Thursday, January 5, 2012

Plans Unexpected!

Whoa... has it really been TWO months since I last blogged!?!?!? So much has happened!
- semi-figured out what was causing my passing out issues
- had my first baby shower with our College ministry
- started and completed our Bradley Birthing Class (HIGHLY recommend this!)
- Celebrated Thanksgiving back home with friends and family... with oh so much to be beyond thankful for!
- turned 29 - EEK!
- spent a beautiful weekend with the hubs in Asheville, complete with trips to the Biltmore and Grove Park Inn
- had a shower back home with some my nearest and dearest
- went in to preterm labor at 33 weeks... what???

Yep! Out of the blue our lives turned a bit upside down over night. I will try to document all the amazing other adventures November held - complete with pictures, but of course. However, let's go over that last bullet point first.

Sunday, December 11, Jared and I arrived back in Knoxville after a wonderful weekend back in Franklin for my shower. Overall, I felt great! I was actually rather surprised with my energy  and comfort level. However, since the previous Friday, there was this nagging thought in the back of my min, "Be mindful of Ellie - keep up with her movements, etc..." I didn't really pay a ton of attention to it, in that, I wasn't super nervous or anything. I just thought I was being an overly paranoid new momma. Days later, when I found myself flat on my back, I was looking over pictures from the weekend, and realized my hand was always on my abdomen, even in pictures where I wasn't posing. I guess I was more worried/unsettled then I realized.

I was fairly uncomfortable by the time we arrived back home, but at 8 months pregnant, its pretty common to be uncomfortable, even when you haven't been traveling. Plus, with my pelvic instability issues, pain and discomfort, in varying degrees, was something I had dealt with from the majority of the pregnancy - no biggy.

We went to bed, and I hoped I would just feel better after a good night's sleep, and  was out like a light! Around midnight, I woke up in significant discomfort! This was way more then my typical discomfort. This pain encircled my back, abdomen, pelvis, and traveled down my legs, along with shooting pains through the um... nether regions.

I have a confession to make here - my one talent is my ability to sleep. I can sleep through anything, anywhere, anytime. This has served me very well this pregnancy... until this point. Even though I was in increasing pain, all I could think about was wanting to just go back to sleep. And yes, I swear I am a nurse, who made good grades, passed my boards the first time, and very competent in my career field. Nurses are the worst patients!

Finally, I got up, went to the bathroom, tried every Bradley exercise I knew, and tried out every change of position I could think of in my sleep deprived brain. By this point, I was starting to get a little nervous.  This is where I made my second mistake. Instead of listening to my body, I switched in to "Mommy Mode" and essentially ignored what my body was telling me, because I was so focused on what my little girl was doing. Reassuringly (or so I thought at the time... again, remember sleep deprivation is kicking my tail!) she dancing all around. Ok, good. I remember thinking I should keep track of the number of contractions I was having an hour... but these weren't contractions, or were they...

Around 2:30 am, I finally woke Jared up, nearly in tears, from pain and exhaustion. He is an even heavier sleeper then I am, and waking him up can be a challenge most of the time. He woke up the best he could :) and asked "do we need to go to the hospital?" I was still in complete denial/oblivious to what was going on, declined the offer, and curled up in bed next him. He and I both kept our hands on my abdomen, where Ellie was continuing her dance off.

I started to pray. I am not really even sure what the prayers were... I guess it was more of an act of communing, or being in an attitude of prayer. I was able to relax. The pain continued, but I was relaxed. I fell back asleep before dawn, and slept for a few hours.

When I woke up, other then being exhausted, I still in discomfort, but not nearly as much pain. As I was in the shower, I started thinking back over the night. The hot water must have been just what I needed to wash away my sleepy-stupidity. I realized that while I had been so focused on Ellie, I completely ignored my body. I could not have told you when one "pain" started and stopped - they were just wave upon wave. Hmmm.... that maybe isn't so normal. Ellie was still moving very consistently, which assured me she was fine.

The longer I was up, the more the discomfort grew. I promised Jared I would call the doctor as soon as they opened, and we both left for work. I started second guessing myself, and as much as I hate to admit it, let my pride get the better of me. Nurses, I tell you, are the worst patients ever! So I did what any girl would/should do - I called my mom, who lives in a different time zone, and woke her up. "Hi mom, oh  no don't worry, I am not in labor, but.... I do have a question. Let me tell you what happened last night and see what you think." Her emphatic, but calm, answer, "Call you doctor as soon as they open." She knows me all to well - had she showed any amount of anxious concern, I probably, and ashamedly, would have shunned her advice.

As I made the long trek from my parking lot into work, the pain definitely increased, and standing up straight was not comfortable/wasn't happening. I called the doctor, and made an appointment for a few hours later.

