Monday, May 22, 2006

A wee bit of a fright

M and I babysat for my 7 month old niece on Saturday. It was the first time I'd babysat in the afternoon when her parents weren't around (I'd put her to bed in the evening before while they went out to dinner, but this was my first extended session without Mom or Dad), and unfortunately had an experience similar to Kath's recent encounter with her niece. The first half-hour or so was just fine, she was playing nicely with the two of us. But all of a sudden, the monster came out. She was pretty much inconsolable. I think she realized Mom wasn't coming... I was supposed to feed her a bottle at 4, then put her down for a nap. She wanted NONE of the bottle. Which didn't make sense because she hadn't had any of her veggies for lunch, since we'd been out. So I called my sis in desparation, and she told me that the trick she uses is to put her left hand on my niece's one cheek, hold the bottle with right thumb and forefinger, and lay the other fingrs of the right hand on the other cheek. Worked like a charm! She then took the bottle with no problem, and although she cried a little when I tried to put her down, I just left her in her crib and she quieted down pretty quickly.

During her nap, M went out with her stroller to check that it would fit into the back of the station wagon we're thinking of buying (actually, put a deposit down on it yesterday - item number one for baby finally purchased!). I sat down and read for a while. At around 5, I had my first "Braxton-Hicks" contraction. At the time I thought it was pretty cool, I could really feel my uterus, and how it was much more on the right side than on the left. Neat.

Nuzzles woke up from her nap at about 5:30, played nicely for a little while again, but just before dinner time proceeded to go on yet another screaming jag. She did NOT want to be in her high chair, her bumbo, her exersaucer, and even more vehemently did not want her dinner. Sis and I had discussed whether I should give her a bath, I was so glad that we had decided against that endeavor! Fortunately I did again manage to give her a bottle and put her to bed without too much fuss. I think she really just didn't want to be fed by anyone but mom!

M and I had dinner after that, and I noticed a few more "BH" contractions. On the drive home, though, I started to get a little concerned - they were coming about 6 to 7 minutes apart by this point, which, at 25w1d was not something I was really happy about. When we got home we did a little reading / internet checking, and as the universal recommendation was to call the doc if you were having more than 4 in an hour, I did.

I wasn't *too* worried because I wasn't having any other symptoms of labor - no discharge, no back pain, no real pain with the contractions... but the doc I spoke to said that I should come in just so they could make sure that it wasn't a problem.

So we had our first hurried drive to the hospital, leaving our house just before midnight.

When we got there I was really impressed by how quickly they had me on a bed and hooked up to the fetal heartrate and uterine activity monitors. I had another contraction pretty soon after they started the paper tracing - I was vacillating between being happy that I wasn't imagining things, and being worried that yes, I was in fact having contractions.

A midwife came in not too long after that to check my cervix. The insertion of the spec was somehow a lot more uncomfortable than it had been for any of the paps or IUI's I'd had... but she did get a look, and said that it was "nice and long, and closed". Also took a swab for a fibronectin test.

They then had me drink a liter of water, as one of the causes of contractions can be dehydration. I was pretty sure that wasn't it, given that I'd had over 80oz (2.5 liters) of liquid during the day and my pee was pretty clear, but whatever. Not surprisingly, it didn't have any effect on either the spacing or intensity after about an hour.

Next, a doc came in and said they'd like to give me a shot of Terbutaline to try and stop the contractions. I was a little iffy at first, but she assured me that it would not hurt Phred, and although it might cause me to feel a bit jittery / increase my heart-rate, that would only last for 20-30 minutes. After a little hemming and hawing, I said I'd "give it a shot" when she said she'd feel much better if I did take it. Unfortunately no-one seemed to appreciate my little pun :-(

The shot stung like a motherfluffer (thanks for the eupemism, Kellie), but it was sub-q and didn't last long. And it did slow the contractions almost immediately. I'd only had one more in the half hour after the shot, so they sent me home. Got to bed at around 4am. So much for golf on Sunday!

I did have a few more contractions the next day, but only about one an hour. So that was a relief. The only thing that does concern me at this point is that the fibronectin test came back positive. They were saying that doesn't mean anything, really, and that only a negative test is predictive. But I would have felt / would feel a lot better if it were negative.

So that was my fun for the weekend!


Caroline said...

What a whirl wind weekend! Sorry about the postive FFN test results - I don't think anyone gets a negative on that one even though I hear you on just wanting the peace of mind. Make sure to rest and drink lots of water - staying off my feet has really helped reduce my braxton hicks. Hang in there!!

the mighty one said...

Wow, busy weekend!! I'm only beginning to learn about fertility/pregnancy, and each time I read a post I feel like I have to reference a dictionary!

I hope your day today goes well.

pixi said...

Yeah, sounds like lots of "fun!" Glad you and Phred got through everything OK. And I sure hope you don't have any more scares.

BTW, sounds like you did a great job with your niece. It isn't easy taking care of a baby who's still so attached to Mom.

S. said...

It's good to hear that things are getting better, although I'm sure you'd feel better if you had had a quieter weekend.

Take it easy these last few months and definitely keep up with the water. It does help.

Gandksmom said...

HI there. Not sure if I popped in to say hi? I had pre-term labor for my first daughter at 26 weeks...terbuteline and magnesium glut (not fun) keep track of those contractions OK? You've got me worried!

Tan said...

Sounds freaky and I am so glad that everything is fine! I can imagine that would be very scary..

Hoping said...

so glad everything is ok with phred.

One Mother's Journey said...

Ugggh. That is so scary! I'm sure the doc already told you this but stress can also be a contributing factor in BHs. I had nearly the same thing happen to me after I babysat for a friends baby - who cried for hours on end. Terbutaline calmed everything down and I was fairly contraction free until labor - I hope you're the same way. Now I hear that they use low doses of beta-blockers to avoid recurrent BHs from progressing into pre-term labor - though I hope you don't have to worry about that. Hang in there - the fun is just beginning!

Alexa said...

Oh my GOD Nico. You must have been terrified. I am so glad things have settled down, but sorry you had to go through that in the first place. Luckily, as you mentioned, a positive FFN is only predictive 16% of the time.
Hope you are well...

Emma B. said...

Oh, goodness, I know you were scared to death! Make sure to take it easy as much as possible -- I know I always have more BHs when I overdo things.

Here's hoping Phred stays put for a good long while yet!