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.