This last month has been a total whirlwind. I'm finally able to sit here and recall the last moments of a beautiful, albeit hard journey in my life and to write them down, to remember forever what it was like the last weeks I was pregnant with my precious twin daughters.
I guess you could say it started on Mother's Day, strangely enough. I went to church that day, but got myself really worn out. I was having contractions every 15 minutes during church that got down to every 7 minutes. I didn't think much of it, since they seemed to go away, while we were driving to a restaurant for a mothers day lunch out.
I came home and took a long nap, and felt wonderful. On Monday, I didn't do much of anything at all. But, Monday night, the contractions started up again. I didn't really time them, because every time I start to time contractions, I get paranoid. So, I went to bed.
I had such a fitful night of sleep that night. Contractions during the entire night kept awaking me. When I got out of bed on Tuesday morning, I felt awful. I came online and was chatting with a few friends from my July board and told them that I just felt "funky" and that I wished my contractions would either "put up or shut up". I was so tired of them coming and going.
I actually started crying to a friend that I was tired of being in pain -- that if it was going to happen, I just wished it would, so I could go to the hospital and get the medication I needed to stop the contractions. Then I wouldn't have to be in pain all the time. That old saying "be careful what you wish for" was never more true.
By 4:30 p.m., I was on the phone with Dave, telling him to come home and take me to the hospital. When we got there, at about 5:45, I was hooked to the monitors and the nurse checked my cervix. I was contracting every 7 to 8 minutes and I had a little bit of change in my cervix, but not much. Instead of only being 1 cm dilated on the external side and closed on the internal side, I was now 1 cm dilated all the way through. The doctor on call, Dr. R, ordered some morphine for me. She said that with an irritated uterus, morphine can stop the BH contractions but true labor will keep going. This turned out to be true labor.
By the time Dr. R came in an hour and a half later, I was contracting every 2 to 4 minutes and in pain with them. She looked at me and said, "You had the morphine? It doesn't appear to be working, now does it?" At that time she was smiling and joking until she checked my cervix and got a worried look on her face and said, "We are going to have to get a lot more aggressive with these contractions. Your already 3 cm, and 50% effaced." I burst into tears as she turned to the nurse and ordered Magnesium Sulfate, steroids, and ampicillin for my GBS.
I felt so guilty. I turned to Dave and told him over and over again I was sorry, that I didn't want this to happen. He kept telling me it was not my fault, and that just because I said I wanted them to "put up or shut up" was not the reason this was happening. I am still having a hard time believing that. Thankfully, my contractions slowed down, and eventually got to where I was only having them once or twice an hour. We did have a few scares, where I would start contracting again, but after a shot of morphine or a sleeping pill, they always stopped.
I stayed in the Labor and Delivery unit until Saturday afternoon. I got moved over to antepartum. I wasn't allowed to go home, because I was too far dilated, and after a sonogram confirmation Heather was still breech/transverse. It was just too risky to let me go home. If my water would have broken, I would have been at a very high risk for a cord prolapse, being so dilated, and her being in the position she was. So, I was staying in the hospital until my babies were born.
Once over in antepartum, things changed dramatically. My IV came out, and I was allowed off the constant 24-hour monitoring that I had been on for 4 days straight. Trust me when I tell you it is impossible to sleep when you are almost 30 weeks pregnant, not allowed to lay on your back, but have trouble being on your side because you are constantly having to chase two little babies around with a fetal monitor and tons of goopy ultrasound gel on your belly.
The night I got to antepartum, I was given 2 sleeping pills and I got my first decent night of sleep all week. My antepartum stay was pretty boring. We had a few "exciting" moments when I would start contracting again but after a shot of morphine, it would stop.
I got really lonely in the hospital. I missed my boys and Dave so much. I was allowed to go on a few wheelchair rides, which helped, but it wasn't the same. I had a meltdown the day before the girls were born. My nurse came in and asked me if I needed anything and I looked at her and burst into tears, and said, "Yes, I need to go home". I was so sick of that hospital I couldn't stand it anymore. I just wanted to go home, I wanted to see my kids, and I wanted to be with my husband. The nurse was really great and sat with me while I cried, then she got up and went and called Dave, and told him I was having a breakdown, and I needed him to come spend some time with me.
He brought up Jason and his sister, and while he was taking Jason back home, his sister, Judy stayed with me. When he came back, he had Judy's husband with him and a deck of Uno cards. We ordered a pizza and played Uno until 1 in the morning. It was great, we laughed at a really funny show on TV and just had a good time. It was exactly what I needed. After they left to go home, I took a nice hot shower and went to bed.
I ended up sleeping very late and when I woke up, I was having contractions. My Sunday school teacher and his wife came to see me, and I almost told them I was having contractions, but didn't. I didn't want to get everyone excited for nothing. He was even joking with me, telling me I needed to be patriotic and have my babies on July 4th. After they left, my nurse came in to do my assessment. I told her I was having quite a few contractions, so she put me on the monitors and brought me lunch. I was having contractions every 5 to 7 minutes, so she called the doctor on call, Dr. K, and she came in to check me. She said that she felt like I was changing, that I was a very loose 3 cm, getting close to 4. She ordered 10 mgs of Morphine (I am still surprised I don't have an addiction to that drug! *laughs*). I went to sleep for about 20 minutes, and my contractions started to fade off, got to about every 8 to 10 minutes.
