Scary False Alarm

On Monday February 18th around noon Jessica started having regular contraction that quickly moved from uncomfortable to painful. Jess called her local OB but she instructed us to contact the triage department at U of M. It was now 1:30 and Jess had already tried all the usual remedies to slow contractions so they told us we should come in for observation. Dan immediately came home from work, packed the car and by 2pm we were on the road. We arrived in Ann Arbor around 3 but it took over an hour to get a bed in the triage department because they had so many other emergencies. Jess was put on monitors and given IV fluids aggressively to make sure dehydration was not a factor in the contractions. By 7 p.m. the decision was made to admit her to stay overnight for observation. The baby seemed to be unaffected by the events as he was very active and had a great heart rate. If fact he was so active they had a hard time keeping the heart rate monitor positioned to pickup his heart rate. One side effect of CDH is that the baby cannot properly regulate the amniotic fluid. A typical baby will drink a certain amount of the fluid but since his stomach was in his chest it was compressed and did not allow him to drink much. Because of this Jess had about twice the amount of amniotic fluid of a typical pregnancy. This allowed the baby to have a lot more room to move…and he took advantage of it! When we arrived at the hospital he was breach but the next morning he was back to normal position, but still kicking and swimming around.

Over the course of the evening and night the contractions slowed and eased to the point Jess was able to try and rest. At 12am however we were woken by residents and interns who came in to discuss the situation. Then at 2am Dr. Treadwell one of the high risk OB’s came in and had a conversation with us. She answered our questions and told us she wanted to give Jess a set of two steroid shots which would help the babies lung development should he still decide to come early. At 2:30am she got the shot.

Tuesday the decision was made to keep her another night since she still has having some contractions even though she was not feeling all of them. In addition they wanted to wait 24 hours from the time of her first steroid shot to give her second one which was administered at 2am Wednesday morning. Around 9am Dr. Day, another high risk OB whom we had met on previous visits, came in to talk with us. She was sending us home but explained that due to the extra fluid contractions would be a normal part of Jess’s life until birth. They would consider draining some of the fluid if needed but since that procedure is not risk free and she felt Jess had some more room to expand they would not do it yet. She scheduled us to come back in a week and a half for a checkup and ultrasound to measure her fluid level. We were discharged around 10am and were able to come home. Jess was given instructions to take it easy, she could work a couple days a week but to stay off her feet as much as possible and to listen to her body.

31 Week Ultrasounds

31 Weeks 2_19_13_0004 31 Weeks 2_19_13_0015 31 Weeks 2_19_13_0011


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