Monday, April 18, 2016

One of Those Eventful Days

Yesterday morning I got up and felt another big gush which is something I haven't had since Baby A's sac ruptured at 21 weeks. I waddled to the bathroom to find the same thing I found then - a lot of fluid and bleeding. I told my nurse and she came in and stuck my babies on the heart rate monitors and the contraction monitor on. I was having slightly contracting going on. After Doc came in he decided to check to see if I was dilated at all (painful but I wasn't dilated at all thankfully) and then started me on the IV magnesium in order to protect the babies brains in case I went into labor.

The magnesium (aka the drug of the devil, at least to me haha) is given in a large dose for 30 minutes and then it's tapered down and given for at least 12 hours. The large dose definitely was not fun as it made me really hot, flushed, and have a weird feeling in my lungs. I was so relieved when they finally turned it down and I felt a bit normal again. After not eating breakfast because I was afraid the magnesium would make me nauseous, I was grateful to eat lunch and not feel nauseous.

Luckily Doug was here all morning with me during all this and my parents came and stayed most of the day shortly after he left. Having them here was nice to help take my mind off of the effects of the magnesium. As the day went on, though, it got harder and harder to breathe and I felt like someone, an elephant maybe, was sitting on my chest. By the time I was done with my nightly monitoring, my chest hurt so bad. I asked my nurse if they were going take me off of the magnesium soon since I wasn't contracting and she said the in-house doctor had ordered it to continue through the whole night. After she left the room I broke down crying. I couldn't imagine going through the pain all night and knew I wouldn't be able to sleep even though I was exhausted.

The in-house doctor came in to explain to me his reasoning for keeping me on the mag throughout the night. He walked in during my crying episode and he did not handle it well. He made me feel like my crying was bothersome and made him feel uncomfortable. He couldn't even make eye contact with me the whole time he spoke. He asked me what was wrong and I told him about my lungs. He said "Well there has got to be more to it since you are crying." I wanted to punch him and say "Have you not read my chart? Any women who has gone through what I have gone through has every right to cry whenever she wants to!!" But I didn't, I just explained that my emotions have just built up and I finally released them. After he explained the reason to keep me on the mag was the worry that I'd start contracting again if it was stopped to soon, he told me he was willing to turn the mag dosage down and prescribe sleeping medication. He then asked if I had support in town, looking at me like I was a crazy lady who needed family to calm her down. Again, I wanted to punch him as I told him my husband was on his way. I was relieved when he left the room and I told my nurse I'm glad he wasn't my normal OB.. He had really bad bedside manners and only made my emotions worse.

Once Doug got here I tried to cuddle with him but the pain was too bad and I was still hot from the magnesium. So, he laid on his own bed but it was nice just having him there to vent to.. He's the best listener. I tried to sleep without taking the sleeping medication because 1) I hate taking any medication during pregnancy and 2) I was afraid if I fell asleep I would stop breathing. I was in so much pain that I threw up. Changing the dosage of the mag didn't help at all and I laid in my bed until finally I decided to take the sleeping pill at 1am. Thankfully I fell asleep!! When my nurse came in around 5am she said the doctor had decided to stop the mag since I threw up.. I guess he realized I wasn't lying when I said I was in a lot of pain. And... I didn't start contracting! 

This morning I have been exhausted and trying to get back to my normal self. We had the growth ultrasound today and babies are both measuring 1lb 8oz, which is a few days behind track but not abnormal for twins. Baby A still had some fluid around him despite the constant leaking I have. Baby A is head down and B is breech (he changes position every time!) My nurse removed my IV, yay! I hate being tied down. Now, I'm excited to shower and take a nice long nap. I hope no more days like yesterday happen again, at least until babies are big enough to come! 

Friday, April 15, 2016

25 Weeks

Sorry to those who have been patiently waiting for an update.. I've just been super busy.. HAHA! Just kidding, obviously. The real reason I haven't updated is there really hasn't been much change going on-- which is a good thing! Babies have been passing their monitoring sessions with flying colors and I have not had any signs of infection or contractions. My doctors are telling me I could be one of the lucky ones who stay here in the hospital for the long run! As hard as it's going to be I'm just so thankful to be stable and with a better outlook for these twin boys. 

I am also really grateful for hitting 25 weeks!!! Like 24 weeks, there is a big jump in success once hitting 25 weeks. If the babies were born this week I think there is a 75-80% chance they will survive, with up to a third of those having some form of developmental complications. Not the best stats, but much better than what we were looking at. I have a growth ultrasound on Monday (we have these done every 3 weeks) and we will have an idea of about how much the babies weigh. Afterwards, we will do our tour of the NICU and talk with neonatologist again about what to expect for how far along we are and the weights of the babies. I'm excited and nervous.. Hopefully they will be right on track growth wise like they were last time. They were a little over a pound each then so hoping they will be nearing close to 2lb each! I still have weekly ultrasounds to measure the fluids around the babies, and this week Baby A had a little over 2cm of fluid, which is good considering his sac broke! Baby B has about 4cm of fluid which is normal.

