The days leading up to the birth of our beautiful baby girls were definitely a doozy. I’ll back up and start at the beginning – bear with me…. it might be a while.
Monday, August 26
After I posted my 35 weeks update two weeks ago, I had a doctor’s appointment in the evening. At that appointment, I had elevated blood pressure for the third appointment in a row. My favorite doctor was the one I was seeing that evening, and when we met, she recommended sending me to the hospital to get everything checked out. She said with twins, pre-eclampsia can come on very fast, and she did not want to mess with it. She said I could be there for a few days and be sent home, or I could be having babies fairly quickly.
I called John, and I told him to make his way up to the hospital with my things (just in case). I arrived at the hospital just in time to see John’s cousin, who works on the labor and delivery floor, before I got settled in for some testing. They continuously monitored the babies, checked my blood pressure every 20 minutes or so, and started an IV. They also took a lot of blood work and set me up to do a 24 hour urine sample collection (to check for protein in my urine).
Long story short, my labs came back okay, so the doctor on call discharged me around midnight to do my urine collection at home. I was told to follow up in the doctor’s office the following day.
Tuesday, August 27
I didn’t go into school again on Tuesday because of my escapade with the hospital the night before. I was really hoping at this point one of the doctors in my practice would write me a note (she did) to excuse me from work for the remainder of my pregnancy. When I got into the office, they took my blood pressure – elevated again. It was hovering around 145/85 which isn’t tooooo alarming, but much higher than mine usually is. Once I got into see her, she was dumbfounded as to why the doctor on call ever discharged me. She couldn’t believe they let me go when I had some abnormal readings and was still having high blood pressure. She then told me she was sending me BACK to the hospital – this time with orders to not let me leave for at least 24 hours so they could observe me more closely.
So, back to the hospital I went. This time I had my mom drive me. It was in the middle of the day, I knew they were only going to observe me, and there was no reason for the husband to have to pack up in the middle of a day when he was on a time constriction with a job he was doing.
When I got there, I got settled in with fetal monitors (which were very annoying to try to sleep in by the way!). They took blood work and explained to me that they wanted me to consult with the maternal fetal medicine doctor the following morning. I asked if I could eat dinner, and they said yes – so I had a tray of food delivered. Once my labs came back, my nurse came in and told me that my doctor had just given her no eating orders for me until after I met with the specialist in the morning and that I had to have an IV started. My platelet levels had dropped from the day before, which could be a dangerous thing. Platelets are the part of your blood that allow for clotting – if they get too low, a person is at great risk during delivery and could bleed out. The plan was to take a complete blood count in the morning, meet with the specialist and go from there. I called the Husband telling him there was a possibility we could be having the babies the next day, so he needed to be prepared and have his phone near him the following morning.
Wednesday, August 28
After a sleepless night’s sleep, I did a lot of waiting around on Wednesday morning. It was a long morning as I was starving, uncomfortable, and incredibly swollen. The specialist was finally ready to meet with me around noon, so I was wheeled down to his office which was in the lobby of the hospital, and got ready for him to tell me he may need to deliver the girls. When we met, he did an ultrasound, estimated their weights (he told me 6.6 and 6.2 – so wrong!), and we discussed options. My platelets had dropped from 116 to 107 that morning, and while it was borderline low, he didn’t feel as if he had reason enough to deliver me at that very moment. He did, however, tell me I was staying in the hospital until they were born. He (and my doctor agreed) said he could see things taking a turn in the next few days, and he wanted me to be in the hospital when that happened. While it seemed silly at the time for them to “wait until things got worse”, I’m kind of glad they did wait. One more day in the womb meant three days more or less in the NICU.
I was so so upset though – being hungry did not help me either. I wanted to go home, I wanted to get my IV out, and I wanted to get my fetal monitors off (they were giving me a rash from being on all the time). The doctor did give me permission to eat though, which definitely helped my mood a little bit. I settled back into my room and gave updates to everyone that while the girls weren’t arriving that day, I was in the hospital to stay until they arrived.
The doctors were planning on repeating pre-eclamptic labs and a total blood count in the morning. Until then, it was time to wait…
Thursday, August 29
Thankfully later in the evening the previous day, my nurse had convinced my doctor that I could be taken off of the continuous fetal monitoring and blood pressure readings. Instead, they settled on me getting a fetal non-stress test every eight hours and blood pressure readings every two. She also worked her magic and had my IV disconnected (I still had the IV in, but it wasn’t hooked up to anything). That allowed me to get a better night’s sleep, but I have to tell you – those birthing beds are uncomfortable! Around 6:00 AM, my nurse came in and drew my first labs of the morning.
Around 7:15, my breakfast tray arrived.
At 7:25, the specialist called me in my room – at that moment, I knew what he was going to say.
My platelets had dropped to 87, which was a dangerous number for delivery, and he wanted the babies out that day.
A nurse quickly came back into my room, told me my doctor had been notified, and that I was given no eating orders again. My breakfast tray was taken away mid-bite (literally), and I got ready to meet with my doctor.
To be continued…