Category Archives: Hospital

The buzzing of Bees

 

Having a urinary catheter in overnight means I can’t get up to visit Bumble and that’s absolutely heartbreaking. I feel like the worst mum in the world, having one baby absorbing all my attention and one totally neglected in a room down the hall in another ward, but there’s nothing I can do. Even once they take the catheter out I find I’m still hesitant to go and visit Bumble, I feel so unbelievably guilty that he’s in the situation he’s currently in, that I didn’t cook him long enough – or as my step-mum says I “had him on grill, not bake”

I eventually head down to see him an hour or so after I can move freely again. This is actually a few hours after the catheter comes out as it takes a little while to get up and running again – out of bed to the chair and back, a slow trip to the bathroom – but I’m determined to get moving as soon as possible and to not take too many painkillers so that I can recover as fast as I can. I indeed surprise the pain team by using the morphine pump just 2-3 times (and even then only because people told me I should), and requiring the minimum of slow-release morphine capsules, anti-inflammatory & paracetamol.

I’m so nervous as we push open the door to the room 11 (one of the Level 2 NICU rooms), what have I done to my baby?!? Bumble is the first incubator on the left as you enter the room and I see his tiny body stripped to the nappy and curled up on his tummy in the warm plastic cocoon. My heart melts but yet I feel so sad that I couldn’t give him a better start in life. My poor little Bumble.

He’s actually doing really well, despite the fact that he’s hooked up to a million different monitors and has a feeding tube coming out of his tiny nose. He was only on CPAP for five hours before he was determinedly breathing all by himself. Now he’s just being monitored to make sure he keeps it up (he had one spell of apnea in the first night), can regulate his body temperature a bit better, and until he puts on a little weight. I stroke his little head through the incubator window before the nurse comes to open the side and help me lift him out for a cuddle. Oh my gosh my darling little Bumble. We snuggle in the armchair for a while then attempt a breastfeed. My clever little man latches pretty much perfectly straight away and even re-latches himself when he comes loose. I’m so proud of him.

The next few days pass in a blur. Racing between NICU and my ward, feeding the boys, making sure I keep Bee’s temperature stable, expressing via breast pump to encourage my milk to come in, trying to coordinate times in my room with having my obs done, visitors, and the million program coordinators (hearing, dental, eyesight) that the hospital sends our way. It’s exhausting, especially as my husband is working this week (we’d stupidly thought him working would be ok as I’d be in hospital for a while) and I’m largely doing this by myself. I really struggle after a few days and beg him to take a day or two off work.

On day 3 Bumble is doing well enough to be transferred from level 2 down to the Parent Infant Nursery (AKA PIN, level 1 NICU – the lowest risk level). He’s now in a more comfortable open plan room with the potential to share with up to 12 families (in two conjoined rooms) rather than the four in level 2. He’s in a heated cot rather than an incubator, and my husband and I now have more control over his day-to-day care – ideally we do as much as possible but have help on hand as required. All the nurses are lovely and we can also bring Bee down from the ward to visit. It’s great, and I love that he’s thriving so much.

The following day it’s decided that Bumble is doing well enough to be allowed down to my ward room for feeding in an attempt to get the two boys back together as soon as possible. So on the evening of the 29th of September J, the PIN nurse, wheels Bumble’s cot through around 7pm. It’s so exciting having the boys together in our own room and we try to snap as many photos as we can before their feed (Bee isn’t so keen on this idea – not only does he hate having his photo taken but he’s also super hungry). I try my first tandem feed, which seems to go ok, and we have a few more cuddles before taking Bumble back to the NICU Nursery.

It’s barely half an hour later when the NICU nurse is back in our ward room. “Now I don’t want you to worry,” she says “but [Bumble’s] temperature and heart rate both plummeted when we got him back to the nursery so we’ve had to put him back in an incubator to try and stabilize him. We’ll keep monitoring him and see how things go.” And then she’s off again. Already emotional after having to say goodbye to my little Bumble (and not helped by the fact that today’s the day my milk’s come in meaning a surge in hormones) I totally lose the plot and cry hysterically for about three hours. What an atrocious mother I am; I couldn’t get pregnant, I couldn’t stay pregnant, and now my poor little man is suffering because I haven’t managed to cook him right. Thankfully my husband, who was due to go home, stays until 2am to comfort me. I’m a mess.

I’m pretty puffy eyed the next day but manage to pull myself together enough to tend to Bee and get down to NICU to check on Bumble. It’s horrendous to see him back in an incubator, monitors bleeping, him struggling to do just the basic things his body requires of him. I find myself subconsciously trying not to get too attached to Bumble (waaaay too late for that!) just in case we lose him. I know it’s silly as it’s pretty unlikely that will happen and that he’s way closer to coming out than staying in, but when you’ve sat and watched your baby (mildly jaundiced and half the size he should be) in an incubator stop breathing for 10 seconds followed by two strongly gasping breaths it’s hard not to prepare for the worst even though you expect the best. 10 seconds is ages, stop reading this right now and count that out, hold your breath if you have to, that’s a long time for a 5 day old.

Thankfully his struggles don’t last long and within a day he’s back in his heated cot and managing to maintain both his heart rate/breathing and, to a lesser extent, his temperature. We have to take his temperature at every feed/nappy change and add or remove layers of clothing or bedding accordingly. It’s a common theme for premature babies who just aren’t able to regulate their body temperature the way their older counterparts can.

Everything about Bumble is monitored so closely; body function, feeding, temperature, growth, yet Bee is almost forgotten about by the hospital staff. Officially he’s a patient of Ward 96 but they hardly ask about him at all. It IS hard as he spends so much time with me visiting his brother in PIN, and I guess the ward just aren’t used to babies spending more than a day or two with them before discharge, but the difference in care offered between NICU and the ward is astronomical, even with simple things like the vitamin supplements offered. NICU supplement premature babies with Vitadol (a multivitamin solution administered once a day), and there’s evidence to support the idea that it’s beneficial for all babies to receive this but especially premature ones. The ward do no such thing and don’t even seem to know about it – something the NICU staff comment on “the wards are a bit behind the times with things like that”.

