31 Weeks, 4 Days, AM

Dear Baby Girl,

I want to give you an honest account of the events leading to your birth, so I will be truthful with you. Last night was the most miserable night of my life. It began with me being angry about staying at the hospital. Don't get me wrong here - I will do anything for you. All I mean is that the nurses were not doing anything that we could not do at home. But, the doctor said I had to stay on.

We have had a lot of visitors, and the doctor suggested that we have no more. I think that seeing people we love probably helped, but I know it was a lot of activity. Now only your Dad and your grandparents are allowed to see me.

My blood pressure would not go down. My arms are so swollen that every time the blood pressure cuff begins to move I grimace. I am sure that does not help the numbers. By the time that Dr. F came to examine me that evening, the top number was over 200 and the bottom number was over 100. So, we had to do a magnesium drip all night. I was moved back to a room in Labor & Delivery.

The ordeal began with a check of my cervix. I am so swollen that I gasped out in pain during the check.

The next step was the IV. I hate needles, and I have a history of passing out. (I hope you will be a lot braver than I am!) When I have had an IV in the past, they would put it on the underside of my elbow. I can semi-tolerate it there. No luck this time. The nurse said it had to go down on my hand. I truly hate IVs.

The magnesium drip is horrible. It gives the sensation of being sitting in a fire out in the midday sun. Plus, it requires a catheter. I had never had a catheter before. I spent several hours with the need to go to the bathroom that I just could not relieve.

Because I was so hot, I threw the covers and sheets off over and over. We had to adjust the room temperature as low as it would go. My skin felt like ice to the touch, but I was so, so hot. This made for a miserable night for your Dad. He is pretty cold-natured, and being in the room with me all night was not fun for him.

On the bright side, the technician came to the room last night and did a "long" ultrasound. You scored a 10/10. Your weight is estimated at 3 pounds, 12 ounces. They put the monitor on my belly to monitor your heart rate again, and it is the one soothing sound in my room.

This morning, we had another ultrasound, and you seemed to try to breathe. The technician had me hold my breath, and then we watched as your tiny lungs continued to work. This is a good sign - the steroid shot is working. You are an amazing little fighter. We will get through this.

It took a really long time for the volunteer to come and wheel me back upstairs after we saw you. So much of the hospital trip and even doctor's visits have been a waiting game. Your Dad was wonderful this morning. I know he was tired. He barely got any sleep with the cold room and the uncomfortable chair bed. He held my head up and I leaned against him throughout the long wait.

I have gone from feeling fine when I checked into the hospital to misery pretty quickly. We are trying to remain strong for you so that no matter what happens, you will be born healthy.

Love Forever,

Your Mom

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