Here’s my little home away from home:
I’ve gotten so many flowers! Thanks everybody :o) They really make the room so much happier. The hospital staff keeps commenting on how good it smells in here (like roses, thanks to my mother-in-law!).
I forgot to mention in yesterday’s update that one of the hospital’s massage therapists came to see me! She did a neck and shoulder massage because they don’t want to risk messing with my lower back at all and potentially triggering labor (is that really a thing?). It felt sooooo wonderful! I know my lower back and legs have been feeling pretty stiff from all the sitting I’ve been doing, but I didn’t realize how much tension I had up in my shoulders and neck until she started working on me. Other than the massage feeling really great, it was so cool to talk to this woman! She’s from Rwanda, and she was telling me that in her country it’s typical for a woman in labor to have two other women massaging her body throughout the whole process. She said it helps the women to not think about the pain but think about something that feels good instead and they’re able to relax, which is key to helping labor go well. She even said sometimes women are so relaxed that they give birth while sleeping. What!? I wonder how often that happens. I want a massage during labor! As she was rubbing my neck and shoulders and I was practically dozing off I kept imagining “If I were in labor and this were happening… Yeah. This would make a huge difference and make it so much easier!” I think I’m allowed to have her or one of the other therapists come like once or twice a week. Perks of being in the hospital!
Today’s BPP went really well. It was definitely the shortest yet. And today’s monitoring has been sort of a source of comedy for my nurses and me because I’ve been doing it myself 😛 It works fine; they’re just amused that I want to do it. This morning I only had time during the window it needs to happen to do it right after breakfast, though, so Hope was moving around a lot and the tracing of her heart rate was pretty inconsistent. My nurse said we might have to redo it later, but I guess the doctors didn’t mind. We passed.
The physical therapist came back again today, and we talked briefly about Kangaroo Care in the NICU. That’s basically when parents hold the baby skin-to-skin on their own chest and cover themselves and the baby with their clothes and/or a blanket to keep the baby warm. I know it has all kinds of benefits for the baby, as skin-to-skin with full-term babies does, but I don’t know yet what all of those benefits are. She said that’s outside of her realm of expertise. I got a book from the library all about Kangaroo Care, though, so I’m sure you’ll be hearing plenty about it once I start reading that!
Then we talked about their PT program for pregnant moms on bed rest. She went through a booklet with me that talked about posture and how to get up and down and covered the first level of exercises they want me to do. After trying out the exercises she showed me today for a few days she’ll add more if I tolerate this first stuff well. The main goal of these gentle movements is to keep my circulation healthy, stretch a little to ease stiffness, and maintain some muscle tone in my limbs without straining my abdomen at all. It’s mostly stuff I can do while sitting or lying in bed (ankle circles or flexing and releasing my quads for example), so I’ve done them a couple of times today and even though they’re small movements they actually feel really good just because I haven’t been anything but a little walking. Hopefully I won’t have to have to join a gym after this to put myself back together, haha.
Tonight our friends who we have a weekly Bible study with brought dinner and Bible study to my hotel room! It was great :o) Thanks for suggesting that, Michelle! It’s so nice to still be able to be part of something from pre-hospital life! Plus the food was delicious. The nurses were all jealous. We offered them some but nobody took us up on it.
Not much else happened today to report. I took a really great nap… And they’re letting me order breakfast and lunch from the “Cafe Weekly Specials” menu since I hope to be here a long time. It’s been nice to have some different food from the patient menu that I was already getting tired of!
I asked one of the residents who I see pretty much every morning during rounds if I could have some time to sit down with either her or someone else if it should be someone else to talk about plans/goals/expectations for the actual labor and delivery. In typical prenatal care you have the chance to do that several times over at monthly/weekly visits. Here I mostly see nurses all day, they don’t work on L&D, and I usually only have a couple of minutes during rounds to ask the doctors anything (and that’s my alarm clock, so if I have questions I have to wake up thinking of them!) She was super receptive of the request and said she would find out if that should be with the chief resident or her or someone else, and in the meantime I should write down whatever questions or requests I have. So I spent the morning researching induction because I quickly realized that’s the piece of the whole birth puzzle that gives me the most anxiety. My first labor started spontaneously, Nathanael and I handled it ourselves at home for almost the whole labor, we went to the hospital, and we had a baby. It was great. This time we’re not going to be able to do that. So I want to talk with the doctors handling my care to be able to get as close as medically possible to that kind of experience. I know I need to have realistic expectations, but just being told “well it depends” doesn’t help me do that. What does whatever “it” is depend on, and what options are there for the various scenarios that may arise? Let’s talk about how a scheduled induction at 34 weeks will go vs. a sudden induction sometime between now and then because I’ve developed an infection or something. Anyway, hopefully we’ll get to talk soon and I can get lots of my questions answered. I just want to be on the same page!
In 24 hours I will have beaten the average 7-10 days within which most women give birth after PPROM. (I learned yesterday that I actually have PPROM, not PROM, because it’s still so early. Preterm Premature Rupture of Membranes).
Two other pictures, just for smiling’s sake:
This is what FaceTime with Ella looks like most days now,
becauseshe’s been allowed to hold the phone lately. She tries to put her face right in front of it when I ask her to (otherwise I’m usually looking at the ceiling), and this is what I usually get..
And this is who one of my doctors reminds me of. He’s sweet and makes me laugh with his little quirks. I can’t help but like him.