On Tuesday, 2/24, at 3 am, my water broke, at only 23 weeks. Ever the non-believer I insisted that my husband, the testing VP at my school, get me out of a testing classroom that day and into a hall monitor position so that I could be near a bathroom since I clearly couldn't control my bladder.
Luckily, I consulted a message board and was told by over 20 women in 5 minutes that my water had probably broken and I needed to go get checked. (I then verified this with my mother, who agreed, thanks Mom.)
After 4 hours of waiting (which made me think, hey, nothing's wrong!), my amniotic fluid swab came back positive. An ultrasound of my fluid levels put me at a 7.4 AFI (just a seemingly not very scientific random measurement of the "biggest pocket of fluid").
Nobody knows how the rupture happens, I was not at-risk, and my 2.5 year old was born on time.
Before I could even meet with my OB regarding these results, I met with the head of the NICU's neonatologist. She was nice, informative, but perhaps overly so. At 23 weeks, the outcome was not good. 36% chance of survival if born now, with a host of horrible problems that could occur including brain bleeds and heart problems.
What I cling to now, though, is that at 24 weeks (that's Monday, 3/2), Penelope's chance of survival goes up to 59%. Also, being a girl really helps her chances of survival for some reason.
So I am now confined to bed rest at the hospital. I had 48 hours of IV antibiotics to prevent infection (amniotic fluid is the sterile protectant for babies) and 2 shots of steroids to beef up her lungs.
As long as the placenta stays in place (no bleeding) and neither of us gets an infection, she is good to stay in up until she reached 34 weeks. At that time, the risk of infection is too great and she would be delivered and taken to the NICU.
Right now my fluid levels are really low, 2.4. But, apparently anything after 22 weeks gives a good shot at lung development despite low levels.
The NICU at my hospital is almost the highest level the AAP recognizes, so I am confident in their ability to care for our little Penny.
Right now the hardest part is being away from my husband and 2.5 year old. I know there is a lot to do with me not there to help out, but our extended family and friends have been amazing.
So, we are remaining positive, but realistic. Prayers and love are appreciated. <3
Chilling in bed with my "Buzz Lightyear Laser"