Monday, September 15, 2008

"I'm here..."

So I started to notice a pattern. My body seems to do well the first 3 to 4 days after my progesterone injection (I get those on Tuesday). I still have contractions daily, but most are not very strong and they are usually spread out for longer periods of time. By Friday night/midday Saturday, the contractions start to pick up. They are closer together and become more intense in nature. Not painful but pretty uncomfortable. Oddly enough, around the same time, I notice an increase in anxiety, doubt and the feeling that this will never work. Makes for a good weekend!

I found myself in that pit last night. Blake and I were on the couch, at 9:30, eating dinner. I hesitantly took one terbutaline Saturday night and one Sunday at lunch because the pattern mentioned above was in full effect. I was told to take one, every 8 hours, as needed, when I have more than 4 contractions in an hour. By the time we had our very late dinner, ten hours had passed since having taken the first pill. It was safe to take a second. The next part of the story went something like this:

Me: "Should I take one?"

Blake: "Have you had 4 contractions in the last hour?"

Me: "Probably. Maybe more."

Blake: "Well, then take one. That is what they are for."

Me: starts to cry

Blake: "Why are you crying?"

Me: trying to pretend like I am not crying but obviously am, blurts, "I don't want to HAVE to take medicine. I don't want to build up a tolerance and have it become ineffective. Why can't my body just be normal? Why does this keep happening? I know God has the power to stop these stupid contractions but He doesn't and that makes me so mad."

Blake was basically at a loss for words but managed to say something back. I wiped my eyes and just took the stupid pill. Bottom line, terbutaline can lose its effectiveness if consistently taken over a period of time. 16+ weeks is a long period of time. I am so concerned with its becoming ineffective that I am scared to death to actually take it. To further impact the situation, I have also allowed myself to believe I am failing by having to take medicine in the first place.

...I promise this is going somewhere...

I met a new friend a while back through the blog (they are good for something). At that time, she shared her story of losing twin girls during her first pregnancy. More recently, she told me she also experienced preterm labor with her second pregnancy. During a moment of calm yesterday afternoon, I wrote asking to hear more details of her journey. Not expecting a response for a few days or so, I was shocked to find this in my inbox right after my breakdown with Blake:

(I omitted a few things for her privacy!)

Hey Danielle! I wanted to answer a few of your questions- I think they might help ease your mind. With little girl I was admitted to the hospital a little before 20 weeks with contractions every 2 minutes, given shots of terb. every 4 hours and monitored for about 4 days. A couple of times during the middle of the night, the nurses would rush in and switch my position, make me drink water, etc. Twice they were getting ready to move me to labor and delivery because they were certain I was in labor. I had a specialist come and do an ultrasound which revealed that my cervix wasn't being affected by the contractions- A BIG SIGH OF RELIEF! However, I was given terb. and told to take around the clock- not just when I felt the contractions- every 4 hours which meant setting the alarm and taking them in the middle of the night. My doc said that research has shown that the more you take it, the less effective it becomes, but that she didn't want to take any chances. Neither did I! The terb made me feel awful, just really jittery and anxious, but did help calm the contractions- but made the baby go CRAZY in my tummy!! I was also given progesterone suppositories.- we talked about shots, but at the time they were still conducting studies on them, so we opted for the other method. So I was on complete bedrest- only getting up for a total of 45 minutes a day to take a shower and go to the bathroom- We pulled our mattress downstairs so that I wouldn't have to climb the stairs everyday and slept in the living room- the change of scenery really helped. I was admitted to the hospital 3 more times, with the last being at 34 weeks- this was the one that made me miss my baby shower. That was the BAD one where I was given the strong meds that made me soooo sick- it was also that time that I got steroids for the baby's lungs because it looked like she would come sooner than later- but... she didn't! She was only 10 days early- I even carried her 10 days after I had my cerclage removed- which shocked everyone! So I basically lived in constant fear for 19 weeks. But get this... with the baby that I delivered in November 07, I didn't have a SINGLE contraction until I went into labor 3 days before his due date. That really made me realize that every pregnancy is different- and he was 3 pounds heavier and 3 inches longer than little girl- go figure!! Just keep taking your meds, stay as horizontal as possible and don't be afraid to go to the hospital if something doesn't feel quite right- you have the right to be a nervous wreck. I am sure that you have found them already, but just in case, check into the online chat groups of mothers on bedrest- it makes it nice to know that there are a lot of women around the world doing the exact same thing that you are doing at this exact moment. At what date will you be 28 weeks? I remember my nurse telling me during one of my visits that if I could get to 28 weeks, I would definitely have a baby- scary, but definitely gave me a date to look forward to. Just remember that I am thinking of you and just remember what a great thing you are doing for that little guy inside your belly.

