Not so hospitable

After a fitful, anxiety-ridden sleep (can I even call it sleep?!?) I’m officially awake and it’s time for obs again before starting on my breakfast….it’s not that bad, toast and cereal, but with a bit of a dairy intolerance at the moment chowing down on cornflakes and milk is far from ideal. I’m super hungry though so I do….boy will I regret that later! Halfway through breakfast I’m told I’m supposed to be in a scan, they’re sorry but they’ve only just found out. I throw on my slippers and head down the hospital to the ultrasound area.

It’s very weird sitting there in my scabby tights and jumper that I’ve slept in, with slippers on my feet, while ‘normal’ people come and go in their day-clothes for their 12 and 20 week scans. I feel revolting. At least there’s one other lady in wheelchair and hospital gown in the waiting room, so I’m not the only one there looking out of place. Weird that that should be the case in a hospital but it is, at least in the time I’m waiting.

Eventually I’m called through, not sure why I needed to rush, and I get an earlier than planned growth scan on the boys. The sonographer is lovely (thank goodness because I’m a little emotional) and so is the trainee she has working with her. They start on twin one and the first thing I see is his heartbeat, I let out a massive breath that I don’t even realise I’ve been holding. Every time I go in to a scan I fear that one day we won’t see that little beating heart, a constant terror that this could all be taken away from us, especially when it feels like we’re getting so close.

They work through his measurements and it makes me feel a little sick to the stomach when I see 24w3d pop up down the bottom. That’s too small, he should be 26 weeks now. After being bang on track at the last scan he’s dropped behind. I swallow my fears and wait as they work through the rest of his scan. Other than his measurements being smaller than they should be everything looks ok, blood flow looks good, and there’s no obvious source of bleeding from this side. Onto twin two.

Again the anxious wait for heartbeat (it seems so silly when I’ve been feeling both of them move, just another one of those irrational fears I guess) and there it is, twin two is alive and kicking (so to speak) too. I breathe another sigh of relief. They start on his measurements and again he’s measuring a bit behind. Not quite as much as twin one, twin two is at 25w2d but still behind. That good old feeling of failing as a mother begins to creep in again, better get used to it, it won’t be the last time. On the plus side, everything else looks fine here too – blood flow, fluid quantity, and no obvious sign of a cause for bleeding – phew! At least both our boys are ok.

The sonographer tries to get some 3D pics of the boys faces but, same as last time, there’s not enough fluid around that area, so we settle for a couple of 2D ones instead. She then leaves the room to process everything and lets her trainee have a play. It’s the first time this woman has ever scanned a pregnancy and she’s scared. “I’m so nervous” she says. It’s cute. I tell her that she can’t do anything wrong and to just “go wild”, I’ll tell her if she’s pressing to hard or anything. She’s super gentle and I can see her getting excited when she manages to capture each section. “I could do this all day” she says, “I could watch this all day” I reply. Anything to see my wee boys wiggling around! Eventually the scan is over and I head back to my room clutching my two precious images tightly.

After reviewing my scan the docs decide that I’m definitely to stay for the weekend. If all goes well I should be allowed to go home on Monday but they want to keep a close eye on me and the boys to make sure the bleeding stops and that everything is ok. I’m gutted to be missing my weekend but I’m glad to be here where I know the boys are getting well looked after.

The next few days pass in a blur of obs, dopplers, interrupted sleep, and bad food – which seems to get progressively worse over the three days. Sunday night’s dinner which I thought would be the best of the bunch, being vegetable frittata, gourmet potatoes (basically meaning they’re whole baby potatoes rather than reconstituted mash), roasted kumara (sweet potato), and Asian vegetables, turns out to be so inedible (potatoes and kumara raw in the middle, Asian veges so overcooked they’re grey on the plate – and I don’t know where the ‘Asian’ comes in as it’s just boiled carrot, celery, and beans with no sauce or anything – and a square of jelly-looking powdered egg with a couple of chunks of carrot in) that after a few mouthfuls I make hubs go and buy us burgers. I have no idea how people actually managed to get well in hospital eating this rubbish non-nutritious food. Note to self: bring own food in if ever admitted again.

My obs constantly come back perfect, the boys (despite being rascals at times and hiding from the machine) Doppler results are spot on, and the bleeding eases back to old-blood spotting. I’m still scared the boys are going to come early but our prognosis moves from “they may come tonight/this weekend” to “they shouldn’t come in the next 10 days” to “A realistic aim is 32 weeks” to “I’m confident we can get you to 34 weeks” so I begin to feel better. Honestly, I’d be happy with anything over 30 but obviously, if I can, I’d love to get them all the way to 37. Baby steps. My next goal is 28 weeks.

Monday morning rolls around and I’m given the all clear to go. Thank goodness. While I had plenty to do I hospital (all that reading and blogging I’d planned on doing never really eventuated what with all the visitors etc.) and I never got bored, I’m ready to go home. My obstetrician is back on duty at the hospital Monday so I have a chat to him. He reassures me that things aren’t as bad as initially thought and we just need to monitor the difference in the boys growth as well as their small size. He books me in for another growth scan at my regular radiology centre and tells me I can leave as soon as the hospital docs give the all clear (officially I’m under their care so they’re the ones who have to check me out and let me go).

Next I get a visit from the midwife who says the ward docs will be around soon but that I should be good to go and to call my husband to collect me. The ward docs never show – this new team on duty is REALLY disorganised and nowhere near the well-oiled machine that looked after me over the weekend (go Team Orange! Boo Team Green!) Eventually the midwife returns and tells me they don’t want to see me as my obstetrician already has, and to just leave. I remind her again that I need a prescription for iron tablets, which she brings me, and I make a run for it. I’m totally exhausted, having barely slept a wink the night before and gladly spend the next day and a half in bed resting and napping. Please stay put my little monkeys!

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