February 28, 2009

My Confession

When I was about 22 weeks, I read in one of my twin pregnancy books (the twin version of "What to Expect When You're Expecting") that 32-36 weeks is the point when most practitioners report that their twin moms are begging to be induced. At the time, I remember thinking, "What wimps! How could they possibly not realize how much better it is for their babies to be in longer? I will NEVER be like that." I should have known that such a prideful statement would open the door for some serious humbling...

I'm standing on the verge of 33 weeks (tomorrow!), and suddenly I have such a better understanding of where these women are coming from. My babies are both around 4 1/2 lbs. - which means I am currently carrying around 9 lbs. worth of baby. While I know that many 9+ lb. babies have been born (God bless those women!), I would also like to submit that I'm carrying double the amniotic fluid and placenta...I am ginormous. Along with the size comes various other discomforts - the main one being that it is impossible to find a position that is comfortable for more than a few minutes. I currently use 4 pillows (including my body pillow) to prop me up...and I would take more to help with various other places that always get achy. The size of my beautiful babies (which I'm very thankful for) means that my poor stomach is squished so much that heartburn (killer heartburn - unlike any heartburn I have ever experienced before or could have imagined) is a constant. There have been times when I have ordered a meal that sounds delicious, but by the time it comes an ill received sip of water gave me such bad heartburn that I couldn't eat. And when I can eat, there isn't much room in which to store the food. Another problem is that, whenever I am standing up, I feel the urge to go to the bathroom. Now most of you will say, "Of course. That is what happens when you are only allowed to get out of bed to use the bathroom." But the problem is that I feel the urge AFTER I have used the restroom. Imagine my confusion the first time I was washing my hands and suddenly felt like I needed to go again! It is now so regular that there is no confusion - only annoyance. And finally, there are the constant contractions. My poor body - which, let's face it, has been irritable for weeks or I wouldn't be here - is feeling stretched beyond it's limits and it is fighting back. All day long I have contractions - not especially painful, not productive, but annoying. The worst is that lately, the contractions somehow squish my already compacted lungs so that, during one, I feel like I can't breath. This is a fun feeling to wake up to in the middle of the night. I'm not telling you about all of these pains and annoyances to complain (well not completely), but to allow you to see the complete humbling experience. This is what I needed to endure to better understand the women I so quickly condemned.

I am convinced, however, that the list above is not completely what drivs these women to beg for their babies to be removed. After all, I think every woman who reads his who has had a baby will say,"Ah, yes. I remember. Welcome to the club." These discomforts are common in every pregnancy.

The diference is that, in most singleton pregnancies, this level of discomfort comes at the very end. The last few weeks (or even days for the lucky ones) when the promise of the end is very close. For twin mothers, however, this is all happening when there are still 3-6 weeks left to go! It is the daunting thought of having to endure weeks, and maybe even more than a month, of this (and worse, because we know the babies will continue to grow and cause more discomfort!) that I believe drives these mothers to their knees in the doctors office (not an easy task) begging for release. It is very difficult to look into the future, imagine how many more weeks it could be, and think for even a brief minute that you are up to the challenge.

I know this because every day the doctors start talking about longer timelines. 34 weeks not only seems reachable, but they are discussing the game plan at 35 & 36 weeks, and suggesting that I could even go 37! In the moment it sounds exciting. Making it that long means there is a possibility of going home again before they come, and means we could take them home with us without them even needing a NICU stay. However, at 3 am, when I've only had 2 hours of sleep and I've been up for an hour counting painful contractions (which are rare, but offer hope of progress), and they suddenly stop, and the weeks suddenly stretch out before me again, these are the moments when I cry out to God,"I really don't think I can keep doing this. Please, let them come!"

Now, I know what you will say...probably the same things that I've been saying to myself. God doesn't ask you to carry a burden you can't handle. You are strong enough to keep going. Think about the benefit of the babies. The end is near (because, in the scheme of things, in the big picture, even 4 more weeks isn't that long). But in my worst moments, those are no comfort. And I think that is good. I think I needed to be brought to that point before I could truly, humbly, say that I understand those women, and I should never have said never. 11 weeks ago I was the Pharisee saying,"Thank you God that I am not like THEM," and now I am the tax collector asking for God's mercy. It has been a good lesson.

