Monday, May 26, 2008

Memorial Day Weekend: During Which I Go Into Pre-Term Labor and Spend Three Days in the Hospital

I have a bitchy uterus.

It tends to contract at random times throughout the day and night. This little issue, known as pre-term contractions, has earned me the wonderful pregnant-lady honor of being on bed rest until sometime in July.

While the contractions can be scary, extensive monitoring determined that they were not causing any other changes in my body (like other labor symptoms), which is good.

Until Thursday. That's when my uterus got bitchy again. And my cervix must have gotten jealous, because this time around, it decided to join in on the fun and cause some trouble of its own.

So while the rest of Manhattan packed its bags and headed out of town to celebrate the holiday weekend, Spiceboy and I took yet another cab ride over to NYU Medical Center.

After much poking and prodding by various doctors, residents, and med students, all of whom peered at my vagina as if it was on exhibit at the Met, it was determined that my pre-term contractions and morphed into pre-term labor.

That means that my body seems to want to go into labor now, rather than in August, when it's supposed to.

They gave me a shot of Tribulylene to stop the contractions. The Tributlyene is just awful; it makes my heart race and it makes my body flush and worst of all, it makes my hands shake so badly I can hardly lift a glass of water.

The shot didn't work.

So they gave me a pill, and then another shot, and then a few more pills.

Then they gave me a painful steroid shot in my leg to help mature Spicebaby's lungs.

Then they sent in the doctors from the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) to speak to me about premature babies and how the NICU works.

I would have much preferred a Memorial Day picnic, let me tell you.

At one point on Thursday night, when the contractions had gotten really bad and Spiceboy sat next to me with his head in his hands, I grabbed his hand and squeezed it. "I just want you to know that I'm not having this baby tonight," I said.

As soon as the words were out of my mouth, I knew they were true.

My uterine temper tantrum finally ended sometime Saturday, and they let me come home on Sunday. In spite of my bitchy uterus, Spicebaby is quite happy; her heartbeat is strong, and she weighs 2 lbs, 6 oz.--right on target for her age.

This pregnancy has been difficult for me, but not for the reasons I thought it would be. I like watching my body go through these amazing changes, preparing itself for a baby. Every day I get a little bigger, not only physically, but emotionally. Who knew that one's body could expand not only to accomodate a baby, but all of the new emotions that go with it? Who knew my heart was so big?

What's been difficult is waking up each day and understanding that I don't have control over this. Life is going to happen as it happens, Spicebaby is going to come when she comes, and no amount of crying or worrying or frustration on my part is going to change that.

So maybe there is no "early" or "late" or "on time." Maybe there's just time, and how I deal with that is up to me.