Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Pre-Term Labor Scare Part III: Food, Dogs, and Evil Contraction Monitors

I was hooked up to fetal heart monitors once a day. They were supposed to be on for an hour, but the babies moved so much that it took at least an hour and a half, once three hours, and I was to move as little as possible during that time (lest the babies fall off the monitors). They also hooked me up to contraction monitors twice a day for an hour each. It was really nerve-wracking to here the skritch skritch of the needle of the monitor recording contractions on paper like a seismograph. Every time I heard a skritch I imagined it was a new contraction. (As it turned out, the noises weren't correlated to the contractions, but I only discovered this near the end of my stay after I'd already worried myself silly over it.)

My nemesis, the contraction monitor.

After several days in the hospital I started having non-labor inducing contractions (which are normal), but I was constantly worried that it meant I was going to go back into labor. It was very stressful and I cried at some point every day but one. On my first full day in the hospital, right after telling my mom why I was there, I was pretty upset. (It wasn't until later I found out that my mom and Mark's mom thought I was in my 24th week instead of my 26th from looking at this blog which I've been slow to update.) Anyway right then some therapy dogs happened by my room that really cheered me up. One was, Dante, a border collie/German shepherd mix who did all sorts of tricks; but I was more amused by Rubi, a Golden retriever whose tail kept thumping against my bed.

I didn't realize I could request therapy dogs to come by until my last day. Guess who's coming to my room every day after I give birth?

Because of all the nurse/doctor/monitor interruptions, being on hospital bed rest kept me busier than you might think. In my spare time I used a laptop to check websites and e-mail (but could only hunt and peck to type because I wasn't supposed to sit up) and watched TV shows that Mark had uploaded. I was very happy when my friends, Rachel, Lila, and Brendan visited, as well as our real estate agent (now that's dedication!).

The hospital food was both better and worse than you'd expect. The desserts were at the "better" end of that equation. Often, something like Salisbury Steak would arrive and, trying to be as non-annoying as possible, I'd ask if there were any other options. (Every meal seemed to come with a tasteless dinner roll - I started to make a fortress out of them - and Wheatsworth crackers, which Mark decided was the name of his British butler.) One day Lila and Brendan brought me Indian food and that was the best food I'd tasted in a week. A few times a nurse came by with Haagen Dazs bars. I stupidly turned one down the first day, but thankfully had one the night before fasting 12 hours for my diabetes test the next morning. (I didn't pass the test so it tasted all the better.) Often while eating my meals, I'd make fun of the default TV channel that consisted solely of soothing nature scenes and music.

Haagen Dazs bar, how can I say no to you...

Wheatsworth. You there. I say, my good man...

After a day in my new room I was told I could eventually be released to strict bed rest at home. Both moms volunteered to come help me at home if that happened. I took that as a good sign of my recovery, but I was also worried about being at home without physicians in case the bad labor-inducing contractions came back.

Mark was great the entire time. He went back to work but came to visit me every morning for two hours and again in the evening from when he left work until around midnight.

Next time...
Part IV: I Tunnel Out of the Hospital

1 comment:

  1. Kathy,
    I am praying for you. You are so strong! Keep that wonderful sense of humor, Mama!
    Judy Gallic