Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Hanging tough....

I'm still here....still pregnant!! 32 weeks, 3 days....I'm finally past the point where I had Cole and Bella...yeah!! Okay, but now part of me is getting scared that these boys are NEVER gonna come out! By now, they're bigger than Cole and Bella were so I'm kind of surprised that they haven't forced their way out! I have my good moments and my bad moments....one hour, I'm thinking that I can do this for another 2-3 weeks but then the next hour, I'm nearly in tears wondering WHEN it's finally gonna come to an end. And it's not so much being uncomfortable that has me feeling this way but it's more the bedrest and not being able to be active and independent that has me worn out. I feel horrible watching Tim struggle to keep up with the housework and take care of the kids. I've been having them lay in bed with me or on the sofa (on the days I come downstairs) and read them books and watch tv with them so he can get dishes done and other things without having them under foot. He's exhausted and I can't say I blame him. He's been doing this now for 12 weeks and I think he's just as anxious for these babies to be born so we can get back to our normal life. Yes, a chaotic, busy life we'll have but at least I'll be fully functional again!

I really just take it day by day at this point. I'm having about 2-4 contractions per hour every day but nothing strong enough to change my cervix from what it was like on Saturday at the hospital. In fact, the other night I woke up in the middle of the night, having contractions about every 5 minutes, with a constant pressure in my lower backache and crampiness in my lower abdomen. After about 1.5 hours of this, I finally said to Tim "I think I might need to go to the hospital" and I called the hospital and the nurse suggested I drink a lot of water and take some tylenol and give it another 30 minutes. I'm glad I did that because the contractions started spacing out and after awhile I finally fell asleep. So obviously it wasn't the real thing. Then I saw an OB after my NST yesterday and she checked my cervix and it's still exactly the same.....

So I'm pretty much just sitting around waiting for the "real thing" to happen...and I have to say I'm actually getting really excited about meeting these little guys. I can't wait to see what they look like, what their first cry will sound like...I can't wait for the next chapter in our lives to begin. The fact that I'll be sleep-deprived on most days doesn't phase me right now....I've been on bedrest for so long now that I'm looking forward to how crazy my life will be in just a few more weeks!

Cole and Bella are doing really well and hanging in here with us. There's not a day that passes that they don't say something or do something that makes me laugh. I know a lot of people dread the "terrible 2's" and my kids are certainly no angels but they're good kids and a lot of fun to be around. And what I love most about them is how helpful they are and how compassionate they are. Sometimes when Tim brings me meals to eat, Bella will sit with me and share my food. Then she'll take my plate back to Tim!! And Cole loves to fetch things for me, like the phone or a book. Tim and I feel badly that we've been shipping them off to different people every time I end up at the hospital but they've had great attitudes about it. They love going to my mom and step-dad's house and we always get a report back from my mom about how well-behaved they've been. And this weekend they'll go to my in-laws house for part of the time and they're already chattering about going to the park and riding the choo-choo train. Tomorrow my sister is coming over and taking them to Chuck E Cheese for lunch. So they're doing pretty well with all the changes, which does it make it easier on Tim and I but we still feel guilty....ugh!

So that's the update for today....things can change on a daily basis obviously but I'm hanging tough....so far.....

Sunday, February 25, 2007

Where do I start??

Well, let's start with the good news....I'm 32 weeks today!! HUGE, HUGE milestone!! Cole and Bella were born at 32 weeks, 2 days (just barely...they arrived shortly after midnight!) so I think I'll be even more thrilled if I can get past that point. Every morning, I challenge myself to get through another day of pregnancy...my OB told me that for every day these boys are inside me, they spend 3 less days in the NICU. I figured in just the last week, I've bought them 21 less days in the NICU....go me!

So the bad news...this week has been very challenging, to say the least. In just this one week, I've made 3 trips to L&D. First, there was the Sunday overnight stay for contractions. I already posted about that...got a couple terb shots and got sent home on nifedipine. Then off and on Thursday, I was having contractions and by 2:30 pm, in just one hour, I had 8 contractions....so off we went to L&D. Fortunately, they were able to get the contractions under control again with some more terb and the OB (same on from Sunday night!) increased my dosage of nifedipine from 10 mg to 20 mg and asked me to take them every 3-4 hours instead of every 4-6 hours. When she checked my cervix, she said it was still closed but she could feel Garrett's head pushing against it, which she said was concerning but not alarming since I wasn't dilated at all. So all was calm at that point....

