Tuesday, August 18, 2009

On Monday, August 18, 2008 I awoke hopeful. Hopeful that I hadn't dilated any further. Hopeful that my cervix was unchanged. Hopeful that my fFN test would be negative. Hopeful that my baby girl would stay put for a lot longer. Hopeful that this was all just some sort of bad dream.

My mom had come for the weekend to help celebrate my birthday and to help Trav take care of me. She was staying until Monday so that she could take me to the doctor and then was planning to return home until the next weekend. My appointment was at 8:45 that morning and we arrived promptly. I was checked and my fFN test was administered. The fFN stands for fetal fibronectin. It's a test used for preterm labor. In short terms - fetal fibronectin is a protein produced during pregnancy. It is typically present during the first 22 weeks of pregnancy. After 22 weeks it goes away and doesn't reappear until the very last trimester. If the tests comes back positive between 24 weeks and 37 weeks then delivery could be possible within the next two weeks. (It all makes perfect sense to me, but I may not be explaining it in the best way.) Basically we wanted a negative test. Before leaving the doctor's office the nurse said she would call late afternoon with the results.

My mom and I left the office and headed to the Chick-fil-a drive thru for a quick lunch. We then headed home. As we were turning into my neighborhood my phone rang. The minute it rang my heart sank. It sank even further when I realized that it was the nurse already calling. My test results were already back. And they were positive. It was a likely possibility that I could deliver in the next two weeks. I had strict orders to go home, get in the bed, and call if anything changed. I was crushed. Devastated. Scared to death. I remember my eyes filling with tears, I turned to my mom and told her she couldn't leave me. I called Travis with the results and we both sat on the phone speechless.

My mom and I spent some of the afternoon trying our best to find out more information about the fFN. What exactly was the fFN? How accurate was it? What were the statistics? Did we know anyone else who had taken the same test? But most of the afternoon was filled with fear, tears, and just complete sadness.

By the time Travis got home from work I had tried to pull it together. I had tried to recompose myself and put on a happy face. I was trying to pretend that I was okay and that I could really handle all of this. My mom cooked us dinner and I ate in the bed. Shortly after dinner the phone rang. It was a friend from work calling to check on me. We talked for a short while and when I was getting ready to hang up, I felt it. A gush. A feeling I had never experienced before. I put the phone down and ran to the bathroom. I immediately called my mom and Travis. I told them that I thought my water had broken. I wasn't sure because I've never had this happen before, but it was definitely a new experience. We called my doctor and she said to head straight to Labor and Delivery at Baptist.

With dishes still on the table and pots and pans still on the stove, the three of us immediately jumped in my mom's car and headed to the hospital. Half way there I began to doubt myself. I wondered if I was making this up? Did my water really break? Travis trying to keep all of us calm and settled said, "You can't be in labor, we haven't even had our childbirth classes yet." He was exactly right. Our classes were still three to four weeks off.

I think my shock began to settle in on the drive to the hospital. Of course I was scared and sad and confused, but at the same time I didn't really know the severity of everything happening. I just kept saying, "Let's go get this checked out and then we can go straight home." My mom dropped us off at the front door and she left to go park. Travis and my mom insisted that I ride in a wheelchair. I was being very difficult and even laughing that I had to actually ride in one so when we cut the corner to the counter at L&D the nurses gave us the strangest look. I found it offensive at the time, but looking back it makes perfect sense. Here's this girl who barely looks pregnant, claiming her water broke, but laughing while her husband pushes her in a wheelchair. But at this point I didn't know what to do or to feel.

They put me in a room and began a series of tests to determine if this was indeed my fluid or possibly just urine. One nurse even said, "Honey, you probably just wet your pants." I may not know a lot, especially about labor, but I knew I had not wet my pants. After almost two hours, two different tests, and endless questions it was determined. Yes. This was my fluid. Again, I was in shock. I remember having tears and I remember holding Travis' hand. I wasn't super emotional. I wasn't freaking out. I was just in shock. And almost two hours later my poor mom was still sitting in the waiting room, alone, and clueless. I had asked for her several times, but because of privacy laws and all the jazz she had to wait outside.

My doctor was called. We had an ultrasound. My water had broken and begun to leak, but I still had some fluid - which was a good thing. Magnesium was administered to hold off labor. It's great at stopping labor, but makes your body feel awful. I remember the nurse saying that I might start to feel hot. I am naturally very cold-natured so I couldn't imagine being hot, but she was right. Almost instantly I felt like I was on fire. Antibiotics were administered to prevent infection. These antibiotics were given through and IV and they hurt. They felt like flames moving up my arm. And steroids were administered to help Morgan Kate's lungs, brain, and intestines develop just in case she were to arrive in the next seven days. At this point we were just praying that I would be able to get in the two doses of steroids that were administered 24 hours apart.

Finally around eleven that night my mom was allowed to come back. By this time I was kind of out of it, but I tried to explain to her what was happening. The three of us just sat there in silence. Hoping and praying that everything would be okay. My dad, brothers and several family friends had arrived at this point to keep my mom company and to check on me. I briefly remember seeing them in the hallway while I was being rolled to a room. A room I would stay in until our baby arrived. Ultimately we were praying for 40 weeks, but our short term goal was 28 weeks.

I might have awoken hopeful that day, but that night I went to bed scared to death. My hope was fading. All I wanted was my baby to be okay. All I wanted was a healthy, happy baby girl. I wanted her to stay put and grow and develop and not arrive for a very long time.


Charlotte said...

It's amazing how we look back on situations where our strength, faith, and relationships are tested and we don't know how we ever made it through. I am so thankful that you and MK and Travis are doing well and thriving. I read on here every day about someone's baby not being so lucky and I just come home and hold mine that much tighter- MK is so absolutely beautiful and I cannot imagine going through what you did so early- Mine didn't get scary until 30 weeks when I was (somewhat) out of the woods- I hope MK grows up knowing what a beautiful and strong mama she has!!!
L, Charlotte

OH, and I had to have magnesium after my section for 24 hours becuase of my preeclampsia and I am right with you- that stuff was HORRIBLE-

Anonymous said...

Hey Sweetie! I remember this day all too well and I always will. I will never forget seeing your Mom sitting there with tears in her eyes. I'm glad I was able to be there to hold her hand...I am so proud of you for staying so strong during this past year. You have one beautiful little miracle and I am so glad she is doing so well. Love you,

Megan Thiel said...

"Let's go get this checked out and then we can go straight home."

Wow, that is exactly what I was thinking when I was at the hospital at 25 weeks when my water broke! So clueless!

Such a scary time, but look at how far our preemies have come!

Anonymous said...

Girl, I know your story, have heard you talk about it several times, but reading that again just gave me chill bumps everywhere....maybe because I am now 26 weeks along with this little guy....So glad we are on this side now...you have experienced more in the last year than most!!! now you are enjoying your beautiful baby gurl!! Miss you...we should get together soon.love,erin