Monday, December 1, 2008

24+ Weeks

Baby Girl is 24 weeks, 3 days, today. Each day adds 3-4% to her likelihood of survival. Got the steroids last week for her lung development. If we can make it to 28 weeks, she'll have a really great chance, so I'm just lying here on my side gestating, getting shot up with drugs, eating bad hospital food, and watching lots of syndicated TV.

I can't believe I've been in the hospital for over two weeks now. There's definitely a rhythm to the days here, and it does get easier knowing how each day is going to go.

6 a.m.: Wake up for terbutaline, request water refill
7:30 a.m.: Wake up for good, lie in bed looking out window, wishing breakfast would come. Consider watching Today Show
8 - 9 a.m.: Parade of medical residents asking the same question ("Any bleeding, discharge or sudden gush of fluid?"); introduction to day nurse
9 a.m.: Breakfast arrives (not too bad -- rubber french toast, biscuit, maybe some fruit, cereal, decaf tea, milk)
10 a.m.-11 a.m.: Vital signs and contraction monitoring, additional meds if contractions are going strong (lately I haven't needed any extra meds in the morning), nursing assistant comes in to change the sheets, housekeeping comes in to clean the bathroom, parents might call on the phone
11 a.m.-12 p.m.: Shower (every other day) or feign sleep to avoid the Catholic chaplain ladies who want to give me Communion every day. I figure once or twice a week is plenty
12 p.m.: Terbutaline, water refill
1 p.m.: Greet lunch with dismay (today was meatloaf marinara, some sides, and a bottle of Ensure), hope I at least got my roll with butter, turn on All My Children
1:30 p.m.: Grudgingly eat some lunch, wishing I could have an Italian sub (not til after pregnancy because of listeria), chips, and a Dr. Pepper (caffeine can bring on contractions -- and I have enough of them on my own)
2 p.m.: Turn on Ellen, read a magazine
3 p.m.: Consider Dr. Phil, nurse arrives for more vital signs, water refill
4 -6 p.m.: Doze, zone out, flip channels, check out Oprah, wait for Steve to arrive
6 p.m.: Terbutaline
6 - 7:30 p.m.: Visit with Steve; if he did not bring some dinner, greet hospital dinner with dismay
8 - 9 p.m.: Introduction to night nurse; vital signs and contraction monitoring. Additional meds if contractions are too frequent. Shakes, dizziness, and increased heart rate then ensue
9 p.m.: Turn out light, watch random TV
10 p.m.: Ambien, water refill, random snack arrives, start trying to sleep
12 a.m.: Terbutaline

I take the terbutaline for five days, and then go on IV toradol for two. That's the cycle I'm on to avoid becoming desensitized to the meds too quickly. (Usually I have an IV port in my hand, which makes it really hard to type, but today I am blissfully free of the port. The IV port [and the dizziness/shaking] have deflated my earlier thoughts of writing short stories or the great American novel if I ended up on bed rest.)

People have asked if I get bored, but it would be hard to get bored here -- when you're in a constant state of low-level anxiety, boredom is a luxury you don't really have. But my brain is working hard to provide random amusements. I'll be staring out the window and a random memory will pop in my head -- sometimes from vacations or long-ago adventures, but sometimes just little snippets of normal life, like one memory that popped up of driving on a country road near my parents' house.

I'm trying my best to stay calm and patient, and hoping to stay pregnant at least a few weeks longer to give baby girl a good shot at being healthy.

I'd still love to hear those happy-ending stories if you've got any more -- it helps me keep a positive attitude.


Mel said...

Glad to hear you are hanging in there, girl! You're being very brave!!! Keep it up. ;)

rebecca said...

She was several weeks farther along, but here's a blog on my friend's preterm girl:

Dude, somebody needs to bring you a portable DVD player.

rebecca said...

Further, farther ... WTFEver. I'm off the editing clock.

dcpeg said...

Phew! I've been checking your blog several times a day, hoping you were still hanging in. Glad to hear you are!!

Leena said...

Soooo glad you're still here. Hang in there. If you want to lurk on, you'll see tons of stories of preemies born very early on. (I wouldn't recommend reading too much on the NICU boards right now, though.)

Girlfriend, you need a nice brainless novel right now...I see someone recommended Twilight. Yep, I concur. Have Steve bring you a copy. And if you get hooked, definitely look at this:

Scroll all the way to the bottom to the chapter summaries. Funniest friggin' things ever.

I'm thinking about you daily! Sending strength...

Anonymous said...

Meredith at has a happy ending.

THinking of you and hoping baby stays put a good while longer.

Andrew. said...

I'm thinking about you. Try to enjoy the rest and down time. And concentrate on gestating.

rebecca said...

Happy ending story on baby born at 24 weeks (but don't get any ideas there):

Missy said...

<3 <3 We're pulling for you and the little girl!

Christy said...

Here's a success story about pre-term twins -

I'm thinking of you and sending happy thoughts. :-)

Anonymous said...

Thinking of you. Glad to get an update. -- summerwind03

Anonymous said...

Hi Meg! Could you email me your room number so I can give you a call if you're up for it? Thx

Anonymous said...

uh - I have no idea how I posted as "book" - it was supposed to say Liz Robinson....honestly!

Beth said...

Sending you many positive thoughts and prayers!! Keep growing baby girl!!

caramama said...

Thinking of you and praying that the little girl stays in a while longer! I have a good friend who delivered either at 26 or 28 weeks (I forget now, but I think 26 weeks) due to pre-eclampsia, and the boy is a completely healthy, active toddler! So there are many good stories!!

Let us know if you are ever up for visitors. I will bring treats!

Danielle said...

Hey Meg! I'm all about chillin' in a hosp room with you to spare you from an afternoon of Dr. Phil!I'll get your room # from book up there and give you a call. You and baby girl have been in my thoughts all the time.

Caseystay said...

Thanks for posting this--it's so good to hear from you. Everything is still crossed too :) xoxoxo