Friday morning I went in for an ultrasound and the first thing the u/s tech went to measure was my cervix. So she's sitting there for several minutes looking at the screen and saying "hmmmm, hmmmmmm" and then she looked at me and said "there's really no cervix to measure". I said "what do you mean? I have to have a cervix" and she said "yes, but it's so short there's nothing left to measure" and then she showed me on the screen what she was looking at....she pointed out where my cervix is and where the birth canal is and then she pointed to Garrett's body and said "and he's right there at the opening". She called the radiologist to come look at the u/s, and in the meantime, she did the measurements on both babies. Garrett (baby A) weighs 4 pounds and Landon (Baby B) weighs 4 pounds, 5 ounces....no wonder I'm feeling so heavy these days!! At this point in my pregnancy, Cole and Bella only weighed 3 pounds, 6 ounces and Cole was 4 pounds, 3 ounces!!! When they were born, Bella was still the same weight but Cole was 4 pounds, 8 ounces so I think these boys will be much bigger than Cole and Bella were by the time they're born, which is great! I have to say I felt such a huge wave of relief knowing they're both already over 4 pounds...they're already off to a great start.

The radiologist came in and she was really nice and I could tell she was trying hard how to discuss this with me without making me feel panicked. She explained that there was virtually nothing left to my cervix, that it was so flat that the only thing left for it to do was to dilate, if I wasn't already. And her main concern was that Garrett was right at the opening, very close to the birth canal. They had me go the waiting room while they called my OB to find out what I should do and within 5 minutes the radiologist came out and said I needed to go upstairs to my OB's office and she was gonna e-mail the report to my OB. I got to my OB's office and they had me lay down on a gurney, without telling me what the plan was. The only thing my OB said to me when the nurse was taking my vitals was she wanted to know if I drove myself or Tim was with me and I got this nagging feeling that she was going to send me to the hospital (at this point, I guess I was still failing to see how bad the situation was). As I was laying on the gurney, I was thinking she was gonna come in and either do an u/s herself or at least check my cervix but one of the nurses came in and started getting an IV ready for me. She was surprised that no one had told me what the plan was. So she said they were calling an ambulance to transport me to the hospital....I asked if Tim could just drive me and she said no, that they wanted to make sure I arrived at the hospital immediately and without any problems. They also didn't want me on my feet at all. I said "Gosh, you make it sound like I'm gonna go into labor anytime now" and she said "it sounds like you might be". Then I started getting a little panicked. My OB came in and explained that she was having me admitted to the hospital for the remainder of my pregnancy because according to the u/s I was already 100% effaced and because Garrett was so low in my pelvis, she said there was nothing stopping him from entering the birth canal should I start to dilate, if I hadn't already. I really wished she would've at least done a cervix check at that point but she didn't. She discussed a tenative plan with us but without knowing the definites it was hard to really take in everything she was saying. She said at this point it was just a matter of not being able to stop the contractions or my water breaking and they'd have no choice but to deliver the babies. But she was hoping to avoid that and hoping I could get another few weeks out of this pregnancy.

Off to L&D....when I saw the OB (the same one from Sunday night and Thursday), she laughed and said "now when you left here the other night, I said 'no offense, but I don't want to see you back here for another few weeks' and here you are again"....it was kind of ironic. She was just about to get off her shift so she came in to my room and said she'd bring in the next OB on call to introduce me and do a cervix check and see where we should go from there. They came back to the room a little while later and when the new OB checked my cervix she said it still felt like there was some consistency left to my cervix, that maybe I was about 70-80% effaced and maybe a fingertip dilated but the situation wasn't as serious as my OB had made it sound. She did say she could feel Garrett pressing against my cervix though and with his full weight pressing against it, there was some concern that things could change quickly. So my instructions were strict bedrest with no bathroom privileges....I got treated to using a little porta-potty next to my bed. I might as well have checked my humility at the door. I guess I should consider myself lucky that they didn't put a catheter in me!!!

