October 30- No Sleep 'til Brooklyn

Last night was rough. Starting at around midnight I was feeling a lot of pressure in my lower back and front. I was having to go to the bathroom a lot, so I figured it was in part due to that. No matter which way I would lay down, the pressure was too much to get comfortable or get any sleep. I spent the entire night tossing and turning and getting up to pace the floor in hopes of some relief, but none came. I felt bad waking my husband up so much, as he has been sleeping on the pull-down bed next to me each night and having to wake up and go to work in the morning, which I know isn't easy for him. He really has been my pillar of strength these past few days and I appreciate him so much. In fact, the amount of love and support I have been receiving from my family and friends is overwhelming. People have been visiting me bringing me flowers, food, treats, books, decorations for my room... I truly feel loved. I'm usually the one who wants to be there for everyone, so it is hard receiving all this attention without being able to reciprocate. Having a deep innate need to help others, it is difficult for me to be doted on like this but it is immensely appreciated and will not be forgotten. 

The pressure/pain continued throughout the night and I basically wound up watching the clock, praying for morning because at least then I would be up and not forced to try and sleep when it was impossible. What took seemingly forever, 7am rolled around, my hubby left for work and I was up for yet another boring day. The pressure stayed throughout the day, but amazingly had subsided. I was exhausted, but between visitors and being uncomfortable I just stayed awake for the remainder of the day. The nurse told me they could give me some meds to relax my uterus before bed along with an ambien to knock me out. So hopefully I will get some sleep tonight!

October 29- Facing the Facts

The past few days I have been feeling okay and diligently awaiting the news of my release. I figured for sure I would be sent home on bed rest for the remainder of the pregnancy, and as much as that would suck, I am willing to do whatever it takes. So when my MFM doctor came in tonight to check on me tonight, I asked him what the plan was. And while I appreciate the fact that he was straight with me, it was NOT the answer I wanted to hear....

I asked him when I would be going home. I was thinking a day, maybe a few... I had been getting mixed signals from the different nurses this whole time. One would come in and say, "so I hear you'll be staying with us a while" and the next would say if everything remained quiet in my cervix and no more contractions, I should be going home within a day or so. Well, my doctor told me he knows I like concrete answers so he was just going to level with me. He said I would basically be staying until the babies are born. Which might be days, weeks or longer. His words came out like a dagger... a dull, rusty one that got stuck in my rib cage. I could feel the tears brimming over and it took all I had not to lose my shit. My parents, good friend and husband were in the room with me and I could feel their eyes penetrating through me wondering how I would take the news. I could see the look on my husbands face, he who knows me better than anyone, and I could feel the crushing blow in his eyes reflecting my dismay. The doctors can't even give me a ball park estimate of how long this will be because everyone is different. Their hope is to keep me until 34 weeks, at which point if I made it that far I could go home. Which is baffling to me because if I made it that far, why on earth would they send me home then?? Wouldn't I be in the same position where if I went into labor again I'd need to be rushed here immediately? But apparently it is because by then the babies would be fine and it wouldn't be seen as a dire emergency as it is now since they wouldn't try to stop it at that point. That is 5 1/2 weeks from now. The thought of being holed up in here that long, left to rot in a hospital bed, is too much for my brain to handle. Of course, I could go into labor earlier, but their plan is to continually try and stop it if I do, which is torture unto itself. 

I just can't believe this. It has been smooth sailing the whole pregnancy and I have been super active and feeling great. This was the very thing I feared the most when I found out I was pregnant with twins. Everything I read was all doom and gloom and people going on bed rest and it had me in a panic. But as time progressed and I was doing as well as I was, I started thinking it wasn't going to happen to me. Especially recently when I reached the third trimester and I was still dancing six days a week and full of energy. The day I came in I had seen a lot of different friends and we were all commenting on how awesome I've been feeling and what a good pregnancy this has been. ALL of my doctor visits and ultrasounds have shown everything was going perfectly, so I feel like the rug has been pulled out from underneath me. It would be a lot easier knowing how long I will be in here, but the fact that it could be ANY amount of time is enough to put me into a panic attack. But I am trying to stay calm and positive... it's just really hard. I am such an active person so being confined to a bed indefinitely is a nightmare for me. But right now I have no choice, so all I can do it ride it out and hope for the best.

