little under that. Let's just say that the risk of HIP or Pre-E was not a concern for me.

When they hooked me up to the bolis of mag, that concentrated amount of a drug that is actually given to patients for high blood pressure, it made my bp nearly crash.

After they turned off the mag, I was pretty much back to normal. I asked her what happened and she said that my BP had gone down to 66/33. I later learned that the alarms go off when your bp drops below 90/50.

They adjusted the mag to give me the normal high amount: 2 units an hour. The bolis was 4 units in 20 minutes.

After things settled down a bit, they told me that my doctor would be coming in to see me in the morning. I was to stay there over night.

Because I was on such a high dose of mag, I was not allowed to get up. They gave me a foley catheter and told me they would know more in the morning. For now, I was tethered to the bed with my bp cuff, my two NST monitors, my catheter, and my IV. I was not going anywhere.

Because of Delilah (our chihuahua for those just joining us), Rusty couldn't stay over night. He made sure I was comfortable, which I was since the mag made me feel like I had a lead blanket over me, and then he left around 1 in the morning.

And so begins the epic adventure of my birth story...

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