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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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30 weeks and the unexpected

Week 30 brought with it an unexpected turn of events for sure.

week 30 – morning of the last day of school

first day of this year / last day of this year

I got up Wednesday morning excited for two things:  the last day of school and my 30 week ultrasound.  A week before when I realized that my ultrasound was scheduled on the morning of my kids’ last day, I tried everything I could to reschedule it.  I have had the best year with my students, and it was so important to me to be there with them and get to say goodbye after they took their finals and such.

But the ultrasound tech only comes on Wednesday mornings, and there was no way to change the appointment aside from postponing it a week.  I considered it for a long time, but in the end (and after a long conversation with my mom) I decided that it just didn’t seem like a good idea to delay getting to see our little babies!  So I got a cover for the last half of my 2nd hour and lunch, planning to come back for the rest of the day to shed a few tears and give hugs and final words of parting advice ;)

Around 10 am I left school and raced over to the hospital. Jon met me there and we spent lots of time oohing and ahhing over our little McCoys before having to wait for the doctor to tell us the results of my check.  Minutes later our nurse came back, and the second she walked in the door I knew something was not right.  Thankfully the babies are doing just great, but the same cannot be said for my cervix.  It seems that it has shortened significantly since my last checkup, which, in short (no pun intended), it’s not supposed to start doing yet.

The nurse ordered me to go straight home and get in bed and not get up until the next morning to come back and have my doctor check me again.  After a brief panic and some negotiations, I convinced her to let me finish out the school day.  I was able to go back and finish out the day with my kids, get grades finalized and wrap up all the other little things I could possibly do before leaving for good.  It was quite a whirlwind.  And definitely not how I had envisioned my last day/leaving my classroom and school.  My brain is still processing the fact that I won’t be going back there, and it’s definitely bittersweet.

The next morning found me back at the doctor where he confirmed that bedrest is the best option at this point (a much better alternative to the other suggestion he had).  I got two steroid shots to help the babies’ lungs develop faster, and other than that I’m under strict orders to not leave the couch/bed other than to “shower or get a quick bite to eat.”

Or take a weekly pregnancy pic of course;)

So here I am, living on the couch watching my poor husband run around doing everything under the sun.  I know I’m really lucky because things could be so much worse.  I get teary eyed all throughout the day just thinking about how thankful I am that the twins are still growing inside me. The thought of them having to face the world when they’re so little little and unprepared keeps me glued to the couch even when I think I can’t take it another minute.  I’m so thankful I’m not in the hospital, and I’m so so thankful that I have so many people who are helping take care of me and everything else.

Things are constantly popping into my head that I just can’t believe I’m going to miss – my only nephew’s 1st birthday party, childbirth classes, buying our new car with the husband, washing and organizing the babies’ clothes and diapers, etc. etc.  It’s so hard seeing everything fall on Jon’s shoulders and not being able to help him do anything, while at the same time adding more and more to his plate.

But I know it’s all temporary, and I will blink twice before the twins are here and I’m back to running around.  I’m willing them to stay in and keep growing.  I’m going with the self fulfilling prophecy theory.  If I believe they’ll stay in there for another 6 or 7 weeks, then they will stay in. Isn’t that how it works?

In the meantime I’m getting lots of thank you notes written and lots and lots of pregnancy books read.  The ambitious side of me is planning on squeezing in a pregnancy scrapbook and some sewing projects, but we shall see.

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finally a mama

today was such a sweet day.  every single text message and happy mother’s day wish I received was like a ray of sunlight.  more than anything today I just keep thinking about how thankful i am that i have these two little ones.  that god created them to be mine and jon’s and that we get to be their parents forever. every single movement inside me and every ache and pain is a reminder of what an honor it is to have this new title.  i get teary eyed just thinking about it.

to our babies -

i am so proud and joyful to be your mama already.  even though we have yet to meet, i feel like i already know you.  your daddy and i have waited so long to know you, and we’ve never been more thankful for anything in our lives.   i promise to do everything i can to be the best mama i can be to you.  i will definitely make mistakes and you’ll have to show me some grace (you know this is my first time).  i pray that you’ll see jesus in me and that you’ll learn from me to love others like he loves us.  i hope to show you the world and teach you that god has made every person special regardless of what they look like on the outside or how much money they have.  i hope you never doubt how much i love you and that you always know i’m here for you no matter what.  i can’t wait to meet you, but please stay in there for and get bigger and stronger for at least 8 more weeks!