I find it a little distressing especially considering the only difference between the two boys was 260g at birth. NICU won’t take Bee as he’s too big and doing ok, the ward won’t take Bumble because he’s not over 2kgs. I sometimes think “if only I’d managed to grow him an extra 20g the boys would be together” but then we’d have missed out on the amazing care, advice and help we’ve received through NICU so I guess it’s better this way. Every cloud has its silver lining as they say.

There are some things that Bee DOES get examined for but on the whole his hospital care is pretty minimal. Both boys get their near-mandatory hearing test. This involves a giant headphone being placed over one ear with sensors positioned on the baby’s head, which measure the response of ‘the hearing nerve’ to sounds played through the headphone. Bee is due for a feed the first time the screeners come so is fidgety and unsettled. Of course this means they get a ‘failed’ response as the baby needs to be almost perfectly still with no noise or electronic devices in the room. I have to switch off my phone and the heated cot mattress that Bee sleeps on, and hope like crazy that my newborn child remains motionless enough for the test. They’re dreaming right?!?

To make matters worse the hearing screening people turn up at whatever time they feel like, seem to get annoyed if it’s not a convenient time, and can never do any of the other times you propose despite the fact you know your child will be more settled then. It feels like a total waste of everyone’s time. Another example of the backwards system the ward, or even the hospital, operates on.

So after failing his right ear in the first test due to movement, or possible fluid in his middle ear (again something common in newborns, especially those born via c-section), then passing his right ear but failing his left due to dreaming in his sleep (again, WTH! How are you supposed to stop a kid dreaming!) he’s referred to an audiology specialist for further testing once we leave the hospital. They’re apparently not allowed to test them more than twice in hospital regardless of the fact that there were obvious causes of the failed result and the fact that it was different ears that he failed on in the two separate tests. I’m so pissed off, but lucky for her our second screener was really nice so I don’t take my anger out on her. Thankfully Bumble passes his test in both ears the first time round. Being that little bit smaller and working that little bit harder to survive (as well as the fact he’s spent a few days in NICU by that point) means he’s quite a bit more settled and remains still for longer periods of time. I’m sure that will change as he gets older!

Then there are the other bits and pieces that Bee manages to get included in purely because Bumble gets offered them as part of his NICU care. Regular weighing, extra blankets, various studies and other monitoring. We like to try and help out as much as possible so sign up for an eye test study (this never eventuates due to timing issues) and a body mass/nutrition study aptly titled ‘PeaPod” (Pea is one of my nicknames).

By day 6 there’s huge pressure for me to be discharged from the ward. Despite the fact that they’d hardly have a clue what was going on with Bee, both him and I are deemed well enough to leave hospital. While I can’t wait to get out of there, in my mind there’s a big issue with leaving Bumble, especially when he seems to be doing so well. Theoretically after a c-section I’m not supposed to drive for a few weeks, which makes the idea of me going home even more ludicrous. It would be different if both my babies were under NICU care but to have one at home and one stuck in hospital just seems so cruel. Anyway, I needn’t have worried. The NICU staff once again save the day, with C, our family liaison, assuring us that we won’t need to go home and that she’ll ensure one of the NICU family rooms is available for us.

And that’s exactly what happens. On the Friday, at exactly a week old, the boys, move with my husband and I into one of the parent rooms (essentially a studio apartment within the NICU ward) just down the hall from the NICU room that Bumble has been staying in. The idea is for us to spend a few nights in there, to adjust to being new parents with premature babies, doing everything on our own but with help at hand nearby should we need it.

The weekend passes in a blur of feeding, visitors, and takeaway food. It’s harrowing having the boys (somewhat unused to each other after a week apart) in a small area with nowhere to go. The boys are pretty good about things but the endless temperature checking, feeding (first one then the other), medicating (extra vitamins), monitoring and recording is exhausting. There’s so much more to do and worry about when your babies are premature, but (thankfully) ours are at the lesser end of that spectrum, other people have it so much harder.

We ask for Bumble to remain on his apnea monitor for at least the first night in the parent room as we’re a bit paranoid about his breathing. This turns out to be more of a nightmare than something that eases our mind as, for a while, it keeps going off. The first time this happens is incredibly traumatic. I still have it stuck in my head that he’s going to be taken from us and I quickly lose the battle to hold it together. After we’ve checked on him to make sure he’s breathing my husband goes to get help and I sit feeding Bee (woken by the noise of the alarm) with tears streaming down my face. The nurse, H2, is amazing. She’s there in a flash, making sure Bumble is ok then dashing off to make us hot drinks despite our insistence not to. The monitor continues to go off throughout the night until it’s discovered that the monitoring pad is not quite positioned properly under the mattress. It’s horrible but at least we work out the problem and can rectify the situation for the following night.

The worst night comes on Sunday. We’ve solved the problem with the monitor and Bumble’s breathing is ok, but something sets them off after the 8pm feed and the twins scream hysterically for the rest of the night. Bee had an unsettled night when we were back on the ward, crying constantly for a few hours but it was nothing like this. We try everything, different burping techniques, cuddling, rocking, more food, gripe water, formula, my husband’s father even comes in to try and help bringing new swaddles. We formula feed through the night in case it’s something in my breast milk setting them off…it’s later suggested that it’s perhaps the orange juice I had throughout the day that wrecking havoc on their inexperienced tummies, but who knows. Whatever it is it’s a long 10 hours until daylight.

