Thursday, May 19, 2011

A Doctor Visit...Which Turned into a Hospital Stay...

This is a lot of info, but I like to have it all documented for my memories and the baby books.

Why I've Been Missing From the Blogging World

On Tuesday, I had my biweekly doctor's visit and my first NST. The doctor's visit went well and she didn't even think we needed to check my cervix, since my contractions were still coming about 5 an hour and hadn't increased.

I went to my NST afterwards and immediately they had trouble getting the babies on the monitors - not because something was wrong with them (they were fabulous), but because they kept moving. Everytime they'd get one baby on the monitor, the other would swim away and they'd have to get the other one back on. The nurse had to call two different nurses in to try to help her and they did an ultrasound several times to try to get the exact positions of each baby. We were there for over an hour trying to get the babies hooked up to monitors. In the meantime I was contracting pretty frequently - I'd say it started maybe one every 5 minutes and progressed to 1 every 3 minutes. At that point the nurses decided to call my doctor back in. She asked me some questions, checked my cervix (which was dilated) and decided I needed to head into Labor and Delivery.
This is from the NST. The blue stuff on my belly is gel.
 Here's what an NST looks like:

We picked Little Man up quickly and went over to L&D (my mom met us there and picked up Connor). They sent me to triage first to determine how close my contractions were and again had trouble getting the babies on the monitors (seems to be a theme with them). My contractions were definitely every three minutes and I was definitely dilated. So the doctor, who was great, told me that she'd put me on a 24 hour or 48 hour admittance in L&D and then reevaluate me to determine whether or not they wanted me to stay.

Here I am at Triage in L&D

I was admitted around 8pm and they instantly started Nifedipine (which stops contractions). They told me that if my body responded well, they'd stay with Nifedipine. But if my contractions didn't go away, they'd have to give me Magnesium Sulfate (which, apparently is some nasty stuff). They also gave me my first dose of corticosteroid, which helps the babies lungs develop (that was given to me as a shot in my hip and BOY OH BOY did it hurt). They also gave me antibiotics to treat me for GBS (I hadn't had my GBS test yet, so they just went ahead and gave me the antibiotics in case). I was ordered to be on continuous monitoring (which meant they had the babies and me hooked up to fetal and contraction monitoring). It was a bit of a pain because they could not get the babies to stay still. They'd get Aiden on the monitor and work on Isabella. Once Isabella was all set, Aiden would have swam away from the monitor and they'd have to start over. It was like that every 10-15 minutes all night. At around 3am after the babies had been monitored for several hours and my contractions had decreased to once every 10 minutes, my nurse, who was great, fought for me to be taken off the monitors so that I could get some sleep and they granted her permission. They told me I could be off the monitors for 2 hours.

Unfortunately in that 2 hours, I had to take a few different doses of medicines and they had to give me more IV fluids, so I still only got maybe 20-40 minutes of sleep - but that was all the sleep I had gotten since the night before. In fact, it was all the sleep I would get until I was dismissed late last night (over 48 hours).

In the morning they increased my nifedipine to double the dose because the contractions weren't decreasing and actually seemed to be coming back a bit. Within an hour, my contractions were back up to once every three minutes and they began to talk about delivering. In the doctors' rounds it was decided that they needed to send the nursery/NICU nurses to come and talk to me about caring for 30 week old babes. They also began to talk to me about putting me on magnesium sulfate. They kept reiterating that it wasn't for sure that I'd be having the babies, but they wanted me to know what it would be like.

They also began to explain the two types of births I could have with twins. First they went over the type of birth I'd have if the babies were preemies and then they went over what would happen if I made it to 36 weeks. No matter what I will have to deliver in an OR and almost no matter what, Mr. Howard will be the only one allowed in the room with me (unless I have a really nice doctor, both babies are head down, AND I am doing perfectly - and even then I can only have one extra person in there with us). He will also have to be in sterile scrubs. They will have double the staff in the room - two nurses, one OB doctor, one or more pediatricians, and potentially a nephrologist (they won't need to have one in there if the babies are doing okay on the monitors and the amniotic fluid is okay). It is highly recommended that I have an epidural (I was planning on that anyway) in case they have to do an emergency c-section on one or both babies. Otherwise, I would have to be knocked out during the birth - NO THANK YOU!! Even if I deliver vaginally, I will not be able to do skin-to-skin with either baby until I leave the OR. After the babies are born, they will take them out with Mr. Howard to recovery, while they get me all ready and then I will meet them in recovery. This was all news to me and will be so different than my first two births. I was happy they took the time to go over this all with me.

After being on the medicine for a few more hours, my contractions slowed and they began to think I wouldn't be delivering. After lunch, they began to talk about letting me go home on bed rest that night. The doctor came in at that point and started talking to me about bed rest. I was ordered to be put on bed rest for at least one week (probably more) and they talked about what it means (up for only 1-3 minute intervals, in bed or on the couch, no stress...etc.). A few hours later they decided to check my cervix (still the same) and they said I could go off the monitors for a few hours (WOOOO-HOOOOOO). I was able to lay on my side, get up when I wanted to, sit up in bed, stand for a few minutes, stretch my legs...ahh it was heavenly. They also took my IV out (they left the PICC in, but unhooked me from the fluids and medicine). I had an NST scheduled at 6 and they told me that if the babies looked okay I could go home.

At about 6 they gave me my other steroid injection (OUUCCCHHHH), my final dose of nifedipine and antibiotics, and hooked me up to the NST. They decided that instead of hooking the babies up and then coming back in and out for 30 minutes, that they'd just have two nurses sit there with me through the whole NST to be able to move the monitors as quickly and as often as needed for Aiden and Isabella. It really was no different than how the other 24 hours went because even when they'd leave, it would usually only be for 5 or 10 minutes before they'd come bustling back in to go "Baby Hunting" (that's what all the nurses call it when a baby swims away from the monitor).

The nice part is that when you're having twins and you're in L&D, they don't give the nurses any other patients. It's a 1:1 ratio. So I had a personal nurse at all hours of the day - so unusual! And every single nurse I had was ABSOLUTELY FABULOUS!!!!!! They even all signed a card for me thanking me (even my two doctors signed). It was seriously adorable!!! When I gave birth to Cole, I know I mentioned how wonderful the nurses were - there were so kind and soft and explained everything to me in a way that was gentle and sensitive. Well one of my nurses, Renee, came and said hello to me! She saw my name on a chart and wanted to tell me how happy she was to see me come back pregnant! =)

I was sent home finally with strict bed rest orders, a prescription to stop contractions that I have to take every six hours, and was told to go home, pack a hospital bag, take a shower, and get ready to come back. They said it is very rare to not see me again - that generally with twins, I'll come in several times and it's also common to have twin moms stay for weeks at a time. We'll see what happens, but I just want the babies to be healthy! The NICU at the Kaiser I'll be delivering at is Number 1 in California and top 10 in the nation. So I know that if the babies are born early, they will be well taken care of! And they kept saying over and over that every day the babies stay in, the better it is for them. If I can make it to 32, that's better than 30. If I can make it to 35, that's better than 32. Even 32 weeks 1 day is better than 32 weeks 0 days.


Daddy's Dream ~Mommy's Miracle said... Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

Oh boy! Sounds like you had an interesting few days. We have had to have contractions stopped once too. Praying we make it to 35 wks...then I am ok with delivery!!

Christina said... Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

Wow, what a day! Or multiple days. Take care of yourself and get lots and lots of sleep! I hope they stay in there as long as possible. :)

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