I am convinced that this baby is showing me exactly what I'm made of. He's making sure I'm strong and that I'm ready for whatever he is going to throw at us.
At 22 weeks pregnant (15 weeks ago!) I was sitting at work when I started getting a lot of back pain. Typical with pregnancy, right? Yes. So I got up, drank a bottle of water, and did a couple of laps around my building. When it didn't seem to ease up at all, I took a Tylenol. Still, the back pain was only getting worse.
I went home and climbed into a semi-hot bath. I felt a ton of relief, so I just laid in there until the water became too cold to tolerate. As soon as I got out, all the pain came wooshing back like it was re-paying me for any time that I'd missed without it.
I called my mom who suggested a heating pad. I sat down on the couch with a heating pad and after about fifteen minutes of that, I realized that I was having really bad cramps too. I felt like I was PMSing. Really bad.
I called Hubby, who came home from work and drove me to the hospital. The hospital staff thought maybe I had a UTI in which I replied, "Oh man, I feel stupid for coming to the E.R. for a UTI." If only that's all it had been.
After testing my urine and realizing it was clean, the nurse performed a cervical check. "Um, okay, yeah you are dilated."
She immediately went to work hooking monitors up and laying me flat on my back. Everything seemed to be happening in huge rush now. One nurse turned into two, then three, then five. My midwife was called in and then a doctor. I was having contractions. I was dilated. I was in labor.
It was determined after TWELVE attempts to get an I.V. in me that I was dehydrated which would possibly be why I was only 22 weeks pregnant and going into labor.
I was given two shots in each of my arms that felt like a thousand bee stings and made my heart rate soar. I seriously felt like I'd just finished an entire pot of coffee by myself. I was shaking almost uncontrollably.
Hubby kept getting kinda pushed out of the way so everyone could work. I could see him at the foot of the bed, pacing. I immediately recognized the look on his face to be the look of helplessness. I must have shared the same one.
The on-call doctor finally came to talk to me and informed me that they were transferring me to another hospital that had a NICU (neonatal intensive care unit) capable of taking care of premature babies, but in the same breath said, "But a baby at 22 weeks just isn't viable."
My midwife nearly slapped him and if I could have, I would have, too. There's nothing like someone telling you that your baby is going to die. It just better left unsaid until you know for sure.
Moments later, I was taken by ambulance to the other hospital. I was once again hooked up to all the monitors and was still contracting. Another doctor checked my cervix, and then another. I was given some pills, I still don't have a clue what they were, and then about an hour later, everything stopped.
My nurse, who was the absolutely best nurse I've ever had, came in and said, "You are no longer in active later." The sweetest words I've heard. She unhooked my monitors and let me sit up straight. I was moved into a non-delivery room and was scheduled for an ultrasound with the top high-risk doctor in the county.
The ultrasound determined that the baby was fine and that I was no longer dilating. I was kept there for three days on modified bedrest. After the third day, I was checked again and since I hadn't dilated anymore, I was allowed to go home with promises that I'd continue bed rest and absolutely under no circumstances have intercourse.
Four ultrasounds, about a dozen cervix checks and three weeks of bedrest later, I had another appointment. I was set to talk to the doctor and have a cervical ultrasound that day. I expected to hear the same thing, "You still aren't dilating, but you need to stay in bed."
Let me tell you...bed rest SUCKS. I was allowed to get up to go to the bathroom and allowed one ten minute shower every other day. I was ready to be done with it, but I was also ready to do whatever it took to make sure my little man was okay.
So they performed the cervical ultrasound. And then again. And then again.
"Ok, so I don't really know how to explain it and I don't know what happened, but your cervix seems to have....grown back." The doctor told me.
That's not at all what I thought was happening. They explained more in detail that I was absolutely not dilated, not effaced, and actually had a longer cervix than most normal women. The high-risk doctor even said, "I've never seen that happen."
They kept telling us that we'd be lucky to make it to 25 weeks. After 25 weeks passed, they said we'd be lucky to see 28 weeks. And they are still astounded that now at 37 weeks, little baby boy is still baking.
My little fellow still has plans of his own though and after trying to come too early, he has decided that he would flip around head up and not make any attempt to get into the birthing position again. I feel like he's saying, "Hey, I tried to do this once and you stopped me, so now I'm not coming at all."
So, we went on Wednesday to schedule our c-section and were treated with some more news. I was diagnosed with pregnancy induced hypertension and now am on bed rest for the duration of this pregnancy. If not any sooner, we'll be meeting our little one on July 8th.