Friday, July 24, 2009

The Dark Side

The other day I had a little scare when contractions started up. I felt a few throughout the morning, but i didn't worry because i had just seen my doctor the day before and he said if they didn't have a regular pattern then they are Braxton-Hicks contractions. Well, by the afternoon they were getting more an more frequent. At one point they were coming every 5 minutes so I decided to call the OB office. They told me to come in right away given my history. I had already had tons of water to drink, taken Tylenol and a hot bath and nothing was slowing them. By the time I drove the 30 minutes to the hospital I was in a bit of a panic thinking "what if this is the start of my worst nightmare." As I entered the Labor and Delivery Unit, better known by staff and patients and "The Dark Side," I felt a smidge of an anxiety attack starting up.

Now under normal circumstances going to L&D shouldn't be worrisome. My group of doctors are Maternal Fetal Specialists (MFM) so they only see pregnant patients in the office on Tuesdays, any other time they are working on the L&D floor and you go there for exams and evaluations, etc if needed.

But, for me, a visit to the Dark Side brought back a lot of memories from my pregnancy with the boys. I had started preterm labor with them at 22 weeks and was admitted to the hospital for the duration of my pregnancy. I was placed on the Antepartum Unit, which was fantastic! The rooms are large and sunny with lots of windows and it looks more like a hotel room than a hospital. But, if you "act up" and start having lots of contractions or dilating you get sent to the Dark Side. It's referred to in that way because the labor rooms are small, dark and have no windows. And you leave there feeling very confused and out of it!

One night, after I had been in the Antepartum Unit for a couple weeks, my contractions had started to get close together. A resident, adorable Doogie Houser-ish guy, came in to check me.

He said, "Remember when you were admitted and I told you not to panic until I told you it was time?" And I said, " Yeah." He said, "well, its time!"

I had dilated 2-3 cm. and the next thing I knew my bed was being rushed down the hall to the Dark Side. Before I could ask any questions I had a catheter, IV drip and a sleeping pill. I was 25 weeks pregnant and spent the next 5 days hooked up to a magnesium (The Mag) drip. Even though it was the middle of the night someone had called Hubby to come in and my mom was there too, the staff had fully expected the babies to be born that night. The Mag was awful!! My vision blurred, I felt so sick I could barely sit up and my muscles wouldn't move (the whole point of The Mag is to knock you out so that your body relaxes.) And I hadn't eaten in days, ughhh.

That "episode" ended well. Meaning, labor was held off. I was moved back to Antepartum where I stayed until the boys were born at 32 weeks. The residents couldn't believe it, they told me that had been taking bets that I would deliver that night and when they got together for coffee the next morning no one could believe I hadn't had the boys! Great I was Coffee Talk!

Even though its been 3 years, you never quite forget an experience like that. I have blocked it out somewhat and it has faded into my memory. But, when I walked into the Dark Side this week, it all came back to me. The smell of that placed is unique and it hit my nostrils full force bringing with it all the thoughts of The Mag and the utter fear that I would leave that hospital without my babies. Not to mention the idea that it could happen again and I could have to remain there for another pregnancy. That scares me!! I don't want to leave the boys.

SO, Thankfully, this time the scare was nothing!! The contractions were not strong enough to do harm. The doctor said my uterus was just "irritable," but my cervix is still tightly closed and thick. They also did a test which can tell if you will go into labor in the next 72 hours and it was negative. I drank TONS of water and the contractions spaced themselves out. I was told to rest and not do anything strenuous, so that is what I have been doing and no contractions have returned, Thank God!!!!

Even though the nurse are fantastic and so nice, I don't plan on visiting the Dark Side again before October!!

1 comment:

  1. Thank goodness it all turned out well. (I also didn't know drinking tons of water could slow down contractions!)