But, as soon as I woke up I guess you could say all heck broke loose. My contractions went from every 8 minutes to every 2 minutes almost instantly. Only thing was I wasn't feeling them. The morphine actually made them not hurt. I thought my labor had slacked off until I looked at the monitor strip and saw I was having contractions every 1 to 2 minutes basically back to back. My eyes bulged and I actually said, "Is that ME?" The nurse laughed and said, "Yes, and I think it's time to get Dr. K back in here." Luckily, Dr. K was standing right outside my door writing in my chart. While she was doing that, I called Dave. He said he was about to take his boys home and I told him not to be gone long. He asked why and I said, "Just hurry, okay". He wanted to know what was wrong, but I was afraid to I was having another false alarm, and I didn't want to get everyone excited for nothing. Finally I told him "I didn't want to say anything, but I think I really am in labor this time. They gave me 10 mg of morphine and I am now contracting every 1 to 2 minutes," Dave told me he would wait for the doctor to check me before taking the boys home.
Dr K. walked in just as I hung up the phone. She looked at the strip and said, "Well, I think this might be it, let's check your cervix." She checked me and said, "Yeah, you just aren't responding to the morphine and your already 5 cm." I was in shock, I thought for sure it was another false alarm but it wasn't. She said that she was going to give me a c-section. I remember asking her over and over again if it was really going to be today, and finally she said "Yes, you are definitely having your babies today. You need to call your husband and get him up here. It's not an emergency yet, but he needs to get here".
So, I called Dave and told him to get there as soon as he could. His mom ended up taking the boys home and he and his sister drove up to the hospital. I was frantically trying to get a hold of my mom, but kept getting her machine. I knew she had planned to come see me that day, and I was praying she was already on her way. My prayers worked, because she was. She walked into my room just as I was leaving a second message on her machine. I told her machine, "Never mind your here!" *laughs* She walked in with a bag full of stuff to give me a pedicure and asked what was going on, looking at the monitor at the same time. I told her, "This is it! We are going to have some babies today!" She laughed and said, "I guess that means I'm not giving you a pedicure right now." Soon after, Dave got there, and I was all prepped for surgery. Just as I was getting into the wheelchair to go to surgery, I remembered that I needed one last belly picture. My nurse was a riot and reached out and touched my belly during the picture. It was a lot of fun and I was actually at ease with the whole thing.
After we took the picture of my belly, I got into the wheelchair and they took me to the operating room. Once there, I climbed up on the operating table, which seemed SOOOO high. Dr. K came in and did one last ultrasound to check their positions and figure out what kind of incision I would need. It was determined that I would need a classical incision into my uterus, but a bikini cut could still be done on my skin. After that, I sat up and the anesthesiologist did my spinal. That was the thing I was worried about the most and it was the easiest part!! *Laughs*. I didn't feel it at all, and he was done before I even knew he had begun. He asked me if my bottom was starting to feel warm, and it was, so, they had me lay down. Before I knew it the lower half of my body was completely numb and I was VERY nauseous.
Before they had started, they told me this might happen, so I told them I felt like I needed to throw up, and the anesthesiologist said, "I know, I'm working on it. We'll get you back to normal in just a sec." And then he gave me a shot of ephedrine. Evidently the spinal caused my blood pressure to drop to 60/42. That's why I was so nauseous. After 3 shots of ephedrine into my IV, I felt a lot better, and my blood pressure was back to normal. Then they put the drape in front of my face and pricked me with a needle, to check my numbness. I didn't even know they did that, so it was decided I was indeed ready to begin. All it felt like was someone pressing in on my stomach. That's it. Before I knew it Dr. K said she was breaking the amniotic sac and Dave told me the fluid was clear.
They pulled her out and the first thing I asked was, "Is it really a girl?" *Laughs* My husband laughed at me through tears and said, "Yes, it is." The neonatologist took Heather and briefly showed her to me before taking her to the stabilization room. After that, they began trying to get Hannah out. It only took a minute, but it seemed like longer, because she was so high in my uterus. They had to press down on the top of my abdomen while pulling her feet. I remember Dave saying, "There's her foot, and another foot -- there's her hand -- there she is!" I heard Dr. K say her fluid was slightly stained with meconium, but not badly. The nurse practitioner that received Hannah briefly showed her to me and then took her off to the stabilization room, too. After she left I remember that I had forgot to make sure she was a girl too, so I asked Dave and all the nursed started laughing and said "Yep, you've got two beautiful baby girls!" They thought it was so funny how paranoid I was that the ultrasound might have been wrong.
After that, Dave left and went to the stabilization room to see the girls while they stitched me back up. I can remember hearing the stapler and the anesthesiologist telling me it was almost done. The nurses bandaged me up and they took the drape down and moved me to a gurney to go to the recovery room. Dave came back to see me and told me that the girls were doing really well.
After they finished closing me, I was wheeled to the post-op recovery room for an hour and a half. I did fine there and was finally able to go back to my room. They made me go from the gurney to my bed, I cried it hurt so bad to move.
While I ate my dinner, Dave, my mom, mother and sister-in-law all went up to the NICU to see the girls. I didn't get to go up to visit them until later that night, after I had rested for a while. They spent 4 weeks 6 days in the NICU before finally coming home. It is so nice to finally have my precious twin daughters' home. It's been a long road, but one I wouldn't trade for the world.