I cannot explain how perfect her timing was in sending this message. It was such a blessing that I felt compelled to dedicate and entire post to telling the world about it. Okay, maybe not the world but you get the point. She took the medicine as long as I need to. She took it more frequently than I am. Yes, she was admitted a few times but we are already expecting me to do the same, at some point anyway, too! No my story may not turn out as hers did. But hearing it gave me the fuel I needed to get through another day.

I feel like I need to give credit where credit is due. When Blake and I got in bed, our conversation went something like this:

Me: "This may be silly because maybe God doesn't work this seems like He used "her'" to let me know He is working."

Blake: "I think He does work that way and I think He probably was using the email to speak to you."

I feel like I have said I don't feel God a million times. It only seems right to tell you I think He revealed Himself last night through an email. I think He was saying, "I am here. I am trying to help you. You have been provided with the means to stop your contractions and they are laying a foot away from your face. Take one and shut up!!!!"

So, maybe He didn't say shut up. Or, if you have read The Shack, maybe He did! I deserved it either way!


Heather said...

I'm really glad that you found encouragement last night. Everyone at Share Group is praying for you. We love you!

Anonymous said...

danielle, of course God used the email to encourage you....that is exactly how i beleive He works...through others!! we are to be Jesus with flesh on! i truly don't think there are coicidents (sp)?? in life! God knows all, sees all and is in control...even when we don't feel it. I have found that feelings...of which my cup runneth over in...can be so misleading. truth is far safer! God uses every situation to teach us something...if we will just let Him. THe Message...david prayed "God, teach me lessons for living so i can stay the course."Ps. 119:33 . keep resting, keep trusting! (your blog is my new obsession) keeps you in my thoughts and prayers...and really thoughts that lift others to God are the same as prayers...without ceasing...cause God knows our hearts! He is indeed a Mighty God!! love, bettie

Adrian Freeman said...

I was about to suggest you read "The Shack". Powerful book. But we still want it our way don't we? Even if we could talk to God (Papa) and he sat at the table and talked back to us, we probably would not be satisfied with His answer if it wasn't what we wanted. I am sure He sees us as strange creatures.

Carla and Daryl said...

your newfound friend certainly does seem like god was working through her. i'm glad you posted her encouragement to you and makes us all realize that god is there, he cares, and he helps if we could just open our eyes or listen and hear what is being said to us. sometimes it just takes our realizing these wonderful opportunities of reassurance and comfort all around us (usually right under our nose). i'm so glad you were blessed in this way yesterday and it made you feel so much better. hope today is a good day for you!

Rachel said...

I just want you to know that Dan and I love you and your crazy self. And if I were to tell you some of the ways God has talked to me you would have me commited, so I think that email might as well have had "heaven" in the from box.

Christy said...

Glad He was able to speak to you through your friend. Many prayers are still being said for your little family

Anonymous said...

Okay, I am a psychiatric crisis specialist...well, that's one of my jobs anyway...and I don't think you or Rachel need to be committed just yet! If I haven't been deemed mentally incompetent up to this point, you all should be just fine! But let me know if any little birds start talking to you, and I'll make sure you get a first-class room! :) Love you! Jill

stance. said...

Love it! It is an answer to prayers for you to hear God speaking through that and to hear you (read you?) encouraged. We are still praying and believing for you!!