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Finding out I might have to deliver at 29 weeks was the scariest news I have ever received.
Last week I revealed part one of my twin birth story experience. If you are following along, welcome back! This week I am going to share with you guys what happened after I was officially admitted to Labor and Delivery.
If you haven’t read my first post in the series, check it out here first!
The 48 hours following being admitted to L&D were crazy and jam packed. I was exhausted by the end of it. But it didn’t end.
I am not going to give you a long introduction in this birth story post, let’s just go ahead and dive into what happened after being admitted into L&D.
My Twin Birth Story (Part #2)
I didn’t have time to get settled into room 303. Once they locked the wheels of my hospital bed, my nurses went straight to business.
They hooked me up to new monitors, one for each baby, and took my vitals. They also started me on the steroid treatment to help further the development of my unborn twins lungs.
My night nurse (Betsy) noticed that while I was in the triage room, they were using the wrong blood pressure cuff. So once she grabbed the right size and re-checked my BP, I received even more bad news.
My blood pressure was higher than it had been all day. It was up over 170/105.
I was in the serious danger zone.
Betsy called for other nurses to come in, as well as the doctor that was on call. They all immeditely started me on protocol. Something I would become all too familliar with.
Protocol is when they pump you with meds through your IV to lower your BP and closely monitor each baby for distress. You stay on protocol until you can pass a blood pressure test after fifteen minutes, thirty minutes, an hour, and then three hours.
After the last segment is when you can be relieved of the constant beeping monitors and vital checks.
Well, at this time I was experiencing my first round of protocol. And it lasted for 48 hours.
48 hours of constantly being checked on and asked 500 questions, all while having to call family and friends and tell them what is going on.
All while being told I could have to deliver at any time.
I was terrified, and so was my husband. He ended up staying until about midnight that night, but he had to go home for our dogs. That was really hard. I was alone and scared in the hospital, but having two dogs, he had to go home and be with them.
Chris came back first thing the next morning, right as my doctor for the day came in. MY doctor carried the news that we were all dreading.
I had pre-eclampsia with severe hypertension.
And everything that followed was a blur. She had so much information to share with us, but it just didn’t even feel real anymore.
You never in a million years expect something severely life changing to happen to you. And there I was. Sick. Sick enough that I could potentially lose my babies and myself.
My doctor explained what pre-eclampsia meant in the mean time, as well as what it could mean if things do not get better.
Delivery. It could mean delivery. Delivery of my two and a half pound babies at 29 weeks.
While we were both scared by the news, my doctor also shared that in the upcoming hours and days we would be visited by many birthing team members to prepare. Just in case.
When she left the room, my husband and I just sat there for a while. Just kind of staring at each other and into space. We were both thinking the same thing.
WTF are we going to do.
We weren’t ready. Not even close!! I had my baby shower the week before, so I did have most of what I needed. But I didn’t have a clue what else I needed to buy or who was going to actually put together their room. Not my husband, that’s for sure.
Oh but the next part was almost harder than hearing the news. The next part was calling our family and close friends. Most importantly- my mom.
I knew my mom was going to freak out, and that is exactly what she did. My husband took care of telling everyone else close to us. I just needed to get across to my mom that I wasn’t dying today and I wasn’t losing the babies. She tends to think on the extreme side of things.
It was hard telling those close to us because that is when it started to sound real. Repeating it over and over, hearing each other repeat it. All of that just made everything seem more real.
While my doctor was putting together a plan for me, I stayed on protocol so that everyone could closely monitor me. I had different specialists come in and out of my room, preparing me for what could come at any point.
Last up was the NICU team. The people no one ever wants to meet. But with my current situation, we were about to become good friends.
The NICU team went over what would happen if the babies were delivered at 29 weeks. They went over what size they might be, what kinds of complications they might have, and what kind of NICU stay we might experience.
This is the moment where I completely lost it.
Up until this point, I had been imagining what our twins might look like. What hearing their first cries might be like. And what holding them for the first time might be like. But now I was being told that I might not be able to physically hold them for a while. I might not be able to see them right away. That the first time I see them, they might be wrapped up in cords and monitors.
I’ll talk about what the NICU was actually like at a different point. Yes, we did end up spending some time in the NICU. And no, you can NEVER prepare yourself enough for that heart wrenching experience.
Hearing the truth for the first time about what we could be facing by having the twins so early was really hard to hear. And it was even harder to explain when people started asking questions about it.
After the NICU team left, my doctor came back into my room and we went over the plan she had for my situation.
The plan was- stay until delivery.
But when would delivery be? Well, whenever I became too sick for the babies safety. It could be days. It could be weeks! But the goal was for me to make it to 34 weeks.
I guess 34 weeks is when the table flips. Right then (at 29 weeks) as long as doctors can keep me in the ‘safe’ zone, the babies are safer inside of me and have a better chance for survival.
However, after 34 weeks, it is safer for myself and the babies to deliver. After 34 weeks, in my condition, my body is no longer the better place for them. The NICU is.
So there we had it- 34 weeks was the plan. Get stable, and keep the babies in until 34 weeks. All of this information came to me on Saturday, August 12th. My goal was to keep the twins in until September 12th. An entire month. I was supposed to be hoping for a month long stay in the hospital.
What would you think if you were told you had to stay in the hospital for a whole month?! I mean, even if it was due to your pregnancy. we are talking AN ENTIRE MONTH away from your bed, home, shopping, husband, kids, life. Everything.
I wasn’t excited. Angry was more like it.
Angry with my body, this pregnancy, the world. It just felt like I wasn’t meant to be pregnant. Like my body was just working against me.
I was angry that because my body was being a dick, I was stuck in the hospital until the babies came. I didn’t want them to come any time soon, but I also didn’t want to be there.
With all of my angry towards the situation, at least I finally got the McDonald’s I had been craving. My husband went out and got us dinner that night and when we got back we went over what all needed to happen.
There was a lot on our plates now. A lot we needed to figure out. Was he going to stay with me? What about the dogs? Or the baby stuff we still needed to buy and organize? Who would feed him now that I’m not home and he doesn’t know much more than ramen and mac and cheese?