October 28- The Battle of my Birth Plan

So the past two days at the hospital have been rather unproductive. Ever since my last contraction on Sunday, I have not had another one. In fact, I feel rather good. The only issue I have had has to do with my OB group and not my actual health. The doctors do rounds on the floors here, so each morning a new one pops in. One from my OB group and later one from Maternal Fetal Medicine along with whichever resident Dr is working. So far I have had nothing but negativity and conflicting information from my OB group, none of which even came directly from my OB! On the first day, the doctor who came in was very short with me and had some sort of a chip on his shoulder. He proceeded to tell me that if he was the doctor on call he would not perform a vaginal birth with preterm twins. Even if they were head down! This was the very problem I thought I might have with this group, but had gotten it straightened out. This doctor was telling me that it wasn't safe for preterm babies to be born vaginally, which was a direct contradiction to what MFM says. MFM feels that vaginal is safer because there are less instances of death from Respiratory failure, as going through the vaginal canal squeezes the excess fluid out of the baby's lungs on the way out. He was very snippy and told me he would speak with MFM on the matter and get back with me. Later on when MFM came in, they reiterated what they originally told me, that going the vaginal route is perfectly safe especially if they are both head down. The only hesitation he said the group doctors may have is if one is breech, they don't want to pull out a preterm baby by the feet as the cervix could close on the baby's head. I am totally okay with that. And make no bones about it, if there is some kind of danger or complication to me or the babies I am all for a c-section. All I am asking for is the chance to try vaginal. The MFM doc told me he spoke with the group doctor who talked to me earlier and that they were on the same page as long as Baby B wasn't breech and so I thought everything was set.

The next morning I was visited by another doctor from my OB group. This time it was a woman and the first thing she did was immediately tell me I should just go for a C-section because it is easier. Well I am not going for "easy," I am going for safe and less invasive. She again mentioned that their group was not comfortable doing a breech extraction, which is really aggravating that they keep bringing up because neither baby is breech! This is all a "just in case" kind of scenario so I don't even know why they are harping on it! She reiterated that if one came out vaginal and the other was breech they would have to do a c-section on that one. I get it. Totally understand. I still want to try for vaginal as Baby A is practically dangling out of me he is so low and is head first. She said she would speak with MFM and that her impression was that they were all on the same page, but they most certainly were not. Apparently later in the day the group would be having a meeting and one of the items on the agenda was to discuss my situation, so they would be getting back to me. I knew right then and there how the meeting would go. It would be an "all in favor of a c-section" discussion and I can take a lucky guess as to what the answer would be...

Later in the day my doctor from MFM was doing rounds so he came to visit. I explained what was going on with the OB group and he said they just had an issue with doing a breech extraction but thought they would be on board with a vaginal delivery otherwise. Good because I was tired of having this conversation. I told my doc what the group doctors were saying and he once again solidified my decision by telling me there was NO danger in having a vaginal birth and that the babies would be safe and it was a lot more risky to cut me open. He said from what he understood, the only issue the group had was if the babies were breech and I agreed that if that was the case I would go with whatever was best for the twins. It appeared (once again) that we were all on the same page.

But then this morning the head of my OB group (I still hadn't seen or heard from my OB in the group as of yet) came in and was a total dick. He matter-of-factly told me that his group had a meeting to discuss my situation and the final decision was that none of them would allow for me to try a vaginal delivery unless the babies were at least 37 weeks. 37 weeks??? That is 9 weeks from now! The odds of them staying in that long are slim to none so he was basically telling me they weren't going to do it, period. And he wasn't very nice about it. I mentioned that MFM was telling me something different and he quickly snapped, "then MFM can take over your delivery." Hell, I'd prefer that! But I was worried they were leaving me stranded. He took off with a huff and I was left feeling stressed.