And daylight brings it’s own new challenges. We’re completely over the parent room by this stage. I’m wanting some real food, some space, and, after 10 days in hospital with next to no natural light, some fresh air. We’d been told by the pediatrician on Friday that we should be fine to be discharged Monday and can finally head home, he’d even completed all the paperwork (again a little stupid as Bumble’s weight was incorrect by the time we’re due to leave), but our unsettled night and subsequent multiple formula feeds makes the young doctor question the call to discharge us and they threaten to keep us in another night.

I’m visibly upset by her comments knowing full well we were only trying to do the best for our kids and plan to continue breastfeeding now that it’s a new day – she didn’t even ask why we had formula-fed (and of course formula is seen as the evil no-no, puh-lease!) Lucky for us the lovely nurses and family liaison take our side and manage to convince the doctors that we know what we’re doing enough to be able to take the boys home. We give Bumble a bath, pack up our bags, and with the nurses help, get the boys into their capsules/carseats. Then at 3pm we’re set free, out into the big wide world to have a go at being parents. Wish us luck!

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The day we’ve all been waiting for…

Well boys, this is it, the big day. We’re both super nervous but also excited as we drive into the hospital. Kings of Leon “Sex on Fire” is playing on the radio and I sing along to distract myself from the momentous event that is set to occur later today. It’s been touch and go as last night there was only one bed available in the NICU nursery so there wasn’t space for us. Things are looking more positive this morning and despite nothing being available just yet we’re told to come in anyway so that we’re there and ready to go should space open up. Our obstetrician says not to rush, it’s looking more like a 1pm slot now rather than the 10:30am one we were booked in for.

I’ve been on a “no eating” order since midnight last night and have only been allowed to drink water up until 10am today. On top of that I’ve had to take two Ranitidine tablets (one last night and one this morning) to reduce stomach acid. I’m hungry by 8:30am….oh dear, hopefully the adrenalin keeps the hangry at bay.

We arrive at the hospital at 9:30am and head into ORDA, the day surgery unit. We’re met by very friendly staff and told that NICU can guarantee us beds after 1pm so we’re definitely all go for today, woohoo! They’ll try and fit us in sooner if they can. I’m given approximately 2cm of water in a styrofoam cup (the maximum I’m allowed to drink) and we’re told to head of for a walk, have a tea or coffee (for my husband only) and to come back to unit at 11:30am.

We pop downstairs where hubby grabs a coffee and we settle in at a table by the window. Suddenly it hits me that today is the day we meet our boys and I can’t stop crying. I can’t believe this is actually happening after so many years of trying to get here. There goes that tiny amount of water I was allowed!

We hang around the couch areas of the hospital until 11:30 then make our way back over to ORDA to get prepped. We run through the questions on the pre-op questionnaire, and I have my pulse, temperature and blood pressure taken (funnily enough it’s high). I’m so nervous. I change into gowns, and my husband into scrubs, and we sit to wait anxiously on the chairs provided. We laugh and joke and I try my hardest not to think about what is about to occur in order to restrain my nervousness.

Our obstetrician turns up, runs through the last little bits and pieces, and we sign consent forms. He mentions that the op will most likely occur around 2 or 3pm as an emergency caesarian has come through from ED that needs to be completed first. Then he’s off again. The next time we see him he’ll be dressed in greens and designer white gumboots.

Eventually we’re moved from the waiting room to a pre-op bed. I’m getting nervous and am still desperately trying not to think about things. We meet our anaesthetist who is absolutely lovely. She tries to get my IV line in but because of our operation being delayed I’m extremely dehydrated and my veins just don’t want to cooperate. She tries my right hand and falls, instead causing a massive swelling of my vein that looks like a tiger slug bulging out of my hand, it’s pretty cool but then I’m into mildly gruesome things like that. Next we try the left and again no luck, I spurt blood in a big gush as she removes the lure though so we’re close! My hands get wrapped up in warm saline bags to try and encourage the veins and she leaves us for a few minutes. Back again she manages to get a line in and not long after we’re walking through to theatre. Here we go!

I slip off my shoes, the one thing of mine I’m allowed to wear into the operating room and perch on the side of the bed ready for my spinal. Just as we get in position the anaesthetist is called away to an emergency, apparently one of her earlier patients is having difficulties. Off she runs to tend to them and we wait another five to ten minutes or so as she sorts them out and returns to be re-sterilised. What a drama, but on with the spinal.

I’d managed the perfect position in my practice run at my pre-op assessment earlier in the week but now one of the boys has moved further up under my ribs so is making the “hunch” is near impossible. I keep being told off for looking up and am being instructed to hunch more, but it’s so hard when a) I’m propped up with pillows and b) I’m so frickin uncomfortable like this. Eventually they remove some pillows and if I hold my breath I manage to hunch a little more. After three attempts the spinal is in, thank god as I was terrified that they were going to have to put me under general anaesthetic meaning, not only would I be totally knocked out for the operation, but my husband wouldn’t be allowed in theatre either. The thought of neither of us being there/conscious for the birth is too much.

My legs start to tingle as they’re lifted by others on to the bed. They feel warm and weird and then I can’t move them at all. Such a bizarre feeling. The anesthetist is running an ice cube up each leg to determine whether I can feel cold or just a slight pressure. I’m just telling her I can only feel a pressure up to my armpits where the cold suddenly kicks in, when in walks our obstetrician in his designer white gumboots. We’re ready to go.

Our obstetrician is great and talks us through each step as he’s doing it. Making incisions, what layer he’s up to, what he can see. And then all of a sudden he’s pulling out our baby number one, bum first into the world. The anaesthetist and nurse have lowered the curtain that divides my head & shoulders from the rest of my body but I desperately wish I could see more.  N (our obstetrician) is holding up our first little boy, his arms spread as if to hug us, for me to see. He’s gorgeous and I smile at him as they whisk him away for his check-up. In the background I hear his little cry and my body relaxes in relief that he’s ok as N starts on our second child.