Over the next few hours, I could hardly get any rest....I kept having contractions, some strong and intense, others very minimal...the nurses kept coming in to check the monitors and make sure I was okay...I had to keep taking the nifedipine every 4 hours...I could hear several different women giving birth throughout the night. And finally when I did manage to fall asleep, I put one of the pillows over my face to shut out the light coming in from the door and the nurse came in and poked at me and said "I wanted to make sure you were okay".....as if I was trying to suffocate myself???? I think I got a total of maybe 3 hours of sleep and they were not 3 consecutive hours....I found myself very close to tears wondering how I was gonna do this for another few weeks, let alone another few days. And I was really missing the kids...Tim had brought them over the night before to say hello to me and so they could see me and know I was okay. They both were very intrigued with all the wires and the monitors...Cole nearly shut down my IV at one point and Bella kept wanting to move the monitors on my belly and adjust the belts. The nurse was kind enough to bring them each some apple juice and some crackers, which Bella spilled all over the floor. In the morning, when I noticed the crackers on the floor, I burst into tears....and I kept hearing Bella in my head saying "Mommy's in the hospital having baby brothers".

So I got through the night and the nurses had changed shifts so I now had a new one and she told me the plan was for the OB to come check me and if my cervix still showed no change, even though I had been having contractions, she might release me home on strict bedrest. I can't even begin to say how hopeful I was feeling at that point!!! Several hours later, the OB came in and checked me and she said my cervix actually felt better than it did the night before....it was still about 70-80% effaced but she could no longer get her fingertip in there...she also said it was very high and posterior, almost difficult for her to reach. And by staying off my feet and being virtually horizontal all night, Garrett had moved higher up and she could no longer feel him against my cervix. She said she was fine with releasing me to go home but I had to promise to stay on the strictest of bedrest....I could have bathroom privileges and I could take very quick showers but that was it. The rest of the time I'd have to be either on my side or laying in a reclining position so there was absolutely no pressure on my cervix. She asked if I was comfortable being released because if I wasn't and I wanted to stay, she said she was fine with that too....are you kidding me??? Of course I wanted to go home so I was ready to promise her the moon if it meant I could go home.

So I've been home now for almost 24 hours....Tim has me all set up in the bedroom, complete with my laptop, books, crossword puzzles, 2 phones, the tv, water bottles, snacks, all my medicines....I'm all set. And the funny thing is that I had less contractions last night than I did the night before....I think just being at home in my own bed and being comfortable and being able to get a good night's rest has made such a difference. And poor Tim has been playing nurse maid to me....he's been wonderful and hasn't complained at all. It does help that the kids are at my mom's house until tonight so he hasn't had the burden of taking care of them and me. This week will be interesting though and I'm sure he'll have to juggle things a little bit.

This week will be a huge deal to get through....I'm just taking it one day at a time. Heck, I'm taking it one hour at a time. I'm trying to stay positive and focused on keeping these babies in at least another 2 weeks until I can get to 34 weeks...that may or may not happen. I figure God has been watching over me and the babies throughout these last few months so whatever happens is what's meant to be. So here's hoping the next week will be nice and calm......

(Jen, if you're reading this, I sent you an e-mail re: dinner but I'm not sure if you got it. The dinner was out of this world...thank you SO much!!! The kids and Tim really enjoyed it too...what a treat!!!!! You are married to the best cook in the world!!)

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!!!!!!

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.....

Sunday, February 11, 2007

2 more weeks....2 more weeks....2 more weeks

2 more weeks....if I can get 2 more weeks out of this pregnancy, I'll be thrilled. My NST on Friday went well for the babies...it didn't take much this time to keep them on the monitors and they were pretty active. I laid there for a good 35 minutes and the nurse came over to check on me and she said "way to go, Helene...I think you're gonna get out of here in less than an hour today" and right as she walked away, I had a contraction. All I could think was "you HAD to say it...you went and jinxed me". It was a much stronger contraction than I've had in the past during my NST's but she said as long as I didn't have another one within the next 10 minutes, she wasn't gonna worry about it. Thankfully, the next 10 minutes went by without any more contractions and I was free to leave....but not before stopping in at my OB's office to discuss my out-of-control BP. The nurse had taken it before my NST and it was 158/98 but I only had a trace amount of protein in my urine so she wasn't sure what my OB wanted to do that point.