lots of love, mama

another sweet part of today was getting to wish a happy mother’s day to my mom and mother-in-law.  i feel so blessed to have such amazing moms who love jon and i unconditionally and who have sacrificed so much for us over the years. for the twins i hope i can be as sacrificial and loving as they have been.  then i will definitely count myself a successful mama.  happy mother’s day mom and debbie.  i love you both!

lastly, this day was a reminder of the long wait and the pain of waiting to see how god would choose to give us babies.  it was a reminder of all those still out there wondering and waiting.  i remember vividly how difficult mother’s day can be when all you want is to be called mama, but you have no choice in the matter.  it feels so hurtful and hopeless.  so to any of you reading this who are feeling that pain today, i’m praying for you and i hope you remember that someday god will bless you in the greatest way possible.  it may not be how you imagined, but he has not forgotten you. and it will be worth the wait.

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just the two of us

For Spring Break we decided to take a last little trip just the two of us to San Franciso.

1.  Our very first stop in SF for coffee and bagels  2.  the GG Bridge as Jon calls it   3.  One of 90 million photos of us by the bridge:)  4.  his and hers root beers

1.  How did they know? ;) 2.  Ghiradelli square – free chocolate!  3.  our little Go Car we toured in on our last day  4.  quaint little Haight coffee shop

1.  Baker Beach – a favorite stop  2.  Boudin at Fisherman’s Wharf – famous for sourdough bread bowls!  3.  pretty San Fran
4. just motoring around

1.  the Full House houses  2.  breakfast  3.  love him:)  4.  on the cable car

1.  fortune cookie factory in China Town.  Paid .25 to take this pic.  Thinking he got the better deal.  2.  the  beautiful Pacific  3.  my handsome driver  4.  twins!

This was the first trip either of us had taken to the west coast, and I’m so glad we went!  Traveling has been something we’ve enjoyed so much together the last 6 years, and there were moments on our trip that I felt a little nostalgic thinking of our adventures together in the past.  I know from now on it will never be quite the same.

But for every thought of how special the past has been, I was overwhelmed with anticipation for the future.  Our traveling might look a little different, but I can hardly imagine how amazing it will be to show our babies different parts of the world.

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Week 20: update post

Thanks so much for all the sweet congrats on my last post.  I’ve waited what seems like a lifetime to make that announcement, and I’m so thankful and humbled that God finally allowed it to happen!  You all just made it that much sweeter.

So, here’s a quick breakdown of the last few months:

November 12, 2011 – We had our embryos transferred and felt like we were already pregnant.  I’d be lying if I said I didn’t feel scared that it wouldn’t work…but from the moment we left the hospital, we never stopped praying for our babies.  I would lay on the couch and talk to them all the time, envisioning them as strong, healthy babies.  From day one it felt like they were here to stay.

after transfer


November 21, 2011:
We both left work a little early and met at home to wait for the call.  We waited…and waited…and waited.  And finally about 15 minutes after we were supposed to receive the call, we broke down and dialed the clinic.  After identifying myself and holding for eternity, the nurse answered the phone with a “congratulations!”  We’ve never felt so full of joy.  I was considered 4 weeks already:)  We drove straight to Baby Gap and bought onesies.

November 24 – 25, 2011: Shared with the family and gave so many thanks.

December 12, 2011: Week 7. All day nausea set in.  Sick in the morning…sick at night.  I had no appetite at all, and the only things that sounded somewhat edible were things I would usually never consider putting in my body.  Sorry babies.

December 22, 2011Week 8.  Went for our 2nd ultrasound and got the biggest surprise of our lives – not 1 but 2 babies! Praise the Lord.  We spent the following 2 weeks celebrating Christmas and sharing our 2nd piece of amazing news with our families. Oh, and of course every 10 minutes saying to each other “are we really having twins???”

sadly, we didn’t get any pics when we told mom and dad McCoy

Weeks 9- 13: Sick. sick. sick.  But oh, so happy.  I literally did almost nothing besides go to work and come home and lay on the couch for over a month.  Jon gets major daddy/husband points for keeping the house running and going on wild goose chases to find anything I could eat.  Oh, and lots and lots of backrubs.  I’ve heard people say that a woman becomes a mom when she gets pregnant, but a man doesn’t become a dad until the baby (ies:) is born.  Not true for my husband.  In a way, he’s been taking care of these babies for months already!