I’m loathe to call them Bumble and Bee at this stage as they’re both the Bumble for whom we were waiting, neither more important than the other, but for the sake of this blog I will. With Bee safely getting the once-over all our attention is on Bumble, and he’s proving a little harder to catch than his older brother. He’s wedged himself right up under my ribs and despite our OB trying to keep a poker face for the sake of everyone’s wellbeing, I can see him getting a little more stressed as time ticks on. “It’s like trying to get a crayfish [lobster for those of you in the Northern Hemisphere] out from under a rock” he jokes, but I hear the room get a little quieter as he slowly wrangles Bumble out, and I start to worry. Bumble is the reason we’re in theatre right now as his growth had slowed enough to warrant an early operation.

I find out later that Bumble was extremely difficult to remove (that would explain my painful ribs in the days to come) and that his cord was wrapped around his neck, thank god we didn’t try for a vaginal birth! He’s initially deemed to be ok and is held up for me to see, again arms wide and looking both smaller and paler than his brother did, but otherwise perfect. Like his brother he’s whisked away to be weighed and checked, and we hear him briefly cry before he gets into respiratory difficulty and they treat him with CPAP (continuous positive airway pressure) – basically a machine that keeps Bumble’s airways open, not breathing for him but allowing him the opportunity to breath for himself by using positive pressure to keep his airway free.

While Bumble is being worked on Bee is bought over to my head, wrapped up warm & with a little hat, and I pat his cheek and kiss his forehead as we pose for our first photos together with my husband. Meanwhile my poor little Bumble is put into an incubator and positioned briefly by my head for introductions before he’s ferried away to the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU), no time for photos with him. It’s distressing watching him go but I know it’s for the best. Looking back at the photos with Bee now I feel sad, knowing that one of our family members is missing from them. The photos themselves are lovely but for me they’re bittersweet.

My husband has a quick cuddle with Bee before leaving with Bumble (both of us desperate for him to have family company in this strange new world) and I’m slowly stitched back together layer by layer. Before I know it I’m being transferred to a ward bed (1,2, 3, lift – just like on TV) and wheeled into the recovery room. The operation’s over in a flash, and just like that, we’re parents. My Mum, who’s been waiting outside with my brother and his partner, is called into Recovery so that I have some company, and my little Bee is placed in my arms before being encouraged to latch onto my breast for a feed. It’s so surreal. I still can’t feel my legs, and won’t for a wee while yet, and here is one of my darlings in my arms and feeding from me! After all these years I’m finally a mum.

A while later my husband pops in, assuring me that our little Bumble is doing ok. He’s in level two NICU – medium risk – but is doing fine. Another photo then it’s time for me to head to the ward. Mum pops out to find my brother and I’m wheeled off holding my baby, my husband alongside. We get smiles from onlookers as we’re wheeled through the hospital corridors, and I’m all smiles myself despite feeling a gaping hole where my other baby should be.

As I’m placed in to the Ward (96, room 7 – a nice private room to myself), the midwife on ward duty pops in to introduce herself. “I know you!” she says, and my face lights up. It’s H, the wonderful midwife who first checked me into the ward way back at 26 weeks when I had my first bleeding scare. She is the most amazing person and was already my favourite midwife in the place. I’m amazed that she remembers me but of course, being the person she is, it really shouldn’t surprise me in the least – I can’t emphasise how amazing she is…something she somehow manages to build upon over the week I’m in there.

After the midwife’s visit my Mum, brother, and his partner come in bearing presents (including two helium bumble bee balloons), and a mountain of food. Along with the salmon sushi my husband has bought, it’s most of the things I’ve been missing while pregnant, and I gorge myself on soft cheese, deli meat, and a tiny glass of champagne, all of which I manage to bring back up again an hour or so later. I’d been warned by the medical team to take it easy with food as my gut had taken a bit of a bashing during the c-section, but I was so excited to eat real food, and even more ecstatic to not feel nauseous (believe it or not the food nausea stopped pretty much the second I gave birth) that I didn’t listen, and hence following the meal filled two massive containers with puke. Still, it was totally worth it! My parents-in-law also stop by and we get a little telling off from the midwife for having so many people in the room. Everyone begins to head home for the night and I settle into my first night as a mother. Let the first night alone begin!


30 weeks, 2 days

Wow! What a great mother I am…first I can’t get pregnant, now it seems I’ll struggle to stay pregnant. Just like that our dream of making it to 37 weeks is dashed as another bleed lands me in hospital yet again.

Lying on the couch after a busy but not overly strenuous day, I feel a couple of small trickles creep onto my panty liner. It doesn’t feel right so I get up and head to the toilet. Yep, sure enough there’s blood and this time it’s bright red rather than the old brown blood of my 26-week bleed. I panic and call out to my husband “looks like we’ll be off to the hospital again” I say, just when I’d been about to go to bed too.

Hubby picks up the panic vibe and rushes around trying to find the obstetricians phone number (of course us idiots hadn’t saved it to our phones after last time), while I begin to sob hysterically on the loo, this can’t be happening. I plead with the boys to hang in there and stay put. “It’s online!” I cry as he’s still flustering. It’s so stressful and neither of us can really think straight.

Eventually hubs gets through to the after hours service and explains the situation, then dashes around packing me a bag for the hospital. In a fashion typical to us, I’d started packing my hospital bag during the week intending to finish the packing in the weekend but never quite got around to it, and what do you know, Sunday night we need it.

