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!