My first child was no sweat; natural labor, three hours and boom, a beautiful baby girl. However my second child did not have the same sense of timing. In the middle of a hurricane, at six months pregnant, he decided he wanted out right now!
I had just picked up my daughter from school and was on my way to the doctor’s office when I discovered that the bad rain storm was actually a hurricane and flooding was everywhere. The first floor of the doctor’s building was underwater!
After a lot of wrong turns and a brief stop to wait out the storm my daughter and I got home safely. I thought the cramps would stop when I got home and rested but they did not. The cramps kept coming but when I was able to lie down and get something to eat they lessened some and we got through the night. The cramps kept coming for a couple of days until I could make it back to the doctor’s office (and they were out from under water). Thankfully they were not on the first floor of the building!
Come to find out from the doctor that I was dilated two centimeters and that I was going into premature labor. Who would have figured? My first pregnancy was completely without complications six years earlier. But I had heard stories and had friends who went into labor during these major storms and changes in the weather.
The doctor told me that my sweet baby was not ready to come out, that the lungs were not completely formed and I of course was concerned. At this time in the medical world I was told that the best thing for me to do was to get onto something called Brethine. It was a medication that was supposed to stop the early labor and keep the baby in the womb until they were fully developed. It made me extremely nervous when I took it orally and so they changed it to a subcutaneous drip. I still had trouble with shaking and rapid heartbeat but did not want my baby to come early.
The doctor said I could no longer work and that I had to be monitored. A belt device was given to me to wrap around my stomach once a day for an hour and then sent over the phone line to someone to check my contractions. If I had over ten contractions an hour I had to go to the doctor’s office. I was having contractions continually and the stress of it all was getting to me. They would make me drink a thirty-two ounce glass of water and do it all over again for an hour and if there were still too many contractions they would make me go in to the doctor’s office. I called the doctor and told him that either we needed to change the medicine or that he was going to have to up the contraction count because it was too stressful for me. He upped the count but I still found myself a prisoner to the monitor.
Lying there for an hour without moving drinking tons of water with a baby sitting on your bladder, can you imagine? And if you moved to go to the bathroom you had to start all over again! This was not pleasant. They kept telling me to relax and reduce my stress but the doctors were the ones making me stressed!
But I was able to stay on the meds and do the monitoring until they said my son was fully developed then they took me off the meds and that very day I went into labor. And would you believe that no one was home at the time? My mother had gone to pick up my daughter at school and my husband was at work. No one thought that within a couple hour period of time I would be going into labor but I did.
I almost had to call an ambulance when my mother drove into the driveway. We headed to the hospital. I called my husband’s office because he was out in the field and I could not reach him. I did this when I started labor and the hospital was about ten miles from our house. Can you believe that my husband was over an hour away and he actually got there at the same time as my mother, daughter, and I? I asked him how fast he drove; he said I did not want to know.
My son was finally born at two in the morning the next day. It took twelve hours for him verses the three hours for my first child. I was older but wanted a natural birth like I had with my daughter and went into shock for two days after he was born. It did not help that his head was huge!
Come to find out later on that they do now not recommend pregnant women using the Brethine for early labor and if they do it should only be used for about forty-eight to seventy-two hours. It can cause heart problems and problems in your unborn child. My son was born healthy but he has always had a problem with anxiety and it has taken him much longer to learn to read and to develop in certain areas. I am very thankful that he came out fully developed but have always been concerned that this medication was to blame for his anxiety and inability to develop as quickly as he should.
If you find yourself in the position of going into pre-labor, or any other condition during pregnancy, I would strongly suggest that you get several opinions on any type of medication or treatment your doctor advises. I have since found out that this medication has been stopped being used for pre-labor because of the possible harm to the mother and the infant. There is no way to be one hundred percent sure when you begin to take medications at any time in your life, especially the newer ones, but you can do research and get second and third opinions to safeguard your unborn child and yourself.
I am thankful that my son is not suffering from serious brain damage but he has had some developmental problems. My oldest girl never had any problems and I am almost positive that this medication is to blame. But I praise God that He had helped my son over the years and he is doing well. He does suffer from anxiety disorders which started at birth. Every time his sister or something would make him laugh he would end up in tears. He did not like being held for long, similar to a drug baby. He had difficulties learning to read and learning his colors and many other similar delays but by God’s great grace he always was able to overcome. We had him in special reading classes through most of his grade school and middle school years. For which he thanks me continuously.
The world in which we live in moves so fast and new medications are being developed by companies daily. I am grateful for the medicines that have kept many of us alive over the years but sometimes it worries me that they are more concerned about the money they are making than the people they are helping or hurting. We trust our doctors to give us sound advice and I believe the majority of the doctors are looking out for our well being and checking into the new medications. However it is always wise to do your own research and ask around before making a decision to take a new drug, especially when you have another life growing within you.
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