24 weeks, 4 days

The past four days have been like riding a scary rollercoaster. Every time we allow ourselves to relax, thinking contractions are under control, we are surprised by a new and unwelcome wave.

Yesterday (Saturday) was a great day because there were hardly any contractions at all! When things are calm like that, I allow myself the fantasy that I’ll be discharged. But, this morning at 1:15, contractions returned without warning and were only 2-4 minutes apart. The doctor was called, the attending consulted, and I was given my medication early. Within ten or fifteen minutes, the contractions began to diminish and we all sighed with relief. “I was literally going to go find a corner and pray for the next 20 minutes if things didn’t slow down,” said one of the doctors. It is nice to have such caring professionals surrounding us.

Well, things didn’t stay calm for long and soon the contractions returned, stronger and close together. A decision was made to move me to the Labor & Delivery side where there are a few small rooms reserved for high risk deliveries, right next to the nurses’ station. It was a frightening, unexpected move.

I’ll spare you the details about the medications I’ve received over the last several days, but some of you might be interested to know that I’ve just started a new one to control the contractions – and it is working so far. Soon after I was moved to the new room, I received the first dose and things calmed down within the hour. I am cautiously optimistic that it will do what it is intended to, although we’ve seen the other drugs work only for a day or so before losing effect. I’ll only stay on this particular medication for 48 hours though, because it can lower the fluid surrounding the baby and cause complications with his or her heart. Please keep our little one in your prayers.

Short of these important preparations and aggressive attempts to stop contractions, we’re told that there is really little medical science can offer when it comes to stopping labor. To prepare the baby for the possibility of an early delivery, I’ve received steroid shots to strengthen the lungs and, today, antibiotics, to provide an extra boost to his or her immune system. Fortunately, there have been great advances when it comes to treating premature babies – although a baby born at this gestational age would really be in trouble.

It goes without saying that our number one priority is keeping this baby from being born too soon. Tedd and I are well aware of the discouraging statistics of survival and high risk of major complications when a child is born this early. We are grateful for every day that this little one stays safely inside.

Aside from that obvious anxiety, it is really difficult for our family to be apart. Tedd has suddenly been thrust into the role of fulltime Mr. Mom and is doing a great job. I am so thankful that God has equipped him to be such a fantastic daddy and that he is so boldly rising to the occasion. Still, it is a lot for him to handle and I miss him and my sweet, sweet JP so desperately.

Thank you for your continued prayers. I feel them right now…really feel them…and am comforted by the support you are giving to our entire family during this difficult time.


Vanessa (mrspeek) said...

(((HUGS))) Joanne, I am thinking about you & praying for you and the baby. I truly hope s/he stays put a while longer

Anonymous said...

You are in our thoughts and prayers daily!
Keep baking that little bean--everyday in you is a blessing!
Char(Dr. Moosey FH)

Dori said...

Thinking of you and praying your little one is doing well and those contractions stay under control for a while longer. Call if you need anything at all- we are happy to help with JP!
Dr. Dori and the waldron gang