Monday, July 20, 2009

Dodging Bullets at 3 AM

This post mentions: PG

At 23 weeks, I shouldn't know what the inside of a labor and delivery room looks like at 3 AM, but after this morning, I do. After awakening with overwhelming chills and lower back/abdominal cramping and discomfort, the best way to describe what was happening was that something was very wrong. I have long heard this same description when talking about labor. Being the type of person who generally has to be doubled over before calling any advice line, I knew that I was in trouble when I immediately contacted the on-call OB without a second thought. It was a frustrating call at best as I could barely hear him over the muffled connection, but when he finally said 'labor and delivery', his words could not have been more crystal clear.

The 20 minute drive over to the hospital was punctuated by intense 'what if' scenarios running through my brain and for much of those early moments, I wondered how I could possibly go on if the worst were to occur. It's thoughts like these that I still have often, but being in a car speeding towards this place made it starkly real. We got there and were immediately led into a room and as soon as I spotted the baby warmer, I prayed that our much too young little guy would get a chance to wait many, many weeks before meeting it. They strapped a belt across my belly and immediately found his strong heartbeat, but on top of that, they discovered that I had an 'irritable uterus' and at one point in time, used the big 'c' word to describe it (contractions).

Although the nurses did not give the appearance of being alarmed at all, I broke out into a cold sweat at the mere mention of contractions at just 23 weeks. So why was this happening? As is the most frustrating of medical circumstances, they had few possible theories.

To calm my 'irritable uterus' they injected me with a smooth muscle relaxant, which helped calm it, and explained that while I was cramping, it was not officially contractions. On top of that, Baby G (as he will now be called), being the ultimate night owl I've learned him to be, was kicking and moving so much they couldn't keep track of him, easing my mind that all was well with him. But these weren't the best peaces of mind handed to me that night. That arrived when we finally got an explanation, something that often does not come this easily in medicine. The nurse walked in with a big smile on her face, declaring triumphantly,

"You have a raging bladder infection."

I have heard these words many times before in my life but I would have never guessed the delight I would feel in one day hearing them. A bladder infection! That, my friends, can be solved. Other things, like preterm labor, not so much. The funny thing is, other than ongoing frequent urination, which is common not just in pregnancy but in the girl with the world's tiniest bladder (that would be me), I had no other preceding symptoms before that night. But I was more than happy to take the diagnosis and run with it.

After the nurse checked my cervix, which was thankfully long and closed, we were out the door with a prescription in hand. While I'm having some minor cramps, it's nothing like what I felt last night (and may be GI related). Never before have I felt as if I truly dodged a bullet. In fact, I come to feel that way every day of my pregnancy. I recently read Murgdan's blog post at Fertility Authority about being grateful for the miracle of life and more than ever, I am. Every second that passes, eventful and uneventful alike, is a gift I will never take for granted. I'm just hoping that we have many more seconds to come.


Karen said...

Imagine being thankful for a bladder infection! I'm so glad your cramps were caused by something identifiable and easy to fix. May the next few months be very, very calm for you and Baby G!

Cassandra said...

Phew! So glad that's all it was.

Hope you stay far away from L&D for a good long time!

M said...

how horrible and scary that must have been. i'm so sorry you had to experience that... and i'm so thrilled that it had such a good end outcome. it is too funny thinking that a bladder infection is a positive thing! haha =)

Anonymous said...

Hello, I'm here from ICLW. Glad the cramps were from the bladder infection!

cheryllookingforward said...

I'm here from ICLW - So happy to read that everything is fine!
You are about 1 day behind where I would be in my pregnancy. Normally, reading about anyone who is going through what I wish for myself is too hard... but it makes me wish and hope for you even more. I wish you the best of luck!

Kristin said...

So glad you dodged that bullet. Seeing a L&D room early is a very scary thing (btdt) and I hope you don't have to see it again until at least 37 weeks.


Barefoot said...

So sorry about your scare, but so glad to hear that everthing's OK. Hooray for bladder infections! ;)

The Swann's said...

Oh my! Such a freight! I'm glad all turned out well and hope you're feeling 100 times better!

So, what did ya think about L&D??? :-) Were they nice enough and pleasant enough to deliver Mr G there??? For now, no more tours there unless apart of a class!

Lorraine said...

So glad that turned out to be fixable! Hope you're feeling better.

Shelby said...

I loved the nurses and the general atmosphere in L&D. I felt very comfortable and taken care of. Let's hope it stays that way!

MoDLin said...

Bladder infections are nasty animals! So glad yours was able to be bought under control and that your nightmare at L&D was stopped. Sounds like Baby G was enjoying all the attention, but I hope he desn't get any more like that for another 17 weeks!

Sarang said...

I was literally hanging on every word of this post. Oh my god. So scary. I am sorry you had this hospital scare!!

I'm so relieved to hear you and Baby G are doing okay.

Tho "raging" bladder infections suck. I've had my share. :(

Hopefully no more hospital drama or suprise visits 'til the BIG day.

Mrs. Gamgee said...

dare I say 'yay' for a bladder infection? So glad it wasn't anything more serious.


Lorza said...

I am glad that is all that it is! Who would have thought the diagnosis of UTI would be so exciting!!! Hope you are felling better!!