A little while later my MFM doc came in and right away told me he spoke with the head of the OB group. I expressed to him that I was not trying to be difficult, nor do I think I know more than the doctors, but I was just going by what MFM was telling me and all the research I've done and just wanted the chance to deliver vaginally, if and only if, the babies and I were safe. My doctor told me the group said they won't do it, that it is their "group policy," but that there was no medical reasoning behind it and they would gladly take over delivery. YES!!!!! Hell yeah! That is what I wanted all along anyway so I am totally okay with that. And to be honest, I used to feel like I wanted the same doctor to be in the delivery with me but as I have been experiencing all this pre-term labor stuff I am realizing that when it comes time to have the babies the odds of having the ONE doctor I want are slim to none. Everyone here is so nice and are on board with my plan so I feel comfortable with whoever is going to deliver the twins. And with as much pain as labor brings by that point I don't care if the janitor is the one to do it, anything to get them out of me!

So I feel much better about the situation. My OB finally called to check in on me and let me know she was aware of all that was going on and brought up what I already knew about their decision of not being willing to deliver the twins vaginally unless they were 37 weeks. She explained that it was just their group policy, that there was no right or wrong answer and I would be in good hands here. And I couldn't agree more. Now if only I knew when I would actually be having the babies!

October 27- Blindsided

As you know, this whole pregnancy has been going pretty smoothly for me. Sure, the first trimester was rough, but ever since I hit the second trimester I have been feeling great. With each of my posts I have mentioned how much energy I've had and how surprised I've been with myself in how things have progressed. Having read so many nightmare stories of people having to go on bed rest with twins, I was so paranoid throughout that something like that would happen to me. So when I made it to the third trimester, still dancing every day and feeling fantastic, I honestly thought I was in the clear and would continue rocking through the home stretch. Boy was I wrong...

Yesterday was a productive day. I went to dance as usual, the hubs and I went to a party for a friend's daughter's first birthday, and we had another pregnant couple over for dinner. It was getting late and the chairs we were sitting on were noticeably uncomfortable. I kept shifting my weight because it felt like my insides were being pushed up, but didn't think anything of it, as the chairs were hard. Our friends left around 11:30 and I was feeling bloated as all get out. I had been backed up the past few days so I figured it was a bout of the oh-so-wonderful constipation rearing its ugly head and immediately chugged some prune juice. It worked within an hour and I thought I would finally have some relief. But after I went, I still felt full and bloated and I noticed there was blood in the toilet. For a moment I thought for sure it was from the back end, but quickly discovered it wasn't. There wasn't an excessive amount, but enough to cause concern since it was bright red. I immediately started looking up vaginal bleeding from constipation during pregnancy and found a lot of women had posted the same question, so I figured that's what it had to be. I kept grabbing more tissues and wiping to keep checking, but the blood was still there. The hubs and I were going back and forth about it, trying to decide if it was serious enough to go the the hospital since it was already 1am by that time. I Googled some more about bleeding during pregnancy and everything I read said if it was in the third trimester that I should definitely seek medical advice. After hemming and hawing a bit, we decided to bite the bullet and just go to the hospital to be on the safe side. And it's a good thing we did...

