Friday, August 13, 2010


Baby should be born sometime today. It's been an eventful week!
I'm currently trying to enjoy a lull in labor - though the truth is I'm more than a little frustrated by it. I am SO ready to have this baby. Right now would be good.

But since I have to wait I thought I would share what has happened over the last several days.

On Monday my OB Homecare nurse came to give me my last progesterone injection and to monitor the baby for 30 minutes. With only a couple of minutes left she joked about how this was the first time we had had a great strip and she wouldn't need to monitor me longer.

That's when it happened.

I had one long contraction and his heart rate dropped to 70-80 ( he is normally 135-150) and didn't rebound after the contraction ended.

The nurse called 911 and I was off to the hospital via ambulance.

When the paramedics first arrived I was feeling flushed and winded but I thought it was just stress. Then I felt like I couldn't breathe when lying on the sretcher, but it quickly passed.

When I arrived at the Maternal Assessment Center at the hospital they immediately got me back on the monitor and the baby was doing fine, though I was contracting every 3 minutes. Since I was not yet 36 weeks on Monday they gave me more Terbutilene to stop the contractions.

Terbutilene usually causes my heart to race, but this time I felt like my chest was going to explode. When the nurse came in to do an ultrasound to check the position of the baby's head I could not lay flat on my back - I couldn't get a breath at all. The nurse seemed to think it was just me being very pregnant, but something seemed wrong to me.

By that time the first shot of of terbutilene had worn off and I was contracting again so they gave me a second dose. By the time the Dr came in I was in so much pain I couldn't even sit back slightly. If I wasn't sitting completely upright I couldn't breathe at all and the pressure in my chest was almost unbearable. The Dr took one look at me and new something was very wrong. She suspected a blood clot and immediately called the hospital Internal medicine Dr and had me admitted.

As we waited they had me on pulse/oximeter and I had several episodes of my oxygen levels dropping too low and my heart rate spiking into the 140's.

An ultrasound on my leg didn't show anything so they decided to do a CT scan to make sure any blood clot I might have had hadn't already traveled to my lungs.

By the time we got the results it was nearly midnight and we were worried and exhausted, but we finally had an answer. It wasn't a blood clot, it was fluid/inflamation in the sac around my heart called pericarditis. While it was great news that it wasn't a blood clot it still presented a bit of a problem in that none of the usual treatments could be done because of the pregnancy. I was put on 1000mg of Tylenol every six hours and started on telemetry (heart monitor) as well as oxygen and continuous fetal monitoring to make sure the baby was handling my spells well.

Tuesday and Wednesday were a blur of EKG's, discussions between the internist and the OB, countless blood tests, oxygen alarms going off evey few minutes, and trying to figure out how to sleep while sitting upright. The two doctors have been great and really tried to find ways to treat this without having to deliver the baby early, which was sure to solve the heart problem, but it was just too early. A follow up ultrasound on Tuesday revealed that there wasn't as much fluid as they first feared. Both doctors strongly believed that my symptoms were being greatly intensified by the pregnancy.

I finally turned a corner yesterday when I started passing the fluid...lots of fluid. The two doctors also decided to start me on Prednisone to try to get the inflamation under control and a few hours later I could lay back. By last night I could lay down, which was a good thing because the contractions had started up again and were coming every two minutes. The were real, hard, painful, don't-talk-to-me-I'm-contracting type contractions. Seeing as I am now 36 weeks and that Terbutilene would be too hard on my heart right now they just let it go. By 1 AM I was dilated to 2 and spotting blood so they moved me back to labor and delivery.

And that's where I am right now. The contractions continued until mid-morning and then tapered off, so we are just waiting. The OB doesn't want to break my water since I'm not 37 weeks. She doesn't want to check my cervix because she is hoping to hold this off for awhile. So now, we wait. She suspects he will come on his own sometime this weekend, but if he hasn't made his appearance by Tuesday (37 weeks) they will take steps to move things along.

My heartrate and O2 sats have been doing well today so the Prednisone seems to have really helped.

In the mean time, my grandfather is having his bladder and prostate removed down at Mayo today. It is a very major surgery and your prayers would be appreciated.


  1. Congratulations, thinking and praying about you today!!!

  2. Jessica,
    Wow! You've had a week!! I'm praying for you and the baby! Are you at Abbott? My friend LaShel works in Labor and Delivery (or she did--she's worked there for YEARS, maybe 20 years?!) She's a Christian and, obviously, very experienced! Tell her you "know" Wendy Gunn if you see her! That's a great hospital.
    Looking forward to hearing good news soon!
    Faith's Firm Foundation

  3. My sister, I just thought you peacefully went into labor at home. I didn't realize all of this!! Praying for you and little one. Hugs...


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"Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for he who promised is faithful. And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near. " Hebrews 10:23-25