The OB on call phones back and tells us to head on in to the Women’s Assessment Unit, yes we know where that is. Despite being a little scared to leave the toilet we make it out the door for what seems like the longest car journey ever. We clutch each other’s hands, me trying not to cry and willing our now silent boys to move, and hubby trying to reassure me that things will be ok. I still can’t help feeling like a failure as a mother, why can’t I keep our boys safe?!?

We arrive and minutes later so does the OB who is on call from our usual OB’s practice. We’re given a private room (yay!) then taken through for a quick scan to make sure the boys are ok. They are (phew) but are still in odd positions – one breach, one tranverse. The OB can’t see any reason for the bleeding but is going to book me in for a proper scan with the sonographers tomorrow just to be sure. We then head back to the private room for an internal exam.

This is even worse than the last time we were here. Our usual OB uses a speculum so it’s somewhat like a smear test only a bit more painful. This one uses his hand (something I suppose I should get used to in case I happen to go into labour naturally). Boy is it uncomfortable! What’s worse is that his glove comes out absolutely covered in bright red blood. “Ooo, there is quite a bit of blood,” he says, then “it feels like your cervix is shortening so there’s a chance you could go into labour and/or need a c-section tonight. It’s quite possible you won’t be leaving hospital without having your babies.” Eek, that freaks me out but as long as the boys are ok I’m ok, so I’m less worried and stressed than the last time we were here. They’re 30 weeks gestation now so it’s less daunting than the threat we had of delivering them at 26 weeks. Perhaps I won’t be making it to my baby shower next weekend after all!

They pop me on a monitor and, despite the boys wriggling around a little requiring me to angle the sensors, we actually manage to get a decent heartbeat reading this time – something we struggled to get at 26 weeks. Unfortunately the machine is showing that I’m having contractions, of which I only feel the odd one here and there, which will mean a c-section tonight for sure if things don’t settle down. They think the boys will definitely come early regardless, I just hope we can hold them in at least a few more weeks.

Unsure as to what may happen they decide to keep me in the Women’s Assessment Unit overnight rather than transfer me to a ward. It’s not something that happens often – they usually try to clear you out of WAU pretty quickly – but it’s great as it means I get a private room for the night. I’m hoping I’ll get a decent sleep but the booster shot of steroids I’m given lays rest to that. Not only do those shots blimmin hurt and give you muscle cramps, they also give you insomnia, awesome! Oh well, at least I can lie awake without the worry of disturbing someone else.

After about an hour the monitor shows the contractions easing, and I’ve had no further gushes of blood, so the midwife decides it safe to leave me be for the night with the understanding I’ll buzz her immediately if anything happens. My hubby heads home for a much needed rest and I start my long night of wishing I could sleep.

In my wide awake state I start writing. First a note to my husband about my wishes should a c-section occur (regardless of whether this happens tonight or not) and something goes horribly wrong. I realise this may seem very morbid but I’ve had more than one friend go through a traumatic caesarian section, and two friends nearly die on the table, I feel like I need to be prepared and I need to get my thoughts down in writing to ease my mind. I can’t write that one without tears, a lot of tears, but despite being a horrible note to write, it’s a nice release of pent up emotion and energy. When I finally finish that, I start this blog post, then eventually stop writing for the time being and grab a fitful couple of hours sleep.

Come morning my condition has improved further and the team decides it’s safe to transfer me to a ward. I’m booked for a proper scan with the ultrasound team at 1pm so hang around in WAU until then as it’s just across the hall, unlike the wards which are a wee walk away. The scan shows both boys are doing well. They’ve moved so much (from both being breech and perfectly parallel down either side of my belly to one breech and one tranverse top and bottom) that both the sonographer and the obstetrician struggle to work out which twin has historically been labeled Twin 1. Essentially they’ve switched places so that Twin 1 should now really be labeled Twin 2 and vice versa, but because they need to be able to plot the same twin on the same growth line each time they scan, the boys labels can’t be changed.

Both Bumble and Bee are still on the small side, measuring a week to a week and a half behind, but at least they’re growing appropriately and are both around the same size. There’s still no obvious sign of where the bleeding is coming from so the assumption is made that it’s probably a bit of placental edge bleeding and to continue monitoring to make sure everything’s calming down. I’m moved to a ward.

It’s not quite as warm a reception this time around – I tell you the Orange Team are the best! – but at least I get to specify dietary requirements (I’m still struggling to eat dairy which is so weird for someone who rarely has trouble with any food) and am asked if I’d like a tour of the place. I’m one ward over from where I was last time (and share facilities with my old ward) so I know the layout and where to find everything, a tour is unnecessary. I settle down to the nothingness that is hospital ward-time. I don’t bother telling too many people I’m here as I don’t want to worry people, but after much debate I let my family know (feeling bad as my Mum, Step-dad, and sister have just flown back into the country this morning after a holiday).

The rest of the day is broken up by obs and baby monitoring, and thankfully my husband comes in for the day (and brings me real food!) to keep me entertained. The ward is pretty busy so one of the midwives is borrowed from my old ward to help out. She’s the one who took care of me during the days for most of my previous hospital stay and recognizes me almost straight away which is kind of nice. “I know you!” she says, I reply that I was in here a month ago, and she manages to rattle of most of the details of my previous stay – that I was on the other ward, the bleeding, both hubby and my reactions and feelings the last time we were in, comments we made etc etc. Enough to make me realise she’s not just read my notes again and truly does remember me. The ward obstetrician had recognized me too (although not to the same extent, purely a “you look very familiar, have we met before?”) and both make me realise how good the staff here can be.

The CTG (cardiotocography) monitoring shows the boys are doing well. Bee is a little rascal and moves so much during every monitoring session that the midwives often struggle to find his heartbeat and, when they do, he’s often only there for a short time before darting off the monitor, necessitating another ‘come find me’ session. Nevertheless we manage to get decent readings from both twins and they’re looking good on all sessions. Likewise my obs are consistently normal, and the bleeding is still easing, so hopefully I won’t be in hospital much longer. The trouble is I know exactly what I need to say to be set free so I constantly have to monitor myself to ensure I’m reporting accurately rather than saying what I know needs to be said to be discharged.

