Sunday, October 19, 2014

Hospital Stays & Bed Rest

Well, quite a bit has happened since I last wrote on this blog! Work wise I ended up with two teaching contracts that comprised a .67 FTE.  In regular-people language this means my job(s) were 67% of a full time position and; therefore, enough of a contract to score us full benefits for another year and to score me a decent maternity leave pay (my school district tops up mat leaves to 95% of the actual wage a person was making when they go off on mat leave).  My jobs were teaching high school dance and teaching grade 7 science and I loved them both and was fully prepared to work for as long as I could until going off on maternity leave.  Clearly, baby had other plans.  I worked in the dance job for six days and I worked in the science job for three blocks (yes, you read that correctly, three BLOCKS) before being forced to go off on medical leave.

Enter this week's adventures!

On Wednesday I got up to get ready for work and was bleeding a bit, so with my knowledge of placenta previa (which I have) I decided we needed to call the midwife and get to the hospital pretty quickly.  By 9am we had my vitals and baby's vitals checked (all was fine) and we met with our obstetrician (we adore her).  The OB told me two things, I was either a) going to have this baby today or b) I was going to have to stay in the hospital for a while.  And then they told me they had to take my blood pressure (it was up to 170, not even kidding).  By 10am I was settled into my little shared room in the antepartum ward at the hospital and was like, "Hmmm...NOW what!?"  The health professionals told me I had to go 48 hours without bleeding before they would even consider letting me go home.  So I sat and waited.  I made it to 22 hours and then bled a bit again and all that time I went without bleeding was reset - ugh.  During all this sitting around and waiting and staring out the window we met with various doctors, OBs, anesthesiologists, etc. who continued to fill us in on my situation.  As it turns out, not only is the placenta previa it is also anterior, which means it lies right over the spot where the OB needs to make the incision to get the baby out.  Sweet deal, right?!
Taken on Wednesday, the first day of my hospital stay. 

In case some of you didn't know, this placenta has been a complete hag since the beginning of my pregnancy...I had implant bleeding and was off for a week on mild bed rest back in May because of it.  And then at the 18 weeks ultrasound we learned I had placenta previa, and then every check up ultrasound I had after that continued to confirm placenta previa.  I've now had 8 ultrasounds and 21 blood tests and the doctors are certain that this placenta is definitely not moving out of the way.  So what does this mean? Well...

I will certainly need a c-section because there is no way this baby can be born naturally.  I've taken some time to meditate on the miracle that is childbirth and modern medicine over the past few days.  Wow - humbling experience to say the least.  My OB has informed us that because of the previa and anterior placenta they will conduct my c-section in the regular OR as opposed to the maternity OR because they have to cut through the placenta to get to the baby, which means more bleeding than usual c-sections.  They will have two OBs in the OR and they will have more doctors and nurses present, just in case.  They will also have a blood transfusion set up and ready to go in the chance that I lose too much blood and need a transfusion.  Worst case scenario, if the bleeding does not subside once baby is out and the placenta is removed, I will need a complete hysterectomy.  Receiving all this news at once was a bit of a blow...but we took it all in and I cried a few tears through whispers of, "I don't want to die!" and Joel expertly and calmly said, "They never said you would die".  I ended up telling the doctors to do WHATEVER they need to do to keep me and the baby healthy and well, and if it ends up in the "worst case scenario" then who even cares!?!  At this stage in the game I'm thinking we might be a two cat, one kid family anyhow because I definitely don't want to experience this again.
Thankfully I had a pretty good view!

Anyhow, I ended up being in the hospital for three nights and four days and now I am home and doing pretty much nothing.  I feel like I need to relearn how to walk after sitting still for four complete days!  I'm on high alert and having a constant conversation with this baby, telling it to be good and stay put for at least a few more weeks.  My c-section is tentatively scheduled for November 26th, but that could change based around the OB's schedule and all the other doctors' schedules, etc.  Of course, if I end up bleeding again I need to go back in the hospital and if it's a lot of blood they will take the baby out immediately.  I'm 32.5 weeks pregnant right now, and this baby already weighs 5 pounds 11 ounces, so it's not like we're in danger of a super low birth weight, considering this kid already weighs more than I did when I was born! Ha!  I've also had the necessary steroid shots to boost baby's lung development, so now baby has lungs comparable to that of a 34.5 week old developing baby, which is a big comfort.
I pretty much didn't move from this bed for four days.

I know all this sounds really scary - it is.  This is not the way I imagined bringing our child into the world whatsoever, but being on the antepartum ward for four days made me realize how incredibly blessed we are.  We are going to be okay, whether this baby comes via an early emergency or on it's scheduled c-section date.  My roommate at the hospital was only 20 weeks pregnant (not pregnant enough for a 'viable pregnancy' yet, meaning if something goes wrong, the baby has almost 0% chance of survival) and she was bleeding/cramping and hardly anyone visited her.  The lady across the hall from me had some crazy, drunkard boyfriend who never came to see her and they only yelled at each other on the phone as their form of communication (she also had pre-eclampsia).  Meanwhile, one nurse was calling me a princess because Joel and my parents were constantly bringing me food and friends brought me movies and coffees and funny books to read....I'm a lucky girl :)
If you haven't read Mindy's book, I highly recommend it! So hilarious.

So, now I am officially on medical leave and maternity leave will start once this baby is born.  I'm at home and not on strict bed rest, but what my OB likes to call "decreased activity".  I'm currently functioning like one hour at a time and hoping that the level of anxiety I'm currently feeling decreases even a tiny bit! I'm a self-proclaimed Anxious Annie though, so I'm really not surprised.

Joel has been absolutely amazing and incredible in all ways.  There's no one else I'd rather go through this with than him.  I love him so much.

And that's it for our epic update! Positive thoughts, prayers and love sent our way is greatly appreciated,


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