Once I was admitted to hospital the bleeding settled down and thankfully I had no new bleeds. Every time they ran a trace on mini matty he was as happy as a baby swimming in the perfect amount of amniotic fluid can be. Kicking and swooshing away. They also did six hourly observations on me, where they did an ultrasound of mini matty's heartbeat too.
On the first morning I woke up and was looking at my patient information white board. It contained the name of the current midwife, frequency for my observations, frequency for the baby trace, my condition and there was a little section for things my doctor wanted me to do. Written there was ICN tour.
ICN tour. ICN tour. I remember my ob said he'd like us to do a tour of the nursery. The IC nursery? The penny drops - the intensive care nursery. It's 6am, I've barely slept being pumped full of steroids and full of worry. Thinking about going to the intensive care nursery I start to cry. I keep thinking about mini matty being born now and how little he would be. I don't want to get myself unnecessarily worked up. I text hubby to tell him I'm awake and am pleased with his reply that he has packed my bag and will be heading back to the hospital shortly. Not long for me sit on my own and over-think the tour.
When Matt arrives we decide it is time to call our families and let them know we are in hospital. It is hard to tell your family when this stuff is going on as you don't have a lot of information and can't reassure them.
When my ob visits in the morning he again feels my tummy and asks questions about whether I've had any tightening or additional bleeding. All good on both fronts. He says he is going to have me sent for an ultrasound, but that they might not be able to do it that day as it is a Sunday. He says getting the ultrasound won't make any difference to the outcome (that is, if I'm going to go into labour, it is going to happen whether I've had an ultrasound that day, or the next). The ob says we definitely aren't going to our antenatal class that day either. Resting is the order of the day. He says bed rest doesn't mean I can't get up and go for a walk. A walk around the ward is fine, even into the hospital grounds, just don't be going down to Southbank (that would be about 1 kilometre from the hospital).
Matt pops down to the antenatal class and tells the midwife we aren't going to make it to the second day of classes as we were instead trialling the facilities.
I'm all washed out with terribly dark circles under my eyes so we decide after we've had the first trace that we will go to the cafe in the hospital foyer and sit in the sun while having a coffee. It is a beautiful day outside, a bit of sun on the skin is a delight. Matt goes back to the car to get something sorted out with the parking and I head back into the hospital.
Being in the hospital is pretty boring for Matt, but as a patient I feel relatively busy, with all the regular monitoring, meals and snacks arriving every couple of hours. Being hooked up to the trace for 30-45 minutes twice a day sucks up a lot time just watching what baby is doing.
|Matt trying to rest on the hubby day bed|
I quickly got obsessed with the monitoring. I wasn't worried about my observations, just mini matty's. What his pulse was doing, how much he was moving. If he was quiet for a little bit during the day I'd be looking at the clock counting down to the next trace or baby heartbeat ultrasound. I could sense I was getting a little too into it. I started on the self talk to get myself back to earth - you can feel him moving - he is okay. He is moving as much as he was before the incident - he is okay. All the monitoring has shown he is okay.
On the Sunday we finally are ushered off for the intensive care nursery tour. I've confessed to Matt during the day that I'm nervous about going to pieces during the tour. When we get to ICN the team leader asks questions about how many weeks we are and if we've been told an estimate of the baby's weight. When we say 30 weeks and 1.7 kilos, she says that's great, he's a good size. Another couple joins us at this point for the tour - they are 28 weeks and don't know an estimate of their baby's weight.
The nurse explains the different nursery rooms to us and starts our tour in the most intensive care room. We have to disinfect our hands before we go in. She points out to us a tiny little baby that was born at 29 weeks, and weighs about what our little fella would. Baby is in an incubator, with a feeding tube in his nose. The nurse explains he isn't on a respirator, but is breathing for himself with a CPAP machine (like people with sleep apnea use). The baby is so tiny and so cute. The room is so quiet, with 8 - 10 of these incubators with tiny babies in them. One of them is glowing blue, which the nurse explains is a treatment for jaundice babies.
We go to the next room. There are more mothers in this room and the babies are in a mix of incubators and cots. A mother kindly let's us look at her little baby who is in a cot. He is now 4 weeks old, having been born at 29 weeks and weighing around 1.5 kilos. He has gained 500 grams and looks absolutely adorable, although tiny. He is wrapped up tightly in blankets and is making this cute squeaky sound. He looks perfect. He still needs a feeding tube, but is being trained to moving to sucking for his food. I thank the mum for letting us see him and congratulate her on her cute baby.
We then move onto the last room. This room has loads of people in it. It is the last room the babies go to before they go home. We can't go in as it is already so busy. The nurse tells us that from here, the parents then come back to hospital for a couple of nights and have the baby room in with them and they have the same type of support as women who have their babies at full-term do, to help them get used to taking care of the baby on their own. She tells us that babies are usually the equivalent of about 35-36 weeks before this happens (quick mental calculation - mini matty would be about 5-6 weeks in ICN if born now).
The tour is over and we head back to my room. It was a lot better than I thought it would be. A lot more comforting. A lot calmer. I thought there would be beeping machines and wailing mothers. But no, it was all very quiet and all those tiny babies looked so cute. But still, we want mini matty to stay put!
We have a few visitors on Sunday afternoon. Matt goes home again overnight. I have my second baby lung maturing steroid injection and settle in for the funniest baby trace ever, with mini matty going at full speed pumped up on steroids. They ended up having to leave the trace on a really long time to get a base rate where he wasn't moving.
|Mini Matty's roid rage trace. The black squares on the bottom trace indicate when he moving!|
Monday was about the same as Sunday, with the only thing to break up the day being the ultrasound, that didn't happen until after 4pm. Mini matty looked perfectly fine during the ultrasound. They did all the measurements again - and again he had a 97th percentile tummy! They did an internal scan to try and measure where the placenta was in relation to the cervix, but the bleed was in the way, so they couldn't really make out the edge of the placenta. The best thing about the scan was the 3D face images. I usually hate ultrasound images especially the 3D images. I always think it they make the baby look wrong. The last one I'd had at 20-weeks, the baby looked like voldemort! Here we were at 30 weeks and finally picture of mini matty's face was quite cute. He looked like a baby.
|Mini Matty's face, with his arm behind.|
Hooray. Of three bad things and one good thing that could happen, we are looking like we are going have the one good thing happen - nothing!
At home I get a chance to really rest - including having a much better night's sleep in our own bed. We made it through seven days with nothing else happening and both of us started to breathe a little easier. We missed out on a family wedding in northern New South Wales, as the ob thought just in case anything did go wrong - it was too far from the hospital.
In fact I'm now an amazing 32-weeks pregnant! Mini matty is still in utero having a lovely time swishing around. I'm not worried about the monitoring, because our baby moves and moves. I know some people don't love it, but I LOVE my baby moving. The bigger the better. I love it when I can see my whole tummy wobbling with mini matty swooshes and kicks.