Everything seems to be coming right a bit faster this time and it looks like I’ll only be in the ward for one more night before being sent home. I know what to look out for now and what I need to do (more rest!) so can easily monitor my condition myself from home. Lucky for me as my hospital roommate is so sick with a cold, on top of her pregnancy problems, that she snores like a freight train all night and I once again struggle to sleep. I make a comment to my husband that I’m probably not leaving hospital without a cold she’s that ill, apparently it’s been doing the rounds of the wards and everyone there is sick. Fun times.

My regular obstetrician is back on duty again the next morning and seems pleased with how things are progressing, so after two nights in hospital I’m released. Woohoo! I head home for more rest as, same as the last time I was in hospital, I come out feeling worse than when I went in. I don’t know if it’s the food, the lack of natural light, the stress of being there, the lack of sleep, or all of the above but I’m absolutely shattered and it takes a few days of decent eating and relaxation to come right. Unfortunately after two bleeding episodes the likelihood of another occurrence happening is pretty high so it’s entirely possible I’ll be back in hospital sometime soon. It’s also more likely that the boys will come early so resting and taking care of both myself and them is even more important now. I’ll do my very best!

 

Postscript – my comment regarding the cold turns out to be prophetic…or maybe a self-fulfilling prophecy…..either way I end up with the worst cold I’ve had in at least six years and am snuffling and coughing for the next two weeks. Grrr.

 


The drive to ‘true’ viability

It’s the day after I leave the hospital and as previously mentioned I’ve been resting and napping for the last day and a bit. Work have been great and told me to stay home for a few days to put my feet up and recover. My bosses are being so lovely and so flexible and basically allowing me to guide them on what needs to happen.

The hospital midwife told me I shouldn’t be going back to work at all, my GP mother-in-law thinks this is probably a good idea, and the obstetricians (both the hospital and my own one) didn’t advise against going back to work but they didn’t recommend it either. My obstetrician is very pro-choice (and I don’t mean in an abortion/anti-abortion way) who likes to present the options and allow us to make the decision. This is not always what we want, sometimes you just need someone to tell you what to do, but it is nice to be presented with a largely unbiased fact-based view the majority of the time.

So, aiming to head back to work towards the end of the week and just try to take things easy once there, I turn up to my acupuncturist appointment on the Tuesday afternoon. My acupuncturist used to be a midwife so has been great at offering advice from that perspective, and filling me in on things that obstetricians tend to overlook (you know, the more womanly details of being pregnant and having children). She’s horrified at the thought of me returning to work (much as I suspect the hospital midwife had been, only she wasn’t close enough to me to say), highlighting the fact that the twins safety should come first and that with the bleeding and fatigue, my body is obviously trying to tell me something.

I know this of course but I just don’t feel ready yet to give up on the work front. Mentally I’m not prepared for it for another 4 weeks, work-wise I’m not prepared for it at all (with projects I’d hoped to finish still in full swing and my handover notes only partially completed), and emotionally I feel a bit of a failure not making it to my 30 week end date. It’s a lot to take on board and I struggle not to cry throughout my session. As always my appointment ends in a hug, and my acupuncturist tells me to take it easy.

I make it to the car before I burst into tears and totally lose the plot. I know I need to give up work now. I couldn’t live with myself if my determination to see work through to the 30 week mark had a detrimental effect on our boys – we’ve been through so much to get here it should be an easy decision – but I’m just not ready to make it.

Through a bit of bad timing, one of my bosses phones mid-meltdown just as I’m driving away from my acupuncturist’s. I make myself pull it together enough to be able me to talk to him, with fair warning to him that I’m emotional and there are no guarantees I won’t lose it again mid-conversation. He gets me to talk him through how I’m feeling and the advice I’ve been given, and very wisely says if all that advice doesn’t sway my decision to give up work then I should think about how they (my bosses and team at work) would feel if something bad happened while I was working and they hadn’t made me leave now when I should have.

It seems weird but this is the thing that finally pushes me over the edge into the decision that I need to end it, that it’s time to admit defeat and realise that work is just too much for me right now on top of everything else. I guess it added another perspective on how selfish it would be to persevere through to 30 weeks potentially putting our boys at risk (why the thought of putting our boys at risk didn’t do that by itself I don’t know – perhaps hearing it come from someone I see face-to-face on an almost daily basis just made it more real).

So, still an emotional wreck, the choice is made. My GP is contacted for a medical certificate and when her locum (my usual GP is away) phones me later in the day her response only cements my choice. She TOTALLY agrees that I should be giving up work now and can’t believe my obstetrician didn’t just come right out and say that. So that’s two GP’s and two midwives telling me it’s time, with two obstetricians recommending but not enforcing it. It’s definitely time. (Funnily enough, when I tell my OB at our next appointment that I’ve given up work he’s really pleased and says that that’s what he really thought I should do – see what I mean about presenting the options but not telling us what to do! I think this was one time I just needed him to say it).

So I spend the rest of the week trying to take it easy while also covering the vitals of my job – monitoring emails from my bed etc. I pop into work on the Thursday to try and tidy things up a bit and this only further reinforces the fact that I’m doing the right thing. After a couple of hours I’m shattered, and I actually don’t get as much done as I intend to. I do clean out my desk though, taking all my personal items home and leaving a bare shell. Man that feels weird! Lucky for me my replacement can start straight away so she’s able to move her stuff in Friday and set about getting her head around my job and what I do.

