Saturday, March 17, 2007

How To Take A Fall

This is something that happened last week, and I’m just now getting around to posting it, in part because I have been behind on a number of things since last week, and also in part because I wasn’t entirely sure how I wanted to approach it. So I’ll just sort of launch into it and see how it goes.

Last week, on Thursday (3/8), Amy was walking down a flight of steps at school when her feet got tangled up underneath her, and she fell. She managed to sort of slide down the stairs (not many of them - four or five) and land on her back, which wound up being a very good thing. She called the doctor when she got home, and he advised her to come to the hospital so that they could check on her and the baby and make sure that everything was okay.

(I was at work when this happened - and had stepped out to get a cup of coffee at Starbucks, which is all the way across the mall from the theatre - when Amy called the theatre to let me know what had happened. I got the information from Dione, who had been asked by Amy to keep me from panicking, which I am not wont to do anyway, because as far as Amy knew at that point, everything was okay. They had checked out the baby, and he was moving around - quite the swimmer, that one - and his heartbeat was normal.)

Amy called back a little bit later, so I was able to get all of the above information directly from her, which made me feel better, as did hearing her voice and not hearing worry there. Things turned worrisome when she called back a couple of hours later to let me know that the nurses monitoring her had discovered that she had been having some contractions. (Later, after I got to the hospital, one of the nurses told us that when a pregnant woman has a fall, oftentimes that fall irritates the uterus enough to cause small contractions - and it seems that it happens often enough in the world that the treatment for it is pretty standard, which was very reassuring information.)

Fortunately, I was able to make arrangements with the staff on hand at the theatre that night so that I could leave and go to the hopsital on the off chance - and my heart skipped a beat thinking about this prospect - that Amy went into labor. It would be safe to say that I exceeded the speed limit for most of the distance between the Fashion Mall and St. Francis.

Long story short, or this part of it at any rate, they were giving her shots of Tributylene, which is supposed to stop the contractions she was having - which were not the kind of contractions that indicate that labor is beginning. The worry, however, was that if they continued (at the rate of, say, more than about four per hour) her body might be tricked into thinking that it was time to give birth, even though it was not. This kind of treatment requires an overnight hospital stay, and for the mother to be hooked up to a heart monitor (more on that by and by). The next day, Friday, the nurses attending her determined that the Tributylene wasn’t having enough of the desired effect, so they switched over to an oral medication called Procardia, which had a better effect. Due to the new cycle of treatment, however, a second overnight hospital stay was required.

On Saturday, Amy was upgraded from clear liquid food only to solid foods, which we both took to be a good sign; and she was seen by the on-call doctor, who decided that we would be allowed to go home if a mid-afternoon check indicated that the Procardia had sufficiently reduced the number and frequency of the contractions. By mid-afternoon, the Procardia had done its thing, and Amy was discharged.

She was on bed rest this week and did not go to work, and has continued to take the Procardia. She had an appointment with her doctor on Wednesday (3/14), and they elected to begin weaning her off of the Procardia. She is still on bed rest (though she is not required to remain in bed every second of every day - she’s just not allowed to, you know, go rollerblading or anything) and probably won’t go back to work next week, at least at first.

Our little guy is coming together, though - he even managed to learn when they would attach the heart monitor to Amy, which was done by running a long elastic band around her belly, with a sensor attached that can detect the baby’s heartbeat. He has been an active little fella, all the time swimming around and kicking Amy - and it got to the point, while she was at the hospital, that she could feel him swimming away from the sensor when they put the heart monitor on her. The heart monitor also amplified the sound of his kicks, which, through the heart monitor, sounded almost like little claps of thunder. During her stay, she had an ultrasound done, and they got a picture of him waving his little baby hand - and the ultrasound person put a caption at the bottom of the picture which read: “Hi, Mom!” The ultrasound also revealed that he weighed two pounds and eight ounces, which is teeny tiny, but is also apparently relatively normal for this stage of pregnancy - they get much bigger in the last couple of months, apparently, than they do during the first two trimesters.

That’s pretty much the story. I went back and read through the notes I made while I was at the hospital, and have included most of that material - I spent those two nights at the hospital in a fairly uncomfortable chair next to Amy’s bed, and was able to do quite a lot of writing - Amy looked over at me at one point, smiled, and said that this experience would probably make quite the post for the Baby Blog. And so it has.


Last King of SCOOTland said...

Good to hear they are alright. Sounds as though Amy is quite the acrobat. Makes me wonder how she would take a knee-to-knee shot out on your folks driveway/bascket ball court.

Hillary said...

As one who has seen said ultrasound, I would like to say that is is quite possibly the "best ever" for that photographic genre.