And while I'm confessing...tomorrow is 33 weeks. I never, in my wildest hopes or imagination, thought we would get this far. It seemed so impossible when I think about how we started 6 weeks ago. I have to confess that there is apart of me that wants to say, "Look what I did! I'm so amazing! I have defied the odds and kept my babies safe and growing this long! Don't I deserve a cookie?!" But I KNOW, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that this miracle is the result of so many prayers. And so I will work at restraining my prideful heart, and be so thankful for all of the prayers that have done so much for my babies. Although, I have one request. Maybe now, when you pray, instead of praying them in longer maybe pray for a safe and healthy delivery whenever God wills that they come...but maybe ask if He could will it soon??

February 26, 2009

My American Idol Babies

My babies love music. I knew this early on. From the very first movements I felt, I noticed a pattern - I felt them most when I was singing along with the radio in the car, or when we were singing at church. Music always moved them. They have pretty good taste too. I began to notice recently that certain songs always evoked a response, no matter how quiet they had previously been. The one I noticed the most was Coldplay's Viva la Vida. I thought I had noticed a pattern of them dancing to it, but it was solidified the night of the Grammy's when they were completely still until the moment the drum beat started and they went crazy! They only stopped when the song stopped, and they started up again when the song won "Song of the Year" and they played it again - and since they seem to so enjoy the song that won song of the year, I feel this is an early sign of good taste.

So, last night we watched American Idol (a weekly ritual in our household), and I started to notice that the twins seemed to respond to certain singers. The speaker happened to be lying on the pillow next to my stomach, so they could hear very well. They did NOT like the 2nd guy who sang - I know this because he sang Viva la Vida and they didn't move at all. Apparently they didn't approve of his rendition...For the most part I approved of their choices. They moved for almost all of the same singers I approved of - with one exception. They really seemed to like Nick/Norman. While I agree with them - the guy does actually have a good voice - they cannot SEE him...and he's very strange. So I didn't know whether to be shocked and disapprove, or chalk it up to their lack of a visual...

We're going to watch the results show tonight, and it will be interesting to see how correct they are at predicting the winners. I will say that I was thrilled that our babies seem to enjoy American Idol. Someday, we will be able to watch it all togtether!!! If it stays on the air long enough to hold their attention span (currently they HAVE to be a captive audience because they're stuck with me...but I get the feeling 2 year olds may not be able to sit through the entire thing...).

Tomorrow is the first day of the family's guesses (Logan picked the 27th), we'll keep you updated and let you know who's right!

February 24, 2009

Touring the NICU

As some of you know, on Saturday we got the chance to tour the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit here at the hospital. Since we got the vibe that our babies were coming sooner rather than later, and they will most likely be born here, we thought it might be a good idea to familiarize ourselves with the unit.

We had the opportunity to see the different types of beds that they have, from the enclosed isolettes that are used for the smallest babies, to the larger beds that are more open (although can be closed if needed) for the larger babies. We saw the different types of breathing aids that they have from ventilation tubes to the little canulas that go in their nostrils. They explained how the babies move from the far back (the smallest, most sick) to the front of the unit (almost ready to go home). We found out about how the staffing works, visitation hours, everything we could have wanted. It was very comforting to have the opportunity to see where we will most likely be spending a fair amount of time when they are born (although with every day they stay in, our time in the NICU likely gets shorter).

The most reassuring part was that, becuase our babies are already so old, they will most likely need the most graduated of aids, if any. For example, they will most likely start out in the biggest beds, and if they need any breathing assistance, it will most likely be the little things in the nostrils, and they will most likely start out closer to the front of the unit. Not only that, but we discovered that our babies (who are both well on their way to being well over 4 lbs.) weigh more than any of the babies there (they thought their largest was probably 3 1/2 lbs...ours will be giants!), and will probably be some of the oldest in the unit. In terms of premies, our babies are in a good spot!

There were moments, for me, that were almost overwhelming. Partly because, for the first time I could actually picture us there. The babies suddenly became so much more real to me when I got to see a realistic picture of us after their arrival. And that is a lot for a hormonal mother! Also, hearing that our babies would be among the oldest and the biggest (the youngest baby they ever had there that they were able to keep alive was born at 23 weeks!) was reassuring for me, but I couldn't help but feel for the families (a few of whom we saw there). All of the various "if your babies are born within the next 48 hours" talks we heard came back to me, and while our babies were in the clear for almost everything in those talks, most of the babies there weren't. I remembered the emotions that I felt hearing about the complications, and how I imagined dealing with them to prepare myself, and knew that the families of the babies there were living what I only had to imagine. I felt so strongly for those families, that it was hard not to cry. No matter what we've been through, our babies have made it a long way, and we have such a better prognosis than we originally did, but I remember how devastated we were originally and that is the reality in which these families are living. I'm sure, when you are thinking about and praying for us, they would appreciate a quick prayer as well.

