Tuesday, October 31, 2006

An update

I was released from the hospital yesterday around dinnertime. They were able to ease the contractions I was having and after monitoring me for a couple of days they were confident that for now things seem to be stable. I'm feeling pretty drained, it was a very emotional 4 days worrying about all the meds they were giving me and how they might affect the babies. Of course they tell you its all safe, but you never really know. Unfortunately its a double edge sword, either take the meds and risks that come with those or deliver babies that would be 3 months premature and have a whole gammet of complications and possible long term disabilities. It was/is a horrible thing to have to experience, the road to get to this point has already been a very difficult one for Kevin and I so it is very disheartening that now our joy and healing has been replaced by fear and anxiety.

My instructions were to come home and follow strict bedrest orders. That means I can only get up to use the restroom or move from the couch to the bed. Kevin is going to set up a small refridgerator in our room next to the bed so that I don't have to go to the kitchen for food during the day while he is at work. After spending 4 days of bedrest at the hospital my whole outlook on bedrest at home has changed. Its like a vacation, I so hope that I will not need to return to the hospital for any length of time again. Although the nurse told me to expect to and to prepare myself for that possibility.

Right now we will just take things day by day. The dr.'s goal is to make it to at least 32 weeks. That would be another month. Ideally 34 weeks would be best, if the babies stay put until then they would most likely not need to spend anytime in the NICU, only a couple of extra days in what they call "special care". Thanks to everyone who called or sent their well wishes, it really means a lot to us!

Sunday, October 29, 2006

Ultrasound Videos

Baby A,

And Baby B.

Friday, October 27, 2006

Bad News

Today's dr. appointment brought bad news. At 18 weeks my cervix was 3.5 cm. which was very good, at 24 weeks it had shortened to 2.7 cm which is why I was placed on bedrest 3 weeks ago, today at 27 weeks it is 1 cm and funneling. This means it is opening from the inside out and has only 1 cm to go before I may start to dialate. So here I sit at the hospital on a huge regimen of drugs and iv's scared to death. I was given a fetal fibroectin test which came back positive meaning I have a forty percent chance of going into labor within 2 weeks. I'm on every med available to try and stop the contractions I've been having and will be here till probably Monday. No longer I hope.

If I get to leave on Monday I'll continue bedrest, be on a pump that delivers meds intravenously, and have a constant monitor attached for contractions. I'm not sure what the next few days, let alone few weeks hold for us. Kevin and I are very concerned, obviously, there were many tears today. We just hope we can hold off labor for as long as possible for the saftey 0f the babies.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Some baby shower pics

Sunday, October 22, 2006

Baby Shower

Today was our baby shower and I can't say thank you enough to everyone who came. Kevin and I are so appreciative of everyone's generosity, it is absolutely unbelievable how much baby stuff we received! After we came home from the shower my mother unpacked and organized everything for us and I just kept staring at all the stuff in shock. How can two little babies need so much?

I apologize that I was not able to do much visiting with everyone, it is difficult to socialize from a chair behind a table. Unfortunately (or fortunately for some :)) we had to speed things up a bit since I really wasn't supposed to be out and about but I wanted to make sure everyone knew how thankful I am that they came and for all the generous gifts we received. Hopefully I was able to express that, if I wasn't due to the super sonic speed of everything please know that I am.

So today was the highlight of my upcoming month. It's back to the couch and bed for the upcoming weeks, hopefully our little guys will stay comfortable where they are for the next couple of months.

Friday, October 20, 2006

Dr. Appointment Update

I had another dr.'s appointment today to get my second steroid shot and a blood pressure check. The second shot went fine and luckily I haven't noticed any side effects. The good news is my blood pressure was perfect, so hopefully yesterdays elevated numbers were just due to stress and not the onset of pre-eclampsia. Bedrest is still in effect but I was relieved to see the bloodpressure was better.

