I grudgingly put on the hospital gown and made my way to the bed where Kenzie began strapping me into all kinds of monitors. Now we’re talking, I thought to myself as graphs and images appeared on the computer screen to my left. Within seconds the sound of the babies’ heartbeats became discernible, and we could see the steady rhythms on the screen. A sigh of relief whooshed out of me, and I began to relax just a little. Aside from the heart monitors, I was also hooked up to a contraction monitor. Finally we were going to find out if what I’d been feeling all night were actually contractions or just something else insignificant. After watching for what felt like forever, Kenzie confirmed that they were actually contractions. But at this point they were not nearly as intense and were very sporadic. She didn’t seem super concerned at this point, so neither were Jon or I.
After several more routine checks, I was told that they were going to check my cervix. I had of course had my cervix checked a number of times in the preceding weeks, so I began to gear up for what was coming. After making a few last minute preparations, she checked me. As she finished, 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 was 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.
To say I was surprised would be an understatement. Sadly the details of what happened next are already a little fuzzy, but I know they immediately wheeled me down the hall and into a new room where they hooked me up once again to all the monitors as Jon and I sat in disbelief. I began to think through all the things that were left undone at home…all the things I didn’t bring with me…and all the things I still needed to prepare before babies’ arrival. But I was quickly realizing that none of that was really going to matter. Shortly after arriving to my new home around 2 in the morning, we were told that in order to stop the contractions, they were going to put me on a magnesium drip. The magnesium would slow down my entire system, and therefore hopefully stop the contractions, which were working to further dilate me. I vaguely remember being told that the magnesium could have some side effects, but nothing could have prepared me for how it made me feel. My whole body heated up like a furnace, radiating heat through my face, my neck…my entire body. As it worked to slow down the contractions, it also slowed down everything else which left me unable to even lift my arms. I couldn’t use my muscles or even focus my eyes on anything. When someone would talk to me I would try to look at them, and my eyes would just cross, my eyelids hanging heavy. I’ve never felt anything like it before. While it left me feeling extremely miserable, it did in fact stop my contractions, and by morning we were all feeling much less alarmed about the babies’ coming. I was only 32 weeks, and the twins were definitely not ready to thrive in the outside world. At this point our goal was to keep them in as long as possible, whether that be another 3 days or 3 weeks. Thankfully the babies themselves were doing great, and all the nurses kept bragging on them, which made me a really proud mama:) And I got to fall asleep to their heartbeats every night, so if there ever was a plus to hospital bedrest that was definitely it.
Over the course of the next 10 days (day 2, day 5, day 6, day 9) the days became a bit monotonous. I was in and out of labor, and off and on magnesium on a daily basis. At one point, they gave me a little break from the magnesium and treated me with a Breathine shot instead. Ironically, instead of slowing down my system, this sped things up, making my heart race and my body feel jittery. Thankfully, Jon was able to take off work some as well as work from the hospital room quite a bit. His office was a stone’s throw away from my hospital room, which was such a blessing. I spent the days either trying to get through the pain or being mostly incoherent from the medication. There were some easier moments that I would use to write a blog post or have a visitor, but almost every time visitors would leave, contractions would inevitably start back up, so we tried to keep people at bay. I’m not much of a TV watcher, but OKC Thunder was in the playoffs during that week, so Jon and I watched our first games of that season on some evenings.
While it was the hardest 10 days of my life, it was also really hard on Jon. He was trying to keep up not only with his day job, but also his side business, keep me company, communicate what was going on with me to everyone and take care of things at the house among other things. I can’t imagine how he could have done more to keep us both sane and things running smoothly on the outside, while in that little hospital room it felt like life was on pause. I really don’t know what I would have done without him.
There were moments when our time in the hospital seemed like it would never end, and we found ourselves torn between wanting it to end and wanting it to last so that the babies could keep growing. Mostly we just wanted to make sure they were going to be healthy. But on day 10 we woke up early after a long night of contractions, having no idea that it would be the scariest, but most incredible day of our lives.
to be continued…
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