As for updates...not much is happening. Everything is status quo. These babies suddenly seem to want to stay in forever...the doctors are starting to talk about 35 weeks! Meanwhile, everyone is enjoying putting their guesses in for the dates. Logan has Feb. 27, Lucas' mom has March 4th, I picked the 5th, Rebecca (my boss) picked the 6th, my mom has the 7th, and Lucas' dad has the 8th...so feel free to put in your guesses! There is no official prize for the winner - except for the satisfaction of being right!

February 22, 2009

32 WEEKS!!!!!!!

Today, we officially made it to 32 weeks! I cannot tell you how exciting it is. Although physically I have to remain subdued (since the obvious goal is to keep them in longer), in my head I'm jumping up and down, dancing, and maybe doing a cartwheel or two (all of it obviously looks much better in my imagination than it would if I were actually doing it...so it's probably good that it is all in my head).

5 weeks ago when we first went into the hospital, when we first heard the odds and complications that our babies faced if they were born within 48 hours, when we first were hit with the reality that they were probably coming sooner than we expected this day seemed like an impossibility. I remember the doctor telling me that 32 weeks was the goal and thinking, "Are you kidding me? You aren't even sure I can keep them in 48 hours!" It felt mean that they would even suggest 32 weeks as a goal. I remember crying in the bathroom because 33 days didn't sound like a lot, but I couldn't imagine possibly reaching that 33rd day. So many concepts of time completely changed for me. For the first time in a while I didn't want to slow down and enjoy each day, I deserately wanted the days to gallop by hardly noticeable, to make me feel better. And for the first time since I was a little kid, the days seemed to stretch out so long before me.

And then we started to get so close! 1 week left to go, less than a week left to go. And suddenly we were back, once again hearing the NICU doctors giving us the "if your babies are born in the next 48 hours" speech (MUCH more positive this time!), and reliving the feeling of 32 weeks being VERY far away. Had we really come all this way only to miss our goal by a matter of days?! NO! Somehow we made it!

We have several pieces to our celebration today. First, I am going to church! Sort of. Lucas worked with someone at the church to use their laptop to hook up the webcam...so I'll get to see the service (and hear Lucas preach!) thanks to our webcam and skype! Then we are going to have Papa John's Pizza (a common celebratory treat for us). Finally, we are going to watch the Oscars! Since I kept track of my countdown by following the Oscar buzz, it will feel so good to watch them, and know that it isn't over (for me...it wil feel VERY over for them...especially the losers).

And now the next goal is 34 weeks. Starting out with only 2 weeks to go, rather than 5, feels much more manageable. And, starting out with the odds so much in our favor helps as well! They can come at any point now!!!

Thank you for joining us in our last 5 weeks! We'll keep you updated on the next 1, 2, or 4 more!

February 20, 2009

So how's Lucas doing?

Hi Folks,

Lucas here. Feeling kinda bored lately. I need things and activities to energize me and preparing for twins, sermons, new jobs, family visits, youth groups, youth retreats, a major parenting seminar, and my usual ministry obligations just don't seem to be enough.

So I have decided to write a book, learn the bassoon, speak French-Canadian, study the potato, run for office..any office, file my taxes and my nails, sweat, think and drink in a dark corner, create a Saturday morning cartoon, grill a steak, design a roller coaster for chickens, parachute into occupied France, shampoo, rinse and repeat, receive my honorary doctorate by being the commencement speaker, work on my mid-range shot, placate angry children, visit a loo, race a loon and ride a lunar module, trace my family tree, build a house of cards, go green, blue or red, move the market (up or down), shuffle my feet (side to side), spread the love (all around), pray, pray, pray and pray some more, and after all that, to simply rest in Him.

The Beauty of "Seeing"

Yesterday afternoon I had an ultrasound. Because my last ultrasound had been in the middle of the night, and was slightly rushed because...well...we thought the babies were coming, they wanted a more thourough look.

