After it became apparent that Calvin wasn’t going to insist on being born immediately, one of the nurse practitioners looked into my options for either going home or going to Longmont Hospital (LUH). Apparently there’s some sort of insurance issue where Denver couldnt release me directly to Longmont Hospital. Instead, I would have to go home and then if I felt my contractions increasing, I would need to go to the hospital and get admitted if appropriate (or they might just give me a shot and send me home).
After talking to LUH, the nurse practitioner learned that the soonest Longmont would feel comfortable taking me versus flying me to Denver again was at 34 weeks. I was dubious about going back home on the edge of what LUH felt they could handle. I talked to my obstetrician and she said that at 34-35 weeks, there was roughly a 50% chance they would go ahead and let me labor at the hospital but then would fly Calvin back to Denver. I didnt like this idea at all since everyone agreed that babies who need to be transported to a second hospital tend not to do as well as if the hospital they are born at can support them. However, Jaeger was going a little crazy trying to work, commute to Denver to see me, and then go back to Longmont to sleep every night.
Tuesday night my monitor showed more contractions than the nurse practitioner felt comfortable with (they seemed fairly mild to me but I guess Ive always had a hard time gauging them). She and my night nurse popped in my room to check how I was feeling and see if they needed to give me another shot. The nurse practitioner asked me if I felt like getting another exam to see if my cervix was continuing to dilate. This seemed reasonable especially since we were going to have to decided whether or not to go home soon and obviously further dilation would be a bad sign. Somewhat to our astonishment, she discovered that my cervix was pretty long, the baby was way up there and my dilation had decreased to under 3 cm. (Later, one of the nurses suggested that LUH had just messed up my initial exam and was crestfallen when I informed her that they had also checked me when I had first arrived at Denver and also decided I was 4 cm). All in all, the results seemed very positive. I had been a little afraid I had continued dilating without realizing it.
Thursday, when I was officially 34 weeks, we talked to one of the doctors in Denver. She said the most likely reason Longmont would fly young babies to another hospital was if the babies needed extra help breathing. She suggested that we could either wait till 35 weeks before going home, thus giving his lungs a better chance to develop, or we could do another fetal lung maturity (FLM) test to see where his lung development currently was.
After talking it over, Jaeger and I decided to go with the FLM test in the hopes of getting a little more data. I had the test that night and they had the results back to me within two hours. When I was first admitted to Denver they had done an amniocentesis and at that point the test showed him at around 13 mg/G (anything under 39 is considered immature and anything over 55 is considered mature). In spite of the steroid shots I had received earlier, it sounded like none of the nurses expected to see enough improvement to consider his lungs mature. However, the test results came back at 55.86 mg/G, enough to be considered mature. Naturally, we cant completely rely on test results to predict how hed do once he was born but it seemed another positive indicator. With the combination of my cervix no longer continuing to dilate and his lung maturity looking pretty good, Jaeger and I decided that it would probably be okay to bring me home.
Friday morning a doctor stopped by and officially ordered that I could be discharged. I informed Jaeger and he made plans to swing by after lunch to pick me up. Right before he was getting ready to leave home, I started panicking because Calvin was really acting up. He was moving all over the place and it was irritating my uterus enough that I was having trouble figuring out if I was just feeling movement or something else. After about a half hour of scaring Jaeger, everything calmed down to a level I felt comfortable telling Jeager to go ahead and come pick me up.
Jaeger arrived at the hospital and packed up my room (amazing how much stuff one can accumulate in 12 nights). The nurse arrived to discharge me and ran through the list of things I was and was not allowed to do (the not allowed list was much longer). Then Jaeger and my nurse wheeled me and my stuff out to the car. We had an uneventful ride back to Longmont, stopping by the pharmacy to pick up my prescription before heading home.
It was really nice to get back home. I dont think I realized how much I wanted to be home till I actually got here. I spent the evening lounging on the sofa and then slowly made my way up to bed (Im only doing one set of stairs a day and that only because we dont have a shower on the main floor). I had to wake up every 4 hours to take my pill but other than that, the night was blissful. It was also great to be able to lounge in bed without worrying that someone was randomly going to pop into my room to check on something
Its very good to be home.