Friday, March 03, 2006

Ain't life a steroid shot to the ass?

So it turns out that non-traditional doctor visit day, Thursday, is not really the optimal day to check on the cervix. As a matter of fact, on a scale of 1-10, 1 being a bad day and 10 being colossally craptacular, checking the cervix on a Thursday rates somewhere up around a 7 or an 8 (so pretty high on the official craptastic scale).

Whereas on previous Tuesdays, clearly the correct days to poking around in there, my cervix has been happy to measure at 3+ . However, yesterday my cervix was not so obliging. It is, indeed, the incredible shrinking cervix at this point. I knew it the second the tech inserted the wand-o-matic that there was a problem. I had been expecting to see the nice, long, tightly closed cervix that I had grown to love (hey, it is providing a valuable service), but to my shock and immediate dismay (a hormonal woman can cry at the drop of a hat), even i could see that this was not the same cervix it had been two weeks earlier. I'll spare you the details; i realize that most people are not as fascinated with the human cervix (or any cervix) as I am. But when an ultrasound tech says, "hmmmmm....." and nothing else, you know you're not winning any "tightly closed cervix of the year" award (or even in the running, that that point.)

So in yet another grand meeting of the minds (much as with the cerclage decision), the perinatologist called my regular OB and they agreed that my bed at home was clearly not as good of a nest for me as a bed in the hospital. Thus, the giant incubator I have come to see myself as was "invited" to meet my doctor in the Labor and Delivery triage at the hospital.

Triage, for the record, is not a fun place. It's the "office space" of the hospital. You get a tiny little cubicle, a tiny "nightie" and a fabric-challenged curtain, therefore no privacy. At one point I became aware of a breeze...on my butt. And yes, surely enough my bare ass was indeed welcoming patients and hospital professionals alike as they entered the triage area. That's a fine "how do you do"...

Good times. So they like to do all of their "dirty work" in triage. The insertion of the IV, "just in case"; the internal exam to see if my underachiever of a cervix is dilating from the outside (no, it is not, thank the powers that be for small mercies--or large ones, in the case); the speculum exam and "swabs" for infection (I love the word "swab"...sounds so gentle and yet feels like sandpaper across your eyeball)---these are the lovely tasks performed in triage. I think it's actually an act of kindness; they know you aren't going to be in there for long (I was for 4 hours, but apparently some stay for 24--ugh!), and that all the painful things that go on there are associated only with there...sort of a "What happens in Triage, stays in Triage" type of slogan.

All except for the steroid shot in the ass. That is a process which will continue today as well, in my regular room. One yesterday and one today. Good thing my baby isn't planning on competing in the Olympics or Major League Baseball anytime soon--they are giving me steroids as a way to pump up the little one's lungs. The general consesus at this point is they are going to be breathing air earlier than we had initially intended and the steroids will give him an immediate boost, should that "earlier" be in the next week (no, no NO), and it will speed along overall lung function so that were he born at 32-34 weeks, he would be, according to nurses, almost at full-term lung capacity.

Now I sit in my hospital room, strapped to a contraction monitor (none so far), and leaning waaayyyy back. Forty-five degrees is a distant luxury--ah to sit up half way. The baby is not happy with the monitor attached to my belly; at least that means he's stopped kicking on the front door, which by the way, the doctor says has no impact on my cervix--it is simply incompetent; plain and simple.

My room is fine; I'm close to the door, though and stewing in my jealousy over my roommate's window view, "pleather" bench, and florist shop that is her window sill. But I guess since I have been here less than 24 hours and she's been here for 2 weeks. I can't really complain. She also has to deal more with the helicopter landing pad that seems to be right outside our window.

But, in general, life is good. I got french toast for breakfast and my baby is still in my belly. What more could I ask for, really?


KMW said...

I'm sorry you are in the hospital! Good luck. I'll be thinking of you.

Amy said...

I have been there sister and I feel your pain. The hospital bedrest, it is a bitch.

I had french toast for breakfast almost every day for 17 straight days. Maybe that is the key to the cervical strength?

Hang in there. If you stabilize, they'll probably send you home after you get to 28 weeks.

Amy said...

And I just read your earlier post -- we just painted our kitchen Rejuvenate! Must be something about crappy cervixes (cervixi?) and choosing a soothing green color.