Thursday, September 18, 2008

Episode 22- Pre-Term Labor

A few days before Thanksgiving I had an appointment with Schneiman. I happened to take Ethan along with me that day for the heck of it, as I sometimes did. He would usually sit on the floor in the room and tinker with some little gadgets that Schneiman had. I actually loved taking Ethan along with me.

On this particular day, I left the office and as I held Ethan on my hip I walked down five steps right outside that led to the parking lot. I lost my footing and fell forward, flat on top of Ethan. His poor head caught my fall and my entire stomach. He conked his head so hard on the pavement and he didn't make a sound at first. I was completely terrified and panicky as I scooped him back up. Finally he began to cry and I did too.

The whole thing happened so quickly and I didn't know what to do. I was very afraid that he had a concussion and rather than run back into Schneiman's office, I instinctively called Cody on my cell phone as I held my screaming toddler. Cody asked me if I was okay to drive and I said yes. He then said he would meet me the children's hospital. To this day I don't know why I didn't go back into the office and ask for help. Obviously I wasn't thinking clearly at all.

I prayed the whole way to the hospital that Ethan was okay. I was afraid he would lose consciousness on the way there, but he never did. I ran into the ER and my arm was covered in blood as I held him. The nurse grabbed him from me and started asking me questions. She then noticed a huge gash on my wrist which was the actual source of the blood. My arms must have grabbed his head right before he hit the pavement and my wrist bore the brunt of it.

As she continued questioning me, she noticed me wincing in pain. She finally asked if it was the pain from my wrist or something else. I told her I was contracting and we were quickly rushed into an exam room. The next few moments were surreal. A doctor came in to examine Ethan, who turned out to be fine. Another doctor came in to check on me and she discovered I was having regular contractions only four minutes apart. They took some blood from me and found that I had virtually no sugars in it. I then realized that I hadn't eaten all day. This was common practice for me. Between the high doses of meds I was on and the depression, I never had an appetite. It is a wonder how I gained fifty pounds during that pregnancy.

By this time Cody had arrived and he took over care of Ethan. It was so strange being treated in a children's hospital! I was hooked up to an IV and they got me to drink lots of juice and eat cookies. But the contractions kept coming and they were starting to become more painful. The nurse called Dr. Draper and he said to send me right over to Labor and Delivery at the University hospital. Luckily the two hospitals were on the same campus and were linked by an indoor bridge, so the nurse wheeled me over to the other wing.

Once I was in LD they hooked me up to a fetal monitor and sure enough, the contractions kept coming. A resident came in to check me and said that my cervix was still tight and thick, so that was great news. But for the next two hours I continued to contract despite anything I did (or didn't do). I was only 32 weeks along and I felt like I would have the baby soon. I prayed so hard that it wouldn't happen and finally around 10:00 that night, the contractions suddenly stopped!

I had been lying in a hospital bed for several hours watching dumb re-runs on TV, so I was very distracted from what had happened and worse- what could have happened. After a thorough evaluation, they decided I was in good enough shape to be discharged, so late that night I drove home with Ethan asleep in the back seat while Cody drove ahead in his car. What had started out as a two hour trip to Schneiman's office that day had turned into much more.

When I finally pulled into the garage I looked in the back seat to see my precious boy sleeping soundly, his head slightly tilted against his car seat. He looked so sweet and innocent and thoughts began racing through my mind of what could have happened. What if my wrist hadn't caught him and he'd busted his head open on the pavement. What if he'd hit it just right and he...died?

And then I thought about the baby kicking in my belly. What if something had happened to her? She had endured so much already in the seven months since I'd known her. What if something terrible had happened to her too? I tried to block the thoughts from my mind but it didn't work. I slumped down the seat and sobbed silently for several minutes and then finally I got Ethan out of the car and went inside the house. I quickly put him to bed and then raced into the kitchen to get some meds. I needed to be high and right then too. I'm not sure what I took or how much, but I was successful at getting into a deep fog and staying like that the rest of the night.


Krystin said...

I understand, I have a similar incident with my youngest Delilah. I stated a new med, and she had a BAD reactions to it, all I could think was that it was my fault. What if I hurt her by trying to take care of my self?? It's those thoughts that keep me awake at night, and now I am too afraid to take my sleeping meds too! Sad huh?

Valerie said...

Where is more of your story?!? I check in nightly, hoping for more, and nothing yet. :( You can't possibly have a life outside of this! LOL Totally joking. But do tell when you plan to continue.