On the way there we made comments about how we were sure it was nothing and that we'd probably be sent home shortly, but at least we'd have peace of mind. By the time we arrived at the hospital (triage at Winnie Palmer, our delivery hospital) it was just about 2am. They quickly took me in, took down all my info, and sent us to a room to be observed. The first thing the nurses did was hook my belly up to the monitors to check my heart rate along with the babies. All seemed to be doing well. Meanwhile I was still getting on and off pressure feeling like I still had to go to the bathroom. As it turned out, the monitors were picking up that those feelings I was having were small contractions. Being this is the first time I've been pregnant, I had no frame of reference of what a contraction felt like so to me it just felt like I was bloated and had bowel pressure. It was toward the back and not the front, which honestly I always imagined contractions feeling like menstrual cramps so it surprised me to learn that the pressure I was feeling were actually contractions. The nurse kept asking me what my pain level was, 1-10, and I couldn't answer because A. I wasn't in pain, it was pressure, and B. I had no bearing on what a 10 felt like. Shortly after, two nurse practitioners came in to check me. The first one slapped gloves on and stuck her fingers up my cha-cha and instantly looked at the other nurse and said, "ummm you need to feel this." My heart dropped as my eyes darted to meet my husband's, both of ours flung open. The other practitioner walked over and stuck her fingers in me and said, "that's a head," then told the other nurse I was 1cm dilated and 80% effaced. What?!?!?! This couldn't be happening. I was in shock. In what seemed like an instant, a swarm of people came at me with a plethora of needles and equipment. They stuck IVs in my arm and gave me magnesium to help accelerate the twins' neurological development, a steroid shot for their lung development and antibiotics to prevent infection. They also gave me pills to relax my uterus to try and force it to stop contracting and told me they would be sending me down the hall for an ultrasound and were going to have to admit me to the hospital.  It was all happening so fast and seemed surreal.

They immediately wheeled me down the hall for my ultrasound, which seemingly took forever. During that time, now that I knew what I was feeling were contractions, I started watching the clock as soon as I would feel one come on. I definitely noticed them getting stronger and closer together and was wondering if the ultrasound tech could tell when I was having them by looking at the screen. After about 20 minutes of her measuring the babies, my contractions went from every five minutes to about two or three. She then switched to a vaginal ultrasound to see what was going on with my cervix. Much to my dismay, she was shifting the wand around for a bit before saying she couldn't find my cervix. All she could see was the baby's head. ?!?! She took a picture of it to show the doctor. This wasn't looking good.

Right after the ultrasound, they put me in a wheelchair and brought me up to my room, as I was officially being admitted. After that, things were a blur. It was already 5am and I was pretty out of it between being sleep deprived, doped up on meds and in total shock with everything going on. As I laid in bed, the contractions kept coming in stronger and stronger waves. Now I was definitely able to identify my pain level on the pain chart, and it was at around a 6 or a 7 at times. The ironic thing of it all was that our birthing class was scheduled for this coming Saturday, so as the waves rolled on I was telling my husband to Google breathing techniques for labor since I didn't know of any. He had me trying to control my breath by breathing in and out slowly, which wasn't easy. It is REALLY hard to think straight when you are going through strong contractions, but every once in a while I could get a grip and try the breathing technique and for a split second it would help before spiraling back into the delirium that came with the pain. And pain isn't even the best way to describe it. While it definitely hurt, the hardest thing about it was that it would happen every two minutes, for about a whole minute, which means every other minute I was going through it. It was exhausting! I remember the nurse coming in and saying, "Your face is different. You look like you are in a lot more pain than you were a half hour ago. I am getting the doctor." Next thing I knew they came back in and shot me up with some morphine to dull the pain and the doctor checked me. All I heard was that I was now 90% effaced and at 3cm and that is when I finally told my husband to call my parents. They live an hour away and I was holding off until morning so they wouldn't freak out and drive in the middle of the night, but at this point the doctor thought I might actually have the babies that day. I couldn't believe this was happening. I was loopy on the morphine but the pain had died down. They gave me a different kind of pill to relax my contractions to go along with the IVs I was on. Whatever it was they gave me worked because each contraction became a little less intense and more spread out between and by 10am I had my last contraction for the day. 

By the time my parents made it out, I was in much better shape. In fact, I was feeling quite good. No contractions or pressure, though I was running on empty from having missed an entire night of sleep. The nurses in my room are so attentive. They come in and check on vitals, monitor the babies with NSTs and pretty much get you anything you need without hesitation. Wondering how long they will keep me now that they stopped my labor. Hoping it won't be too long, as I could see getting a bit stir crazy in here. Luckily I had the hubs and my parents with me all day and even had a friend visit in the evening. It's my first time staying in a hospital, and while it's not bad, I already can't wait to be home...