We had a bit of a scare this last week and landed ourselves in the hospital, and now that things have calmed down a bit I wanted to share it with you on here. It might be a lot of detail, but one of my favorite things right now is to hear stories of people who have been in my situation and have gone on to have healthy babies. So I thought I’d share my current situation here in case there’s anyone who can relate…
28 Week Check-up
Wednesday morning we headed in to the doctor for our regular checkup. We go every two weeks with the twin pregnancy, and this particular morning I felt fine – just normal “I’m 28-weeks pregnant with twins” symptoms. However, when they checked my cervix on the ultrasound I could see right away that something was wrong. As in, it wasn’t there anymore ;). The ultrasound tech confirmed by measuring my cervix at a .7cm (you usually want it be between 3-4cm.) She sent me straight over to my doctor, who told me I would be admitted to the hospital. At first I thought she meant that I was just going over for a few hours to be monitored, but as we kept talking and she mentioned sending Blake home to pack a bag, I realized I most likely wouldn’t be going home.
Guys – I was NOT even close to ready to be in the hospital. My doctor had told me we could travel up until 28 weeks with a twin pregnancy, so we literally came home on the day I turned 28 weeks and then that was the time I had designated myself to nest and prepare. I had so many things I wanted to explore and share on the blog about maternity clothes, pregnancy, preparing for babies, etc. So many things to do at the house to get ready, we were about to start taking all of the baby classes we had signed up for …I hadn’t even unpacked or done the laundry from our trip, let alone cleaned the house! And to think that the next time I came home could be with two babies?! I had maternity jobs that have been booked for months, and my baby shower that I had been so excited for was supposed to happen in a few days. It was all of these silly things that started going through my mind, as I tried to ignore the biggest question lurking in the back of my mind – “Will the babies be ok?”
After being admitted to the hospital, they hurried and hooked me up to an IV, put me on monitors for both the babies’ heartbeats and my contractions, and started watching my own heart rate. Then they explained I’d get a round of steroid shots to help the babies’ lungs should they come now, as well as a heavy dose of continuous magnesium for at least 48 hours to slow the contractions. That first heavy dose of magnesium was terrible – anyone who has been on it will know what I’m talking about! It feels like you are burning from the inside out, I was so hot! And then for the next couple of days it feels like an awful flu, I felt so groggy. It relaxes all of your muscles and affects your vision – I got to a point where I couldn’t walk on my own or see much at all. I was hooked up to so many things on each side of the bed that I needed Blake to help me unhook and almost carry me to the bathroom. He was so great with me, I don’t know what I would have done without him.
Those first couple days were a rough blur – I felt horrible and hazy. I should probably apologize to anyone I did text or talk to, because it probably didn’t make much sense ;). I moved past the initial feelings I was having about all the things I had left to do and the things I was missing out on and started to worry more about the babies. I think it was the magnesium, but I didn’t feel connected to the babies at all. It was almost like I didn’t feel pregnant anymore – the magnesium made the babies groggy too so they weren’t moving as much and my stomach felt different. It was comforting to constantly hear their little heartbeats on the monitors, but I still had a hard time connecting with them which made it hard to have a good attitude about the situation. All I wanted was to chug tons of ice cold water, but they were monitoring my fluid intake with an IV so I was only allowed a small ration of ice chips. I didn’t sleep at all at night, as I had to continuously wear monitors for the babies heartbeats and my contractions, have blood drawn every few hours to check the magnesium levels and blood sugars, and blood pressure monitors on my arm and feet.
They promised to try and take me off the magnesium 48 hours after that first dose. We would then monitor my contractions, and if they stayed mellow enough I could stay off of the magnesium. I counted down the minutes until they stopped that magnesium drip, and since then things have slowly improved!
Once the magnesium drip came off, I started feeling SO much better. I could walk and see, I got to get rid of the IV, I can drink water on my own, and slowly everything else I was hooked up to has come off. We only monitor the babies a few times a day instead of constantly, and each time their heartbeats have been beautiful and my contractions have stayed down. I even got to move from labor and delivery down to the 4th floor, where I have a more comfortable room/bed, and bigger window, and a doctor’s order that Lo can come visit ;). Now I can shower, I feel up for visitors (and LOVE having them!) and even got the ok today to eat outside food – as long as I keep my blood sugars down!
So for now, I’m chilling in a hospital bed. I’m only supposed to get up to go to the bathroom, but luckily I am pregnant so I do that a lot ;). I’m on a steady dose of medications to keep my contractions and cervix in check, and the side effects are nothing compared to that magnesium. Although this is not where I want to be, I know that things could be so much worse. I do have moments where I feel a little sorry for myself, or spontaneously burst into tears because I want to go outside ;). I am still mourning the loss of what I thought the rest of my pregnancy would be, prenatal yoga, and hikes. But overall, I have mostly felt a strong sense of how lucky I am in my everyday life – that this is just temporary for me and that we are getting such amazing care. The doctors seem confident that if the babies came now they would have a great chance of survival, but it could be a long road. So I’m telling myself that every day I can stay in here and keep the babies in will be less time for them in the NICU.
Right now I’m a little over 28 weeks. The goal is to keep the babies in until 32, and if we make it until then we’ll shoot for 34! They doctors say I’ll be here until the babies come so I try not to think to much about the possibility of going home, and get excited for potential small victories in the future – next on my list is wheelchair privileges ;). In the meantime, the blog might change a bit while I’m in here, but I’m so glad to have it as an outlet and a way to keep preparing for these babies. I would really, really love to hear from any of you who have similar stories to share!
Jen (and Blake, Lo, and the girls!)