These are trying times

I’m officially 35 weeks and four days into this pregnancy and I’m in the hospital.

It is Saturday and I’ve been here since Tuesday. It officially sucks being away from my husband and Peanut. Thank God for Skype, but I can’t wait to feel her little arms around my neck and have her curly fro tickle my nose.

This all started on Tuesday. Wait! I should probably start off by letting you know that the baby is still cooking.

So yes, I took the day off on Tuesday to attend the second of two non-stress tests (NST) that my OB scheduled for me because of how puffy I looked at my previous appointment and his concern about my blood pressure (BP) despite it getting good readings for the past couple of appointments.

Throughout most of the NST my babe’s heart rate was at a normal level and then during the last 10 or so minutes, it shot up to 200+ and stayed there for 40 minutes.

Thankfully my OB was on call and they moved me into a room for further assessment. At this point he was concerned that if babe’s heart rate continued at such a fast pace that he’d eventually get tired, or his heart rather, and then go into heart failure.

My OB warned me that I may have to have an emergency c-section that day. What what????

Aside from not being mentally prepared to welcome our baby into the world this way, I was just not ready. I don’t have a bag packed, we don’t have diapers for him, I haven’t washed the few clothes that we have for him, his room is not furnished (I’m less concerned about that because he’ll be in a bassinet in our room for a few months), my husband was at home with our daughter with no way of getting to me.

I started to feel really bad at the prospect that he may miss the birth of his son.

Oddly enough they had me in the same room I “laboured” in when I had Peanut. I thought that was a sign that he was going to be born that day. I’m glad there was nothing to that.

So, they hooked me up to the fetal heart monitor, drew some blood, hooked me up to an IV, and did an ultrasound to try to get a full picture of what was going on.

At one point there were maybe three or four doctors in my room plus a couple of nurses huddled around my bed looking at the ultrasound machine’s screen.

Meanwhile, someone had called one of the big hospitals downtown that deal with high-risk pregnancies and is right across the street from one of the best children’s hospitals in the world. (The Ontario mommies that read my blog will at least know which children’s hospital I’m talking about). They were on ths phone being fed info about my situation and trying to determine if I should be moved.

My OB was great at explaining things to me and was so comforting. They discovered that there was an irregularity in the babe’s heart beat; a bit of a skip. And through the testing they concluded that there were no conditions with myself that were causing his heart to race or go into tachycardia.

They decided to transport me to this other hospital for follow up. And if there was something wrong with the babe’s heartbeat, we’d be right across the street where he would get the best care probably in the world. At this point I had only texted my hubby to let him know that I was going to be later than the hour plus travel that the NST would have taken.

When my doctor knew that I would be transferred downtown, I called my husband and braced myself. I was worried he would freak out with worry and that I would breakdown and be a blubbering mess.

I managed to keep it together for our conversation, told him what was happening, that I would text him a list of things to pack, and what to do.

Since I had the car at the hospital, I told my hubby to get the bucket seat from the basement, call my dad, since he works not too far away from home and our place, and ask my dad to give him and Peanut a ride to the hospital. I figured it was close to noon and his boss would be ok with him leaving for a bit of a longer lunch break. I didn’t anticipate that he would take my daughter back to the house with him, which made a lot of sense.

I called my mom to tell her what was going on. I get my emotional side from my mom. I couldn’t hold it together when I spoke with her. She reassured me as she always does, but I’m sure she had a good cry when she got off the phone with me.

When I got down to the other hospital, they hooked me up to another fetal heart monitor to check to see if he was still tachycardic. Nope, normal heart beat and then fast, fast, fast. Not to mention that he would not stop moving. I’ve come to find out over the past few days that this kid doesn’t like people messing with him and will squirm to get away from them or whatever they are trying to do to him.

After some more blood work and more monitoring, they sent us over to the children’s hospital for a fetal echocardiogram. At this point my husband had made it downtown looking stressed and concerned.

The scans revealed that there were no physical defects to the babe’s heart. Thank God! However, they determined that he has fetal supraventricular tachycardia (SVT). Apparently this condition is quite common at this stage in pregnancy, and corrects itself after birth.

Although it can be treated with meds, and the doctors decided they would rather do that than in utero than take him out now, unfortunately the meds can mess up my heart and electrolytes.

I have to go through a battery of tests everyday while on the meds, hence the reason I’m now in the hospital. While the meds are to help slow down the babe’s heart rate and keep it consistently in a normal range, they can slow my heart down too to the point where it can stop. Joy!

They are also watching my potassium and magnesium levels, which the medication can rob from my body, or more likely, cause me to discard everytime I use the washroom. I won’t go into the other side effects, but I haven’t experienced any of them yet.

So the plan was for me to go on the meds and stay for three days to be monitored. Then on Friday I would go for another fetal echocardiogram for assessment of how the meds are affecting the babes.

That scan was moved up to Thursday afternoon. Although a bit better on the meds, babe’s is still in and out of tachycardia more than they would like. So guess what? My meds have been increased from twice a day to three times a day, which means I get to be here until Monday when they repeat the fetal echo and assess the situation.

I know it’s for the best, but I miss my little person. My hubby and parents brought her down yesterday evening, which was awesome. When she saw me, the biggest smile spread across her face. My heart melted. And then it broke when she started to cry and was reaching for me before she left.

As an aside, I wonder if this time away from each other will result in her kicking her pre-nap/pre-bedtime nursing sessions. I don’t mind tandem nursing, but I imagine it would be quite tiring.

Back to the story . . .

My OB at the downtown hospital assumed that I was going to try for a VBAC. And after discussing it with my hubby, we decided that we would, and there will always be a c-section as a backup.

However, after hearing what the paediatric cardiologist had to say, it sounds like if my babe’s heart is still tachycardic in anyway, he will have to be sectioned out because there will be no safe way to monitor his heart rate during a vaginal delivery and see how he’s tolerating it.

Kinda makes me think why I’m here then? Why not just take him out now? But, he needs more time inside. Although, the paediatric cardiologist said that he will have to go over to the children’s hospital for a few days after birth anyway for monitoring. :-(

I’m praying that trip won’t be necessary. I’ll already be away from Peanut and I’ll probably lose it if I have to be away from him too.

So yeah, that’s what’s going on with me. Stuck in the hospital on a three day to three day basis, missing my family, missing my comfy king-size bed, eating terrible hospital food.

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3 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Esperanza
    Oct 19, 2013 @ 10:53:50

    Oh A! I’m so sorry you’re going through this. What a stressful time! I hope the babe’s heart looks better at the next scan and that you can go home soon.

    Abiding with you.


  2. zygotta
    Oct 20, 2013 @ 10:16:26

    oh my god, I’m so pained to even read this… I cannot imagine what it’s like for you…
    I just hope it all ends up okay for all of you, when the baby – and you – are ready!


  3. J o s e y
    Oct 20, 2013 @ 19:50:39

    Oh man, how scary! I’m glad this is a condition that seems to be self-resolving for most babies. I hope this resolves sooner than later and you are able to keep him cooking for at last another week or two! Sounds like you’re in good hands.


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