My OB lectured me about staying off my feet as much as possible and pretty much threatened me with hospital bedrest and a mag sulfate drip if my BP stays consistently high. When I'm resting off my feet, it's usually within normal range but as soon as I've been on my feet for 5-10 minutes, it starts going up pretty quickly. She doesn't want to put me on BP meds at this point b/c she says it'll just mask the problem and they won't be able to tell what the "true" situation is. The mag sulfate would help prevent seizures, etc and at least I'd be in the hospital if I were to develop any other symptoms pretty quickly. What's funny is that my OB has been saying all this time "oh, you'll be lucky to get to 28 weeks...I don't think that'll happen".....so on Friday, she seemed to have a different tune in saying "we've got to do our best to get you to 32 weeks....then if we have to deliver the babies, I'll feel much more encouraged". Of course they'll do much better at 34 weeks but we're thinking in 2-wk increments at this point. So 2 more weeks....just 2 more weeks....and then if I make it that far, I'll concentrate on 34 weeks....

In the meantime, I have to mention some of the interesting conversations Cole and Bella have been having around here lately. The other day I was listening to them talk while they ate breakfast and this is what they were talking about:

Cole: Hey Bella, I like your Dora jammies
Bella: Thanks, Cole....eat your yogurt
Cole: Eat your bagel
Bella: I no lika da bagel, I lika da cream cheese
Cole: Oh, eat da cream cheese
Bella: Cole, look it....(as she tips her bowl of cereal towards her mouth to drink the milk)
Cole: Don't spill
Bella: I didn't spill
Cole: I eat da milk too (copies Bella)
Bella: (giggles at Cole)...you like?
Cole: I like it
Bella: Mommy, I like Handy Manny (he's on tv right now)
Cole: I like Handy Manny too
Bella: Cole, eat your yogurt
Cole: I like Handy Manny
Bella: Oh, there he is (points at tv)
Bella: Oh no, I got da cream cheese on my nose
Cole: I like my yogurt....I eat with da spoon
Bella: I can't get it Daddy (refuses to use spoon to eat her yogurt but realizes her mouth can't fit in the cup!!)
Bella: Daddy, why won't it come out?
Tim: You need to your spoon
Bella: No, no spoon...I use my hands
Cole: I'm done...I go play with my cars now

And then the other day, Tim was changing Bella's diaper and Cole came over to check things out and this is the conversation that took place:

Cole: Eeeeww....yuck....
Bella: What?
Cole: I see your pirates (privates)
Bella: (giggles)
Cole: Hey, where's your pee-pee?
Bella: I don't know
Cole: It fall off
Bella: Daddy, my pee-pee fall off?
Tim: No, you never had a pee-pee because you're a girl
Cole: I want my pee-pee fall off
Tim: You wanna be a girl?
Cole: yeah
Bella: Cole's pee-pee go away

I just love listening to their conversations...I tend to forget that they are little people now and able to have their own thoughts, opinions and beliefs. The other thing that strikes me is how well-mannered they are towards each other....Bella has been sick and she was coughing yesterday. Cole says to her "Bella, you okay?" and she said "yes, I'm okay....you okay?" and he said "yes". And for the most part, they share really well with one another...Cole more so than Bella, though. Last night, they were playing upstairs and starting to head downstairs when I heard a huge thud, thud, thud and then Bella crying. Apparently, she had fallen down the stairs and as I hugged her and consoled her (okay, so kill me....I was up on my feet for about 5 minutes to make sure she was okay...Tim was in the bathroom for an unbelievable amount of time during all this) I asked her what happened...I wasn't sure if she fell on her own or Cole had pushed her. She said Cole pushed her...he denied it and said "I no push Bella". They went back and forth for a few seconds on this...she insisting he shoved her down the stairs, he insisting he didn't touch her. Finally, I said "Bella, are you lying...are you telling me what really happened?"....unfortunately Bella has a wild imagination and she has no problems looking me straight in the eye and lying. She'll tell me Cole just bit her when he's nowhere even near her!!! She finally caved and said "I'm sorry, Cole"....apparently, she was lying and Cole then walked over to her and gave her a huge hug. By this time, Tim was out of the bathroom and we both just stood there with our jaws wide open...are these OUR children??? Sometimes I have a hard time believing they are really just 2 years old.