Monday morning I spend a few hours in bed typing up some handover notes. Monday afternoon I head in for a face-to face handover. Tuesday I do another. And then she’s away. I feels so strange to hand over a large part of my life to someone else but it also feels so right, my heads just not in it anymore…amazing how quickly one’s mindset can change. I’ll go in for another session or two over the next couple of weeks if required but by in large I’ve surrendered my job. Now time to rest and grow our boys in an effort to get them as close to full term as I can.

Easier said than done however. It seems I’m not so good at sitting around doing nothing. I’m just not that type of person who can spend hours on the couch watching TV or playing games. I am normally a big fan of reading but at the moment I find I just can’t concentrate enough to focus on whatever it is I’ve attempted to read. So what do I do? I set about organising the house of course. The nesting has begun! I buy some bits and pieces (including a hospital/breastfeeding nightie – which seems like an ENORMOUS step for me in admitting that this pregnancy is actually real), I clean out cupboards, start washing stuff, paint a bookcase, organise different areas so that they make more sense or are more child-friendly, I start organising photos to allow us to create albums for the boys, I basically do not spend enough time resting.

Now fortunately for me nothing horrific happens, all that occurs is I get really tired and am forced into early nights and quieter days. Two and a half weeks into my sick leave, with just under two weeks to go until my annual leave then maternity leaves starts, and I think I’ve finally managed to find a good balance between sorting and resting. The countless sleepless nights (restless legs, multiple toilet trips, pregnancy insomnia) have definitely helped with this and I find I need to nap/rest during the day just to make it to dinnertime.

Four days ago we hit the 28 week milestone, a goal I was so relieved to hit as the boys now have a 90%+ survival rate were they to be born today. I remember our OB saying to us months ago that 24 weeks was viability but most OBs aim for the 28 week mark as the viability indicator as then they can “really do something” should unexpected delivery occur. So we’re there, and I’m stoked.

At 28 weeks we have another scan – something we’ll be doing pretty much fortnightly from now on to monitor the boys growth and, possibly more importantly for us, their growth differential. The outcome is better than we could have hoped for. Bumble has caught up to Bee and the boys are now almost identically the same size. What’s more, although on the small side, they both sit nicely in the normal range. We’re so relieved. Seems the rest (yes I know I should have more), no-work, iron supplements and/or SOMETHING is making a difference. Phew! Our obstetrician is pleased and is back to a target of a 37-38 week delivery, something that seemed completely unobtainable a fortnight ago when 32-34 weeks seemed our best goal. Of course anything could happen still but we’ll take that win for now.

28 weeks is also the time that our antenatal class kicks off so on the Saturday we head along to our specialised “Childbirth & Parenting Preparation Course for Multiple Birth.” Most of the stuff we cover in our first three-hour session (they run for 3 hours a day for 5 Saturdays in a row) are things my husband and I have already thought about and/or researched (having been on the journey we’ve been on, and just being the type of people we are, we tend to do a lot of reading and research – in fact it always comes as a bit of a surprise that other people don’t) but future sessions look like they will be of great interest and assistance…next week “the birth”, eek!

It’s a large group of 13 couples and they all seem really lovely. We know one other couple there as I used to work with the guy, and there are also quite a few who live in the surrounding suburbs to ours which is really great and makes a coffee group from this seem more likely. Most are roughly around the same due date (there’s only one multiple-specific antenatal class so you end up with a bit of a range of due dates and living locations) but it seems we’re pretty much the only ones who have had trouble conceiving, although we don’t blatantly mention our struggle (something I feel a little uneasy about with my desire to make infertility less of a taboo topic) so perhaps there are others in the class who have done the same. Hopefully in time we’ll all (assuming there is more than just us) feel more comfortable about sharing our stories.

So here we are at today, 28 weeks and 4 days gestation. The last week or so has been really positive with a lot of good news and great events that I’m hoping will continue. Physically I’m still knackered – too many sleepless nights – and am becoming a little uncomfortable (at 28 weeks I’m carrying the equivalent of a 34 week singleton), and of course as sometimes happens in the third trimester (can you believe we’re third trimester!), that good old nausea has been creeping back in – not to the point of wanting/needing to vomit but enough to make me feel pretty gross all day – but otherwise we’re doing well. The boys are back to moving a lot, mostly at night in their 4am dance parties, and are hopefully continuing to grow as they should. Fingers crossed our next scan shows this and fingers crossed they’ve moved enough to get a decent 4D shot of their faces – something we haven’t quite managed to do yet due to them wanting to cuddle each other so much!

28 weeks and 4 days. Here’s hoping there’s at least 8 weeks and 3 days to go!

 

 

 

 

 

 


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!


25 weeks, 6 days

It’s been a good week. As previously mentioned, work is busy but at least that’s keeping me occupied, our house is slowly getting back into a somewhat tidy state which is nice, I also had a great pregnancy yoga class on Tuesday, followed by a great dinner out with my in-laws on Wednesday. A busy week but a good week.

Thursday rolls round and I’ve got another dinner planned with the girls from work for Thursday night. I can’t wait! For once we can all make it (something that is highly unusual for the group of six) and we’re going to a fab restaurant after drinks (non-alc for me of course) in the work bar. And then disaster strikes. I head down to the bar to meet the girls just before 6pm. Nip to the loo before settling down, and there’s a bit of blood in my underwear. Not a huge amount but enough to give me a bit of a fright and dash into one of the meeting rooms to call my hubby.

OK, I admit it, I’m starting to freak out a little. We’ve come so far, surely it can’t all turn to shit now can it? Of course it can, but I’m trying hard not to dwell on that. My hubs tries to call his Mum (a GP), no luck, then finds me the number for our obstetrician so I can call them. Of course it’s only just outside office hours and I end up with the after hours service, on the phone to some poor clueless call centre person who asks me how to spell “spotting”, I mean really?!?! And can’t give me any indication of when I can expect a call back from my OB…..I don’t want an exact time, just a will it be tonight or am I waiting anxiously until morning, that kind of thing.

