My apologies for the lack of updates lately. I’ve had lots of visitors, including Tyler’s family last weekend and early this week. Now that I’ve had some quiet time to myself, I’m looking hard to find that positive spirit that I know exists. The last two days have been very difficult for me. This extended hospital stay is taking its toll. The biggest problem is likely pure exhaustion, so when I get d0ne writing this entry, I will try to get some sleep. Again.
I have not been sleeping well at night. Aside from the normal aches and pains from pregnancy and waking every few hours to go to the bathroom, I also wake up every time I feel the slightest trickle of fluid. I’m up every morning at 6 a.m., if not earlier, and napping during the day around here is non-existent. Murphy’s Law runs rampant in the halls of this hospital. The moment I start to drift off, someone barges into the room: nurses, cleaning staff, nutritionists, massage therapists, mailroom workers, doctors, guests of other patients walking into the wrong room, etc. I miss having control of my life. And I miss my privacy.
Those complaints — and believe me, there are many, many more — had me in quite the mood yesterday. I was feeling sorry for myself, I guess. And the further along I get in this pregnancy, the scarier it gets. You might think it should be just the opposite, but with that HUGE 28-week milestone on the other side of this weekend, everything is becoming so real. Our daughter will be here between now and six weeks from now. Although she’s been doing well so far, I am scared to death of what she’ll be like when she gets here. Will her lungs work? How tiny will she be? There is also the all too real specter of disability. Will she have lasting physical and mental challenges? Will she suffer?
In my crabby state, I logged in to check updates on the pPROM support site. One of the moms who I’ve been in touch with — she lives in the Twin Cities — had her baby early this week. She was 24 weeks and five days old, and weighed 1 lb., 4 oz. She lived for four hours, but her little lungs were just too fragile. I read the words and became stricken with grief, anger, fear and guilt. Guilty because I just spent an entire day wallowing in self-pity over the fact that my breakfast arrived cold and half the items were missing; that one particular nurse apparently doesn’t know how to knock before entering and instead cheerily says, “Knock, knock!” after she’s already halfway in the room; and that I don’t know how we’re going to pay for mounting hospital bills that have begun to arrive.
Well I’m certain my fellow pPROM mom who lost her little girl this week would gladly trade places with me. She’d love to lay in this hospital bed for as long as she needed to if it meant holding her baby inside just one more day. Instead, she had to say goodbye after just a few short hours and months of fighting. I’m so so sorry for her and pray that she and her family can find peace and comfort in the coming days.
After I cried and prayed, things got much more difficult. The baby had a banner showing on her monitor strip, but when I went to the bathroom, there was blood. Lots of blood and a quarter-size blood clot. I called the nurse. She put me back on the monitor and waited to hear from the doctor. The baby looked great as usual and I felt like my normal self — no contractions. The doctor wasn’t too concerned, but wanted me to report anything else and said they’d watch me closely. Bleeding is very common in patients with ruptured membranes and I knew this. Which is why when I saw the blood I wasn’t entirely surprised, just disappointed that I was another pPROM mom with no fluid AND bleeding. I bled throughout the night and got virtually no sleep. Part of me expected to be wheeled off to the OR. I laid in bed thinking, “Maybe tonight’s the night.” But morning came and I’m still pregnant as ever. The bleeding tapered off and this afternoon, it appears to have completely stopped. It could start up again or it could have been a fluke.
I just want everyone to know that I’m OK. This is getting much harder with each passing day, but I know I can do this. I have to. Every day I’m here is a gift to my daughter.