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By Ashley Logan, BCBlog Contributor
Feeling: A little bit anxious
After our blissful Baby Moon in Northern Arizona, we headed to Phoenix for my cousin’s wedding. We rolled into the Arizona Grand Resort and got ready for an early New Year’s Eve dinner with my family, and prepared for the wedding festivities to come.
The rehearsal dinner was on New Year’s Day, with the wedding and reception the following day on January 2nd. Starting at the rehearsal, I noticed some light cramping and felt like something wasn’t quite right with my body. I chalked it up to just being tired and we headed back to our room to relax and watch a movie instead of exploring downtown Tempe so I could get off my feet.
Morning came fast and the wedding was at noon, with the reception to follow at 5:00. As we were sitting outside in the glorious Arizona sunshine, I noticed the cramping again, and coming at regular intervals, so decided it was time to call the doctor. Thirty minutes later, we were pulling up to the ER, and I was whisked off to the Labor and Delivery ward in a wheelchair, while my husband stared on with an ashen expression.
The Baby Moon was over.
The nurse hooked me up to the machine and informed us that those cramps I felt were actually contractions, and they were coming in 5 minutes apart. Knowing we were in from out of town, and absolutely petrified that we were going to get stuck there for months until the baby came, they confirmed right away that amniotic fluid wasn’t leaking and hooked me up to an IV to try and reduce the contractions. We got the clear to leave once the activity settled down, but we were understandably rattled. Amazingly, we made it to the wedding reception, where all of my family members fed Dan wine until the color returned to his face.
Back in Chicago, the drama didn’t stop there. The following Wednesday, I started noticing the same cramping again, so paid a visit to my doctor. They confirmed what I suspected and sent us back to Labor and Delivery. Like some women have a lazy ovary or a depressed vagina, the doctor said that I had an irritated uterus, which was causing me to have contractions again. Like before, they were coming in five minutes apart, but were luckily non-progressive, which meant that my cervix was not changing. They hooked me and baby up to the machine, gave me some drugs and kept us there for several hours until the contractions eased up. Dan and I were so glad to be treated back on our home turf, and were even more relieved to get to go home that same night.
Luckily I work from home, so was able to take it easy for a few days. But just over a week later, the contractions came back again. At this point, it felt like old hat. We were going to call the doctor, they would send us to the hospital, we would get some drugs, and be home within a few hours. It was a Friday night in January, what else did we have to do anyway?
Only things didn’t exactly turn out that way.
This time, the medication didn’t stop the contractions—in fact they were coming in 2-3 minutes apart. And my angry little uterus, wouldn’t settle down. After an exam, the doctor said there had been some changes in my cervix. I was officially in pre-term labor.
The good news is that through all of the hospital visits, Baby Logan has been a trooper. Her heartbeat continues to be strong and she is super active. But naturally, her parents were freaked out. Because she showed no signs of distress, the main goal of the doctors was to stop the contractions and get my uterus to calm down, only the dosage we received the previous week wasn’t working.
The doctors and nurses kicked it into high gear. They upped the meds, made sure we were comfortable, and kept a very close eye on us to stop the labor. At this point, we were just trying to be strong, so put on our bravest faces and trusted in the hospital staff. To our equal comfort and fear, they began taking some precautionary measures just in case our daughter came early, including a set of steroid shots to help develop her lungs more quickly.
At only 29 weeks, while her odds of being born in good health are good, she would still have to stay in the NICU for up to 11 weeks. Not exactly ideal for any parent. This was the part that we were having so much trouble wrapping our heads around.
Finally, after 36 hours in the hospital, the contractions ceased. While my uterus was not considered “calm,” the activity had subsided significantly. The main question became how to manage these contractions to make sure that they don’t keep coming back so that baby can stay put as long as possible. Armed with medication that I will have to take every four hours for the next five weeks, we were allowed to go home to our new normal—which means me taking it super easy until we reach the next few critical milestones, with the goal of making it to at least 34 or 35 weeks.
To say that January has been eventful for Baby Logan would be an understatement. Now that we are home again, I am taking it easy, under the very watchful eye of our healthcare providers and my husband, who is being a saint. Dan and I are crossing our fingers that this is the end of the excitement, but we are also being realistic that our little fighter is likely to come a few weeks early.
Every week until she arrives is our next milestone. While a little rattled from the weekend experience, we are in good spirits. And the good news for me is that I think my husband is finally feeling inspired to finish painting the nursery.
Hey, it’s the little things.