Another week goes by in this pregnancy that has gone on FOREVER, and I am in equal parts happy that baby is staying put and frustrated because I want to be DONE. After the last update, where I ended up in the hospital for vomiting blood, I had a brief respite before ending up in the hospital AGAIN. This time it was for a suspected Pre-term Premature Rupture of Membranes (PPROM). I was getting out of the car after a short trip to the store with the family, and alluvasudden I felt a strange and unexpected GUSH of liquid from my nether regions. My eyes got very wide as I told Mark, and I rushed into the house to see what was happening.
I went to the toilet and pulled down my pants and noticed the large wet spot on my underwear. I considered for a moment that possibly I had peed myself (the glamour of pregnancy, eh?), but since I was actually dying to pee at that point, and it had not abated at all with this gush, I quickly disregarded it. I used some toilet paper to clean up a bit, and when it came back, it was a very rosy pink color. Not the usual mild yellow of urine. I started to be very afraid. A few more wipes, and all of them came back a sort of peachy pink color.
My initial instinct was to ignore it and hope for the best, but common sense and a burgeoning sense of worry told me that I should PROBABLY call the doctor just to check. Mark agreed with me, so I called up my OB and told them what had happened and asked what I should do. It was at that point that some pretty bad contractions started happening, one of which was while I was on the phone, and with no hesitation, I was told to go to the Labor and Delivery ward for a check up.
We arrived within half an hour of the initial gush, and I was made to put on my hospital gown and immediately hooked up to the NST machine. The baby was looking great on the monitor, but it was no time at all before my contractions were being recorded. And they weren’t small. I had two nurses who came in and started to examine me. They asked if I was “leaking,” and I said that every once in a while, I was getting small little spurts of liquid coming out, and they were very sympathetic. They explained that they were going to take a few cultures and do a visual examination, and they would look at the swabs under a microscope to see if the liquid was amniotic fluid or not. They also were going to do a Fetal Fibronectin test, even though they’d done one a week before.
While the nurse was doing her thing, she casually commented, “Well, I can’t see any hair poking out, so you’re not in any imminent danger.” I must admit, I had to laugh considering that when Dexter was born, he’d come so suddenly that the midwife only noticed when she saw his hair sticking out.
Anyway, the nurse verified that there was liquid escaping me (NOT urine!), and that she’d go and have a look immediately. She also noticed that there was quite a lot of mucus coming away, which I had been noticing for a few days. It hadn’t worried me, as with all of my kids, I’ve lost my mucus plug little by little in the final weeks. She did a quick exam of my cervix and noted that I was dilated to 2, but it was long and hard. Excellent news!
I was then sent to the toilet to give a urine sample, and it was noted that I was once again dehydrated. Out came the IV fluids, and I had two liters of the stuff quickly given. I was REALLY embarrassed when the nurse asked when I’d last drank anything, and I realized with horror that other than a cup of coffee, I hadn’t actually had anything to drink that day. Oops!
The contractions continued to gain in strength and intensity, and at one point they were like clockwork, 4 minutes apart. Needless to say, I was not enjoying the situation. Mark and the kids were in the room with me, and Mark took great pleasure in counting down the seconds. He would say, “The next one should be starting right… about… now…” and sure enough, I’d feel my belly constricting.
Finally the test results came back, and it was determined that THANKFULLY it was NOT amniotic fluid, and my membranes had NOT ruptured. They never explained what the liquid actually was, which was annoying, but I was happy enough to know that baby was safe for now… except for the contractions. Unfortunately, the fetal fibronectin test had broken on the way to the lab, so they were unable to complete that one. But since I’d had it the week before and it had been negative, they decided it was probably safe enough to conclude I was not in danger of delivering.
Anyway, after speaking to the doctors, they decided that the best way to treat me was to get the contractions to stop. The IV fluids were helping, but they wanted to put me on some medication, as well. I was given the blood pressure medication Nifedipine which is often used to stop pre-term labor. After a while, the contractions had slowed down a little to about every 6 minutes, and I was given a second dose (after they had checked to be sure my blood pressure was okay to do so). With these two doses, the contractions slowed to every 10 minutes.
Finally, I was offered a shot of morphine and phenergan, which I was told would help with the pain, help me relax AND stop the contractions. I was unsure, and I was a little trepidatious, but I trusted them to do what was best and accepted the shot. Eventually, the contractions seemed to stop, and the morphine had me feeling pretty woozy, so we were allowed to leave (over four hours later). I did feel quite dizzy and not a little drunk, and when I looked in the mirror I saw that I had a big red rash along my chest and face. When I looked it up later, I found out this is a very common reaction and nothing to worry about. I remember singing a lot as we made our way to the car, which I’m sure was quite funny to the kids.
On the way home, we stopped to get some food, which I ate in a dream and then I headed to bed. I slept for 14 hours solid that night. When I awoke the next day, I was only able to wake for about 2 hours before I went back to bed and slept for another four and a half hours. I was then up for about three hours to spend time with the kids before I went to bed again for the night and slept a normal eight hours. I can’t BELIEVE how tired it made me!
Anyway, because I was alseep, I missed my follow up doctor’s appointment, and so my doctor’s office had to call me last Friday with some new test results. They alerted me to three things that had been noted. Firstly, I was dehydrated. I knew this already, and I’ve been downing gatorade to try and replenish my fluids. Secondly, I was severely anemic. This happens in every pregnancy, so it wasn’t a big shock. I was told to start taking 325mg of Ferrous Sulfate twice a day with orange juice to help it absorb. And finally, my bile acid levels were too high, and I once again have Intrahepatic Cholestasis of Pregnancy (ICP). I had this with both my previous pregnancies, and with Daniel, it is what necessitated an emergency induction. So I was expecting it to happen again, and indeed the INSANE itching I’ve been dealing with had tipped me off a few weeks ago that I probably had it.
So I am now waiting for my appointment, which will be tomorrow, and I will be discussing with the doctor whether or not to go on Urso, the medicine given to help with cholestasis, and hopefully we will set a date to deliver, as with this condition it is imperative to deliver by 37 weeks. I think it likely that instead of a November baby, I’ll be bringing home an October baby!
So there you have it! In a nutshell, all is well, but all is crazy and scary and we are just getting by day by day.
Roll on 33 weeks!