Saturday, April 19, 2008

Another Hospital Visit

Yesterday I went for the babies stress test and they sent me to Labor Hall to be evaluated because I was having a lot of contractions. (what's new?) The babies activity and heart rates looked good on the test but she did have to "buzz" them a few times to get them motivated. They have a little buzzer that they use against my belly and they don't like it.  They were moving a lot in the car and then as soon as they hooked up those monitors they went into chill mode.

So we went to Labor Hall and went through the registration process. I'm not sure why we didn't have to do that before unless the doctor that I called took care of it. They hooked me up to the monitors and gave me an early dose of medicine for contractions. The contractions slowed down and spaced further apart eventually and they sent me home. The babies were really active in there. It is interesting how varied their heart rates are. When I have a contraction the babies heart rates go up to the high 170's. They said that after 32 weeks their nervous systems are developed enough to react. So if I have a contraction, their heart rates should go up, the same as if they move. That's what they look for. If the babies didn't react there could be something wrong. 

I had the same doc as I had last time when I was in the hospital. He seemed a little better this time but he doesn't make eye contact and isn't very personable. He checked my cervix and it's starting to change. Dilation was almost 1 centimeter (just starting to open). Effacement = 50% (1/2 the full size) Station of presenting baby was -1. He said these were normal for twins at 33 weeks. 

He said we've made it out of the danger zone at almost 34 weeks. (Sunday) He said they would like to see me go another 2 weeks to get to 36 and they wouldn't let me go past 38. What happened to 34? I knew that was gonna happen. At 36 weeks they are very likely to avoid the NICU. That would be pretty awesome. I saw a baby born on TV by csection at 34 weeks and it's amazing, I expected it to look much smaller. It was 4lbs 11oz. The boy we know is around 4lbs 7oz so it was pretty comparable. It's still kinda surreal even with feet popping out every where that there are TWO little babies in my belly. Nick was figuring from the last ultrasound measurements that their little thighs are 2-1/2 inches now. I can't wait to see them. :)


Dilation is the width that the cervix is open. Dilation can begin before labor actually starts, or in early labor, and is measured in centimeters. For most deliveries, the cervix needs to dilate from zero (not dilated at all) to 10 centimeters (fully dilated) before pushing can begin and the baby delivered. This range is based on the fact that a full-term baby's head is about 10 centimeters across.

Effacement is the shortening, or thinning, of the cervix. Like dilation, it begins before or during early labor. Before effacement takes place, the cervix is like a long bottleneck, usually about 4 centimeters in length. As effacement takes place, the cervix then shortens, or effaces, pulling up into the uterus and becoming part of the lower uterine wall. Effacement may be measured in percentages, from zero percent (not effaced at all) to 100 percent, which describes a paper-thin cervix.

Station refers to how high the baby's head, or other presenting part, is in the pelvis. This information is important because practitioners need to get a sense of how far the baby has descended into the birth canal. Station is determined by feeling where the baby rests in relation to the ischial spines, the parts of the pelvic girdle that protrude slightly in toward the birth canal and can be felt inside the vagina by an experienced examiner.

Station is measured from minus 5 to plus 5. Minus 5 station means the baby is floating above the pelvis. Zero station means the baby has dropped or engaged well into the pelvis and that his head rests right at the level of the ischial spines. And plus 5 means the baby's head not only has come down past the ischial spines, but also is visible at the opening of the vagina (also known as crowning). While the principle is still the same, some practitioners use a scale of minus 3 to plus 3 instead of 5.

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