A year ago tonight, I was in the hospital. And I was PISSED. I was sure it was all a big mistake, and I was being tortured for absolutely nothing and I would be home in my own bed the next night (which I had no problem telling anyone who would listen).
I was so wrong.
October 9, 2007 I was 32 weeks 4 days pregnant. We went merrily off to my perinatologist appointment that afternoon, and though I'd had some feelings that maybe SOMETHING was going on, I didn't really think I was having the babies any time soon. I'd seen my OB only a few days before who'd said I was in great shape, no reason to think I'd have these babies in the next few days.... he was talking about me going to 36 weeks, easy.
At the Peri appointment the technician did our ultrasound and said everything looked great - all three babies, great great and great. And in came the doctor to review everything. THE doctor. The one who'd sent me to the hospital a few weeks earlier for pre-eclampsia.... which I didn't have. He gave me a quick ultrasound and said, well, Baby A's fluid is low (Charlotte). That's a big sign that twin to twin transfusion is starting. SOOO you're going to walk next door to the hospital, check yourself in to labor and delivery, they'll give you the steroid shots for the babies lungs, and you'll deliver them on Thursday. Sound good?
I said, I'm going home and I'll see my OB tomorrow and we'll talk about it.
He said, no, you're going in the hospital.
I said the technician said everything looked fine.
He said, she was wrong. You're going in the hospital.
I said, yeah, I need to go home and pack my bag, and say goodbye to my cat, so I'll come back later.
He said, no, you're going in the hopsital. Right now.
I said, uh huh, I hear you, my husband and I are going to get some lunch and talk it over....
NO. YOU ARE GOING IN THE HOSPITAL. NOW.
I went, almost literally kicking and screaming. I didn't trust this doctor or like this doctor. I was 100% sure he was wrong again, and I would talk to my OB and the hospital would check the babies and we would all say, oh that crazy perinatologist, and I would waddle back home for another 3 or 4 weeks.
None of that happened. Everyone agreed it was time to deliver the babies, even if there was a small chance of the baby having TTTS, it wasn't worth the risk of waiting. One doctor (who I made do another ultrasound on me for a second opinion) actually used the words "your baby will die." Well, okay, since you put it that way - I guess I'm having these babies.
One thing no one tells you - those steroid shots they give you to develop the babies lungs, HURT LIKE HELL. Holy crap did they hurt.
Also, if you have never been pregnant with multiples, I cannot begin to explain the pure torture of being on constant monitoring. Trying to keep fetal heart monitors on all three babies, 24 hours a day for two days was absolute hell - on both me and all the nurses. I couldn't lay flat on my back because it made me faint, so I had to sit kind of half propped up, couldn't move, roll over, nothing, all night. If I moved at all, one of the monitors would lose track of a baby and the alarm would go off. The one that was always hardest to find was the one that was supposedly in distress (Charlotte, who ironically turned out to be my healthiest baby) because she was so far down, almost in my pelvis, squished under her siblings. They couldn't always tell if they had all three babies or two monitors were picking up the same baby, so they'd have someone come in and do an ultrasound to make sure. This went on all night. I didn't sleep. At all.
The morning of the 10th, I begged, BEGGED my OB to take me off monitoring, just for a little while (after pleading with nurses and interns all night long). Or to just monitor Charlotte, not all three. I was so desperate, I said I would sign something saying I took responsibility for this action. I couldn't stand it anymore. She agreed, since the babies had been fine all night, not shown any signs of distress at all, that I could be on for an hour, off for an hour.
Then the perinatologist came in and said, nope, constant monitoring. The end.
So another day and night on constant monitoring. Except this second night, the nurses in the antepartum unit got sick of me and sent me down to labor and delivery at midnight because they couldn't deal with trying to keep me on the monitors anymore. This was better but worse...the nurses in L and D were (a little) better at keeping me on the monitors, they had better equipment and more experience. BUT the bed was horrific. It was a hard bed meant for women in labor. I sat on three pillows all night and cried. Begged God to help me get through this, take care of my babies, give me the strength to make it through another night in pain and exhaustion and being so so scared.
By 7am the morning of October 11th I was so ready to GET THESE BABIES OUT. I wanted the monitors off, I needed to lay on my back, my side, I needed to sleep. I was really ready to meet these babies whose heartbeats I'd been listening to nonstop for the last 48 hours... three, strong beautiful heartbeats.
PJ and I the night before the babies were born....
(They'd taken me off the monitors to go to the bathroom... I would lie and say I had to go just so I could get off them for a minute! You can see the three cords hanging out the bottom of my gown.)