8.12.2010

Potato

When I left the hospital last Thursday, my doctor told me to "get as much rest as possible."  Then she went to prepare my discharge papers.  In my mind, that phrase could mean one of two things.

First, it could mean: get as much rest as possible; live your life, play with your kids, make them breakfast, lunch, dinner, etc., but take it easy and put your feet up every chance you get.

Or it could mean: get as much rest as possible; do not do anything more than absolutely necessary.  Confine yourself to your bed, get up only to use the restroom; no laughing, sneezing, coughing, or even thinking about doing anything fun.

Naturally I hoped she meant the first, but then the nurse came in with the discharge papers which clearly stated "bed rest," followed by an extensive list of prohibited activities. 

So home to bed (or the couch) I went.  And there I stayed.  Tom did  e v e r y t h i n g : he made breakfast, lunch, dinner, snacks; changed diapers; cleaned up accidents; did the laundry, the dishes; swept, vacuumed, and in short did anything and everything that needed doing, and did it all with a smile on his face. 

All while I sat on the couch and watched.

And felt useless.

Tuesday I had an appointment with Maternal Fetal Medicine.  After the ultrasound I chatted with the doctor (like normal) and he reassured me that as long as my contraction were under control, I could go with the first definition.  While I should still be spending a significant part of the day resting in a horizontal position, there was nothing wrong with being up and about and doing things.

Housework is still Tom's territory, and will be until these babies are born, and he's still been making dinner most nights, which I'm so grateful for, but it's nice to know I CAN.  So in a week here when Tom actually has to go back to work, my kids won't die of neglect.

That's a reassuring thought.

8.07.2010

The Birth Center: part I

The hospital plays a little chime, a couple bars of Brahms's Lullaby, throughout the hospital every time a baby is born.  I've heard that chime at least a dozen or more times this past week, but thankfully, it has yet to play for our two little ones.  They are still safely inside.

I drove myself to the hospital Monday night around 10.  I had been having frequent, though painless, contractions that had crossed the 6/hour threshold.  That's the magical number that means you need professional help, or something.  I figured they would give me some drugs, the contractions would stop, and I'd be on my way before morning.

Not so.

As expected, they did shoot me up with some drugs, but they didn't do anything.  So they gave me more.

Still nothing.

Then they tried the next option (some other drug) that didn't do anything either, and so, shortly after midnight, they admitted me.  I got to change into one of those attractive and highly modest hospital gowns, move from the uncomfortable triage bed onto a slightly more comfortable labor and delivery bed, and  be hooked up to an IV or two along with my favorite, a catheter.  I also got some steroids for the babies' lungs, just in case.

The magnesium sulfate which they were pouring into me made thirstier than I've ever been in my life, despite the IV fluids I was receiving simultaneously.  It's a muscle relaxant (makes sense, since they were trying to relax my uterus) which meant I was super unsteady on my feet (not that I could go anywhere anyway) and my intestines kinda forgot what they were supposed to be doing.

The hope was that I'd be on the magnesium for 24 hours which would stop the contractions, they'd switch me to oral meds, observe me for another 24 hours to make sure they were getting the job done and let me go Thursday morning.

Unfortunately it didn't quite work that way. 

After 24 hours, they upped the dose of the magnesium, and it finally started working.  24 hours later, they switched me to Procardia, which continued to control the contractions, and disconnected me from the IV and the catheter (hallelujah!).  I was still being monitored for contractions (naturally) as well a monitor on each baby a couple times per day, but it felt so good to not be hooked to quite so many tubes and machines.

Thursday night around 9:30 the doctor came in to talk with me.  She said that the Procardia was doing its job, and since I had no cervical changes, I could go home the next morning.  Or even right then, if I wanted to.  I chose the second option.  I would much rather be at home, thankyouverymuch.  

So, almost exactly 72 hours later, I finally got to come home.  I'm still on drugs and bedrest until further notice (which I sincerely hope is not the next 9-10 weeks), but I'm so glad to be home!

Hopefully we won't have a part II of this post until October!