23 weeks + 4 days, 6 weeks + 6 days post rupture, 1st day at my parent's house
(Note: Doctors are putting me 2 days behind this due date above...so I'm 23 + 2 according to them).
I lasted 5 days in hospital before I couldn't take it anymore. I was lonely, sad, miserable, uncomfortable and not sleeping. But the straw that finally broke the camel's back?
I have no fluid left.
It is all gone.
Acorn continues to be breech, and it sitting directly on my cervix. Any fluid he makes immediately comes out. Unless a miracle occurs, I think my days of building up fluid are over. It feels like the universe is conspiring against us.
After my ultrasound, I laid in my hospital bed and cried and cried (while my room mate sat behind the curtain and chatted with her Dad. Weird feeling to be sobbing and in the depths of despair while overhearing normal conversation). I had hoped for even just a bit of fluid. A lovely pocket or two. But the ultrasound now looks just like Aidan's. A baby who is jammed between a giant ball of a placenta and the uterine wall. I was crushed. Brian was crushed.
They sent in a Neonatologist to talk to us. I knew her. She used to be a fellow (doctor in training) at the NICU where I worked. Now she's staff at this NICU. It was weird discussing MY baby with her and not a patient. She knows I know the score. She stated that their hospital's 24 week survivor stats are about 60% (better than I thought, although she didn't comment on their 'intact' survival rate). However she did say that baby's born to pPROM moms tend to do poorer than a 24 weeker whose mom has just gone into labour after a normal pregnancy up to that point. She didn't say how much lower our chances of survival were, just 'lower'. Basically said it would be evident immediately or very shortly after delivery as to whether Acorn's lungs had developed enough to continue life support. It was awful to watch Brian during this conversation. He just sat there staring into space. It was like he wasn't listening, wasn't hearing...had just shut down. It was kind of scary.
My doctors were happy to let me go to my parent's place. They know I know how bad things are. There was and is nothing they can do until "24 weeks", and generally they wouldn't even have considered admitting me until I reached that point (which is Monday in their eyes). So last night we packed up my stuff and came to my parent's house. We have a letter to give paramedics directing them back to that hospital in case I go into labour. They have a file started on me in L&D triage so hopefully there will quicker action and less 'fussing' if I roll through the door in labour(last time they wanted to put me on a monitor to detect the baby's heart rate and have me pee in a cup...and I was in too much pain to say "JUST START THE FUCKING IV IN CASE I CODE!!!!" I have since directed my family to advocate on this point for me).
I tried to stay at the hospital for my husband's sake. I know he was more comfortable having me there...but with the hopes we are being given right now (literally zero unless I can make 24 weeks and even then it's low), I just couldn't stay there. I can't lay in that hospital bed, with the baby's heart beat being checked multiple times per day, and people asking me if I know whether it's a boy or a girl, or seeing posters on the wall about baby development and breastfeeding...and all the while thinking, "what does it matter?" As much as I love Acorn, being in that hospital doesn't help him at all right now, and while it might marginally make me feel medically more secure, it was crushing me emotionally. I kept having panic type attacks and each time I would be afraid to alert the nurses in case they thought I was in labour, or something bad was happening with my heart. I feel I can monitor myself just as well here. I'm now living 20 minutes down the road from the hospital. I just hope it will be close enough if anything starts to happen.
It is awful to be caught in this world of 'knowing' and also 'not knowing'. We know how hard it is to lose a child. We know how scary and possibly dangerous my delivery might be. We know how important it is to be close to medical care. We also know I recovered well from delivery last time. We know we got to spend precious time with our child after I delivered, even though he was dead and that we will cherish those memories forever. We know how much we love Aidan and how much we love Acorn.
We don't know how much longer I'll stay pregnant. We don't know if Acorn's chances will be zero or > zero when he eventually arrives. We don't know how sick he might be if he does make it through the immediate delivery period. We don't know how well I'll handle delivery. We don't know how we will financially cope with all the income lost over the last few months. We don't know when would be a good time to be admitted back to hospital if I do continue for more weeks. Should I go back at 24 weeks or wait longer? Will me being hospitalized make a difference or not?
The weight of the decisions, sadness and the unknown is almost unbearable.