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Sunday, February 28, 2016

The Twin Story (Part 5)

27 weeks, 3 days I was FINALLY getting my glucose test.  Before getting this test I was told that I would FAIL – because when you have twins it is very likely you will have gestational diabetes AND when you are bed rest the test isn’t very accurate because you aren’t on “normal” activity. 

So I failed.  And for the first time in my 3 weeks in the hospital I full all sobbed.  I know…gestational diabetes is not that big of deal.  It was just that final thing… I just finally broke.  My calmness took a 10 minute vacation right as the shift change and my new nurse, Maria, walked in, asked “how are you today” and I…just…broke

She was awesome.  She showed me the whole finger pricking process and told me that I would be seeing a diabetic consultant the next day and that I should ask for a “take home” tester because they hurt less than the hospital ones.  This small suggestion from the nurse knocked me out of my funk and the calmness returned.

I met with a dietitian and argued with her.  You see – I have a blood disorder that causes anemia that cannot be treated with iron pills.  So I have to eat iron rich foods.  Vitamin C helps you absorb the iron in foods.  She was telling me I couldn’t have any Oranges/Orange juice (which is what I needed for the vitamin C).  She finally agreed to allow it every-other-meal.

So a couple of days into my finger pricking days – Week 27, Day 5 – I woke up at 6AM like always and was feeling a tad nauseous.  This is not uncommon for me. 

I forced myself to eat about half of my breakfast and my stomach was like “STOP!”

I went to the bathroom and emptied my bladder (a quite frequent occurrence) and as I stoop my stomach got revenge.  All of the contents of my stomach decided to evacuate briskly (I’m glad I was already in the bathroom or the rest of the story would have been much messier).  As the food made it’s exit I felt a tiny little gush in my lady bits.  I thought…UGH I peed on myself (again a quite frequent occurrence when you are pregnant).

I walked back to my bed and was suddenly hit with a flood of fear.  I had JUST peed.  How did I pee on myself?

As I sat in bed and hooked myself back up to the monitors my doctor came in and asked how things were.  I told her – I told her what just happened and she was confident I had peed on myself (like I said this happens ALL THE TIME).  To be safe, she’d do a swab to test for “water” (amniotic fluid).
She got me in position and immediately told the nurse she didn’t need the swab “your bag of waters is actually hanging out of your cervix.   You are about 5 cm dilated and you are going to have these babies today”

Saturday, February 27, 2016

The Twin Story (Part 4)

The doctor told me the day of 24 Weeks, 1 day into my pregnancy that we would take this whole bed rest thing in chunks.  My first “Goal” was to make it to 24 weeks over the weekend which I had done.  Now my goal was 28 weeks (from there 32…then 36 for delivery).

So what in the world was I going to do stuck in a hospital bed for 4 weeks??

A nurse came in shortly after the news and told me now that I was in for the long haul she wanted to change my room to a room with a view.  So she helped me pack my things and gave me a nice room with a huge window looking outside to a mall across the way (before my window faced another window from another hospital wing.

I also have amazing friends and a great church family that stopped by with things to help me pass my time like a laptop to borrow, crosswords, snacks, etc.  

I watched WAY too much reality TV and started a “read your bible in a year” program with a goal of doing 1 week worth of reading every day.

You would THINK I’d catch up on sleep, but at the time I was being woken up every 6 hours for meds and so at 6AM they would come in and I could never go to sleep after that.

One of THE hardest parts of bedrest came just a few days after I was admitted.  My kids were starting school.  For the first time I was missing it.  Elijah was starting Kindergarten and I wouldn’t be there for his FIRST DAY of starting his “student” life!  It may not seem like a big deal and I am positive my kids didn’t notice, but this was hard for me.

Justin helped and brought the kids (and dinner) to visit after their first day so they could tell me all about it.
From that point things are a blur and I cannot remember what happened when, but here are some highlights:

  • I found out the contraction medication I was on could not be given to me if my blood pressure was below 100/70.  I can’t recall a time in my life I have ever been over 100 or over 70.

  • The nurses checking my BP were giving me the medication anyway

  • There was a couple of times the nurses were going to give me the medication without checking and I had to remind them (and ended up not being able to take it)

  • Because I couldn’t take the magic contraction pills they had to give me some injection (It was SUPER painful)

  • They did an ultrasound and babies were healthy, but my cervix had gotten down to a .5

  • They gave me a round of steroids to help with babies’ lungs (which causes contractions by the way).  THIS caused me to ache from head to toe.  Like a deep ache that made me want to curl up and cry.  I did not handle steroids well. 
  • My surrogacy group ladies came to have our group meeting in my hospital room!  This was AMAZING! I love those ladies.

And that is the “in between” time of my bed rest.  So here I was…27 weeks, 3 days… I was almost at my 28 week mark.

Friday, February 26, 2016

The Twin Story (Part 3)

Somewhere in the middle of the night my nurse came in to tell me I had gone from 3 contractions an hour to 6.  I was still not feeling them so there wasn’t too much concern.  However, they started giving me some medication (every 6 hours) to reduce the contractions.

I have to take a short break here for 2 things:

1.  Nurses are amazing.  The amount of work they have is crazy.  The amount of people they are monitoring and keeping safe while doctors float about is incredible.  I believe my story would have been MUCH different if I hadn’t had such amazing nurses.

2. My blood pressure is pretty much always on the lower side.  I’m usually around 90/60 (this will make sense later)

And so for 3 days/nights I just did my thing.  I woke up every 6 hours for blood pressure checks (by the way – I didn’t know why they were doing this), magic contraction prevention pills, and moving the baby monitors so my belly wouldn’t get sore (I had them on at all times).  And since I was being monitored for contractions 24 hours a day I also learned VERY quickly that everything in life causes contractions.

