They took me over to the hospital in a wheelchair and my doctor came in and talked about what I should expect. He said that babies born at 29 weeks do very well and that they will need to spend some time in the NICU. He told me that it was very good that I had gotten the steroid shots a few days before and we were in the best possible shape that we could be. They planned to start me on a magnesium drip in my IV for 24 hours to try to stop the contractions and aid the babies neurodevelopment and then see what happens from there.
I changed into a hospital gown and they hooked me up to the IV. Josh stayed with me for a long time that night which was so nice. I kind of don’t remember the next 24 hours very well, but I do remember crying a lot in the middle of the night after Josh left. The nurses were often checking on me or adjusting the baby heart monitors and the IV was making my hand itch and burn and I started to feel very dizzy and hot. I’m kind of glad I don’t remember that part very well now I think about it.
After the 24 hours, they took me off of the mag since my contractions had stopped!! I was SO thrilled. They moved me into my antepartum room and after about another 24 hours, the dizziness and weird side effects from the mag stopped. A couple of days later, they removed my IV.
I was set to see my perinatologist the following Monday, but because of my short cervix and progression thus far I needed to stay at the hospital on bedrest. I had a lot of visitors, especially the first few days. A couple of the pastors from church came by on their hospital rounds, some of my bible study leaders, a dear new friend who has twin girls and spent many weeks on hospital bed rest at the end of her pregnancy, and family. My mom had put together a care schedule for the boys and since I was on bedrest, family had to take over care of Evan and Oliver completely during the day. Josh has been spending part of his time with the kids, trying to be at the hospital as much as he can while keeping up with household chores, and work. He really is so amazing!
My next appointment didn’t go as well as I’d hoped, but I was still pregnant and for this I am so grateful! My cervix had shortened from a little over 1 cm (11 millimeters) to 3 millimeters! So, surprise surprise, I was headed right back to the hospital with the instructions that no doctor was to go near my cervix unless labor started. I had to wait a week and a half until my next appointment when I would be 32 weeks, and then he planned to check me again.
This was the week that my kids got sick and couldn’t visit, which probably made it the hardest week of all, and not on just me. Since I’ve been stuck in here, the rest of my family has been cleaning up runny noses and giving homeopathic cough medicine. I’m starting to find out that the weekends are the hardest. Everyone is at home having their Saturday morning playing together and sharing memories and you are stuck in the hospital wishing that you were a part of it. This is when we started Family Saturday when Josh and the kids come up to the hospital and we watch a movie, play, and go for a wheelchair walk. It is the highlight of my week. During the sick weekend, Josh dialed me in on FaceTime and I felt like I was able to be a part of so much of what was going on. Did I mention I love that man!!! 😉 ❤
One of my doctors told me that he would write in my file that the nurses should not wake me up in the morning to check my vitals. A couple of days later, this note was missed, so at about 6am when a nurse came in to wake me up, I asked her about the note on my chart about not waking me up for this. A few days later, I got inside information from my day nurses that all of the night nurses are afraid of me. This is slightly amusing, but seriously how hard can it be for a person to get some sleep around here!!?! They even wrote a sign on my door, it was a bit more melodramatic than it needed to have been really.
The following Monday, my doctor had requested that I take a Fetal Fibronectin test. A negative result indicates that you have a 1% chance of going into labor within the next 2 weeks, and a 99% chance of the babies staying put. A positive result means that you ‘could’ go into labor within the next 7 days, but it really doesn’t tell them much of anything. What they look for is the negative result. Well, wouldn’t ya know, my test came back positive. Not great news. Finding out on Monday, however, did give me a few days to come to terms with the fact that my perinatologist was likely going to want to keep me in the hospital for a while longer.
My first emotion the morning the babies turned 32 weeks was overwhelming gratitude. 32 weeks is a huge milestone for babies, especially twins, and I was so thankful still to have them with me safe in utero rather than the NICU and the difficulties they would have endured being born at a younger gestational age. So that was just wonderful. 🙂
Later that morning, I had my appointment with the peri and my ob came to see me in my room. He said that he was going to try to convince my peri to let me go home today, but that he had no idea what he was going to decide. So, I went to my appointment and as I suspected he just didn’t have a good feeling about letting me go home with that positive test result. But, I did get some good news! Violet has turned head down, so both babies are now in the head down position, perfectly positioned for trying a vaginal birth, which is what I have wanted to do all along! I know there may be some complications and it may not happen, but it was very encouraging. Also, my cervix had lengthened a bit more from 3 mm to 13 mm, which was back to over 1 cm again! The ultrasound tech told me not to take any stock in that, but how could I not. I am thrilled that this bedrest seems to at least be paying off a little bit!
After all that, I think the peri would have sent me home if I had really pushed it. But, since he was hesitant, I was hesitant. He kept saying things like, ‘I know you wont get the same level of bedrest at home as you do here’ and ‘I just know I’m going to send you home and then you’ll be back here in a couple of days in labor’ (real ray of sunshine today- the guy is actually pretty hilarious and will put you at ease, but he is also at the top of his field and takes his work seriously). And in the back of my mind I know that Josh is glad I am here right now where I have nurses taking care of us and if anything at all happened I would be in the best place possible, which I think gives him great comfort especially when he is at work. The peri really wanted me to do another round of steroid shots for the babies lungs due to the positive FFN test, so I did. I also asked him if it might be possible that I could go home for my son’s birthday the next weekend since I would be very close to 34 weeks, he said he thinks he would be just fine with that if things are still looking stable, he just doesn’t quite feel right about sending me home now. So, here I am, and the hardest part is I agreed to it! So, when I have an NST that takes 2 tries and 4 hours I have to realize that I am the one who ultimately made the decision to stay here. Doing the selfless thing is sometimes the hardest thing- but, as always, I know my girls are worth it. ❤
Thursday the boys FINALLY came to visit! I had not seen them in 7 days, and while Evan does really well with FaceTime, Oliver just doesn’t get it. So, it was wonderful to get to really interact with them. Josh’s parents brought them over for about an hour and it was just such a blessing to get to be around my kids. I miss them so much. Oliver cried when they left, he did not want to leave the hospital without me. Which was hard, but I know that I will see them for a long time on Saturday and we are going to have Easter Baskets and maybe a little egg hunt at the hospital on Sunday.
Which brings us up mostly to the present! Today I am 32 weeks and 2 days pregnant. I was very low emotionally on Wednesday when the reality started sinking in and I knew that I will have to be here another week. Josh took today (Friday) off and spent the whole day here at the hospital with me. That man loves me like I do not deserve, his love is certainly God’s greatest gift to me. So, we spent the morning together watching the today show and talking, he took me down for a delicious wheelchair lunch in the courtyard. We sorted through baby clothes via FaceTime and had hospital dinner at which point I became teary eyed that the day had come to an end. But, we have scheduled this weekend so that Josh and the kids are planning to spend as much time here with me as possible to help me get through this (hopefully!!!!!) last weekend and then I will just have Monday and Tuesday until I get the go ahead to go home for Oliver’s Birthday party this Saturday which is generously being planned by my brother and lovely sister in law, Anna. So, I am hoping that the babies stay put first of all, and second that I won’t miss the greatest Ninja Turtle Birthday Party of all time for my favorite soon to be 3 year old. 🙂