By the end of my twin pregnancy, I had forgotten what it felt like to not be pregnant. I had spent 5 months so sick that I required an IV at home. Once the morning sickness tapered off I was huge and uncomfortable and worried since another preterm delivery was a strong posibility.
I was thrilled when I reached 35 weeks, which was a huge milestone for me, especially considering the preterm labor scare I had at 27 weeks, but I could tell my body was just done. My blood pressure was going up. I had been having regular contractions for more than a week. Something as simple as walking up the stairs would leave me gasping for breath and seeing spots so badly that I couldn’t read a piece of paper that was right in front of my face. I was done.
I was having twice weekly NSTs to keep an eye on the babies. By then I was spilling protein and my bloodwork was coming back progressively worse but on the monitors the babies looked great. The day before I hit 35 weeks things seemed to take a turn though.
I’d spent the day at the beach (sitting at the beach, not doing anything fancy like trying to walk or swim) since I’d been taken off bedrest. When I got home I realized I was seeing white spots everywhere. At first I thought my eyes must have been adjusting to coming back inside after being in the sun but when I was still seeing spots after laying in a dark room for several hours I realized something was up and called my OB.
My blood pressure was high in the office. After checking it a few more times to make sure it wasn’t a fluke they order another round of preeclampsia labs with orders to come back in the morning. The midwife decided it was worth checking my cervix before I left and found that I was at a 4. She told me I should probably plan on bringing a bag with me the next day.
When I returned for my appointment in the morning though, my blood pressure seemed to have stabilized and my labs actually came back slightly better than they had been. After a quick NST and fluid check then sent me home for the weekend to wait things out until my regular Monday morning appointment.
I didn’t make it that long. Saturday afternoon the visual problems came back again. I was seeing spots so badly that I couldn’t read a piece of paper in front of my face. My blood pressure on my home monitor was 170/110. I’m more cautious since having a pregnancy loss. You realize just how many things can go wrong. We decided we’d rather be safe than sorry so we packed up and headed in to Labor and Delivery.
Once hooked up to the monitors they found that I was contracting every 6 minutes. My blood pressure when I was moving around but once I lay down for a while it fell back down to within a more normal range. My dr. wasn’t the one on call so the OB that was there told me to go home on bedrest. The nurse wasn’t thrilled with that. She told me she’d talked to her charge nurse and they both agreed they would have kept me but since I didn’t particularly want to spend my weekend camped out at the hospital I didn’t make a big deal out of. I’d be seeing my regular OB again on Monday and hoped she’d have a better idea of what was going on.
Monday morning at my appointment I was still contracting on the monitor. My OB got a bit excited when she found out I’d been at a 4 the week before so she checked me and confirmed that I was at a 4 and about 50% effaced. With both babies being so completely breech, she was worried that if my water broke baby A’s cord would prolapse. I’d been worried about abruption since I’ve experienced that nightmare twice before but a cord prolapse hadn’t even crossed my mind. My OB told me to come back in the morning and if there was any change she was sending me in for a C-section.
I honestly didn’t think there would be a change. The week before my OB had been gearing me up to going until 38-39 weeks — a crazy thought when I’d never made it that far with even one baby. The waiting was wearing me down and it was just too exhausting to get excited about something that may or may not even happen.
I was sent home with orders not to eat after midnight, which seemed like a wasted effort to me. I didn’t have long to wait for my appointment the next day. As soon as I was called back into a room my OB checked my cervix and told me I was at a 5 and 90% effaced. She said it was time to throw in the towel and sent me immediately over to L&D.
I was kind of in a daze after that. I was so convinced that I was going home that I hadn’t even brought a hospital bag. I had my camera because I never went to an OB visit without it but I didn’t have anything else useful with me. When they got me hooked up the the monitors in L&D they found that I was contracting every 4 minutes. The nurse got a bit excited about that and kept putting calls into my OB to tell her to hurry up.
Within a few hours of arriving for the hospital the babies had been monitored, I’d been given IV fluids, and talked with anesthesiology and before I knew it I was told it was time to walk back to the OR. I thought for sure that would be the longest walk of my life but it was all so surreal that it kind of flew by. I was given a spinal in the OR and people started piling into the room.
Each baby had a team and a NICU nurse. The anesthesiologist sat by my head and my OB, her midwife, and their nurses stood in a circle around me. I told myself going in that the C-section was going to happen so quickly that I wouldn’t have time to freak out and that was so true. Before I knew it there were babies crying and people working on all sides of me. The spinal made my blood pressure drop and the meds they gave me to correct that made me sleepy so the whole thing was a bit of a blur. Before I knew it they were done and I was being rolled back into my recovery room with my babies following.
At 35 weeks we knew the NICU was a strong possibility but they did amazing! They were both over 6 pounds, which was a great size for twins (not to mention early twins) and after a few hours with some breathing/blood sugar / body temperature issues they stabilized and were able to stay with me. Recovery has been hard and I’m glad to be 3 weeks out now and feeling better and I’m so glad to have beautiful, healthy twins home with me.
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