Jordan and I had a day date set up for my first day off bed rest. It also happened to be St. Patrick's Day which is the day he proposed to me 8 years ago. It was a big day to celebrate in more ways than one!
We planned a low key date so as not to be too hasty with my stamina. We went to an early mid-afternoon movie and then ate at the Melting Pot, one of my favorite places, and also where we ate the night he proposed to me.
I had my last progesterone shot the day before so even though I was off bed rest and without my contraction meds for the first time I knew the progesterone shot would help me out a little (at least for the week before it typically wears off). We had a lot of fun but I was pretty tired and extremely de-conditioned. I had mild contractions about 4 minutes apart the whole time we were out and I was half tempted to lay down in the movie to get more comfortable! We came home and I spent a least an hour soaking in the tub because of how wiped out I was! It's amazing what 3 months of laying down will do to your body! The last time I was up and moving around Audrey weighed less than a pound and I was in much better shape.
Sunday we went to church and brunch with friends and I took my first nap since the first trimester...I was worn out! Monday I did our normal routine we do with the kids... which I haven't done since bed rest. I got to take them to swim lessons (wow have they improved) and then to a play date at an indoor playground (including lunch). Again I was WIPED out after that morning and was pretty useless the rest of the day.
Tuesday I had a doctor appointment. I found out I was a loose 3cm almost 4cm dilated and she really felt like I would not make it to my 36 week appointment this next Tuesday. She was ecstatic to see that we had made it to 35 weeks 3 days! My contractions at that point were about 4 minutes apart but again very tolerable so I wasn't too concerned, I figured it was all the activity of the day. Before I left she said "now you know what to do when the time comes right? Call me and come in when contractions are 5 minutes apart or if your water breaks...oh wait they are already 4 minutes apart. Well just don't wait until you are 8cm dilated to come in. Come in as soon as you think it's time because this will most likely be fast labor" I went home and relaxed for the night and had a pretty decent night and next day of little to no contractions (progesterone was still in effect).
Thursday I went to my last high risk appointment! Typically Thursday/Friday is when the contractions start picking up quite a bit since my progesterone shot is beginning to wear off. I was up most of the night with contractions and was concerned that Audrey was not moving. I didn't sleep much because I just couldn't shake the feeling that something was up with her. She finally rolled a bit at 5:30am and then again at 7:20am despite my multiple attempts to get her to do her thing! She is always most active at night and in the morning and she just wasn't being herself. I decided to go in to my appointment early. The high risk OB has been monitoring my fluid levels since they have been low the past month or two. My fluids looked great! Right where they should be BUT since Audrey had not been moving much at all the 12 hours up to my appointment they decided to do a biophysical profile on her and she passed! Everything looked as it should except that she seemed to be acting a little lazy for some reason. They did the buzzer test and she startled (which is good). She was breathing the amniotic fluid so they were feeling pretty good that her lungs are mature. There was really no explanation for why she wasn't moving much! She has slowed way down in growth though which had me concerned. She had been 2-3 weeks ahead all along and she was suddenly right on target. Dropped from 69% to 49% in 17 days. She only gained .5 pounds since my last visit and she should be gaining about .5 per week. They have her at 6 pounds 2 ounces now. The doctor said she felt like I was going to deliver before this became a concern but if I had not delivered by 37 weeks then we would need to figure out what to do because it's possible the placenta is pre maturely aging (which she had been suspecting for a few weeks now because of the low fluid levels). She wants me to have weekly biophysical profiles and to check on her and of course kick counts multiple times per day. The high risk OB was very happy we had made it to 35 weeks 5 days and said "we have arrived" she looks good today and would be perfectly fine to deliver!
