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Author Topic: After a preterm scare  (Read 2492 times)

artjewl

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After a preterm scare
« on: May 15, 2009 at 03:45 PM »
First of all, I'm glad to have stumbled on this site.  I've been feeling so alone in my thoughts/anxieties about the possibility of another preterm delivery.

A little about me...  I'm 26 weeks along in my 3rd pregnancy.  My first was full-term (38 weeks), but my second child made his grand entrance at 34 1/2 weeks with no real warning.  Like my mom, I "go fast", which is to say I have a history of rapid delivery.  I'm convinced, though, that really just means I miss early labor signs. 

Since that quick & early delivery almost 3 years ago, I have been paranoid about the chance of another.  Despite weekly progesterone shots to avoid a replay, I was afraid those fears had come to a head this past Tuesday: I spent the better part of the day in L&D on magnesium sulfate. 

After lousy sleep since 10:30 pm, I woke at 5:00 am, sure that something was wrong.  I felt an incredible (though not painful) tightness in my lower abdomen, as if my pants were way too tight.  I tried walking it off, but still called my doctor's emergency answering service line immediately.  It felt too reminiscent of the discomfort I felt before my previous deliveries. The thing was, though, in my mind, this wasn't "contractions": there were no distinct beginnings or endings, just a constant "pulling" sensation.  I couldn't time anything, nor would it rate on a pain scale. Enter frustration #1:

Frustration #1: Trying to explain what's wrong without sounding like an idiot.

While my husband I "waited" for a doctor to return my call, I convinced him we needed to get ready to go to the hospital.  Because, afterall, I go quick.  We packed a bag and got our two kids roused to take with us (until daycare opened).  Still not having heard from a doctor, we left for the hospital at 6 am.  The sensation had not eased.

Frustration #2: The doctor never called back.

We only live about 10 minutes from the hospital, and we got a prime spot, so I was admitted around 6:15 and sent to triage.  The doctors were busy, so a couple nurses attended to me.  Close to 7 am, I was finally examined... by a nurse.  She determined that I was 2-3 cm dilated!  Wow.  Talk about stress.  They tested for Fetal fibronectin at that point too, and sent it to the lab.  All the while, I'm still having "contractions", trying to explain them without sounding like an overreacting hypochondriac.

So I was sent to a real room and put on magnesium sulfate. (THAT was an experience.)  It was probably close to 10 am before I finally saw a doctor. 

Frustration #3: I was only seen by a doctor nearly 4 hours after I was admitted!

I know there are other patients, emergencies, etc.  But really, it takes less than 5 minutes to do an exam.  When the doctor finally checked me, he determined that I was not dilated after all! They determined that the nurse "misread" me.  That was a relief of course, but how much stress would I have been spared had an experienced doctor taken 5 minutes to see me within the 4 hours prior!

Of course, I was glad to hear the news, but let's not forget that just minutes prior I was mentally preparing to be transferred to another hospital since I was too early in my pregnancy for that hospital to handle.  It seemed that as soon as my situation was no longer dire, I was basically written off, left alone with my mag-induced nausea and a catheter. 

Frustration #4: After it was determined that I was not going to deliver that day, I wasn't even offered so much as a cup of water to rinse my mouth after puking.

The magnesium sulfate did its job eventually, and the Fetal fibronectin came back negative, fortunately, as well.  I was sent home around 3 pm the same day with a reminder to drink my weight in water and to take it easy, but otherwise, no restrictions.  Not even in terms of sex.  (Which really surprises me...)

ANYHOW... so that's my rant, my recent frustrations.  I've been fine since, but paranoid still, even more.  Not that I would wish this on anyone else, but it's a comfort to find others in similar situations.

Julie

Angela

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Re: After a preterm scare
« Reply #1 on: May 15, 2009 at 11:00 PM »
Hello, Artjewel. You've come to the right place!
Your post is WAY too familiar to me. I'll try not to get too riled up, but it is experiences like yours that inspired the idea for KeepEmCookin.

It was probably my 7th trip to the hospital with contractions, and I remember saying to my hubby, "This is dumb. Let's just go home. It's probably nothing. They're going to think I'm a kook. Really, let's just call back and say we aren't coming." So even with everything I had experienced with previous preterm labor episodes (in two different pregnancies) I still didn't want to be "a nuisance." Sheesh. Of course, I was indeed in labor, again, and I got there in time to have a shot of terb and to increase my dose of nifedipine.

I finally realized that all pregnant women have a right to request care, whether it is needed or not. Sometimes the nurses looked at me like I was crazy, and sometimes they said, "It's good you came in!" We are the only ones who can speak up for our babies. And, we know best when something is different or just isn't right with our bodies.

I created a series of scripts for describing your symptoms in a way that your doctor and medical staff can best understand what you're experiencing. Here's a link: www.keepemcookin.com/talk.aspx

Feel free to post, vent, ask questions, and share your experiences any time!
--Angela

P.S. My Little Guy arrived less than 90 minutes after water broke. Barely made it in time. A couple of months later, a friend of mine, pregnant with Baby #2, delivered IN THE PARKING LOT. I think it's great you plan to get to the hospital quickly!

artjewl

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Re: After a preterm scare
« Reply #2 on: May 16, 2009 at 11:50 AM »
Angela,

Thanks for the welcome! :) It's interesting that you brought up the two ends of the spectrum of the staff reactions.  Though I was told "you were right to come in," I really felt the actions/attitudes spoke otherwise.  Especially when it turned out to be "nothing."

I appreciate the scripts!  I'm going to print them out onto a notecard to stick into my wallet. 

As far as water breakage goes... in both of my previous pregnancies, the amniotic sac was essentially the only thing holding the kiddo in as long as it did!  With my 2nd, the preterm, I got to the hospital at 10 am and he was born at 10:51!  They had to rupture the sac.  ...And like I said, the speedy deliveries run in my family: my sister didn't have the baby in the parking lot, but she did have her in the waiting room... in her pants... while her husband was moving the car out of the firelane!  I don't wait for a callback anymore; I consider my call a warning to the doctor that I'm coming in!

Angela

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Re: After a preterm scare
« Reply #3 on: May 19, 2009 at 10:58 PM »
RE: "I don't wait for a callback anymore; I consider my call a warning to the doctor that I'm coming in!"

LOL!  And that your sister had the baby in the waiting room while her hubby was moving the car?!? That is TOO much.

Talk soon!