The big excitement of the ultrasound was that the rushed measurements that gave us the babies' weights (you may have remembered me mentioning that they were 3 1/2 lbs.) were a little off...it turns out that baby boy is 4 lbs. & baby girl is 4 lbs. 4 oz.!!! While it is a matter of a few ounces of difference, it is huge! Hitting the 4 lb. mark definitely made us feel much better. It signifies a lot more stability for the babies, both now and when they are born.

The ultimate fun of an ultrasound is seeing the babies. I love the opportunity to peek into their world, to see for a moment what I feel. Baby boy was in a new position (big surprise). The good news is that he manuevered into the perfect head down position. Hopefully, he gets stuck there now!

When we did the ultrasound both babies were soundly sleeping. It was so sweet to watch them so quiet and curled up in their little worlds. However, they were sleeping in a position that wasn't allowing us to get the measurements we needed to find out the weight, and so we needed to wake them up by pushing on the belly (a tactic I have used before when I haven't felt a kick in a while).

Baby boy responded just like he always does with a quick kick to get me to go away (I was a little surprised at how well I have him trained to respond!). Unfortunately, it wasn't me, and so the jabbing continued. We watched as he started to wake up and his "breathing" (they actually practice breathing by taking in amniotic fluid - good exercise for the lungs) got more rapid. The poor little guy kept giving his usual kick, but it wasn't working and he just couldn't figure out why he wasn't being left alone. He finally moved enough for us to get the measurement, and leave him alone.

Baby Girl responded in the exact same way she has every time I have tried to wake her up to get a kick. She ignored us and kept sleeping for as long as possible. Then she suddenly, and violently, woke up and thrashed all over. She punched and kicked and let us know she was not happy. We didn't mind much though because all the movement allowed us to get the necessary measurements. However, Lucas said I have to be the one who wakes her up for school (payback for all the times in my life I have responded the same way to being woke up)!

Overall, it was a very exciting time!

Many of you have asked how Lucas is holding up (since I'm the only one you hear from here). From my perspective, he's doing great. He did turn a little pale during the labor talks, but by the time everything slowed down he had himself all geared up for labor, and I think he would have done beautifully! He has managed, in all the commotion, to prepare his sermon for this Sunday, and he is doing a great job of somehow juggling work, taking care of me, and now taking care of my mom (who is stranded out here). He has been an incredible rock. However, he might say something completely different. So, I'm going to try to see if I can get him to do a quick post on our adventures from his perspective!

I cannot say enough about how much we appreciate all the prayers! Every day the doctors say something, or something happens and I think to myself "this is because so many people are praying." Thank you so much!

February 19, 2009

Adventures in Labor & Delivery

I feel like, if a title were given to the last couple of months for us, this would be the title. We have had, yet again, another adventure...possibly the biggest adrenaline rush of all of the adventures - until, of course, the biggest of all adventures (the birth). But, then again, that's what we thought this last one was...

Tuesday evening I had, like most other evenings, some contractions. This was not uncommon, it is expected with 2 babies, but I have to keep an eye on them. Most evenings it's 1-2 an hour, and often stops before I go to bed. Tuesday evening the pattern was off. I would have 4 contractions all 6 minutes apart...and then nothing for an hour. Finally, between 9-10 I had the magic number (6 non-painful contractions in an hour)...we waited 30 more minutes to make sure they didn't stop (they didn't), and then we called the dr. who had us come to the hospital for monitoring.

When we got there, sure enough I was still contracting at an irregularly regular frequency (1 every 8-12 minutes), and they discovered I was dilated 4 centimeters! Since we were at our hospital - which doesn't have a NICU - they needed to sed me immediately to the hospital where I had been before for bedrest. And since there was some urgency, they sent me in an ambulance...with lights and siren and everything! I tried to soak in and enjoy the experience as much as possible...I mean, hopefully I will never ride in an ambulance again, AND I was riding in the ambulance in relative comfort - which I don't think often happens.

Here, in Labor and Delivery, they hooked me up to monitors, confirmed that I was dilated and contracting, and went to work. I was given medication to try to stop the contractions, they did a quick ultrasound to find out the position of the babies, they brought in NP's from the NICU to talk about what to expect when our babies were born (ALL much more positive than previous conversations - they are basically out of the danger zone for most medical complications, and just need to stay in the hospital to learn to eat, and to get enough fat to keep themselves warm on their own), they brought in the anesthesiologist to talk about pain management during the labor, the doctors talked with us about delivery - who would be there, where it would take place (the OR because it's twins, etc.), and we signed half a dozen consent forms.

