Category Archives: Scares & complications

The final countdown

And the roller coaster never ends. Monday we get given our C-section date and my blood pressure is high. Wednesday I have a Doppler scan to check the umbilical cord blood flow. Thursday we get the not so good news. And Friday I’m back in hospital. But I’m getting ahead of myself, let’s start at the beginning.

As mentioned in my last post, on Monday the 7th, we had an appointment with our obstetrician and he surprises us with our C-section date mere minutes before taking my blood pressure. It’s high which then puts us on pre-eclampsia symptom watch. Obviously this is not so fun, especially when my first cankles experience shows up later that night adding to the worry and nervousness around symptoms. Personally I think it’s just the timing of having my blood pressure taken and spending too much time on my feet that has caused the symptoms but after going through so much to get where we are I can’t help but worry.

Roll on Wednesday and the cankles have pretty much gone (I’ve been trying my best to rest and keep my feet up). I head in for my Doppler scan praying I have a different sonographer to last time. Alas, it seems that no one is listening to my prayers today as the same lady comes out and calls my name. Doh! She seems slightly more competent this time but still flusters at the beginning and just can’t seem to get her head around the simple fact that our twins have swapped places, so the one who is now our leading twin (the one nearest the birth canal) is actually titled “twin 2” while “twin 1” who USED to be leading has now taken a backseat. Again it takes a while to get what we need but at least we don’t have to do growth measurements this time. The Doppler readings look ok to me, and the amniotic fluid, although borderline for our leading twin, is acceptable so off I trundle home again.

Thursday. On getting back to my car after lunch with a friend there’s a voice message from our obstetrician on my phone. “Not too urgent but can you give me a call back.” Oh-o this can’t be good. I return his call and am transferred straight through to him. That never happens so now my heart is racing. Turns out it’s not so bad (I must have just caught him between patients) but it’s not good either. Apparently the Doppler scans show the blood flow to at least one baby is becoming compromised. While not urgent at the moment, this will require much closer monitoring so I’m booked in for twice-weekly visits to the Day Assessment Unit at the hospital. Not so convenient unfortunately as it’s 20 minutes drive away (rather than the 5 minutes to our usual scan place) AND I’ll have to pay for parking (exorbitant prices versus free). None of this matters though, as long as our boys are safe.

At each visit they’ll do a CTG to check out the boys heartbeats, a Doppler ultrasound to check blood flow, my Obs to keep an eye on blood pressure, and every fortnight (although realistically this probably means only one more) a growth scan ultrasound to measure the boys growth. Theoretically this should all fit into roughly an hour, yikes! Our obstetrician has booked me in at the Day Assessment Unit the following Tuesday (for CTG and fluid/blood flow check) and the next Friday (for CTG and a growth scan) – it’s all go and I cancel my pre-booked growth scan at our private radiology clinic (yay, no more useless sonographer!).

Friday. I’m not sure if it was the events of the previous day but one of our twins has decided not to really move for a good 24 hours. I’m sure everything is ok but it’s hard not to worry, especially with the ups and downs we’ve had lately, so eventually we call our obstetrician and head back to the Women’s Assessment Unit for some monitoring. I arrive pretty promptly and am hooked up to the CTG. Bee has still been quiet so I’m still stressing but of course within 10 minutes of the sensors going on he’s wriggling around like a fish. Typical. I feel bad for wasting everyone’s time but it’s better to be safe then sorry. My blood pressure etc. also look good so I’m out of there again just over an hour later. Talk about dramas!

The weekend is pretty uneventful and we truck through a few more of the things on the list in order to get the house ready. On Tuesday I head into the Day Assessment Unit for my first monitoring session. The fluid around each baby looks ok, still a little marginal for Bee but better than the scan we last had at our private clinic. The CTG is eventually fine too although it takes a while to find the two boys as the midwife (who I later find out is just helping out due to a busy day) is a bit hopeless…she actually blames her incompetence on me a little saying “it helps when the mother knows where the babies are” – um, you try having twins, especially ones who have already swapped places, and then let me know if you can tell me which way they’re lying! Anyway, the good midwife who usually runs the clinic manages to get the monitor to pick them up and after about 45 minutes (someone wouldn’t stop wriggling!) we have a reading. Although the scan report hasn’t come through yet I’m allowed to go knowing that our obstetrician will call later in the day with the results.

He does eventually call, the scan report took AGES to come through, and the rollercoaster hits a dip again. The fluid is marginal as we knew but it’s also looking like the blood flow to the babies might be becoming further compromised. I’m advised to skip breakfast on Friday and take my hospital bag in with me when I attend Friday’s monitoring session, just in case they need to do an emergency caesarian on Friday afternoon. Oh my god I’m not ready! I mean my hospital bag is pretty much ready to go but mentally I’m not prepared for the boys to arrive that early. At 35 weeks on that day I know they’ll be in reasonable shape but I have my heart set on getting them just a little bit further.

