hospital sweet hospital

Well, it looks like these babies might try to be as stubborn as their mama.  It seems they think it’s time to come out and meet everyone.

Let me start from the beginning.

Friday night we had some friends from college over for dinner.  My friend that took my maternity photos was taking our other friend’s family photos Friday afternoon, so after they were done they picked up some pizzas and came over to visit.  It was so good to all hang out because it only happens about once a year if we’re lucky!

So, we were up late Friday, and everything seemed fine, but when I woke up Saturday I knew right away that I didn’t feel very good.  I just kept having really bad pains in my stomach off and on, so I basically just spent the whole morning and afternoon laying on the couch or bed.  I’ve been analyzing stomach pains ever since I went on bedrest and became paranoid about pre-term labor, and it has been so difficult!  You can read a million different descriptions of what contractions feel like, and still not read one that is identical to your own…at least in my experience.

Finally at about 10pm Saturday night the pains started getting bad enough that I decided (with a little coaxing from the husband) to just call the labor and delivery nurse and see if she had any advice.  After describing to her what was going on, she agreed that it didn’t necessarily sound like contractions.  She told me some things to do to try and relieve it, and we hung up.  So, Jon and I went about our night – I took a shower and we eventually fell asleep on the couch while watching a movie.

At about 1:30 we got up to move to bed, and my pains just continued.  I’m the type to usually downplay whatever it is I’m feeling because I don’t want to make a big deal or put anyone out, but I remember laying in bed thinking that I really should probably go in to be checked just because I was worried about the babies.  I kept thinking if I was in that much pain, it had to be affecting them in some way.  It wasn’t long of my laying there moaning in pain before Jon made the valid point that I just couldn’t lay there in pain all night long.  At that point I suggested that he just call the nurse back again and let her know what was happening.  After talking to her briefly, she suggested that we just go ahead and come get checked, at least so we could have some peace of mind.

So, we threw on some clothes, thinking we’d be back in a couple of hours tops, and headed to the hospital.  Upon arrival, they had us check in and fill out a ton of paper work (of course), and the whole time I was standing there thinking about how silly I felt to have have come in. They finally put us in a triage room and had me change into a hospital gown, and I was thinking I do not need a hospital gown!  Just check these babies and make sure they’re still okay, and we’ll get out of your way!  But of course I obliged, putting on the gown and getting into the bed while she strapped monitors around me to check the babies’ heartbeats.  Pretty soon we could hear that they were doing just fine….such a relief!  She also strapped on a monitor to see if I was having contractions, which after awhile of monitoring it was established that my pains were in fact, contractions (go figure:).

After monitoring me for a little bit and contacting my doctor (or the doctor who was currently on call for my doctor), she came over to check me, which of course was not very pleasant.  As she finished checking me, she informed us that I was dilated to a 4.  I was very confused at first because she didn’t act alarmed at all, so I double checked to make sure I understood what she was saying.  I knew a 4 wasn’t like the baby was about to come out, but it seemed a little far considering I’m only 32 weeks.  After calling the doctor back again, she calmly told us that we would not be leaving the hospital and that they were going to transfer us to another room.

Everything really seems like a blur to me from that point on.  They basically moved me to a labor and delivery room and started me on magnesium to stop the contractions.  They hooked me up to all the basic “checked in the hospital monitors” like an IV, blood pressure cuff etc., of course hooking the babies up to monitors as well.  They also gave me a couple of different shots, which I cannot really remember the purpose of now.

Over the the next hour the magnesium really started to hit me.  They had me on a really high dosage, and it basically made my entire body slow down with the purpose of slowing down/stopping the contractions.  I literally couldn’t even lift my arms, my vision was blurry and I couldn’t focus on anything.  And on top of that we had just pulled an all-nighter.  So needless to say, Sunday was quite the whirlwind.

On Monday morning, my contractions had slowed considerably, so they took me off the magnesium for a few hours.  Oh glorious heaven above, it felt so good once it wore off!  I gained the feeling back in my muscles and began to be able to focus my eyes again.  And they finally let me eat and drink something, which I hadn’t been allowed to since I checked in in case I went into labor and had to have anesthesia.  It was definitely an improvement.  They let me stay off of it for a few hours before putting me back on a lower dose, but this lower dose has not been half as bad.  I’m still having a little trouble with the eye thing, but I can actually roll myself over in bed now (at least as well as I could before bedrest)…so I call that a success!

So now we wait and pray.  My doctor says he’s hoping to buy me a couple of weeks, so right now that’s our goal.  I’ll be in the hospital until the babies come, whether that’s two days or twenty-five days.  We are concerned about all the possible ramifications of course, but we’re so thankful to have a great doctor, great nurses and an amazing NICU staff that has already been by to visit with us several times.

The babies themselves are doing great, and all the nurses keep bragging on them, which makes me a really proud mama:)  And I get to fall asleep to their heartbeats every night, so if there ever was a plus to hospital bedrest…

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first family photos

For over two years I’ve dreamed about taking maternity photos someday.  I would look longingly at other people’s photos and think about the elements I’d like to be the same about mine…and what I wanted to be different.  Where they’d be taken, what I’d wear and what kinds of poses I would do.  But it was always just that.  A dream.

