Tuesday, February 13, 2007

"I'd happily trade places with you"

As I waited in the waiting room at my OB's office today, there was a lady sitting across from me. I noticed she kept looking at me and when I finally made eye contact with her, she said "I'd happily trade places with you". At first, I wasn't sure if she was actually pregnant or not...what is it with these women who you can't tell if they're pregnant or not?? Not to be mean but she was a bit overweight with a huge sweatshirt on with no obvious baby bump so I was at a little lost as to what she meant by that comment. Then a huge amount of guilt came over me as I realized I must look so uncomfortable, huffing and puffing with every breath, and just looking as if I'm SO ready to be done being pregnant...what if she was suffering from infertility and I was one of those women she instantly "hated"? It's horrible that that was the first thought that crossed my mind...but that's how I used to think too when I would go to the OB's office. I'd "hate" every pregnant woman in the waiting room, especially the ones who would sit there and talk with one another over how many children they have and how exciting it is to be pregnant. And of course there was nothing worse than sitting in the waiting room, awaiting a miscarriage, and having to sit next to a pregnant woman. With my last miscarriage, I was treated to sitting next to a young woman who barely looked 16 and her mother as they oooh'd and awwww'd over her ultrasound pictures and trying to think of names for the baby they just learned was a boy. I sat next to her clutching my bag from the pharmacy that held the bottle of cytotec pills that my OB had ordered for me to place on my cervix to get the miscarriage underway. I remember thinking how unfair life is sometimes, even though I already had 2 children...I wanted more and I was angry and filled with hatred that some women have it so easy while others don't. Then when the nurse called me back in to the exam room, I screeched at her, through tears, that it's not fair to make women like "me" sit in the same waiting room as women like "her". She apologized profusely, I'm sure she was clearly thinking I had lost it and perhaps I had.

So anyway, I was puzzled by what this lady meant so I said "excuse me?" and she repeated again "I'd happily trade places with you". Okay....still nothing to cling to as far as a hint of what she meant by this comment. So I came right out and said "excuse me, but I'm not sure what you mean" and she patted her tummy and said "I'd give anything to be due anyday now, like you, but I'm not due until next month and I'm just ready to be done". I laughed for what felt like an eternity....I can't tell you enough how many people say this to me....they just assume I'm closing in on my due date any day now. I was stunned that she was 8 months pregnant because she certainly didn't look it. But I said "well, if it makes you feel any better, you're actually further along than me...I'm only 7 months pregnant". Her eyes looked like they were about to pop out of her head and she said "really? You look so....so....um.....so....ready to pop". Yeah, tread lightly, my friend....my hormones are all out of whack and you better choose your words carefully!!! That's what I wanted to say but I just sat there and smiled and figured "go for it" and told her I was pregnant with our 2nd set of twins. At this point, the man who was sitting near us, probably waiting for his wife's exam to be over with (God only knows why he wasn't in the exam room with her), looked at me and said "you're kidding??" Then he said "how's your husband handling all this?" and I said "well, he's had 7 months to get used to the idea....if he's still in denial at this point, nothing I can do, right?" I think I actually saw the guy make a gesture towards the heavens, thanking God that he wasn't in Tim's position. Then the lady asked the age-old STUPID question "were you trying for twins?".....

Then the nurse called my name and I was relieved to not have to carry on the conversation anymore....I wished her luck with the rest of her pregnancy and she wished me the same. The guy looked at me and said "good luck to you but mostly to your husband"....funny how guys tend to sympathize with one another in situations like these.

So here's the lowdown from my OB appointment: BP still high but nothing outrageous like it has been in the past (145/85) but so much for gloating about how "normal" it was today because my OB said it didn't really matter because it's been consistently higher than it was in the beginning of my pregnancy. She said a few months ago my BP was regularly 120/78 and then suddenly 3 weeks ago, it started becoming more elevated so she said at this point, she considers it a case of "pregnancy-induced hypertension on the verge of pre-eclampsia". And the headeaches I've been having didn't make her feel any more encouraged....the little zig-zaggy lights I see in my eyes on occasion also didn't make her feel any better. There was only a trace amount of protein in my urine again so at least that was something to feel positive about. Then she asked me about contractions and I told her I think I had spoken too soon last week when I thought I had that part of my pregnancy under control. On Sunday night, around 10:00 pm, I started having contractions every 10 minutes....I called the high-risk serviced and the nurse told me to drink 2-3 glasses water and lay on my left side and call back in an hour. That was enough to stop the contractions but throughout the night, I would get them sporadically and have to drink more water. So from Sunday night through last night, I haven't slept a wink because in order to keep the contractions from progressing and becoming more consistent I need to stay very hydrated. I'm drinking an INSANE amount of fluids, which causes me to have to pee like every 10 minutes. And the minute my bladder gets too full, I start to have contractions.

