Saturday, May 19, 2007

Too Good to Last

"You know, I feel fantastic! I've really been blessed to have an easy pregnancy so far."

Famous last words.

As of yesterday morning, life has taken a surprising and disappointing turn. I'm okay, and Baby is okay, but my third trimester is looking vastly different than I expected or hoped.

The basics: My midwife has determined that I'm at increased risk for preterm labor. This doesn't mean that I'll definitely deliver early, but that due to a couple of factors, my likelihood of delivering before 35 weeks is higher than normal. I'm about 27 weeks right now, so the baby's chances of surviving if born now would be excellent--especially since I'm scheduled to deliver at the best hospital in the area, the one where the other hospitals transfer their NICU preemies. But obviously it would be a long, uphill battle. (Not to mention we are not ready for this baby to come yet!)

I had to go in for steroid shots yesterday and today, to help the baby's lungs mature faster, and my midwife has put me on restricted activity. It's not bedrest exactly; she said that there are conflicting opinions about bedrest. Some people think it really doesn't make a difference, but her experience is that it is helpful. So she gave me a few specifics (no out of town trips, no grocery shopping/vacuuming/anything that taxes the lower back and abdomen) and told me to limit being on my feet as much as possible, but said she'd leave it up to me as far as testing the waters and seeing how I feel--I just have to monitor how activity affects my body. I also have to go to the midwife every week now so they can keep a closer eye on me.

What this means: No babymoon in Chattanooga next weekend. No family vacation in DC with Steve's parents and brothers in June. No more daily walks for Hank. And a huge burden on Steve as he now deals with a full-time job, house remodeling projects, and picking up the slack with housework things I'm not supposed to be doing anymore.

The crazy thing: After all this drama, I could end up going past my due date. You just never know.

The good news: I'm not dilated at all, my water hasn't broken, and the baby isn't down in my pelvis putting pressure on my cervix.

My state of mind: Yesterday afternoon, I felt silly being so lazy, because I'm not having contractions and I felt fine. But of course I also don't want to overdo it and end up going into labor, when if I had just rested more I could have prevented that longer. Last night, I was feeling tight again and a little crampy, and it scared me. I realized it's much better to err on the side of caution than to push it unnecessarily.

I'm feeling good today, and have some other thoughts on the whole thing but will save them for another post. Meanwhile, we would definitely appreciate your prayers: For the baby to grow strong and hold out for at least eight (preferably 13) more weeks. For my attitude and emotional/spiritual well-being. And for Steve, as the load gets piled on him. Thanks so much :)


rebekah said...

wow, amy! why do they think that you are at risk for preterm labor? just wondering...

guess i might need to bring a little starbucks to you. :)

Amy said...

:) I knew there would be women who would want details--I initially wrote an extended version of this post explaining more but it was ridiculously long.

basically, two reasons for the concern: 1) my cervix is a little on the short side of normal, and 2) my fetal fibronectin test came back positive (google "fetal fibronectin" if you're curious).

neither is definitely awful or guarantees preterm labor--but together they indicate an increased risk.

Amanda said...

I hope prolonged inactivity doesn't drive you too crazy (need any movie or book recommendations? :)). I also hope that everything goes smoothly for the rest of your trimester - you seem to be handling this very well. I'll be praying for you guys and your baby.

Bethany said...

Oh I will be praying for you and baby. Enjoy the rest if you can. I photographed a miracle baby whose mother was on bed rest the entire pregnancy...she said it was bad because all she did was order stuff online all day for baby...HEE HEE. But baby came actually close to full term and was healthy as could be.

Anonymous said...

Oh, Amy. Pre-term labour sucks. It's so scary! I had it with Nora and had to do all the water drinking too. I never had a positive FFN though, ugh, I'd be so frightened. BUT we all turned out fine, she was even a week late!

Hope that it turns out as well for you, and that your little one cooperates.... but doesn't put you through as long a labour as Nora did for me!

Anonymous said...

Amy, we will definitely be praying extra hard for you. I know what it is like to be on bedrest or semi-bedrest: it isn't easy, but do your best. It will be worth it in the long run. You want that little one to grow as much as possible. I will also pray that you don't have to go through the NICU. We know how that is. And are praying for ourselves that we don't have to go through it again either.

Drink your water. Put up your feet. And don't worry because Steve seems wonderful and you know he will take care of everything. Just take care of yourself and your baby.

Vol Abroad said...

One of the weird things about following pregnancy forums on both sides of the Atlantic is you see similar symptoms treated quite differently.

All thru this pregnancy, I was dreading, ABSOLUTELY dreading bed rest. But turns out in Britain, as far as I can see, they hardly ever recommend bed rest or even modified bed rest. I don't know why this is or if the incidence of pre-term labor is higher in the UK (overall infant mortality is lower here), but I suspect that this is another case of a defensive American approach with an eye on legal liability. (That's not to comment on your specific case - since obviously I don't know any of the details).

Not that I've had any symptoms that would have put me on bed rest (and I'm now overdue!) But even the "put your feet up" recommendation has been a disaster for me (and this from well-wishers not midwives) - just leads to more swelling! I'd go mental if I couldn't walk/excercise - and I'm not a big fitness freak, it just lowers my stress levels, improves my circulation, makes me feel better. Not being able to go for (gentle) walks would drive me insane.

I would talk to your midwife again about other means of monitoring the situation or what kind of activities might be in or out - as from what you've said there seem to be some pre-conditions but no genuine signs of pre-term labor?

But DON'T ask for second opinion on the vacuuming. Clearly, vacuuming must be off the agenda for at least the next -oh...well, during the remainder of your child bearing years. Just to be on the safe side.

The Chinlund Family said...

Wow, Ames, I just caught up on your blog, and I'm so sorry to hear about the concerns regarding the possibility of pre-term labor! It's wonderful that you're already 27 weeks along, and that your hospital has a great NICU. If it's anything like our hospital's NICU, you will have nothing to worry about if the babe needs to make a trip there! I think the nurses in the NICU are extra sweet and sensitive because they get the more precious babies ;) and probably the most nervous parents! I will definitely be praying for you, Steve and your babe these next days and weeks, and whenever else you might come to mind! Just think, in three months (or less!) you will have your own child to hold onto and all these "lazy" days will just be a distant memory. I'm sure you've heard it before, but NAP WHILE YOU CAN!!! :) Love ya girl.

faith ann raider said...

Hey Amy! I'll definitely be praying for you!!

faith ann raider said...

Oh and by the way - getting in a warm bath helps a lot when you've got those contractions in the evening (or during a stressful afternoon!) my contractions would go away once I got in the bath.

Anonymous said...

I'm catching up on reading your blog since I've been out of the loop since the babies have been born.

I'll certainly be praying for you, now that you're experiencing these complications. I'll be praying for protection for your baby, and wisdom for you and Steve.