Tuesday, February 20, 2007

All good things must come to an end....

I'm slowly starting to accept that this pregnancy is almost over. As much as I've moaned and groaned recently about how uncomfortable I am and how much I can't wait to NOT be pregnant anymore, I'm realizing that I need to enjoy these last few weeks (or maybe days) of being pregnant. This is my last pregnancy...and I need to start cherishing more this amazing experience before it's over.

Soooooo, the last few days have been full of activity. On Sunday, I was having contractions off and on throughout the day but by around 7:00 pm, I started getting concerned because they were starting to become more frequent and more intense. I loaded up on as much Gatorade and water as I could and got on my left side and started monitoring myself. By 8:00 pm, they were happening a lot more frequently....an hour later and 7 contractions later, I mentioned to Tim what was going on and he said he thought I should call the perinatal service and talk to a nurse. I honestly thought maybe I had just taken in too many fluids and having such a full bladder was causing the contractions. I spoke with a nurse and she said it sounded like pre-term labor to her but it also could be from drinking too many liquids and having a constantly full bladder. She asked me to stop drinking all fluids, empty my bladder immediately and count the contractions. With every contraction, she wanted me to get up and try emptying my bladder and she would call me back in an hour. An hour later, still having contractions and the thing that was concerning her was that the contractions were starting off with menstrual-type cramps and then radiating all over my belly. She said she was going to call L&D and see what they thought but her opinion was that I should probably go in and be monitored. Now it's already 10:30 at night...the kids are in bed...and everyone we have on "back-up" to stay with the kids is gone for the 3-day weekend!!!! My mom was home but my step-dad had been in the hospital for days and I knew she was exhausted, plus it would take her a good 40 minutes to come over. I ended up just driving myself, figuring I'd be monitored for maybe 2-3 hours and then be sent home...for some reason, my gut instinct was way off this time. At one point, as I was getting dressed and ready to leave, I said to Tim "maybe I should just call the nurse back and tell her I'm not going in....I feel okay now and I'll probably be fine when I get there and I don't want to waste my time or theirs". Thank goodness he convinced me to go because if I hadn't, things surely would've gotten out of control.

As soon as the nurse hooked me up to the monitors, I started having contractions. And over the next hour, they came one after the other, becoming more strong and more painful than the last. I'm such a wimp when it comes to pain that I couldn't even talk to the nurse when I was having a contraction...I had to keep reminding myself to breathe through them. At one point, I thought I was doing so good and the nurse said "Try not to hold your breath while you're having a contraction".....the pain just took my breath away at times. She asked me on a number level what the pain was so she could record it and she laughed when I said "it was a 10" and she said "but that's the most severe pain possible" and I said "I told you I'm a total wimp" and I instantly thought of my 2 friends, Jen and Bonnie, who have both given birth naturally without any painkillers and I could imagine them both saying "you have no idea what real pain feels like"!!! When I was checked in to the room, the nurse notified the OB on call and the plan was for her to call her back at 2:30 am and she would come check on me, but if the contractions got out of control, she was to be paged sooner than that. After having 6 strong contractions in a row, the nurse said she wasn't going to wait to page the OB...she went off to page her. And the OB came in right away and checked my cervix...still closed and very high but starting to soften. I really liked this OB because she talked fast and to the point...she just gave me the straight-up facts without sugar-coating anything and she gave me her plan. She wanted to do a shot of terbutaline and see how I reacted to that...she said if it's true labor, the terbutaline won't make a difference and at that point, we move on to mag sulfate. I mentioned to her that my OB didn't want to terbutaline or niphedipine because of my high blood pressure, which incidentally was fine the whole time I was there...weird. Maybe it's just being at my OB's office that causes it to be high! She said she didn't think it would be a problem and they'd be monitoring me the whole time anyway so she was gonna go for it. I got the first shot at 1:30 am....for a little while, the contractions slowed down and got less intense. But at that point, my heart started pounding and I felt like I was gonna jump out of my skin...I felt hot and irritable. It probably didn't help that I was so freakin tired too but how I rest when I can literally feel my brain pulsating in my head???? Within a couple hours, the contractions started in again....that familiar feeling of cramping down below and then the tightness radiating all around my belly and towards my back...the nurse came back in after I had 5 in an hour and said she thought I needed another shot of terbutaline. So I had the 2nd shot and we waited.....the contractions did slow down again but at this point they wanted to monitor me even longer to make sure I didn't repeat the same pattern from earlier. Good God, I had forgotten how uncomfortable those hospital beds are....there was no way I was gonna be able to get any sleep. Finally at some point (I don't even remember the time), the OB came in and said she was happy with the way my body was reacting to the 2nd shot and she thought at this point, she could release me with a scrip of nifedipine taken every 4-6 hours. She also mentioned wanting to do steroid shots just to stay on top of things, and being at 31 weeks and having delivered Cole and Bella at 32 weeks, she said it just made sense to do it now and then not have to worry about later. I have to say I instantly felt at peace when she said that because I've been worried that I wouldn't have the time to do the steroid shots if my water broke suddenly like it did with Cole and Bella. When the nurse came in to do the shot, she said "I'm gonna warn you that this shot is very painful...." and I laughed and told her I've done IVF and I've stuck 22-gauge needles in my own ass for weeks at a time and nothing phases me anymore. Then she had to point out, with her sense of humor, how she thought it was funny that I could handle needles but contractions just sent me over the edge....yeah that is kinda odd I guess. But the shots to me are temporary pain, while the contractions last and last....Anyway, she told me she's had patients who have cried for hours over the pain of a steroid shot....