I’ve let slip a few tears, I’m so so nervous. I need our boys to be ok, I already love them so so soooooo much! Luckily my OB phones back almost straight away. He’s thankfully back from holiday and is on duty at the public hospital tonight. He asks me what’s been going on, what the bleeding is like, and other symptoms. He says just to keep an eye on it, bleeding is reasonably common with twins, and to call back straight away if anything else happens. Phew. He doesn’t sound too concerned so I try to relax a bit and look forward to dinner out.

I stop quickly by my bag (which is sitting with the girls in the bar), trying to hide my tear-stained face, and head back to the bathroom to try and clean myself up. I don’t make it there unnoticed and one of my buddies knocks on the door of the bathroom soon after I enter to make sure I’m ok. I let her know what’s going on, trying unsuccessfully not to shed a tear. We chat for a bit and I promise I’m ok, but halfway through our conversation I feel that horrible sensation of something leaking out of me (sorry TMI). “I’ll just go pee,” I say “and then I’ll be out to join you.” She leaves and I hurriedly close the door, quickly pulling down my pants to have a look. There’s a heap of blood.

It’s dark and old looking but I’m totally freaking. I put myself back together and rush back to the meeting room to call after-hours again. I don’t mess around this time “I just called before for Dr W, can you please get him to call me urgently.” I can’t believe this is happening. Hang in there my darling boys, you have no idea how much I want you, how much I need you, just not in the outside world right now….in fact, ideally not for another 11-12 weeks!

Dr W returns my call and I’m told to come in to hospital to be checked out. A quick chat to my hubby and he’s on his way to collect me, there’s no way in hell I’m driving myself there. I return to the girls to wait for hubs, let them know what’s going on, and try to remain upbeat. Looks like we’re not all going to make it to dinner tonight after all.

Hubs arrives just before 7pm and I wish the girls a great dinner, making them promise to order my favs, before heading off. It’s an anxious, but luckily not too long a drive to the hospital. We’re not quite sure what to say to each other, too scared to discuss what this could (but hopefully doesn’t) mean. We make our way to the Women’s Assessment Unit and I spot our OB sitting out back behind the reception desk. Someone’s just given our room away (first in first served) so we’re whisked into a shared room with visiting family and children before being redirected to a different, rarely used room around the corner. It looks like it’s almost set up for deliveries which, although I know isn’t intended for us, is a little freaky.

I’m glad they’ve found us this other room, despite being overflowing tonight, as the check-up isn’t pleasant. First we get a scan of the boys, which is great. They seem fine regardless of my bleeding. I’m then switched to the next bed over where Dr W performs an internal exam on my cervix. Ouch. “It’s a little like a smear test,” he says “only there’s more discomfort when you’re pregnant.” He’s not wrong. Initially it’s just a little uncomfortable but then, as he examines further inside it gets down-right painful and starts to remind me a little of my hysteroscopy. Admittedly it’s not as excruciating as that was but it does hurt and in a similar way. At least that hopefully means I’ve still got a tight cervix. Yep, it’s still closed. Phew! That means the twins aren’t on their way immediately.

So what DOES it mean? Well, there’s no obvious cause of the bleed, but they think it’s either a little blood coming from the cervix or the placental edge. It’s mostly old blood so that’s a good sign too. What’s not a good sign is that it’s happened at all. Although bleeding IS common amongst twin pregnancies, having bleeding at 26 weeks could be a sign that our twins will come earlier than we’d like. There’s initially talk that they could potentially arrive this weekend but post-exam this is scaled back to “they shouldn’t show up in the next 10 days or so” and “we just need to keep an eye on it over the weekend and see how we go”. And just like that I’m admitted into hospital.

While waiting for a bed on a ward I’m given a steroid injection in my butt (ouch that stuff is thick!) to try and boost the boys lungs, and therefore their chances, just in case they do make an early appearance. I’m knackered and after shedding a few tears (still absolutely terrified for our gorgeous boys) I close my eyes for a while. And then an orderly turns up and I’m wheeled over to Ward 96. It feels very odd being in a wheelchair but with the tightening in my stomach at that point in time even the walk to the chair is difficult.

It’s somewhere approaching 9pm by this stage and I’m ravenous. I’m also shivering and exhausted. Too much stress and anxiety in too short a time period. It’s almost like I’m in shock, and I guess I am. A lovely midwife, H, gets me checked into the ward, shows me around, takes my weight and gets me settled into a bed. Next she does my obs and we finally get to hear our babies heartbeats for the first time ever (our obstetrician’s machine never has any batteries in it). It’s beautiful, our little boys are in there and going strong. It’s amazing how every extra little piece of information, each little experience along this pregnancy road, makes them so much more real, so much more human, and so much more ours. I can’t even begin to express how much I love them already, it makes me well up just thinking about it.

Once all the necessary procedures are done and dusted my hubby heads of home to grab me some things and to nab something for me to eat. I rest my head and try not to worry about things that won’t necessarily come to be. It’s hard though, I’ve been so determined to get these boys to 37 weeks (or anything mid-thirties onward) I’m not mentally prepared for them to arrive now at 26 weeks. I know if they were to show up now they’ve got a good chance of survival and a normal life – my niece was born around this time and she is now a lively, boisterous, and beautiful seven year old – but I’m really not ready for them to enter the world just yet. I’ve only just had the chance to start enjoying this pregnancy, I LOVE feeling them move inside me, bonding with them, and I don’t want to give that up yet, not when it’s potentially at a detriment to their quality of life.

Hubs is back with my things and some burgers, which we scoff before he heads home again, and I’m left alone with my thoughts and a very broken and anxious sleep until morning. What a never-ending rollercoaster this is turning out to be.


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