The following three weeks after our last MFM appointment were pretty uneventful. We stayed positive and put together the baby’s furniture and decorated her room. But it wasn’t completely void of a few negative thoughts…
“I really hope we will have a baby to sleep in this crib.”
“Don’t open everything just in case we have to return it.”
“I’m not going to wash any of her clothes just yet.”
It’s a very surreal feeling to prepare for something you’re not even sure is going to happen. You try not to get too excited because you could end up heartbroken if things don’t go the way you’d planned.
Since I couldn’t do much more in the baby’s room I had to get myself ready for my stay at the hospital. What do you even bring to the hospital when you know you’re going to be there for a while? EVERYTHING! Ok, so maybe not everything but to my husband I’m sure it felt like everything! Haha! I packed my big rolling suitcase full of leggings, cotton dresses, bralettes, t-shirts, about 100 pairs of underwear, and socks. I was definitely moving in! I brought pretty much anything that was going to make that place feel more like home (in hindsight, I didn’t need half the stuff I brought). We packed my suitcases (yes, plural) into our SUV and headed to the hospital.
I was admitted directly into the labor and delivery unit where they started IVs, gave me a bunch of preventative medications, took a million vials of blood, monitored the baby, and had me talk to about seven different people on top of talking with all my nurses and doctors. I was exhausted on day one and I didn’t even get out of bed! The first day was a whirlwind. So much was happening so quickly my head was spinning! The next day was little better. I was getting adjusted to living in the hospital. It was nice that people would bring your food, clean your room, and bring you water anytime you need it, but it got old quick. I missed home. I missed sleeping in my own bed, I missed my dog flapping his ears in the middle of the night, and I even missed the pesto pasta frozen dinner (we would eat this at least once, maybe twice a week when my husband was doing the grocery shopping) that my husband could probably live off of!
My hospital stay was so much longer than we originally anticipated (3 months)! But it was a double edge sword. We needed to stay that long because the longer I stayed pregnant the better, but I missed home so much after the first month. I somehow stayed positive and didn’t let the hospital life get to me (honestly, it was one of the hottest summers in FL that year so I was probably better off!). I think when I did start to feel down it wasn’t because I couldn’t be outside, it was because I didn’t get to have a “normal” pregnancy. I didn’t get to ward off little old ladies trying to rub my belly. Or hear people’s old wives tales about the sex of the baby. Or hear about other women’s labor stories. Or wear a stupid t-shirt that says “Don’t eat watermelon seeds!” I guess I was kind of mourning the fact that my pregnancy felt more like a secret because I was stuck in bed, closed off to the outside world. My time in the hospital wasn’t all bad. I was there for so long I got to know my nurses really well. I got to literally Netflix and chill all day, everyday. I didn’t have any responsibilities. I didn’t have to work (Praise the Lort!). My only job was to stay in bed, drink my body weight in water, and stay pregnant. All of which I did just perfectly!
Up until about 28 weeks pregnant my days were pretty uneventful. Baby didn’t make any big moves or cause much of a fuss from about 23-28 weeks. She behaved herself. Once I hit 28 weeks, that was a totally different story. She was trying to get comfortable but she was running out space. pPROM is when the sac holding the amniotic fluid and the baby ruptures sooner than it’s supposed to. Normally when a woman’s water breaks labor and delivery isn’t far behind. That’s the same for pPROM except the water breaks too soon, like mine did at 14 weeks. Sometimes pPROM happens later in pregnancy and the effects of it are not as detrimental. The gestational age of the baby is extremely important for moms suffering from pPROM. The earlier into the pregnancy the more damaging pPROM can be. For example, my water broke at 14 weeks and at that gestational age baby’s lungs are being developed. Without the proper amount of amniotic fluid the baby’s lungs could never inflate once born, ultimately causing death shortly after birth. However, miracles do happen and I have a beautiful, healthy little girl to prove it!
**WARNING: I will be talking in more detail about what my body was going through during this time so if you don’t want to know those details, skip the next paragraph**
One question I got a lot is, “Is the bed rest going to help heal the rupture site?” Yes and no. For me, it was no but for some other women it’s yes. I think there are a lot of factors that go into determining this and I honestly didn’t do the research to figure it out. I never “resealed” and for 5 straight months I “leaked” fluid. I had to keep a pad on all day and change frequently to avoid any type of infection. Every time baby moved whatever amount of fluid I was able to keep in there came right out. It was basically like filling a balloon with water and poking a hole in it. Every time you move the balloon more water comes out. You can try to refill it but it’s still going to leak. Same concept for pPROM except whatever fluid the baby is able to breath in is good. Bed rest is to help keep what’s left, intact and to minimize leakage.
With the help of my fantastic nurses and doctors, I was able to stay pregnant until 34 weeks! It’s a miracle I stayed pregnant that long without any major medical intervention.