The doctor who is making rounds the next day is impressed that I have made over a week without going into labor, explaining that that is extremely rare. Then he sees my arm, which is bruised, red and swollen asking me what has happened. He seemed pretty upset and calls for the nurse himself, to remove the IV from my arm. Apparently I have developed an infection and thinking back to the nurse who tried so hard to put the IV needle in, it’s not hard to imagine why. I get really scared when hearing the word ”infection” but the doctor reassures me that is not the kind of an infection we worry about. He reminds me again that I need to tell someone right away if I develop abdominal tenderness, bleeding, cramping or foul smelling discharge (sorry again). The nurse bandage my sore right arm after she slowly takes the needle out (which kind of hurts…a lot) as she tells me not to worry, no IV will be needed for a while; they will let my arm heal. People are being really nice, stories are pouring in to my Facebook and e-mail about women having preemies who made it out okay. The real success stories warm my heart and I am so thankful to my friends and family who are really truly there for me. Another one of my friends, who was on bed rest during her first pregnancy, comes over the next day with a bunch of goodies and stories of her now 7 years old son who is such a great, motivated and smart kid, he was a 35 weeks preemie. I feel bad that some of my other friends can’t come over because of the very strict rules about infections. Some of them worry that they might have a cold or something lingering which might get me sick, I really appreciate their concern and even though I am far from a germ phoebe, I do realize the seriousness of this situation. I miss my son, I miss my friends, I miss my house, my dog my husband and my everyday activities (I even miss loading the dishwasher and doing the laundry) and I really want to see my mom. A Swedish nurse (yes she is an actual swede, speaks it and everything!) stops by my room for a long chat. She is a woman in her sixties, funny and warm. She loves speaking Swedish with me and she is telling me about her three sons and grandchildren and how her parents moved here after having visited her after she had completed an exchange year in high school. I gently try to steer the topic over to my diagnosis and the fact that I don’t feel like I’m being heard here. She agrees that it is different here than in Sweden and that medical professionals are scared to tell you too much but she also tells me that they really don’t want to scare me right now and it’s important for me to stay calm and relaxed. Hmm, I heard that one before, but I can’t help to think about what they might be keeping from me and wonder if they worry about something without telling me. I am the mommy to be after all and I have the right to know if something is wrong with my baby. At night I pray yet again that my baby will be fine and that everything will be okay.
Finally my mother comes to visit me at the hospital after having completely recovered from the flu. It is really great to see her! We chat easily as always, focusing on the positive aspects of my situation and outcomes for our little baby girl. Our son is there of course, eating my snacks and watching cartoons. He seems happy to be here and I know my mom is taking great care of him, I still feel guilty though. I can’t stop hugging and kissing him as he giggles and squirms next to me in my hospital bed, my beautiful, smart, grown up kid. My husband tries to take a nap on the slim and very uncomfortable couch by the window (that you can’t open to get even a little fresh air) in my tiny hospital room (my home now until I deliver). It isn’t long though before our son wakes him up. Starting to get antsy, he is bouncing on my bed, running from dada to mama to “momo” (grandma), asking for more chocolate chip cookies. This is why they can’t stay long. The rest of the day is pretty uneventful, which is great but incredibly boring (I can’t believe that I have been here for almost two weeks now). After the scare of my baby squishing the umbilical cord in the middle of the night and her heart rate going down, I welcome it however. I watch some extremely bad daytime TV and try to take a nap which is interrupted several times by hospital staff, volunteers, nurses and the housekeeper. I feel tired, drained really and happy that I took a shower earlier during the day (I’m finally allowed five minutes, weekly showers). In the evening my fever (only low grade before but enough to warrant a call to the doctor) is back down and I feel up for some dinner and reality TV (I can actually feel my brain cells melt). I go on the “scary” monitor at 8 o’clock, since the time change this morning I feel slightly out of sync with the times. I took the last antibiotics this morning and am a little confused as to why they wouldn’t keep giving them to me until I go into labor. They keep talking about the big threat of infection; wouldn’t the antibiotics keep me (us) from getting an infection? But maybe too much would be bad for the baby? I’ll have to remember to ask the doctor in the early morning when they come by. The questions keep piling up, unfortunately the answers don’t. I have never seen the same doctor twice and my own doctor is still on vacation until next week (perfect timing, don’t you think). I’m already quite known for all my questions around here and I do feel like a broken record. I’m sure the doctors are starting to get annoyed with me by now but, hello, “why am I here?”, “what exactly happened”, “what is the exact diagnosis?” and “will my baby be okay?” I do understand that they can’t have all the answers, I really do but it sure is frustrating. Luckily I’m a calm, positive and extremely stubborn person, but I worry that I have at least two more weeks until my baby is 34 weeks. I’ll be 32 weeks tomorrow but they tell me that she is still tiny. She has to keep “cooking” and she will if I have anything to say about it. I feel fine and I’m having a difficult time believing that something can happen suddenly from one minute to the next despite the nurse’s and doctor’s warnings that it might. Doctors still seem to think it will be unlikely to make it another two weeks. I don’t think there is an alternative; she is still way too small and underdeveloped. We didn’t expect her for at least another seven weeks. At 34 weeks, she will still be way to early (clinically 6 weeks but 5 weeks earlier than my scheduled C-section) but I know that everyone here is very impressed that we have already made it this far. A baby’s lungs, digestive and immune system develop last. It’s incredibly frightening to think something might be wrong with our baby girl. It is completely unbelievable that less than two weeks ago I thought we had more than two months to prepare, plan and get ready for the arrival of our princess.