So, a couple of months ago when Jon talked to my best friend/the best photographer ever, Elyse, about taking my pictures, I got so excited!  And then I got nervous.  I guess I had built up the whole event for so long, imagining it as pure perfection, and suddenly I was scared that my reality wouldn’t live up to what I had envisioned.  Silly, I know.  But of course I started planning away – trying to decide on a location, buying a new outfit, thinking about how I’d wear my hair.  I wanted these pictures to be as perfect as possible.  And then, just like so many other things, my dreams of the picture perfect maternity photos crumbled with the news of bedrest.  So long field of wildflowers in the evening sun, lol.  I was so disappointed.

And then I talked to Elyse about it, and like the amazing photographer she is, she had a vision for us.  A vision that would accommodate bedrest.  A vision that required a last minute ditching of my planned outfit.  But suddenly I was totally okay with it all.  It seemed meant to be, and I got super excited about plan B.  Once again I was forced to give up control.  And it was good:)

Elyse is an absolutely incredible photographer.  She took a less than ideal situation and turned it into photos of us with our babies that I will cherish and love forever.  They capture this exact time in our life so precisely that now I can’t imagine them any differently.  So, thanks Elyse, for being such a great friend and for giving us the gift of always being able to remember how we felt and exactly what our life looked like in the months leading up to our babies’ births:)  We love you!

Here’s a sneak peek.  You can see more on Elyse’s blog.

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week 31

It is so hard for me to believe I am at 31 weeks!  I can definitely say that pregnancy has been the fastest time of my life.  I know all you moms out there are probably saying “just wait.”  It’s just crazy because it seems like just last week we got the call of “congratulations”

Not only does today mark 31 weeks, but it also is the end of my first week of bedrest.  I know I don’t look very bedresty in these pictures (meaning the makeup and jewelry…oh and the standing up:).  My doctor approved me to go to my last baby shower, so I got to get out and about yesterday!  It was such a sweet shower at Jonathan’s work…more to come on it later.

Stats about week 31:
Total weight gain so far: exactly 30 lbs. since starting IVF.  The topic of gaining weight could be another post in itself, but right now I’m feeling pretty good about 30 lbs.  I figure it would be ideal to put on another 10 or so before the babies come, but we’ll see.  My doctor is always happy, so I guess I’m happy!

What I’m wearing these days: mostly skirts and Gap pure body t’s when we have company.  Yoga pants/shorts and a t-shirt otherwise.   I’ve stopped buying any maternity clothes, and now I’m trying to get a few things to feel good in once the babies get here.  Skirts with foldover/elastic waist bands, a few nursing camis, shirts that can be pulled down/to the side in the front.

Stretch marks? So far none, and I am keeping my fingers crossed.  I have always assumed I would get stretch marks, especially once I found out it was twins.  But so far so good.  Although I totally realize I could still have 6 or 7 weeks left, so the idea that I won’t get any might be unrealistic.  A girl can hope, though.

Sleep? Sleep is definitely going downhill because of more and more bathroom trips during the night.  I’ve been getting up pretty much every two hours.  I don’t really mind having to get up to go to the bathroom…but what really annoys me is when I can’t fall back asleep.  Although now that I’m on bedrest, I have plenty of time to catch up during the day, so it’s not that big of a deal.  I really do feel like I’m just preparing my body to be up throughout the night for feedings…and I’m totally fine with that!

Signs of Labor:  nope!  The doctor keeps asking me expectantly if I’m having any contractions (Braxton Hicks or otherwise), and I just keep saying no.  Given the issue of my shortening cervix and whatnot, I’m a bit surprised and super thankful that I’m not having contractions yet.  Let’s keep it that way, body!  I do sometimes wonder if I could be having them and I’m just not recognizing what they are…since I don’t know what they feel like and all.  But I know that’s probably really silly.

Symptoms:  Lots of round ligament and other pains.  Moving hurts.  That’s all.  I’m so happy that my swelling has gone away since being on bedrest though!  Unfortunately I never got a picture of how swollen my legs, ankles and feet were, but take my word for it…they were bad.  I couldn’t even recognize them any more.  Now they are completely back to normal, and I am eating it up!  I’m pretty sure Jon is sick of me admiring myself and talking about how nice it is to have my old legs back.  The best part has been getting to wear fun summer shoes the few times I have left the house.  The last week of school I was down to one lonely pair of flip flops that would actually go on my feet.  I even painted my own toenails this past week…which was an epic event.  I still can’t quite believe I was able to do it…pretty impressive methinks.  Oh, and a couple of symptoms I’m kind of (read: extremely) embarrassed to mention – constipation and hemorrhoids.  There, I said it.  Super awkward, but my reality right now.  I’m kind of bitter that not one person ever told me about the possibility of these two things.  They are like a force of evil, working together to  take over my life I think.
Baby items still left to buy:  the rest of our cloth diapers, cloth diaper approved diaper rash ointment (just in case!), Ergo carrier for the husband, one Boppy pillow (not an absolute necessity), cloth wipes/wipes holder and a couple of pack n’ play sheets (they’ll be sleeping in our room for a couple of weeks).   There are of course other things I’d really like to get before they come, but these are the things I feel like we really have to get.

Today my sweet mom is coming up to clean our house, help me start washing the babies’ clothes and organizing them, and she’s going to cook me a quinoa dish…I’m pretty excited.  The only thing that could make it better is if I could get up and help!  I guess you can’t win ‘em all though.  I’m so so thankful to have family around that has done so much for us.

Yay for week 31!  Stay in there and keep growing, babies!

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