Wednesday, June 4, 2008

E-Mail Update #4

Hi, everyone.

Again -- I've added more people to this update as my brain seems to function to remember everyone and as others ask to be on this update. If anyone knows of someone who also wants to get the updates, please let me know. I will get a full list eventually! If you are new to the update, the first one is at the bottom.

When I woke up this morning I was exactly 26 weeks and 5 days pregnant. Then I was informed later on this morning that I am actually 27 weeks pregnant today. There are numerous ways to calculate how far along I am, and apparently the procedure has been changed. The doctors have decided to follow the dating from an early ultrasound to calculate my due date, because they think it's more accurate. It's very odd, and Gary said more than once that he didn't know they could do that, but it does mean that my new goal delivery date is only one week away. Of course, it would be best to make it much farther and well into the 30s.

As discussed with the doctors here over the last week, I was sent home on Sunday. I was checked on Saturday and told that I was still 1cm dilated and 50% effaced (I had been told the previous Monday that I was getting closer to 2cm dilated, but not there yet so I would remain 1cm officially), so it seemed that I had no change since I was 23 weeks and 3 days. We went home on Sunday, and I was able to spend a little time with my cat, Francesca, who had apparently really missed me. Francesca rarely left my side the entire time I was there, and seemed to be quite attention-deprived (just wait until we bring home three babies).

Anyway, the main reason we agreed to go home on Sunday was because I would have an appointment with my doctor on Monday morning. We got there for the appointment, had an ultrasound (the babies are all fine), then Dr. Kimberlin checked me and determined that I was 2.5cm dilated and closer to 75% effaced. We were sent directly back to the hospital and here I am now. Re-admission is not fun -- it involves answering the same questions all over again, IVs, a trip to Labor & Delivery, lots of monitors, and lots of drugs. I've had a lot of people ask what I've been on, so here's Monday's list: (1) magnesium sulfate (an IV drug to slow contractions); (2) indocin (an oral medication to slow contractions); (3) demerol (an IV drug to sedate me and hopefully slow contractions); (4) antibiotics (via IV in case I deliver); (5) rescue steroid injections (to help develop the babies' lungs in case we deliver in the next three weeks -- I had my first round three weeks ago). I was taken off the magnesium sulfate, demerol, and antibiotics yesterday. I received one more steroid injection yesterday (the last for this round), and yesterday went on percocet as needed for contractions. I'm being taken off indocin today.

So, today marks 4 weeks that I've been in the hospital, if you don't count the two times I've been sent home only to be sent back less than 24 hours later. The attending doctor (a new one) this morning mentioned sending me home again in a few days and I just stared at him. I think we can safely say that going home has not been treating me well, for whatever reason and even if I'd like to be there. Gary told me that he would handle that part of it with the doctors, so I'm just going to let him fight that battle, if there is one.

As far as the babies, they are still doing great with very healthy heartbeats. Rosemary is curled up at the bottom, and Piper is curled up to the right above Rosemary (we even got an ultrasound picture of Piper on Monday with her big toe touching her forehead, which is pretty cute, though strange looking). Henry, on the other hand, is all sprawled out on top of his sisters, sucking his thumb, and taking life easy. He may as well now while he can. . . . We'll measure them again next week to make sure they're growing well.

We talked to a neonatologist on Monday. As you may or may not know, UAB has one of 15 regional NICUs in the country, and is ranked at the top of those NICUs. We were told on Monday that if our babies were born on Monday, they would have a 97% survival rate, a 70% chance of not having any long-term effects from the prematurity, and would probably spend around 10-12 weeks in the hospital. If we can hold off until 28 weeks, we have the same survival rate, but a 97% chance of not having any long-term effects from the prematurity, and they would spend around 8 weeks in the hospital -- thus 28 weeks is the big goal. Of course, later is almost always better, and I would be thrilled to see these babies get here sometime in the 30s and come home much sooner after their births. . . .

We are definitely hanging in here and plan on taking home some very healthy babies -- though we would love for their birthdays to be in July and not June! We are acutely aware, however, of how lucky we are to have made it to June.

Thanks to everyone for the kind thoughts and prayers. I'll update later when there is more news.

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