Thursday, April 24, 2014

Where Have I Been? Part 2: 32 Weeks with Twins and Beyond

Week 32 arrived somewhat uneventfully and I was allowed to go home and leave the hospital.  In total I spent 9 weeks on hospital bedrest, with two at home before that.  So basically the entire summer.  I did not go outside once that entire time.  In fact, the only times I even left my room were to be wheeled to another wing for ultrasounds and NSTs.

I was incredibly fortunate in that the issues with my pregnancy were specific to my cervix.  I did not have sick babies or any other ailments to contend with, and I was thankfully never in pre-term labor. What I had is called incompetent cervix, which occurs when your cervix starts to soften and dilate far too early.  We made the risky decision to have a cerclage performed, where they stitch up your cervix and hope the knot holds long enough for the kiddos to finish cooking, but we had no guarantees, as a cerclage is not recommended in twin pregnancies.  The doctor said it may work, it may not, there is no way to know.  You could also develop an infection from the surgery, or your sac could get punctured, both of which could have had calamitous consequences.  I don't wish that decision on anyone.  We were not candidates for progesterone injections, as they are not successful with multiples.  The only thing we could do was take a gamble on getting the stitches and stay horizontal (upside down in fact) as long as possible.

The long and short of it is that the cerclage worked!!  It worked incredibly well.  I am 100% positive that it was the hospital bedrest that made the difference.  Yes the stitches were totally necessary and thank god my doctor/surgeon was not only a big believer in them but one of the only doctors in my region that even performs then on twins, but bedrest is what really saved those babies.  I know it.  The nurses became my best friends.  I learned the Bravo and E! daily lineup, and thank goodness I was able to work remotely from my bed.  These things saved my sanity.  And my husband, bless his heart, made a point to come almost every single day.  On his way to work or on his way home.  We spent our five year anniversary in my hospital room, having canceled a fun trip to Quebec at the last minute.  He stayed with me all day.  It was actually one of the sweetest, most meaningful anniversaries we've spent together.  I felt truly lucky that day.

The stay was not without hiccups.  I bled heavily the entire time, which was a constant cause for concern.  I had to endure daily tests to monitor the babies which forced me into a position that was uncomfortable and left me gasping for air.  I watched as my muscles I had worked SOOOOO hard for turned to mush.  I tried to talk to my two-year-old on the phone but many times had to hang up so she wouldn't hear me sobbing.  When she visited I couldn't even sit up to hug her.  She would lay in bed with me and we'd watch a DVD or talk about her day at summer camp.  She and her daddy developed a close and special bond, he learned how to do her hair and picked out her outfits, packed her lunch and took her to camp everyday.  My parents had to take our dog to Chicago for the summer because it was just one less thing my husband had to deal with.  It was a lot.

But it worked.  I got to 28 weeks, then 30, then 32, when they finally kicked me out.  They said I'd be back to deliver any minute and I should go home and get settled mentally before they were born.  No one with twins and a cerclage had ever made it past 32 weeks, they said.  So back home I went!  I rode in a car for only the second time that summer, and enjoyed every second I spent waiting at the entrance in a wheelchair for the car to pull up.  At home I spent two more weeks on total bedrest, with my mom there to bring me food and water.  I missed my daughter's third birthday party, but we had our own celebration in my room when she got home.  At 34 weeks I was released!!  I did what any other woman in my position would do.  I got a mani/pedi and had lunch with a friend!  One week later, my little bundles came into the world, at 35 weeks.  We had never found out the sex of the babies, we were just too afraid of becoming attached.  We had a boy and a girl- my little girl was born first, naturally, and then my son, was delivered by emergency c-section half an hour later.  Yeah, don't do that.  Ha!

After ten days in the NICU they were home, and our life as a family of 5 began.

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