Turns out I needn’t have worried as Friday’s scan and CTG results are great. The boys are still measuring a little small for their gestational age, with one at approximately 1800g and the other around the 2kg mark (3lb 15oz and 4lb 6oz) instead of the recommended 2250g (4lb 15oz) but they’re not too far off. I ask our OB about the weight difference between the two but he’s not concerned. They only worry about a difference of 20% or more and that’s ours is only 10% so we’re ok. The fluid looks good – the boys have moved a bit allowing better fluid measurement (Bumble, although not the leading twin anymore, is head down, and Bee is breach, bum first) – and the blood flow looks fine too. The CTG takes only 15 minutes, it seems everyone is behaving today, and my obs are fine too. All in all a great result and a good day! Up goes the rollercoaster again.

And then it plummets once more when on Saturday evening I notice some tinting when I go to the bathroom and by Sunday morning I’m spotting again. Will this drama never end?!? It’s old looking and there’s not too much of it but my hubby suggests we call our obstetrician just in case, so we do. He’s not too concerned and thinks it’s probably just left-over from my last bleed 5 weeks ago. He’s happy for me to stay at home and keep an eye on it, especially given our latest monitoring results were good. I’m happy with that, I’ve spent enough time in that hospital lately and it won’t be too much longer before I’m back in there for the big event with just over two weeks to go until our scheduled c-section.

It turns out that time is actually much shorter than we anticipated.   We have friends around for a Sunday afternoon tea and my husband’s phone goes with “No caller ID” displayed on the screen. He silences the call and goes to put the phone back in his pocket. “It might be N” (our obstetrician) I say so he ends up taking the call. I hear our obstetrician on the other end of the line confirming that it’s indeed him but then I hear no more. It’s torture to only hear half the conversation and I feel my skin prickle and my hands and feet sweat with nervousness. Our poor friends having to sit through me anxiously waiting to see what he has to say, I feel a bit rude but I can’t think straight until I know what’s up.

My hubby gets off the line and says “Friday.” My heart races. WTH?!? Apparently our OB has been reviewing our notes and with the spotting occurring this weekend he thinks it’s a good idea to pull our c-section forward to the next available elective slot this coming Friday. While I think that’s true I also think it has something to do with him being out of town on holiday the following week, secretly wanting to be the one to deliver our children (seeing as we’re his freakishly young USA donor egg patients – he’s never had anyone like us before) and not wanting to chance me needing a c-section from one of his off-siders while he’s away. He’s going to be on holiday the following week too but being back in the city was going to pop in to do our caesar on the 5th….see what I mean by I think he wants to deliver our babies!

Oh my gosh, I’m seriously sweating now and have gone into shock. Our friends think it’s funny and I guess it is. All that comes our of my mouth for the next wee while is “Oh my god” and various swear words, before I finally pull it together enough to return to a normal conversation. Our mates depart and I return to my panic. There’s still so much I want to get done before the boys arrive…not much that HAS to be done but definitely things I wanted to have crossed off my list purely for my piece of mind and satisfaction.

I start to work through the plan for the rest of the week and we let our parents and siblings know what’s going on. We decide not to tell our friends for the moment (other than the ones who were there when the news broke obviously, as there was no avoiding that), partially because it’s not guaranteed that the operation will go ahead on Friday – it depends on whether my scans continue to look good, on whether all the necessary staff line up, and whether there are spare beds for the boys in the hospital nursery (all things that will be confirmed later in the week), and partially because we want it to be a surprise for them. There hasn’t been much we’ve been able to surprise them with over this journey so it will be nice to be able to make the phone call/texts/emails that other ‘normal’ new parents get to make after the boys arrival.

Keeping it secret proves harder than I thought. Honesty is a value I hold dearly so feeling like I’m lying to my friends really grates me. I make a point of not outright lying to anyone as I just couldn’t handle that, but more skirt the tricky questions and answer in more general terms. “Next monitoring session on Friday?” gets a reply of “The Day Assessment Units monitoring days are Tuesday and Friday”, “Any chance they’d let you go longer if things are still really good a week from now?” gets “No, not a chance, our OB doesn’t want to risk anything.”, “Want to catch up next week?” = “Sure!” (I just won’t tell you it will be a catch up in hospital! I still feel bad doing this but for some reason I just need this to be a surprise.