The medication wasn't working, so they gave me another dose. They did another ultrasound to check their weight ( 3 1/2 pounds - ideal!), we saw more people (it's all a blur) and we signed more forms. Around 4 am they checked my cervix and found that it hadn't changed (good news!), but the contraction had not stopped and were getting slightly more forceful (not so good news). They gave me 1 more dose of the medication, told the nurses to give it every 6 hours, and told us to get some rest because we had a long day ahead of us. The general concensus was that this was it, but the dr. reassured me by saying that if I had come in 4 days later, they wouldn't have even tried the medicine, but would have just let it go. Everything would be ok.

I didn't get sleep because the contractions not only didn't stop, but got progressively more frequent and more painful. By 8:30 am, I was in active labor and the dr.s and nurses seemed to be gearing up. The final test would be the dose of medicine at 10 am to see if it slowed anything down, but they didn't seem to have much hope. At 10 I took the medicine...and the contractions got less painful and began to space out. I actually fell asleep for a while. At 4 they gave me the mediciation again and the contractions basically stopped all together. I had not dilated more, and everything seemed stable, so they moved me back to the antepartum unit (where I had been on bedrest before).

This morning the dr. - admittedly surprised that I responded so suddenly and completely to the medication - told us that, at this point, there is no telling when they will come. It could be tomorrow. It could be several more weeks! I will be on the medicine every 6 hours until I am 34 weeks (March 8th), and I will definitely be in the hospital until I'm 34 weeks (or the babies are born). So...we have a new countdown (I guess...although I still want to celebrate the old one!)

It was a physically and emotionally exhausting 24 hours...we went from fairly routine trip to labor and delivery for monitoring to middle of the night ambulance ride, to mentally and physically preparing for labor, to...the same old routine as before. I know dress rehearsals are beneficial, but I could have done without this one!

There also are some mixed emotions. While it is definitely beneficial for the babies to stay in longer, and we're happy for that, we had enough time to work through the initial shock of "this is really it" and had geared ourselves up for delivery that the sudden turnaround was a bit anticlimactic. Also, there was some excitement of looking forward to actually seeing our babies. We had gotten them to a healthy point where we could be excited about them coming, we were at the point where seeing them and holding them was within our grasp, and then suddenly we were back to...waiting. It was, admittedly, a bit of a letdown.

Regardless, we rejoice that they are healthy. We are thankful for the extra time they have to grow and get fat (getting fat is very important at this point), and we are learning more and more patience with each passing day (and adventure). Hopefully, this will be thelast adventure before the BIG adventure...but if not, at least I'll have something exciting to write about!

Thanks to all for your continued prayers! They definitely have sustaind us, and continue to do so. We'll keep you all posted!

February 15, 2009

31 weeks!!!

Today we are officially 31 weeks! Only 7 more days to go! I remember, when I set the goal at 35 days, not being able to imagine getting into singlr digit days, and now we're down to 1 week!! I am home now. My mom flew out to help us out, and I am spending my days...in bed :) It's much nicer now that I am home!

The babies seem to be growing well. Our next ultrasound isn't for 1 1/2 weeks (after getting a couple a week in the hospital, I'm super spoiled, and it is really hard to wait that long!), but the babies seem to be growing well. T-shirts that fit a week ago are getting very snug this week! They are also moving a LOT! Baby boy spent all day yesterday wiggling himself into a new position (he likes to really explore his space & was in a different position for every ultrasound!). He would seem to settle into a spot, and then I could feel him wiggle like he wasn't quite comfortable, and then he would start inching around again (all this movement caused his sister to kick her complaints - she doesn't seem to like her space invaded). This kept going all day and evening, and I woke up this morning feeling like something was balled up right under my ribs. Sure enough, he carefully wedged himself as far as he could up under my ribs, and seems to have happily settled there! While, I'm happy he wants to be so close to my heart (literally), it's his most uncomfortable position choice yet...and I'm hoping this isn't the position he's in when he finally runs out of room and can't move!

My latest favorite is how the babies respond to Lucas. A few times at church, I noticed that when he spoke at the pulpit (preaching, announcements, anything) they would start moving around. I figured it was a coincidence. Then, in the hospital, I noticed that when he came to visit, he would walk in the room and start talking and they would start moving! It's not all the time...but if they haven't heard his voice for a while, and he starts talking, they go crazy! I think they know it is the voice of someone who will play with them.