I went in to her office today with the full intention of walking out with a prescription for something to help with the contractions but she told me absolutely no terbutaline or niphedipine for me because of the high BP and the chance for pulmonary edema if I were to take those meds. So I said to her "so what do we do for the contractions?" and she said "the only thing we can do is admit you to the hospital and put you on a mag sulfate drip". NOOOOOOO!!!! As Tim and I were driving over to my appointment, we were talking about the mag sulfate and he reminded me of how sick I felt when I was on it with Cole and Bella. He said "don't you remember puking all the time and feeling so sick? I think you should just refuse it if that's what they wanna do". I remember feeling sick and sluggish but I guess I had forgotten about all the non-stop puking and the horrible acid reflux....geez, thanks Tim for the gentle reminder. When it comes to the health and well-being of these babies, I don't feel like a have a choice though....I don't want them to be delivered this early because I want to avoid puking in a bucket 24 hours round the clock. I've endured everything this far and a little puking shouldn't deter me now. So if the mag sulfate drip is what's gonna get things under control at some point then so be it. I say that now but give me a few days on the mag sulfate and I'll be singing a whole 'nother tune, I'm sure.

My OB was rather encouraging today though and said "let's just get you to 32 weeks and see what happens at that point". Then she measured my belly and said "you're measuring 41 weeks".....I said "are you sure? Can you measure again? That can't be right" and she laughed and said "oh no, you look like you're over-due...my medical assistant and I were just talking in the hallway about how you look ready to be done". So with that, she said now it's just a matter of WHAT will cause me to deliver...will it be the PIH-turned-preeclampsia or will it be the babies running out of room???? I wonder if she and her MA have a wager on it.....

She wants me to get bloodwork and a 24-hour urine collection done once a week from this point forward to keep an eye on my levels....the kids thought it was funny last time I had to do the 24-hour pee collection. Bella wanted the odd job of taking the pee jug out of the fridge for me and putting it back in the fridge...it made her feel important I guess. And Cole thought it was funny that Mommy was peeing apple juice and saving it for her doctor. Everytime I'd pour the pee from the cup to the jug, Cole would say "I want some apple juice".

Then I headed over to the other side of the office for my NST...the boys did great and behaved this time. It's getting a lot easier now that they're a little bigger and cramped for space...they can't get away from the monitors as fast as they could before...HA!! For the first 30 minutes, they were very active and then they went to sleep...so the nurse poked my belly a few times and they were up and running again...she had checked their positions earlier via ultrasound and Garrett is still head down and rolled up into a ball but now Landon is breech and rolled up into a ball on my right side so they're butt to butt. The nurse said "oh, they're already doing the "this is my space, this is your space" thing". I had a couple contractions while on the monitor but nothing that was out of control or painful. And just when I thought I was done, she went and checked with my OB to see if we could end the NST but my OB wanted a few more movements from Landon before stopping....so the nurse poked my belly a few more times and he gave a few kicks and the NST was over with. I think I actually smiled as I walked out, just so thrilled that everything went well and I was getting to go HOME!! I had actually packed an overnight bag for the hospital just in case!!

That was my exciting day.....tomorrow is Valentine's Day and the kids are having a party at school. I'm totally bummed that I have to miss it but there's always next year. Tonight, they have to do their Valentine's for their friends and for their teachers...Cole is excited but Bella keeps insisting that she doesn't have a Valentine. I said "is Daddy your Valentine" and she got angry and said "NO, no Valentine". Guess she's not a romantic at heart.....


Jen said...

Just remember the little train that could... I think I can, I think I can, I think I can...You can do this. Just stay strong, and be firm with yourself. Don't give in to the temptation to do too much. Of course comforting your kids is necessary, but bring them back over to the couch to lay down with you while you figure out what happened. I am keeping you in my prayers. Good luck!!!!

Michele S said...

Helene- it's so good to read this and know you are still hanging in there. I'm so proud of how well you're taking care of these babies and how well informed you are. You'd think you'd done this already!!!! (Insert insane laughter)

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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