I guess it’s a little to do with wanting to feel ‘normal’ and a little to do with buying ourselves some extra time to bond with the boys. I know how excited everyone is, how desperately many of them want to meet the twins, and understanding this (as well as being excited for them to meet the boys too) I know I would be hopeless at trying to delay people coming in. It’s a momentous occasion that hubby and I need to fully experience and accept without anyone else around. We’ve waited years for this.

The monitoring session on Tuesday goes well again; even more fluid around the boys (they’re obviously moving around), good blood flow, and a great CTG; and I think our obstetrician is slightly second guessing his decision to pull the c-section forward. In the end he decides it’s still the right call, we’re trading off a little extra prematurity (not too much at 36 weeks) for the boys arriving safely, and I tend to agree. The spotting isn’t really letting up, although it isn’t getting worse either, and I don’t want to risk anything going wrong at this late stage.

Following the monitoring session I’m booked into a pre-op admission session at the hospital across town so make the mad dash there for that. I meet with a nurse who measures my blood pressure (a little high from my dash across town), weight and height, and takes me through what I need to do the evening before and morning of my operation. Take a Ranitidine tablet (to reduce stomach acid) Thursday evening, nothing to eat after midnight, another Ranitidine on Friday morning, water only until I arrive at hospital, and be at the hospital day surgery unit (ORDA) at 8:30am. I can handle that.

Next I see the anesthetist. She’s not the one who will be there for my c-section but she performs all the checks and writes copious notes for the one who will be there on the day. She’s really lovely and walks me step-by-step through the operation including the people who will be there, how and when they’ll administer the anesthetic, what to expect in the operating theatre, and what will happen afterwards. She demonstrates how they find the correct place for the epidural/spinal and makes me feel better by commenting on how good my back is for finding the right spot.   She details post-op pain relief, possible side effects, and likely length of hospital stay, and I leave feeling pretty comfortable about everything.

Blood tests on Thursday to check that I’m ready to go and to identify the details they’ll need should I require a blood transfusion in theatre, and all that’s left is to await the confirmation call from my obstetrician to let us know that it’s full steam ahead. My husband and I head out for a nice yum cha lunch (probably our last for a while) and to check out a part of our local museum that they’re closing down and was always my favourite when I was a child (on a sidenote for Aucklanders – can you believe they’re actually closing the Colonial Auckland exhibit?!? Especially after all these years!)

The call from our OB comes around 2:45pm and we’re still all up in the air. There’s one spare bed in the nursery but not two. This could of course change overnight, for better or for worse, so he’s going to call again tomorrow and give me an update then. So the ideal plan is no food after midnight and it all goes ahead as we hope but, failing that, he’ll admit me to hospital for daily monitoring and we’ll take the first slot we can once beds are free. Plan B is far from ideal but I guess it’s a matter of whatever’s best for the boys (lucky we didn’t tell everyone it was tomorrow!). I’m disappointed. I like the 25th of September as a date, and I’d really like our OB to deliver the boys before he goes on holiday, but whatever will be will be and I just have to roll with it. The rollercoaster’s not quite done with us yet.


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.

 


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.


waitingbetweenthelines

The highs and lows of a child psychologist dealing with infertility.

spiritbabycomehome

Misadventures in recurrent pregnany loss & reproductive immunology

Storyshucker

A blog full of humorous and poignant observations.

Today I hope

Ups and downs in a long and winding road to parenthood

myhopefullibrary

A topnotch WordPress.com site

Room to Grow

Re-foresting a small piece of New Zealand

Infertility What ??

Journey to a family : IVF / FET

A Calm Persistence

A Journey Through Recurrent Pregnancy Loss

Starting Our Family

The reality of infertility, IVF and donor eggs

Dogs Aren't Kids

A look at infertility with humor, sarcasm and just a little bitterness.

A Morning Grouch

Mama. Writer. Runner. Doodler. Yogi. Wine lover. Poor sleeper. Coffee consumer. Depression fighter. Gratitude practicer.

Just Stop Trying and It Will Happen...

Barren and blogging about it. Don't be jealous.

dorsetrachel

random acts of kindness, senseless acts of beauty

NewtoIVF

The trials and tribulations of a girl TTC

Schrodinger's Catbox

All the things they don't tell you about making babies. And not making them.

Under The Paw

The quest to expand our family

Waiting Mama

A Trying to Conceive Story

mother-one-day

Mid-20's Aussie wife & friend to all. Trying to concieve baby number one since April 2011. Medical Scientist by day. I'm a bargain hunter, crafter, animal lover & handy with a power tool. Desperate to add 'mother' to that list. my Darling Husband is my loving team-mate on our infertility journey.

Diary of a Yummy Mummy in Waiting

The quest to expand our family

misslazy81

For every girl who's ever had questions but no answers