Finally, at 7:30 am, the OB came in again and checked my cervix again and said it felt about the same, no changes throughout the night. So her plan to release me stood, and she gave me instructions to take the nifedipine every 6 hours but if start having contractions on a regular basis, I can take them every 4 hours. If that still doesn't make a difference, I need to come back in and be admitted on a mag sulfate drip. So far, so good....I'm still on an every 6-hour schedule and I've been having contractions but nothing consistent and nothing as intense as the other night. But I had forgotten how crappy the nifedipine makes me feel....all dizzy with massive headaches and acid reflux that just won't quit. I'm literally drinking Mylanta from the bottle every 2 hours, along with eating Zantac like it's going out of style. However, I know it's temporary and I know it's for a good cause....and if it keeps me out of the hospital and away from the mag sulfate, I'm just gonna count my blessings....

I went back in this morning for the 2nd steroid shot and one of the nurses said to me "you look like you're too far along for needing a steroid shot" and I told her I'm only 31 weeks with twins and of course after making that comment I knew I was opening the door....

Nurse: Are these your first children?
Me: No, we have another set of twins who are 2.
Nurse: Boy/boy or girl/girl? (this is another favorite comment of mine because I guess it doesn't dawn on people that you can have boy/girl twins).
Me: Boy/girl and then these are 2 boys
Nurse: Wow, you're pretty fertile...twins must run in your family...
Me: Actually, I'm not as fertile as you like to think but yes twins do run in my family
Nurse: Now, did you you know you were gonna have twins?
Me: What do you mean?
Nurse: Did you have a sense that you were gonna get pregnant with another set of twins?
Me: (Oh my God, when is that other nurse gonna have the darn shot ready so I can get out of here....)...No, honestly, we weren't planning on having anymore children because getting pregnant and staying pregnant has always been difficult for us and we were just tired of the disappointment. So these babies were a welcome surprise...
Nurse: (I think she's sensing at this point that she's getting a little too personal here)...well, good luck...I think your shot is ready....

On a good note though speaking of getting personal with nurses, one of the nurses from the night before came into my room and said "you look so familiar to me...have you been here before for another pregnancy" and I said "yes, I had twins here 2 years ago" and I thought she looked familiar too. Turns out she was one of the nurses assigned to me when I was admitted to the hospital on bedrest with Cole and Bella. She was so awesome and we talked for hours about infertility and marriage and life in general...she and her husband were contemplating doing IVF so we talked a lot about my experience with it. I was afraid to ask her what the outcome had been for her because I didn't want to be nosy (unlike the total strangers who don't mind asking me practically what position these boys were conceived in). She remembered Tim and how great he had been about helping me pee in the bed pan since they didn't want me getting out of bed and how he kept holding the barf bucket up to my mouth and keeping my hair out of my face as I barfed every hour. She said she and the other nurses were amazed at how well he took care of me, without seeming bothered or disgusted by any of it. When I came home, I told Tim what she had said and he responded "clearly, I do more than other husbands"...how's that for tooting his own horn??

The kids were very cute about me being away...they called me on my cell phone as I was getting dressed and ready to leave the hospital. I told them I'd be home soon and the minute I walked into the door, they came running over, happily screaming "mommy"!!! Cole gave me a hug and then ran off to play with his trains...so typical of him. But Bella kept hugging me and she didn't want to leave my side the whole morning....she kept saying "Mommy, what's wrong with you?", "Mommy, are you okay?". I feel bad for them because their whole little lives are about to be turned upside down and they have no idea. Hopefully, they'll handle all the chaos well.

I went in for an NST this morning and all went well. My BP was a little on the high side but at this point, I really am starting to wonder if just being at my OB's office is causing this. The nurse repeated it several times and the bottom number never got lower than 90. But she said since I was on the nifedipine, she wasn't going to worry about it since that would help keep it under control. And there was no protein in my urine. The babies did amazingly well during this NST...they always seem to behave for this specific nurse, probably because she talks to them and has such a sweet, soft voice. I stayed on the monitor for about 40 minutes and then she let me go, saying everything seemed fine.

If I can get through the next few days, I have an ultrasound on Friday and I can't wait to find out how much the boys weigh. My guess is that they have to be almost 4 pounds, if not over 4 pounds by now, just by the size of my belly and how heavy it feels these days. I'm also curious to see what my cervix length is. And then I have another NST right after that.

The next milestone will be in 4 days....I'll be 32 weeks. I delivered Cole and Bella at 32 weeks, 2 days so I'll hold my breath until then and pray to get to that point. If I can, I consider that a huge reason to celebrate!!!!!!


Emily said...

I have finally had a chance to read your blog... congrats on the second set of twins.... WOW!!!!

With Love,

Jen said...

You can do it...you can do it... you can do it.....

I hope you enjoy the food I brought over, by the way, I made the rice, so I have to take credit if it is bad or good.

Take it easy and try to relax.

I figure that if the children are alive when my husband gets home at the end of the day, I've done my job.

----Roseanne Barr

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