The short and sweet of it:
I was admitted to the hospital with contractions. One IV, four cervical exams, and many injections later, and I am still an expectant mother rather than the mother of a preemie. ::PUMPS FIST::
The long version:
If you're my friend on Facebook, you may have read brief updates about my recent stomach complaints. Well as it turns out, those weren't so much stomach complains as they were uterine and cervical complains. What I took for having eaten to much or a strong need to make a serious number two were in fact contractions, and not just those crazy Braxton Hicks contractions, either!
What happened is this: Yesterday, I the "stomach pains" I'd been having since Tuesday got so frustrating that I called the birth center to inquire as to whether there might be some sort of prescription pain relief appropriate for expectant mothers like myself. After a bit of quiz that mentioned the word flatulence more than once, they determined that there was no way for them to know whether I was having contractions without my coming in.
So, being that I live three blocks or so from the birth center, I went in. As it turned out, I was having contractions that matched up precisely, timing-wise, with the pain I was having. Aaaaand my cervix was two inches dilated and thin, to boot. And the midwives could clearly feel the amniotic sac and Paloma's head.
When that happens and you're only nine hours shy of week 34 of pregnancy, they wheel you over to the hospital and hook you up to a machine and an IV. I apparently have itty-bitty veins, which means a specialist had to come up to labor & delivery from another floor to get the IV in, but only after another nurse gave it a go. Throughout this process, I am having contraction, which, yes, do hurt, but at that stage hurt no worse than reeeeeaally bad menstrual cramps or dropping the worlds biggest, baddest dookie.
Chillaxing on the monitor was actually kind of nice once I got over the fact that OMIGODI'MDIALATED OMIGODI'MCONTRACTING OMGTEDDISATWORK OUCH. In fact, once I started to enjoy the fact that, hey, I was strapped to a machine so I can't much worry about pesky things like work, I actually was all cavalier, telling Tedd not to rush to the hospital because I was fine. What fine means is that my cervix was not continuing to dilate, my water had not broken, and Paloma was not showing any signs of moving further into the birth canal.
Apparently, the medical definition of fine also means getting numerous shots of Terbutaline, which do not "stop all contractions" as some web sites would like you to believe. Fine is getting steroid shots to bulk up Paloma's lungs because there are no guarantees that she's going to hang on to full term. Fine means an overnight stay in the hospital and being stuck on a monitor having contractions until midnight! Good times, good times.
I slept soundly thanks to a sleeping pill, and I even sent Tedd home, though in labor & delivery they let the man (or other partner) stick around. There are even fold out chairs for that very purpose! None of my nighttime contractions were strong enough to wake me up, thanks to the Terbutaline, and by morning I was only cramping. Morning was the best part because you can order your breakfast like room service, and the breakfast food at this particular hospital is quite nice. After some more monitoring, some more Terbutaline, and an ultrasound to be sure I have enough amniotic fluid, they let me go home. I do, unfortunately, have to go back at five for more 'roids.
The verdict? No baby today! And being that I'm now 34 weeks pregnant, the chances of Paloma being good and healthy are high, so if I go into full on labor with cervical progression in the near future, it's not unlikely that I would simply be given the go ahead to deliver. At this point in her development, it beats dosing me with magnesium sulfate, or so I'm told.
Oh, and there is one piece of bad news:
I, a type-A go-getter exercise-lover with a penchant for writing out and then working my way through long to-do lists, is officially on bed-rest. Like the kind of bed-rest where they want you in a bed or on a couch, no driving, no shopping, no visiting, no cleaning, no housework, no lifting, no doing much of anything other than using the computer (in bed) and reading (in bed). I am permitted to get up to shower and get things to eat. For some, this would be a dream. To me, it is a nightmare.
But, hey, considering that I'm still having contractions, it sure as heck beats the alternative!