Tim's a little concerned that Bella is not learning as well as Cole. I've learned to not compare them anymore because all it does is cause unnecessary worry. He came home from school the other day singing his ABC's, without making one mistake. He can hear a song only one time and sing it back to us. Every day, he seems to be learning something new. Today, he told me my tank top is "wipe" (white). Bella is much more social than Cole and I have a feeling what's happening at school, especially, is she's gabbing away and not paying attention. But just to be sure, I'm thinking about calling her teacher and talking to her about it. And we have a home visit next week with our therapist from Regional so I'll mention it to her too. But I honestly think there is nothing to worry about....Bella just may not absorb things as quickly as Cole or she may not retain things the way he does.

Even though I wonder if they truly understand about the babies, they seem to be very excited about them. Both Cole and Bella will now address the babies by name when talking to my belly....they both love to lean in real close and say "hi Garrett, hi Landon". They went with Tim yesterday to Babies R Us to pick up the last of the things we need for the babies and Bella told me, when she got home, "we got stuff for Garrett and Landon". I just hope the excitement stays with them as they realize the babies are actually REAL babies and they will be coming home to live with us permanently...HA!!!

So anyway, that's about all the happenings around here....isn't my life SO exciting???

Wednesday, February 7, 2007

Already getting to know the L&D nurses.....

It's always a good thing to become acquainted with the nurses in the L&D unit, right? That's what I kept telling myself yesterday after spending a good portion of my day there being monitored. It all started with.....yes, you've probably already guessed....another hellish NST. The babies, as usual, didn't feel like being monitored and gave the nurse a really hard time....I kept apologizing to her and she kept saying "it's not your fault"....but I still felt bad. In the time I was there for my NST, 3 other pregnant ladies had already come in for their NST's and had gone home. In the meantime, she had taken my BP before the NST and it was on the high side again....150/90. She asked if I had been monitoring myself at home, as requested, and I dreaded to have to tell her that yesterday at one point my BP was as high as 157/97 and I was having headaches and seeing bright spots every time I went into a room with light. She asked why I didn't go in to L&D at that point and I told her that after laying down on my left side for a good hour, my BP had gone down and the headache went away. I think I made a good call....but apparently she didn't. Then she tested my urine for protein and just as my luck would have it, I was spilling protein. She said the level was either +1 or 1+, I can't remember now, but she said it was more than just a trace amount. At that point, we started the NST and everything just continued to go downhill from there....once we were able to keep the babies on the monitor for a good length of time, she was hoping they would quiet down and go to sleep so she could watch their resting heart rates but no such luck. It's a catch 22 with these little guys...they either don't move at all or they won't stop moving, esp Baby B, who was very irritable and moving and kicking and just basically a very unhappy baby for a good 45 minutes. The nurse finally gave up and sent the strip over to my OB, who then gave instructions for me to go straight to L&D to have my BP monitored. I wasn't surprised...I had a feeling with my BP being continuously high and now spilling protein that I'd be sent to the hospital.

So once at the hospital, the nurse got the babies on the monitor and took my BP and while the first number went down slightly, the second number went up...so now I was at 145/92 and she said they get concerned anytime the first number is over 140 and/or the second number is over 90. I asked her if she thought I might be admitted...praying she'd say "probably not" but she said "you may very well be...we take this very seriously". I asked her if there were any meds I could take at home and she said more than likely they'd keep me and hook me up to an IV....I was praying she didn't mean the mag sulfate....I didn't ask out of fear that that's what I would hear! She tested my urine and by that point I was only spilling trace amounts of protein but they wanted to do some bloodwork to make sure my levels were okay and not indicative of HELLP. After 3 hours, I finally got the green light to go home...yeah!!!! My blood looked good but the OB on call said I'm on the verge of pre-eclampsia so I really need to pay attention to any and all symptoms. And I need to be on strict bedrest....laying on my side as much as possible.

