Thursday, October 9, 2008

And so it began

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?

Um, NO.

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.

Damn you.

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.)

21 comments:

Jody said...

Oh man, that brings it all back for me, too. I was there for different reasons and longer, but the monitoring! And the fake bathroom trips! And the horrible L&D beds of death! Oh, yes.

I'm sure that this is a difficult time for you. I'm thinking of you.

Millicent said...

I have no idea how you did it. All I can say is you are amazing in a million different ways.

Jennifer said...

Ugh, I had three straight weeks in the hospital of fetal heart monitors, plus a toco monitor. It sucked, and was freaking itchy.

Gwen said...

OOhh, yes, the itchy monitor belts. The hard torture beds. The horrible lack of sleep just when visitors and callers keep saying "Get your sleep now, before the babies come, ha ha!"
I'm thinking of you, remembering a year ago being so happy for you when your three beautiful babies were born. Lots of memories, I'm sure it's hard and wonderful all at once.

Elle Charlie said...

Wow, are the girls almost a year old? REALLY? Wow.

Katie M said...

I am still amazed at how good you looked! I swear I was bigger with just 1 baby in me.

HUGS

Linda said...

Ahhh yes the itchy belts. I remember them well. I hope you have a great time with the girls tomorrow and that Jack sends you a perfect sign to know he's there with you.

Anonymous said...

I have been thinking of you the past few days. I hope you enjoy the babies birthday!

Jenn from CT

Sulla/Jennifer said...

I only had a singleton, but man! that all sounds sooooo familiar! I begged and begged and begged to be let off the monitors after two days and the nurses teased me that I looked like I was getting ready for a date when I finally got to take my big five minute walk around the hall with my hair combed and my bathrobe on....

I was also in total denial about being admitted to the hospital, and despite having put on the gown and put all my belongings in a plastic bag, I told myself I was just getting an "exam." And in my case, the dr. kept referring euphemistically to avoiding an "untoward incident" in utero. I finally asked my OB what it meant. When she said "fetal death," I finally signed and agreed to the induction...

Anyway, HAPPY HAPPY FIRST BIRTHDAY to sweet sweet Charlotte and Katie, and Jack, who I know is smiling down on his sisters up in heaven!

amberz said...

I don't even know you, although I feel like I do because I read your blog but when I woke up this morning I immediately thought of you and your babies.

Happy Birthday Charlotte, Katie & Jack who I'm sure is smiling down from Heaven as a little angel.

Patyrish said...

Ya know I never thought about how annoying that would be until I read this entry. I had constant monitoring with Makily and she was ONE BABY....that was annoying....BUT THREE monitors, keeping them in place at all times? OH DEAR GOD! Not being able to move or change positions when you are pregnant WITH TRIPLETS must be PAINFUL. I can't imagine HOW SORE and AFRAID you must have been.

Patyrish said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Patyrish said...

ps...i love how you would lie and say you had to pee so you could be "un-tethered". Good thinking LOLOLOL

rachael said...

lol, the cords hanging out of the gown...that brings back some memories!

Melanie said...

Hi Megan. I hope the girls' party today went well! I've always wondered if the perinatologist was right about the twin-twin transfusion developing. (I'm taking a wild guess in saying he was wrong since Charlotte is such a big, strong thing.) I think we went to the same perinatologist group, and I remember thinking on my very first visit there that I hoped I wouldn't get the doctor that you had (as I had been following your updates on the nest at that time). I'm still not sure if we did.

Anyway, I'm sure today was full of memories for you and I thought about you and the girls several times today.

Take care,

Melanie (melaniekt)

Michael, Karen and Morgan said...

Happy 1st Birthday Charlotte & Katie! I know Jack is eating birthday cake, singing and celebrating with you in Heaven!

God Bless You All! Especially on this bitter sweet day.

Anonymous said...

Happy Birthday babies!

Anonymous said...

After reading this post, I went back and reread your posts from last October and November... I'm sending you lots and lots of positive thoughts over the next several weeks. I know it will be hard to remember all that happened this time last year, and I can't even begin to understand, but know that you have lots of people thinking of you and your three gorgeous babies.

Anonymous said...

I love your way of telling the story and while I do not have children I have been the same way with doctors my whole life my parents have many stories of me basically telling doctors:no I am fine and now you are annoying me!

Anonymous said...

I've been reading your blog for almost a year now. Happy Birthday to the babies. Thinking about you!!

Amanda said...

Happy Birthday Katie, Jack and Charlotte :)