So apparently the baby decided my last post was a direct challenge to her when I said the baby hasn’t come yet, and if I don’t post, I’m not in labor.
Because when I showed up for my doctor appointment this morning….I was in labor.
Regular, painful, contractions. Yes, I knew something wasn’t right…my stomach was incredibly painful to the touch, but I couldn’t quite articulate why it hurt so much.
When you go into labor at 34 weeks pregnant, like I am, barring the baby’s life being in danger (or the mom’s) or a serious condition, the goal is to stop the labor, rather than have the baby. While the baby is mostly done cooking, and would likely be fine on the outside, there is a LOT of brain development and lung development that happens in these last few weeks. The baby is better off cooking until at least 37 weeks, which is considered term, if not 38/39 in my case.
I was directly admitted to the labor ward from my OB’s office around 11am. It kind of freaked me out a bit to go into a labor room with the baby warmer and the bassinet right there, knowing that a baby was the last thing anyone wanted for me today. I would have preferred a regular room, but the labor ward allowed me to be much more closely monitored, which was best for us both, so here I am. Ravi left work to come help out, do paperwork for me, and get me the things that would aid in keeping me sane in the 48 hours I’d have to be here.
They began by placing an IV of drugs that are designed to stop labor. These are NOT the fun drugs, fyi….side effects include heart palpitations and shaky hands. But they’re working, which is what matters.
I also got antibiotics, and will get another dose in about an hour. Because of everything that happened with Ellie, we are proactively giving me antibiotics in labor (even though this is hopefully not THE labor, we have to take precautions as if it were) to protect the baby from exposure to any potential bacteria infections I might have.
Finally I got the first of 2 shots (I think the other will be tonight or tomorrow). The shots contain a steroid designed to help the baby’s lungs mature faster, so that if she needed to come out earlier, her lungs would be in better shape and the potential need for a ventilator would be decreased.
I’ve been here for 5 hours, and the good news is that the contractions slowed and have finally stopped. I still need to be here for 48 hours, which kind of sucks (although obviously I want to do whatever is best for the baby), and then when they release me, I’ll be on full bed rest. My understanding of this is that I can get up to use the bathroom, shower, and walk to my wheelchair but otherwise, nothing, preferably nothing with me laying in bed or on the couch. Until the 25th when I’m term and it’s “safe” for me to go into labor.
My big moment of gratitude is that they’re still letting me use the regular bathroom. I loathe bedpans and catheters, so I’m deeply grateful for this kindness.
In my continuing “how is the different from the US” vein of things….well, I’ve never gone into labor prematurely in the US, but I feel like I’ve seen the nurses far less here than I would have back home. They’re around if I need them, but mostly they’re just giving me space, which I appreciate. I also feel like I would have more tests or something going on. Any visit to the L&D triage in Boston seemed to involve a lot of tests, blood draws, etc. Here I just got the medication my OB prescribed and no additional messing around. My OB also popped in on her lunch to see how I was and said she’d come by after her shift today, too.
Ironically, if you remember, I said that the only thing that would keep her from being the one attending me was a vacation? Guess where she’ll be until Saturday? On vacation. But her partner is a nice guy, and he’s the former head of the OB association here in Singapore, so I assume he’s seen it all. He’ll mostly just check in on me tomorrow and then be the one to let me go home on Thurs. But still kind of bad timing on the baby’s part.
This is my current set up. I’m using the lap tray for my laptop and the baby warmer thing for my snacks, books, and dvds. Part of me feels guilty for that, but the nurse was the one who suggested it, and it’s not like little girl is going to need it today, so…. Forgive the crappy quality…camera phone and I’m not looking my best.