Thanks for your continued prayers! We appreciate them so much.

February 08, 2009

30 weeks!!!!

Today we are officially 30 weeks! It feels so good to finally be out of the 20's :) The official countdown is now at 13 days, 17 hours, and 25 minutes to 32 weeks! Every day we get more relieved, less nervous, and more excited. Every day I start to feel more like 32 weeks is not a finish line that I will desperately crawl across, but potentially a milestone that we will joyfully pass on our way to a later due date. Where we once thought we might not make it to 30 weeks, 34 weeks seems like much more of a possibility!
I am currently trying to decide how to celebrate and mark the 32 week milestone. Now that it seems very possible that we will make it there, I feel like we have to do something special on that day...I just don't know exactly what...If you have any suggestions, let me know.
I have now been in this hospital 10 days (22 days total in a hosp.). It has also been a relief to go this long, while still being stable, after the great escape from NY. Our renegade actions do not seem to have any negative effects! As far as being bored - I've been doing very well...I try to alternate between reading,watching tv or movise, talking with friends, browsing online, and playing Hoyle card games...A HUGE thanks to cousin Lauren for all of the magazines. Not only were they a huge distraction for me, but I've passed them along to some of the other women on the unit as well.
Thanks for your continued prayers. Currently, the big thing we are waiting on is finding out about the possibility of going home! Tomorrow (Monday) they are going to review my case. There is a chance that I could go home as early as this week (which is exciting and terrifying - there is comfort in being monitored daily, hearing their heartbeats, and knowing I have immediate help should something go unexpectedly wrong). Otherwise, it will be reviewed on a week by week basis. Pray for wisdom for the doctors, and peace for us - whatever the decision.

February 04, 2009

Things I am thankful for or appreciate more...

Being in bedrest at the hospital has made me appreciate some surprising things...since I hope none of you ever have to have an extended hospital stay...I figured I would pass these things along so you can appreciate them too (or for me).

I am VERY thankful for:
Time to read - I've read 5 books,and 6 magazines already! It's heavenly!
Internet - we didn't have it at the hosp. in NY, and I feel so much more connected having it here!
Not having to cook OR cleanup after the meal.
Showers. That is my only "out of bed time" I get...No matter how short it always is refreshing, and makes me feel more human and ready to go back to another day in bed.
24, American Idol, Ugly Betty, and The Office -these shows help the evenings fly by, and help me keep track of what day it is.
The Oscars - Oscar night this year happens to be our 32 week anniversary, and I'm more excited about them coming than I ever have been before!!!
Friends & family who call, write, or visit - it helped soften the blow of being stuck in NY, and made the renegade trip to MA so worth it!
A window to see the outside world (even if it is only a patch of sky and another building!)
My husband - who has taken such good care of me. I have never loved him more.
That there are only 17 days, 13 hours, and 16 minutes left until we are 32 weeks (not that I'm obssessivel counting...)
All of the prayers - I can't wait to someday tell these babies how many people prayed for them...it has been humbling and overwhelming to have so many people wrap us in prayer, we feel the support, and it has been such a blessing!

Things I appreciate more:
My bed at home - so soft, with nice pillows, and a lovely view...I dream about my bed...
Sleeping next to (or even in the same room with) my husband. I'll even take the occassional snoring!
A Homemade meal (yes, I don't have to cook or cleanup,but there is a trade off in quality...)
DVR...I keep wanting to pause or rewind programs, and I can't! I've gotten so spoiled!
walking and/or running! I dream about nice weather and taking a LONG walk...or even running a little (Since the farthest distance I currently walk is from the bed to the bathroom I can't imagine I would have the endurance for much more than a VERY short run!)
Alarm clocks (as opposed to waking up to a steady stream of Residents, Doctors, and nurses - all of whom are wonderful and appreciated).
Fresh air
The medical care available these days

Random story - I feel like a mini celebrity here...every new doctor or nurse who comes in tells me "I've heard all about you and how you left NY!" A few have said they think it's great that we were so gutsy...most laugh at how we fled the hosp. there. While I knew it would be a great story to pass on to the twins someday, I didn't realize it would be such a hit at the hospital!

February 02, 2009

Hospital Hopping

How sad that it has been a year since we've posted anything! I have no good excuses. I thought, however, now that I am fairly contained, that I would take the opportunity to keep you updated...

