Friday, April 2, 2010

Diamonds are a girl's best friend...

Back in February (a lifetime ago) doctors advised Baby Girl to hold off for an April delivery and secure herself diamonds for a birth stone. She seems to have taken the advice to heart and we safely arrived in April with everything looking stable. I am fairly certain this means she will be getting a nice diamond for her 16th birthday. Oh, and a car. I have resorted to bribing my daughter in exchange for her good health.

Yesterday my goal was to get through the day without delivering her on April Fool's Day. During her morning nonstress test she looked a bit different than normal. She tends to have a baseline of 145 with occasional accelerations. Yesterday her heart rate was consistently going up over 160 and staying there for prolonged periods of time. It would come down for a few seconds only to return to an extended acceleration. Our concern was that her heart rate was trending up, and that can indicate infection. In the technical sense she passed the NST but the nurse and I were left with lingering worries. When she next checked her heart rate four hours later it was again elevated so I went back on the monitors for another NST. The whole strip was beautiful-she stayed right in the 140's with the exception of a few accels and decels. Such relief!

This morning, however, my nerves were put to the test again. My nurse came in for her morning heart rate check and Baby Girl immediately went into a long decel. I hate that sound so much. We waited it out but she wasn't bouncing back up. The advantage of the hospital is that I was immediately placed on a monitor to get a better idea of what was going on. It is an awful shock to go from drowsy morning vitals to adrenaline fueled terror. These sudden changes in status have become one more unfortunate fact of life right now and do nothing good for my state of mind. She had one more deep decel so I stayed on for an hour. The rest of the time she looked perfect. Once again I am left wishing I could be at a bigger hospital that can accommodate around the clock monitoring. I understand the doctors are comfortable taking a calculated risk not monitoring 24/7, but then again she is not their daughter. Baby Girl is right now blessing me with a lot of movement and helping me recover from the shock of this morning. She really is one amazing little girl.

One happy development this week is a proactive nurse talked the doctors into discontinuing my early morning rounds. The way it used to go is I would have vitals done at 4:00 to 4:30AM where the nurse would ask me the usual questions about contractions and bleeding. Just after I fell back asleep a resident would pop in at 5:00AM and ask the same questions. The conversations often went like this (actual conversation):

Dr: Anything new?
Me: No. Everything is contractions, no abdominal tenderness and the bleeding is down to a light pink.
Dr: OK, any contractions or belly tenderness?
Me: No, everything is contractions, no abdominal tenderness and the bleeding is down to a light pink.
Dr: Still bleeding? What color is it?
Me: Yes, still bleeding but it is just a very light pink now.
Dr: OK, so would you call it a bright red, like kool-aid?
Me: (in my head)WHAT??? Didn't I just say very light pink????? Why ask questions if you won't listen to the answer??!!!
Me: (out loud) No.....I would say it is a very light pink. (said slowly in hopes of Dr. actually listening).

Luckily it is too dark for them to see me roll my eyes. By the time they left I was wide awake and there was little hope of more sleep. So now that morning ritual is no longer and while I may not fall asleep until 2AM I can at least count on a few more hours in the morning. I do still have my 4:00AM vitals but that is much easier to fall back asleep from. Thank goodness for nurses who can talk sense into doctors.

We are making plans to celebrate Easter in the hospital, complete with decorating eggs. I miss not being able to buy her Easter basket goodies but I am sure Steve will enjoy playing Easter Bunny.

Yesterday we were outside for a bit and she saw an orange traffic cone. This reminded her of the street crossing scene in Toy Story 2 and she insisted on checking it several times for hiding toys. I happen to know that the Easter Bunny is bringing her a Buzz Lightyear so now we are tempted to hide it under a traffic cone for her to discover. That temptation is reduced when I consider it inspiring years of searching traffic cones for surprises.

One blessing in the midst of this complicated pregnancy has been the ability to connect with other pPROM moms over the internet. When first diagnosed I was able to find people who had previous pPROM pregnancies and they gave me the first glimmer of hope that our baby had a chance at survival and that I could persevere. They continue to offer me inspiration and support. Now I have also come into contact with many women who unfortunately are on the same complicated journey I am. I regret that anyone has to go through this but am so grateful that we have a way to face it together. The support, understanding and positive encouragement of the pPROM mothers continually lifts me back up and helps me face each day with a better attitude. So to all the PROM Queens, past and present, who have offered their friendship and support, a heartfelt THANK YOU! You make me a little less crazy every day!

Today is "Get a new IV day!" Wish them luck in finding a vein that has not been burst or frightened into hiding. I know you're jealous!


  1. JT--I'm so sorry baby girl is giving you such scares. In two days you will be 31 weeks! You have come so far!

    How cute that Annie was searching for toys under construction cones. Have fun decorating eggs.

    Snoogle Bethany

  2. So glad to hear you've made it to April. I had commented a while ago and since have switched blogs. My new blog has an account of the time my little guy spent in the NICU after being born 6 weeks after pPROM.

  3. Hi Jennifer!

    I just love your posts. You have an ability to find the humor in the toughest of situations. Have you ever thought of writing a book about your PROM experience? I think your positive outlook and great sense of humor would be such an encouragement for others in the same situation. Even if you don't write a book, I hope you will stay on the PROM site and correspond with future PROM moms. It's not an easy thing to do (my daughter is still unable to go to the PROM site because it brings back too many scary memories) and it's so sad when a PROM baby doesn't make it, but getting to know so many amazing women has made it all worthwhile for me. It's something I plan to do the rest of my life. I hope that you will continue it once you have your beautiful baby girl home and settled in.

    I am so happy you have made it to 31 weeks! I love the promise of a diamond ring and a car. What girl wouldn't do her best to be born healthy with a reward like that promised?

    I can't wait to read another post so keep them coming! Prayers are still coming your way.


  4. JT, I am so thrilled you are almost to 31 weeks! You have done a great job and I hope that little girl makes you pay up on your promise! I love hearing about your stories and I agree, you should try to write a book about your experience! Anyway, my thoughts and prayers are still with you guys! Only 22 more days until 34 weeks!!!

  5. I love reading your updates. You have a way with words that leaves me wanting to read more. I agree that you should write a book. Like I told you yesterday, it would be a best seller!! :) Sorry for all the scares this week. I believe Baby Girl is going to be your difficult child. lol Keep baking! You're so close to your 34 week goal!! Hope you have a Happy Easter with Annie. The story of the construction cone is precious. She is so creative. Send her my love.

  6. "It is an awful shock to go from drowsy morning vitals to adrenaline fueled terror." Amen, amen, amen! You are doing such a good job at this hospital thing!