Early on Thursday, June 7, I woke up and thought that I had wet the bed. I went to the toilet and crawled back into bed to go back to sleep but quickly realized that I was still “peeing” myself. Duh! I wasn’t peeing myself. I phoned the doctor on call who said to put on a pad and if I soaked through it within one hour to meet her at the hospital.
I put on a pad and lay down on the sofa. Within 10 minutes it was soaked through the pad, my underwear and my nightgown. I called my brother, the doctor, and told him what was happening. He said that I should wake up MH and go to the hospital right away.
I woke MH, who was dead asleep, and told him what had happened and he went straight into business mode. He packed himself a bag so he could go to work that morning and we got into the car. I remember talking with him about this being a good practice run for the real deal and that we were lucky that we didn’t have to deal with traffic as it was so early!
Once we arrived at the hospital, I had MH park the car while I asked the front desk where we should go. For some reason, I declined the wheel chair ride to the maternity ward. Looking back, I should have accepted it but I was in denial and walked the long walk.
As soon as we got to maternity, we checked in and they were waiting for us. They took us to a birthing suite and asked me to change into a gown. I had to use the restroom and in doing so I realized that I was also bleeding. As soon as I told the nurse, she said something like “oh your water definitely broke” and I promptly burst into tears.
As soon as I climbed into the bed, they did some sort of litmus test to confirm the fluid exiting my body was amniotic fluid, which it was. Almost immediately, I was asked to sign a number of papers, told we would need to transfer to the hospital that handled high risk pregnancies and had the level 3 NICU and that they were going to do several procedures to me.
The first procedure was to give me an ultrasound to check the position of the baby – she was head down. The second was to hook me up to an IV, where I would be given magnesium sulfate, which would slow any labor down as well as provide the baby with a boost to her brain if I were to deliver her early. The third was to give me a sterile forcep check, which confirmed that I was leaking amniotic fluid (again) and that I was potentially 1 cm dilated. And the fourth and final step was to give me the first of two steroid shots to help the baby’s lungs mature rapidly.
There is a side effect of magnesium sulfate that gives one hot flashes and makes you feel a little loopy in the head. I was given a push of four bags of magnesium, which means they rapidly pushed the four bags through the IV. I felt and acted a little drunk while this was happening, again, I was in denial and was dealing by being silly.
As soon as the IV push was finished, the ambulance arrived to transport me to the hospital. The nurses wished me good luck and off I went with MH left to fend for himself to find his way to this other hospital.
Once we arrived at the other hospital, I was taken immediately to labor and delivery. Some of the same exams and tests were taken there. A very nice doctor examined me and confirmed that I was one cm dilated and that by all sounds, I could potentially deliver that day. I was hooked up to a machine that I came to know intimately by the time I left. The machine monitored both Roo’s heart rate as well as any contractions that I might be having. At the time, I was contracting every 3-5 minutes but I wasn’t feeling any of them.
The doctor told me that I needed to have an amniocentesis test done immediately to determine if I had an infection. As soon as she said those words, I got scared. She told me though that the risks for the amnio that hold true at 20 weeks also hold true for them except the largest risk is that the needle accidentally breaks the bag of waters, which causes death at 20 weeks, but since my water had already broken on its own that risk was already removed. I consented to the exam and held onto MH’s hand tight. Within three minutes of me consenting to the exam, it was over. I didn’t want to see the needle going in so I have no idea how large or small it was and in fact the “pain” that I felt from the steroid shot was worse than the amnio needle going in.
We were told it would take 2 hours for the results to come back and in the meantime we should eat breakfast and try to relax. Right?! If the results found I had an infection they would induce me immediately and if not then we would talk about what options were relevant. My head was spinning. I was terrified and confused.
I might be having a baby that day? I was 31 weeks and 5 days pregnant. I wasn’t ready emotionally, physically or literally! We had just moved into our new house.
To be continued…