Week 14: Started to feel a tiny bit better.  We decided to make the big announcement on Facebook and the blog.  Up until this point, I was so so thankful for the little babies inside me, but I had a really hard time letting go of my fear and just trusting God.  For 18 months I had longed to be pregnant, and in my mind I think I had decided that it could never really happen.  Every month had brought so much hurt, and it seemed impossible that it could have finally happened. I know that sounds kind of crazy, but the fear of losing them terrified me.  When we announced our news to the world, I felt like a huge burden was lifted off my shoulders.  It finally felt real, and I finally started really believing that our babies were going to be okay.

Week 15: Took my first picture of the bump!

Week 16: Bump picture number 2.  This was the week I finally started to really feel almost like myself again.  The nausea completely subsided, and I even started to feel a little more energetic!

Week 17:

Week 17 was pretty monumental.  I worked out for the first time in 3 months!   And I felt so good about it. When I started the IVF process, I was told I shouldn’t have physical activity, and since I followed every wives tale from eating pineapple  to trying to laugh a lot after transfer….eating more eggs…you name it, stopping my workouts was a no brainer.  And of course it just continued from there – I felt too scared of hurting the babies in those paranoid first several weeks of being pregnant, and then I was so sick I could barely talk on the phone much less get off the couch.  So finally on Monday of week 17 I pulled out the prenatal bootcamp DVD my mom got me for Christmas and then I went for a long walk on two different days after that.  Sad how accomplished I feel about walking around the neighborhood.  I finally feel like I’m doing something good for myself and for the twins.

Week 18:

baby a:)

This was the week we found out the gender of our little babies!  I was so nervous that they wouldn’t cooperate for the ultrasound and we’d be disappointed…but they were good little babies.  Let’s hope that’s a good indication of the months/years to come:)  The ultrasound tech started off by just letting us see them while she took pictures to send to our doctor.  Then it was baby A’s turn to be examined.  It only took a matter of seconds to find out Baby A’s gender – and we were so excited!!  We also learned that Baby A will be the first one to come into the world if all goes as planned.  Next was Baby B’s turn.  This time it took a little longer to figure it out, but in the end both genders were as clear as day!  The second best part of this ultrasound was finding exactly where each baby is hanging out in there.  Now I have a good idea of where they are, and knowing that plus their genders makes this that much more real.  I’ll tell whether we’ll be an all boy house, all girl, or one of each in an upcoming post:)

As soon as the ultrasound was over, I had this devious feeling of wanting to keep everyone in suspense, but I resisted.  We went home and called parents, brothers and sisters, grandparents, aunts and uncles and our friends to let them know the exciting news.  I loved getting to tell everyone, but by the end of all the excitement, I was exhausted!

Week 19

Week 19 was almost as exciting as the previous week because I felt the babies move for the first time.  I’d been willing them to give me a few good hard kicks for a couple of weeks, but so far I’d felt nothing!  The first few times I felt them left me excited, but also wondering if it really was them.  But after it happened several more times, and I was feeling it on both sides, I realized that yes, it really was our 2 little babies making their presence known!  One thing that made me doubtful at first was that it didn’t feel like a flutter like many people said it would.  It felt more like a really soft little bump from the inside.

Week 20:  and now I’m finally caught up!

Okay, I know I’m going to look back on this and laugh at myself, but I feel like I look huge in this picture!  Not sure if it’s the stripes or if I’ve just doubled in size since last week…but either way I think the baby belly looks large and in charge:)  This week we had another appointment, but no ultrasound.  We did get to hear the heartbeats (which sound like little trains to me by the way) and the doctor checked me and said everything looks perfect!  Yay!  So far I’ve gained 12 pounds.  I wasn’t really sure if that was good or not, but my nurse assured me I’m right on track.  What a relief!  I’ve also been getting in some really solid 3 mile walks this week, which have felt so good.  And we ordered a treadmill, so I see many more walks in my future:)

And now for some randomness from the first trimester (which is obviously a little outdated, but I really wanted to document it somewhere)!

Symptoms (some known and some only I am convinced are because of pregnancy)
nausea (of course), earaches, out of control sense of smell, exhaustion,
lots of bathroom trips, congestion, increased pulse (Jon doesn’t buy this one, but it’s for real),
bad taste in my mouth

Food aversions
pizza, vegetables, mexican food, chips and salsa, diet coke

Food cravings
lime chips, mac and cheese, cheerios, pad thai, orange juice

I realize this post was a complete overload of updates, but the combination of sickness, exhaustion and most recently, pure laziness has inhibited my blogging.  I am kicking myself for not being better about documenting the last few months, and now it’s time for a fresh start.

So, look for upcoming posts on our last big trip just the two of us, nursery updates, the gender reveal!, and how my eating has changed since pad thai and cheerios!

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