  • If I sit up – I had more contractions
  • If I laid down my heart burn would pick up and make me cough – coughing caused more contractions
  • If I didn’t drink 3-4 ounces of water an hour I wasn’t hydrated enough so – I had more contractions
  • Drinking all that water made me have to pee like every 3 hours and when I had a full bladder – I had more contractions
  • When I slept – I had more contractions
  • When talking to Justin (who makes me laugh) – I had more contractions
So I am apparently REALLY good at having contractions.  But when you are just over 24 weeks pregnant that’s not such a good thing.

So then Monday came along.  I assumed this was the day they’d do another ultrasound and let me know if I could go home.  My doctor had other plans.

She told me they would NOT be doing an ultrasound because it was very likely that my cervix had shortened more because of the number of contractions I was having.  She didn’t want to do an ultrasound and risk irritating my cervix because it could CAUSE MORE CONTRACTIONS.  She told me I would be at the hospital until I delivered.

In my mind I thought… I’m 24 weeks! I’m going to be in here for 12+ weeks?!  Here is where I would freak out.  Here is where my inability to not be in control would cause me insane anxiety.  

However, I had a crazy peace that I know came directly from God in that moment.  A calmness that did NOT come from me in any way.  I felt it and thought, “Why am I not freaking out right now? I should totally be freaking out right now”.

My doctor even seemed confused my calmness  - in the few weeks we had been in this patient/doctor relationship she had seen my desire to be “in control” and want things to go “as planned”.  She asked if I was OK:

In the end, I want these babies to be healthy and if being here is what will do that, then I’m ok with it.

I said it…I thought… “am I ok with this is?”…”I think I am”

Friday, February 12, 2016

The Twin Story (Part 2)

For Part 1 please click HERE

For a few hours I sat (shivering in a hospital gown because I’m ALWAYS cold and I was wearing nothing but a hospital gown and the room temp was set to 64).

A nurse came in to take a swab in my personal bits to test for something called fetal fibronectin (fFN):
Fetal fibronectin (fFN) is a fibronectin protein produced by fetal cells. It is found at the interface of the chorion and the decidua (between the fetal sac and the uterine lining). It can be thought of as an adhesive or "biological glue" that binds the fetal sac to the uterine lining.” (Wikipedia)

My doctor told me – if you test positive for fFN we will keep you over the weekend.  If test negative we might let you go home.  She explained that fFN is begins to show when a woman’s body is “prepping” for delivery.  A positive does NOT mean I’ll have the baby in the next few days, but it is a good indication that it is highly probable.

I listened.  I heard.  I focused on “might let you go home”.  I’m fine.  I’ve always had easy pregnancies.  The test will be negative and I will go home on bed rest.  I will work from home until I deliver.  I GOT THIS!

An hour or so later they let me know the test came back positive.  She wanted to keep me over the weekend for monitoring.

ONE weekend… I can handle this.

My hospital bed rest was now beginning.  The rules?
·         You can get up to go the bathroom
·         You canNOT sit up (must be on laying on one of your sides)
·         You can sit up to eat, then lay right back down

ONE weekend… I can handle this.

Sometime in the middle of the night a nurse comes in with a pill.  She tells me I’m having about 3 contractions an hour.  This pill will help stop them.  I take the pill and go back to sleep.

ONE weekend… I can handle this.

After the first day I realize I have NOTHING.  No change of clothes, no toothbrush, no brush, no cell phone charge, no shampoo….can I even take a shower?

I beg Justin to bring me a few things to last me the ONE weekend.  I get the OK to take 1 shower a day for no more than 15 minutes.

ONE weekend…I can handle this.

Thursday, February 11, 2016

The Twin Story (Part 1)

So, you know the kind of guilt you feel when you see somebody you REALLY miss in passing and you think “Man, I’d love to hang out with them”.  Then you realize you’re busy and think “I’ll plan something later”…then later turns to months and at that point you’d feel like an idiot saying “Hey…remember I said we’d hang out sometime and I NEVER followed up”.

Well, that’s this blog.  Things…so many things… where to even start?  I don’t even have a good excuse for a whole month of it because I was literally DOING NOTHING for an entire month.

So even though you all know I figured I’d start there.

My last post was all about how in general life was good.  Busy, but good.  Only 1 week after my last post I went in for my standard OB appointment.  The usual “how are you feeling, any problems, ok let’s do a quick ultrasound and you can go home”.

Except the ultrasound was not quick.  The doctor looked at the babies – they were squirming an kicking each other in the face.  She checked my cervix…and paused.

Her face went from smile to serious and her calmest voice she asked, “Have you felt any contractions?”

Me: no

Her: if you look here, your cervix is funneling.  2 weeks ago you were at a 4…now you are at a 1.5.

Me: ::confused look::

Her: I’m going to hook you up to a monitor for an hour or so.  You will NOT be going back to work.  The question at this point is whether you will be on bed rest at home or in the hospital, but since you aren’t feeling contractions you can probably go home.

Me: ::pure shock.  I nod and get ready to move to the monitoring room::

After 30 minutes of monitoring she came back in and said I had had 3 contractions while sitting there.  I wasn’t feeling them though so they weren’t “strong” ones.  She said they were going to admit me to the hospital overnight and run a couple of tests.  

I sat in the wheel chair being pushed through the halls to my “overnight” room and thought… “One night…I can handle 1 night”