Karen (estherchaya) wrote,

The Slammer

I probably should have posted this earlier, but I've really been too out of it to write a coherent post. So better late than never.

If you're my friend on Facebook, you probably know that I was admitted to the hospital Saturday night. If you're not my friend on Facebook - why not?? Anyway, all day Saturday I was having contractions that the terbutaline wasn't stopping, even with multiple boluses. More alarmingly, there was a signifcant decrease in baby movement. I felt 5 or 6 kicks in 2 1/2 hours. I wasn't freaked out about that - because as far as I'm concerned, if the baby was moving at all, that was a sign that the baby was still hanging out, even if the medical establishment would have preferred more movement than that (and no, I'm not late enough in the pregnancy that they start saying "well the baby doesn't have much room to move anymore").

Anywhozit, I came in and was contracting a lot (shocking). An extra terbutaline bolus didn't help. So the doctor admitted me so he could put me on magnesium sulfate. A "magnesium holiday" as they call it (whoever "they" is). In theory what happened was that my body wasn't responding well enough to the terbutaline anymore, so they pulled it and ran the magnesium instead (called a "mag holiday" or a "mag wash" ... another friend said that's a terrible name for it and it ought to be "antepartum purgatory" which I think comes a lot closer to the truth). When I was admitted, I was banging out contractions every 2-3 minutes (that's about 20 an hour, if you're keeping count). The mag cut me down to about 10/hour pretty quickly and then finally I had a couple hours yesterday afternoon where I only had a handful and I was able to sleep (blessed sleep!).

The doctor came in mid-morning yesterday to talk to me and I was, at that point, not too loopy from the magnesium. I was still pretty uncomfortable, but the contractions had slowed to about every 6-8 minutes, so it was looking good. Still, I admit I'm completely miserable, and as horrific as it makes me feel to say it - I just want it over. Of course I want this baby to cook as long as possible, but I also want my body back. The nurses had called my doctor probably close to a dozen times between the time I was admitted and the time he came to see me mid-morning, including flurry of 3am phone calls to him to clarify orders, etc. He walked in and I told him I had a deal for him.

Him: "Oh, you've got a deal for ME? Can't wait to hear this one!"
Me: "I won't have you called at 3am anymore if you get this baby out NOW."
Him: "Oh, I don't mind 3am phone calls. My wife might have gotten a little annoyed, but it doesn't bother me."
Me: "No, really, think about it! A whole night's sleep and all you have to do is GET THIS BABY OUT. My offer is good for 24 hours - then no promises about quelling the 3am phone calls."
Him: "That's okay. I'm not on call after tomorrow morning. I can take it."
Me: "Yes, but Dr. H is on call tomorrow - she's way nicer than you!"
Him: "Yes she is. You can take your chances with her."

[for the record, Dr. H wouldn't deliver me today either... oh well! And yes, I was kidding. Mostly. Well, at least a little bit.]

He asked how I was feeling and I said "Have you ever been on mag?" He admitted he had not but had talked to plenty of women who had been on it. He told me I was taking it rather well. He told me that usually they can get people off the mag within 48 hours. "48 hours!!???" "What? You want me to turn it up?" Oh hell no. He did warn that if the contractions got any worse, they'd probably have to turn it up, but he was hopeful that they wouldn't have to do so.

And that's what I was hoping for. Until suddenly I was banging them out every 2 minutes again. I was in agony. And unfortunately, that bought me a ticket to purgatory - a 50% increase in my mag dose. If you've never experienced any of the joys of magnesium sulfate, there's really no describing it, but I'll do my best.

It starts out feeling as though you are literally on FIRE from the inside out. Every vital sign check taunted me with ridiculous pronouncements that my body temperature was 98.4 (F) couldn't possibly have been that low when I was certain I was 4,000 degrees (F). Then the nausea/vomiting, which fortunately wasn't a huge problem for me since I am already on high doses of Zofran and Phenergan - so I wasn't puking uncontrollably like many women do... I just wished I was because I felt so terrible. The headaches. The blurry vision. Seeing thigns in triplicate (I'm not joking!). And the absolute worst part of all - muscle weakness. Muscle weakness sounds so benign, doesn't it? But my legs were lead weights - I couldn't move them if I tried. I coudln't sit up, couldn't move my head, could barely lift my hands. Those who have known me for a while know that the sole reason I'm opposed to ever having another spinal/epidural anesthesia is because I had a small stroke (TIA) when I was 23 - losing control of my body on purpose is not ever going to be a goal of mine. It's petrifying. I got congested, and completely parched - my throat was killing me from being so dry, but drinking a gallon of water (which seemed the only logical solution at the time) was not an option, since between the mag and the preexisting hyperemesis, I would have just thrown it right back up. There really is no way to describe the horrors of mag and do it justice.

Thankfully, I have weaned back down, and am now below my starting dose. The hope is that I'll be able to turn the mag off entirely tonight (long shot) or tomorrow, and go back to the terb pump. Hopefully this "holiday" will have helped my body downregulate? Upregulate? I can't keep it all straight. But one way or another, hopefully after this holiday the terbutaline will be working again. I'm not holding my breath, but I *am* hopeful that I'll get to go home in the next day or three and that I'll be home for Pesach.

Poor Seth is stretched to the limit and I don't blame him. I know very clearly now that even if I ever thought I might want another baby after this one - I just can't do it. It's not fair to our family to have me this sick for this long. So we're done after this little one makes his or her appearance into the world. For that reason alone I wish I could savor this pregnancy - but there just is so little to like about it. I'm very grateful to be where I am. I'm very grateful to be pregnant and to be growing a whole entire human. But I can't bring myself to call pregnancy a joyous experience. I think it's miraculous, yes. And I can't wait to meet this child and move on with our lives.
Tags: #5, hospitalization, pregnancy

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