Other than normal pregnancy symptoms, I have felt great the whole time. Well, besides one day this week I was really nauseous and kept throwing up. It made me feel really crampy so I was nervous I was going to go into labor. But luckily after 48 hours I was feeling better - must have been the hospital food, haha. In the hospitals defense, though, the food is actually pretty good and I was even granted permission to order off the special "bistro" menu so I have a few more options since I'm referred to as a "long term patient". ;)

I've been good emotionally too. I have had a lot of time to reflect on things. I have thought a lot about the power of kindness and service, and how my little family has been so blessed by those who have helped us during this time. It made me realize how much more I need to serve others and has motivated me to do something about it once I break out of this joint.

I also realize how much I take the little things in life for granted, like putting my children to bed. I used to think of it as a chore some nights, but now I yearn to be able to tuck my boys into bed and read them a story and kiss them goodnight. For now, I'll settle with our little visits where we take wheelchair rides and hang outside for a little bit. I probably look forward to these times the most! 

The Lord knows what he is doing. He knows we need trials to help us rely on him and help refine us into better people. I just hope that I learn whatever he needs me to learn from this trial, and that I will be a better person on the other end of it. It's hard to be stuck in a hospital room and this pregnancy has been the hardest thing I have ever had to go through... But I know He has heard and answered my prayers and all the prayers in our behalf. 

Now, here's to our next major goal: 28 weeks! 

Friday, April 1, 2016

23 weeks + 1 day

Today is day 3 of my inpatient stay in the hospital. It hasn't been too bad yet.. Although I know it's still just the very beginning. The newness of luxuries, like getting hot meals brought to me in bed and a call button for anything else I need, will soon wear off and I'll get a little stir crazy. Right now the thing helping my sanity is waking up each morning knowing that these boys have remained inside for one more day.. Every day is an accomplishment. 

I love that on my patient board in my room they update how far along I am. Today my nurse wrote 23+1. It definitely might not seem far along to most, but this means that I have stayed pregnant over 2 weeks since baby a's water broke! No infection, no contractions, and babies are both growing. On Monday I had a growth ultrasound and they both were measuring exactly the size they should be to the day. Doctor also found the separating membrane so they are not in the same sac like we had thought! Yay! Baby A did have fluid, and although very small, I was happy there was at least some.

For the most part things have remained status quo luckily. I have contraction and fetal heart rate monitoring at the beginning of each shift, and these have been good. Except the first night they kept picking up only one heartbeat, and after 3 nurses tried to find two, they ordered an ultrasound. I could feel both babies moving so I wasn't too scared, but after the ultrasound tech spent more time than I thought he would (the screen was faced away from me) I got nervous. My sisters were here at the time and they were nervous as well. Fortunately he told me there was nothing to worry about and things were ok! 

I don't have much leaking going on and the doctor this morning said there is a very small chance the sac could have resealed, but it's unlikely. I'm trying to drink as much water as possible to keep fluids going to them, especially baby A. 

We talked with the neonatologist yesterday about what to expect if the babies are born now and each week after. Of course it's scary and the statistics aren't great. He referred to 23 weeks as the "grey zone".. The point where babies will start to live but it is rare and disabilities are very likely. So they leave it up to us to make the call if we want them to just provide comfort care or do everything they can to save them. It's such a hard decision.. I want to fight for them to live, but I also don't want them to have to endure living with severe disabilities. In the end, we decided that we will do a "trial of life". Basically they will do everything they can to save them, and if things aren't looking great after a few days we have the option to switch to comfort care. We felt like we could be reassured that we at least tried but didn't make these babies suffer if things aren't good. Once 24 weeks, they strongly suggest giving babies complete care, and every week after offers much better mortality/morbidity statistics. So our current goal is 24 weeks!

I've had many "firsts" this year and one of them was my first shot in my butt haha. I got steroid shots yesterday and today - completing these was our previous goal. My rear stung for a bit but it was worth it. I feel relieved because these steroids will help boost the lung development of the twins, and if they end up coming soon, this will at least help them fight to make it. We will not know until after delivery how Baby A's lungs will be since his water broke. I'm hoping these steroids will make a huge difference for him.

I have kept myself busy with watching TV, reading, coloring books, games, and visits from my family. Doug has spent the first two nights with me, and even though he sleeps in his cot most of the night, it makes me sleep better just knowing he is in the room with me. Today he will bring Hunter and Landon to see me. I haven't seen them in 2 days so I'm really excited!! I'm also excited for conference this weekend! It will be the first conference in a while that I will really get to hear all the talks without stopping to take care of kids. I really look forward to hearing the words of our prophets and am hoping for some comfort and guidance during this time.

Again, thanks for the love and help and prayers. We are grateful for you all!