While I was there being monitored, a student nurse came in to my room and she was all excited because I was her first "twin" patient. She ended up asking me about how they were monitoring the babies...how could they tell which baby was which, etc, etc? So here I was teaching the nurse about the monitoring...maybe I should consider doing this in my next life??? When she learned this is our 2nd set of twins, she told me about a friend of hers who had a 4-yr old son and then got pregnant naturally with triplets. Then when her triplets were 18 months old, she got pregnant naturally with twins!!!! And she went on to have another singleton after the twins!!!!! Could you even imagine??? How does someone stay sane in that situation??

When I left L&D, the nurses at the front desk said "we'll be seeing you again real soon"....I said "yeah, probably after my next NST", which is Friday. I already have my overnight bag packed and ready to go this time around. I passed by the NICU on my way out and for a minute, I thought about stopping by to see if any of the nurses were still there who had taken care of Cole and Bella but then I decided not to, probably more out of the hope that I won't be spending any time at the NICU this time. Sure, that's probably very unrealistic but a girl can hope....

Other than all the pregnancy "excitement", things are going well....Tim is finally getting the nursery set up!!! He picked up some paint swatches so we could match it with the crib bedding we'll be getting. I'm so excited to finally have the room done!!

Sunday, February 4, 2007

29 weeks and still counting....

Okay, so let me start off by ranting about last Friday's NST, which lasted a whopping 2 hours long. These boys are already giving me gray hair...I don't remember any of my NST's with Cole and Bella being this long or stressful. It took 3 nurses to try and locate the babies' heartbeats on the monitor and then once we finally had them on the monitor, one of the nurses became concerned about Baby B's heart rate, which kept dropping below 100. I asked her if she thought maybe it was picking up my pulse instead of his and she wasn't sure so she called one of the OB's who I sometimes see to come and check. So Dr B comes in and spends a good amount of time with the ultrasound machine trying to figure out where the babies are and how they're positioned. The problem was they had changed positions AGAIN and it was difficult for them to figure out whose head belonged to which body and it finally came down to her putting the u/s wand directly over the babies' hearts so the nurse could put the monitor in the exact spot before the babies could move again. This seemed to take forever....but then finally once the babies were both back on the monitor, I couldn't detect any movement from either of them. Can't say I blame them...I was just as exhausted as they were. And laying flat on my back all that time was not the most comfortable position but I was so afraid that if I tried to adjust myself even a little bit that we'd be having to go through the same thing all over again. After awhile, the nurse figured the babies had probably just entered another sleep cycle and she went off to show the monitor strip to the OB and make sure they didn't want me to go to L&D for further monitoring. UGH!! Thankfully, I got the green light to go home but man oh man this was SO stressful.

My BP was on the high side again so she reminded me to monitor myself at home daily and to also do my kick counts religiously and if the babies go a few hours being sluggish, I need to call. So far, I've found out that they really enjoy diet coke and cran-apple juice. Those are the 2 things I can drink that will usually get them moving all over the place....a mistake I made last night before bedtime. I felt like they were doing backflips inside me...these little guys can kick!

Then yesterday my friend Bonnie threw me a baby shower!!!! I wasn't expecting a shower at all mainly because I know it's not traditional to have a baby shower for the 2nd child (or in my case, the 3rd and 4th child!) so this was a nice surprise!! And since we have almost everything we need, she asked those she invited to bring diapers....you can NEVER have enough diapers!!!! With Cole and Bella, we went through about 15-20 diapers a day in the beginning!!! Anyway, it was GREAT to see some friends I hadn't seen in awhile and to socialize!! Bonnie made me this amazing diaper cake...it's SO lovely that I don't want to take it apart to use the diapers!! She even made a little train for each of the boys made out of their names!





Before everyone arrived, she took some pictures of me with the kids...she's quite talented with a camera, much more so than me!! I think she actually was able to make me look better than I really look....HA!!!











Tim and my stepdad have come up with a date to work on the nursery....this Wednesday!!! So Tim's assignment is to go get all the supplies and the paint before Wednesday....I'm not holding my breath. But then again, he may surprise me.

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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