Jared is in sales, and his sales territory is not in Knoxville. He is usually 1-2 hours away... sometimes more. This morning he actually happened to be in the area for some reason, and asked me if he needed to stay and go with me to my appointment. I told to just go about his day as planned - if he came to the doctor with me every time I experienced a new symptom his boss would probably not be too happy, and I would look like a psychotic wife! HA! :) So I sent him off towards middle TN, still convinced I was going to be told I was "just pregnant" and everything was fine.

I worked for a few hours, sitting at a desk, getting up only when needed, before leaving for my appointment. I grabbed my jacket, wallet, keys, left my work and lunch bag (cause I would be back in the hour, dontcha know) and headed out to my doctor.

I made jokes with the nursing staff at my OB's office about how I just loved them so much, I needed to come up with an excuse to see them on a weekly basis. It was all light hearted and fun.  My blood pressure was the highest it had ever been - 130/80! "You must be in way more pain then you are letting on, "the nurse said. Well....

I got hooked up to the non-stress test. I couldn't see my contraction print out from where I was sitting, but I could see and hear Ellie's heart rate (love love love that sound!) I noticed she was having lots of increases in her heart rate, which usually correlated with her movements, but still seemed a tad on the high side. Maybe something is going on... I sat there texting my mom and Jared, keeping them posted with everything.

The nurse came in every few minutes to check on me. "You feeling any contractions, hon?" "Uh... not really, just 8 months of pregnancy uncomfortable, I guess. I am feeling more pressure then usual I guess..."

Finally, I was taken to an exam room for the dreaded pelvic examination. I had been extremely peaceful throughout this entire thing. I was praying throughout the morning, and felt nothing but calmness and peace around me. Without being way too graphic, as soon the NP started the exam, I could tell my body had  definitely changed! Oh no, something really is going on! The first hint of wave of panic began to come over me. Then I heard the words, "You are a good centimeter dilated and over 50% effaced. Your NST strip was definitely showing significant contractions." WHAT!?!??! Evidently, all of Ellie's movements I had been keeping up with last night were her fighting the contractions. Her increases in heart rate during the NST's were her reacting to the contractions. Good one, Mom!

The NP left the room to go get the doctor to see what needed to be done.  The tears started welling up in my eyes. Oh my gosh, I am getting ready to deliver a preemie and Jared and my mom are two hours away. I am going to deliver this baby alone! Just then Jared texted me "Have you been checked yet? What did they say?" I told my husband the first lie I have ever told him: still waiting for the NP to come check me. I knew I couldn't tell him the truth in text message, and if I called him and heard his voice, I knew I would completely loose it emotionally... neither one of us needed that right now. It would serve no useful purpose.

The medical team came back in, and were wonderful! So calming and reassuring. They wanted me to go straight home and go on bed rest. They were going to put me medications that should stop the contractions, watch for this, call if this happens, come back in 48 hours unless something changes, and don't wait so long next time!

I walked out of the office in a daze of some sort - waves of alternating panic and peace rolled over me. On top of dealing with all the what-ifs, I had two phone calls I was dreading  having to make - to my husband and my mom!

They were nearly as shocked as I was, I think. Luckily, it takes Jared a while to process out of the ordinary information, and my mom new the importance of keeping me calm, so both phone calls were pretty anticlimactic.:)

We hadn't even started on the nursery - we were waiting for the Christmas break from the college ministry. I hadn't gone through the shower gifts yet. We didn't have a car seat. I hadn't registered at the hospital yet. I hadn't officially chosen a pediatrician yet. We hadn't done any Christmas decorating or shopping. But all that paled in comparison to the thoughts of our precious baby girl coming into this big, mean world, way too early, and the hurdles we would have to watch her fight to clear.

That night Jared and I just sat on the couch trying to stay calm, and not "future trip"... at least not out loud.:) As nervous and scared as I am sure we both were, it was actually a very sweet time of just being together. I felt like we were officially parents for the first time. Sure we knew she had been coming into our lives for the past 8 months, but this made it become really really real!

Ok, well... I thought I would be able to tell all of this in one post. Evidently, I have two months worth of unwritten blogs trying to type themselves out from my fingers. So I will wrap up for now. Next up - Ponderings of the Heart.

In closing, we are now 36+ weeks - officially full term! Praise God! I came off bedrest this week, and am back at work a few hours a day, a few days a week.

Until next time... which should be in a day or two... unless we go in labor for real this time!:)

Christmas Night


  1. Geez finally put that bedrest thing to use and started blogging again! Bout time sis :-) looking forward to your next one and I CANT WAIT TO MEET ELLIE!!!

  2. Wow, I'm so glad they were able to stop your labor! What a crazy couple of months you have had!