Monday, December 19, 2011

On This Day....

On this day 3 years ago, we began one of the most important and biggest journeys of our lives.

I was 32 weeks pregnant with our twins. We had just had our last child birth education class the week prior, and a few days prior to this day, I had leaked what I thought to be a small amount of amniotic fluid.

Me, 32 weeks pregnant with Connor & Merasia:

I woke up on this day, 2 days after my 21st birthday, and called my doctor's office. I put in a message with the secretary about the fluid I had leaked. He called back an hour or so later, and asked what else was going on. I said I was a little crampy, but nothing major. He immediately said to meet him at the birthing center. There was an urgency in his voice that made my stomach turn.

I called my husband, at work down the road, and told him I was going in to be seen. He asked if he should go and I assured him I would be fine, the doctor was just going to check things out and I'd be home in a couple hours. On my way out the door, Frank called me back and said he was going with me, that his boss told him he should go, "just in case." That was one of the smartest decisions!

We got to the birthing center 20 minutes later, and the nurses hooked me up to the monitor. Both babies heartbeats sounded great, but I was having contractions. I didn't feel them, but they were coming every few minutes. Upon checking my cervix, they found I was 1 centimeter dilated and 40% effaced. Immediately, the room started spinning. My doctor came in, checked my cervix for himself, did a check for amniotic fluid (which we found out later came back positive), the nurses hooked me up to an IV and began pumping me full of 2 or 3 different medications to try and stop the contractions. Frank and I placed calls to our doula and family members, telling them the news. We had no idea what exactly that day would bring, but we all believed we'd be meeting our babies any day.

Before I could take in what was happening, I was being loaded into am ambulance, and transported, sirens, lights, and all, an hour away, to the only hospital in Vermont with a NICU, Fletcher Allen Health Care. Frank followed, and our doula, Vicki, followed him. Once there, I was taken to a room on the labor and delivery floor, and hooked up to the monitor again. That first day there, I was continuously getting my cervix checked (and was continuing to progress), meeting with pediatricians, nurses, and NICU doctors, and still hooked up to an IV to get the medication to slow down or stop my labor. Later that day, we had an ultrasound done to check weights of the babies. They were each around 4 lbs. by that point, well above the average for twins of that early age, which put everyone's minds at ease, doctors included.

I stayed hooked up to the IV and monitors all night. Every time I got up to pee that first night, more of my mucus plug came loose. I was allowed to shower the next morning, but only sitting down. I didn't care though; it felt amazing! I was hooked up to the monitor the rest of that day too. By that evening, things had slowed down considerably as far as contraction and progressing went. But it was decided that if things started again, the doctors would simply let me go ahead and labor, and deliver the twins as they were. The risks to me and the babies of continuing to try and stop the labor were far greater than the risk of delivering premature infants. By the second or third day since arriving at the hospital, I was moved to the post partum floor since my labor had stopped. At this time, we lived an hour and a half away from this hospital, so going home was not an option, in case labor started again. It was feared that we would not be able to make it to the NICU hospital in time, and that would of course be a dangerous and potentially tragic situation. So it was decided by the hospital staff that I would stay in Fletcher Allen on bed rest until the twins were born, or I reached 35 weeks, whichever came first.

The day I was moved to the post partum floor, labor started again that night. After ordering calzones and breadsticks for takeout, I felt contractions again. My nurse brought in the monitor and hooked me up, and indeed, I was contracting. Back up to the 7th floor we went, in active labor. I was checked and dilated to 4 centimeters and 70% effaced. I walked around, sat on the birthing ball, and labored. We called our doula and let her know what was happening, and were instructed to call her should it be found I was progressing more and more, so she could come down. I closed my eyes and tried to sleep in between contractions. I was able to eat a piece of toast and have some juice, and after an hour and a half nap, I was woken up by our nurse. I hadn't had a contraction the entire time I was asleep, so we were moved back down to the post partum floor.

The next few weeks were crazy at times, and frustrating. I wanted nothing more than to go home and be in my own bed and my own space. Frank was driving back and forth as much as possible, to continue to make money for our family, but be there with me too. Friends and family helped as much as they could by calling, visiting, bringing gifts and donating money to us in the holiday season. There was one or two more times while in the hospital that I found myself back in the labor and delivery unit, contracting, but hours later, things would stop and back down to post partum I would go.

Finally, I reached 35 weeks, and was still VERY pregnant. I was released on January 8th, 2009. I was to go home on moderate bed rest. I was safe to deliver at my own hospital back home with my own doctor by this point. Our hospital was very comfortable delivering 35 weeks twins if that were to happen. I was supposed to go home, and just rest as I had been in the hospital. I was allowed to get up for the bathroom and to get myself something to eat or walk around for a couple minutes, but that was it. By 36 weeks, I could do a little bit more but nothing too crazy, and by 37 weeks, I could resume normal activities. By 38 weeks, I should be delivered, so they said.

I can't believe it has been 3 years since that time in our lives. Soon, our babies will be 3. We had no idea on this day 3 years ago just how much our lives would change for the better, and what kind of adventure we were in store for....

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