I left the appointment feeling a lot of relief because I had been concerned about the lack of movement most of that night and morning. I called Jordan and told him the good news and came home just as he was about to leave to pick up Hunter from school. I was pretty tired at that point and the contractions were steady but tolerable (I figured from all the activity and being on the tail end of progesterone). In the hour he was gone to pick up Hunter out of no where the contractions went from somewhat noticeable to WOW these really hurt as I would bend over and grab my knees for each one. I got my contraction counter app out and started actually timing them and they were 2.5-3 min apart. I called my OB to see if I could just come up to the office to be checked because I really did not want to do the whole L&D thing unless I was sure this was go time and didn't want to wait too long and show up at 8cm like she said not too! She called back and said no you are probably in labor just go straight to L&D. I called our sitter to come stay with the kids and she arrived shortly after Jordan got home. Jordan and I got to L&D around 4:00pm and I was 4cm dilated. The contractions were right at 2.5-3 min apart and literally off the chart...perfect bell shaped curves. They were really strong and in my back and pelvis for some reason and I just could not get comfortable. They said the plan was to keep me on the monitor a few hours and check me again and see if I had made any progress. "Active" labor is termed by moving 1cm per hour so I should have progress in a few hours if it's go time but judging from my contractions they were confident it was time.
***If you have followed any of my past pregnancies on this blog then you can join me in thinking hmm where I have heard this before?!?! You may remember my 4 day labor journey with Hunter and Madison. If you don't remember you can catch up! But this is becoming all too familiar :)
So I laid there for 5 hours strapped down to the monitors cringing with each contraction wishing I could do ANYTHING other than just lay there and take it! The contractions were really strong in my back and pelvis which was very similar the start of my 4 day labor journey with Hunter and Madison too. With the first 2 kids the 4 day journey ended with the contractions moving to the front like in the round ligament area....so maybe that should be my "labor sign!" (back labor...not time...front labor...baby TIME!) My nurse checked on me every so often and would comment on the strength and frequency of the contractions and at one point went ahead and admitted me for delivery and had me fill out all the paper work.
At 9:30 pm she came in to check me to make the call on wether or not it was "active" and I had only moved 1cm (in 5 hours). I was 5cm but had not progressed enough to make the "active labor" call. She said I am in the 2 week limbo of 35-37 weeks where they don't stop labor but they can't augment labor either so I have to show I am in "active" labor for them to help it along (i.e. break water etc)...of course we've been here done this (2 week limbo land thing) twice before so I knew this already. I had mixed emotions because I would LOVE to make it to 37 weeks for once! BUT at the same time thinking about doing THIS for the next 9 days was pretty daunting! Had I been 37 weeks they would have just admitted me for delivery, broken my water and be done! So back home we went to wait her out :)
We got home around 11pm and I took 2 tylenol PM which allowed me to sleep decently well for the night (better than I have in a while). The next morning I was SO groggy though. Jordan let me sleep in and after a while Hunter came in my room and looked in the bassinet and said "mommy is baby Audrey here can I see her?! Are you still hurting mommy" I said "no buddy it's not time yet she's not finished growing" and he looked at my belly and was SO bummed to see that she was still in there. He came over and scratched my arm and said "it's ok I can scratch and make you feel better!" SO PRECIOUS!
So we are here! 36 weeks! And every day counts! I want her to cook as long as she needs but would also LOVE for my body to not do this stalled out labor thing for days upon days! It's been 3 days and contractions are still 3 minutes apart. I sleep only by the grace of tylenol PM and the rest of the day is spent floating in the hot tub and pool because it dulls the pain just enough to allow me to think about something other than timing contractions and it also allows me to be human to my family! I feel so bad that now that I am up and moving around I am not that fun to be around anymore! I try to fake it as best I can but my patience are low and I am fighting agitation most of the day just because of the constant pain...my poor family! I had a brief 40 minute period today of NOT ONE CONTRACTION and I felt on top of the world like I could be pregnant forever....AMAZING! Then they came back. :)
The good news is I have more stamina now a week after being off bed rest. I don't feel like I have to crawl into bed after being on my feet only few hours. I have made it through a grocery shopping trip (and a half of one...which I couldn't finish haha). My big plan to cook all these yummy meals I have pinned on Pinterest the last few months have not come to fruition however I have made SOMETHING every night this week for dinner which is a pretty big deal considering how I feel. The house is spotless and the laundry is done. I have nested! So I am so blessed to have had this week and longer to be able to get some of my stamina back. I have managed a few walks with the kids around the neighborhood to try to increase my stamina a bit (doctors orders)...followed by lots of floating in the pool to help me cope with the contractions. Jordan and I have been out on two dates without kids....3 if you count L&D ha! It's been a good week and I am beyond blessed to have made it to 36! I am hoping for 37 if by the grace of God these contractions can tone it down JUST a bit :) otherwise we can't wait to meet her!!!!