We got a phone call that they were taking Birth Mom to the hospital because she had been having pains all day. We me them there and spent the next few hours in labor & delivery being monitored. She was not having contractions, but her blood pressure was high. Baby's heart rate was fine and Birth Mom's lab work was good, but they sent her home with the stuff to do a 24 hours urine collection and orders for us to come back in 24 hours for lab work and more monitoring.
Back to the hospital, Birth Mom on the monitors while the lab processed the urine for protien (that would indicate pre ecplampsia, explain the high blood pressure and indicate need for intervention). The lab took forever, but Birth Mom's blood pressure was in a more acceptable range and baby's heart rate was pretty good. The lab work came back fine. No pre eclampsia. It was almost midnight before we left the hospital.
I picked Birth Mom up at her home, we had lunch together and then I took her for her regular 37 week check up with the OB. It took 3 nurses and 20 minutes in the clinic for them to declare that they couldn't keep baby on the monitor and that we should go upstairs to labor & delivery for monitoring because their machines are much better. Labor & delivery nurses immediately found baby's heart rate (it was there the whole time, she was just playing a game of hide & seek) and left Birth Mom on the monitors. We were beginning to get a little frustrated that we had been in that tiny room for an hour and a half with nobody checking in to let us know what was going on (they can see all the information from the monitors on their computers at the nurses station, so I knew that's what they were doing), but I've become quite good at deciphering what all the numbers on the screen means, so I wasn't too worried. Eventually the doctor came in, apologized for taking so long, but explained that baby's heart rate is on the baseline of acceptable and monitoring for a longer period was necessary. Good news... even though Eleanor's heart rate is on the low end (that's sort of normal for her) she shows good reactivity (which means her heart rate goes up when she moves) and that is good because it means she's getting enough oxygen. The fact that Eleanor's baseline heart rate is so low could mean that she doesn't have as much room for the fluctuations that come with the stress of labor & delivery. It's just important to keep a close eye on her, but she's doing okay. Not as good news: Birth Mom is not dilating at all and baby is still really high. For a first time mother and a normal pregnancy, this would be no big deal (she's only 37 weeks and typical gestation is 40 weeks). However, in our situation, this means that Birth Mom's body is not doing any physical prep work for labor on its own and induction (and a subsequent natural delivery) can be really difficult and sometimes not possible if the mother's body isn't at least doing a little bit on its own. For this reason, we have not scheduled a specific day for inducing labor. If waiting a couple extra days to see if Birth Mom's body starts progressing will help, then that's preferable over a c section. So, here's the plan... I have to take Birth Mom back to labor & delivery on Friday morning for more monitoring, just to make sure Eleanor is doing okay. If things look okay on Friday then I will take her back next Tuesday and we will do it all again. The absolute main goal of all of this:
1. Make sure baby is doing well and that she is delivered if need be.
2. Knowing the right time and method of delivery for both baby & Birth Mom's safety.
More specific? Baby being born around 38 weeks has been recommended by the specialist because of her intrauterine growth restriction. Next Wednesday, July 1st, is 38 weeks gestation. Vaginal delivery is preferred, but inducing may not be effective at making that happen if Birth Mom's body doesn't start doing something on it's own (dilating a little, baby dropping lower, etc.). They can try inducing no matter what, but if nothing is happening after 18-20 hours or if baby has a hard time tolerating the stress of that, a c section is likely. If the doctor ever feels like baby is at risk or not doing well, she will deliver immediately. I know this and I take comfort in this, but I pray for Birth Mom. She is very nervous and afraid of the high possibility of a caesarean. Please continue to pray with us. One thing is for certain, we will have a baby by the end of next week. Exactly when and by what means are in God's hands.