For those who don't know, or don't know much about the situation, we've had a fairly dramatic couple of weeks...

As I hope you all know, I am pregnant with twins! It has been a very exciting time for us, and while it had been a fairly quiet prenancy, there were a few bumps that are bound to occur when your body is trying to accomodate a baby more than it was generally designed to. After a talk with my dr. it was decided that I should stop working and spend my days "resting." No need for panic they told me, there was no sign of immenent problems, but they wanted to me take it easy. We had planned a trip to New York to see some dear friends (the Moodys) and some of the city for a Babymoon, and the doctors told me as long as I wasn't standing for more than 20 minutes at a time I could do whatever I felt up to...so we decided to go...and we had a wonderful, relaxing, enjoyable weekend with our friends. Until Sunday the 18th. I wasn't feeling well that morning, and then there were some slight symptoms of preterm labor that caused my doctor at home to want me to go somewhere to get checked out...not Boston because they were having a snowstorm. We went to a hosp. on Long Island fully expecting it to be nothing - as it had been the other times I had to make a hosp. visit (doctors are very cautious with multiples,so we had visited Labor & Delivery a couple times already). That was not the case...when I got there it turned out I was having contractions every 6-9 minutes (I hd no idea the crumminess I felt was contractions), and it looked like I was in early stages of labor. Suddenly they were giving me steroids for the babies' lungs, medicine to stop the contractions, and a new room because they were admitting me ("only until the snow stops in Boston and we can send you there"). We weren't too concerned though (or we were in shock) because the medicine seemed to work and the contractions basically stopped, and soon we would go home. The next morning, even though the snow stopped in Boston, they decided to keep me 1 day longer to finish the 48 hr. cycle of the medicine they had started...and then later in the day they did an ultrasound and discovered I had an almost non existent cervix in terms of length and we heard the dreaded words, "It looks like you'll be here until they're born."

The rest of the week was a bit of a blur. No one could give us any definite answer as to when the twins might be born...just that getting to 32 weeks would be ideal (I was 27 at the time - 32 weeks seemed astronomically far away). There were hints of a chance that, if I remained stable we could go back to MA, but no guarantees. Our friends were stuck suddenly with Lucas living on their couch, and we were suddenly trying to rearrange our lives for a potentially long stay in NY. It was a week full of many emotions.

By early the next week (the 26th) we discovered that my cervix had remained stable, I wasn't having any contractions, I wasn't on any medicine to stop contractions, and I was being slowly weaned off monitors, etc. We started our campaign to be transferred to Boston. While the week before had been a crushing whirlwind of emotions, this week was characterized by hope and planning. Lucas and I became focused on our one goal - getting me home. Lucas even mapped out every hospital on the drive home that had the facilities we would need and their addresses and phone numbers (we would never have been more than 30 min. from a hosp.). The doctor was very hesitant however. After talking with many people, nurses and residents there and friends who were nurses, we finally decided that we would ask one more time why I was being kept there, and if the doctor couldn't give us a reason that satified us, we would leave on our own. The doctor admitted her concern was hosp. liability and that we could leave AMA (Against Medical Advice). While it was hard for me to rebel, Lucas and I chose that option, and I called my MA doctor to coordinate the transfer here.

We were nervous...and excited. We prayed like crazy and then took off. Thankfully, the trip was uneventful and shorter than we expected! When we got here they did all the same tests and monitoring and everything was the exact same as it was just before we left!

The doctors here are similarly concerned about my relatively non existent cervical length, and so I'm currently here on bedrest somewhat indefinitely. Although, Lucas and I are so much more relaxed and at peace being here in MA that I'm ok with that. Plus, I've always wanted uninterrupted time to read and relax...and now I have it!

We have been so thankful for all of the prayers, and continue to feel and appreciate them. Our big goal, as mentioned earlier, is to make it to AT LEAST 32 weeks. I am 29 weeks now & we currently have 20 days to go (Feb. 22 is the 32 week mark). Since we thought at one point we probably wouldn't make it even this far, we are hankful for every extra day they are able to stay in and grow. Every morning is a new celebration of another day to check off. At this point the doctors seem very upbeat and confident that we can make 32 weeks, and possibly beyond! We're holding tightly to this hope, and are praying that it can become a reality.

I will attempt, since I am fairly limited in mobility ( and therefore have no excuse!), to keep this up to date or include some of our crazy stories. And to keep you posted on the progress of our countdown.