Jared came over for a visit and dinner today. He brought me some magazines which I will save for next week when I start to get really stir crazy while Kevin is at work. Luckily Kevin has taken Monday off of work to recover from the world series game he is going to on Sunday night and next Friday he will be off for a half a day to take me to my next dr.'s appointment. So hopefully that will make the house arrest a little easier.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Officially on strict bedrest

Today's appointment didn't go as well as I hoped for, my first steriod shot wasn't too bad but my blood pressure was slightly elevated which is a concern because 2 weeks ago it was normal. Technically it was supposed to be lower than normal because of the meds I'm taking to lower my bloodpressure and relax the uterus from contracting, but despite the meds it was slightly high. My dr. said it could just be stress or it could be the beginning stages of pre-eclampsia. So due to that, my shortening cervix, and contractions I am now officially on strict bedrest. That means for the next few weeks I cannot do ANYTHING or go ANYWHERE. The dr. was very clear about that this time around. If pre-eclampsia does develop then there is a good chance I would have to do hospital bedrest.

After I get to around 30 weeks or so the dr. said we can re-evaluate my activity level because we will be out of the "danger zone" for the babies. He did give me permission to go to my shower on Sunday, but he said I need to stay sitting the whole time and to have Kevin open the gifts. Had it not been at a reserved hall he said it would have been best to postpone it for a few weeks.

The good news in all of this is that the boys look very good. Their heartbeats were strong, they were moving around, their fluid levels look good and they look to be the same size. We'll know more specifically how they are developing next week at the detailed ultrasound. Hopefully they will be 2 to 2 and a half pounds each. I just wish I could be doing as well as they are, house arrest isn't easy but its only temporary and like I said in a previous post, I'll stand on my head for the next 10 weeks for our little guys....whatever its going to take.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

26 week update

Bedrest continues and time is slowly moving on. The past week and a half has been very difficult, my admiration and respect for any woman that has ever had to do bedrest for a pregnancy. ..especially in the hospital. Although I'm not on strict bedrest, I am very limited in my activity. I do go out every couple of days for either dinner with Kevin or a stroll around Target but the rest of my time is spent lying on the couch or in bed. Tomorrow's Dr. Phil should be interesting, they just promo'ed it, "Out of control Twins".

I have Dr.'s appointments tomorrow and Friday for a check-up and my first set of steriod shots to develop the boys' lungs. I'm going to get a better explanation from the dr. spefically letting me know exactly what my limitations are, he told me that I needed to take it easy and stay off my feet as much as possible, but what exactly does that mean? I'm also going to beg him to take another measurement of my cervix so I can see how that is progressing, if it is getting shorter or holding up. I'm not due for another measurement till next week, but for piece of mind I'm hoping he will do one tomorrow or Friday.

The baby shower is this Sunday at Greystone Golf Course. I'm looking forward to that and seeing all our family and friends. It's a day I have been anticipating long before this pregnancy came to be. Sorta the always a bridesmaid but never a bride type situation. I'm grateful that it is finally our turn, just yesterday Kevin and I were discussing just how lucky we feel to have gotten to this point and how amazing it is that we are blessed twice over.

Thursday, October 12, 2006

What not to watch while on bedrest

Note to self, don't watch TLC stories about families with multiples as they "struggle through the stress and challenge of caring for more than one baby and adjusting to a hectic life filled with endless feedings and changings." Ugh, I did this earlier in the summer and swore I would stop watching it but my curiousity gets the best of me. I've never been a "that will never happen to me type", I'm always quite the opposite thinking everything bad could happen to me, but in this situation I'm going to slip into the comfort of denial and say "that will never happen to me". Twins will surely be a cinch, afterall I've been managing close to 30 children a day for the past 8 years! Easy Schmeeesy!

If anyone was wondering what one does while on bedrest, here's a peek into the ultra exciting days I've been having:

Wake up sometime around 9 and check email, eat breakfast, watch TV
By now the phone starts ringing with daily check in's from my mom, sister, and grandma
Sometime around 11 I attmept to take a nap, thus far no success
After laying around and trying to sleep for an hour I have lunch
After lunch its back on the laptop to search ebay for designer purses and baby junk (I did buy Jared a coach wallet for his birthday....LUCKY)
Phone begins to ring again with calls from Kevin, Jared, and Tina
1:30 is usually shower time
After my shower I attempt to nap again....unsuccessfully
3:00 Dr. Phil time....jeez he can be such a pompus a-hole but there isn't much else to watch
4:30 Kevin comes home............YAY FINALLY!!!!!!

Sorry for such boring content, I promise next time I will come up with something a little more interesting. Perhaps pictures of a new "Manhattan" Louis Vuitton Handbag that I have my eye on.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Well life certaintly has slowed down over these past few days. It has been a challenge, but I have been forcing myself to take it easy and lay down for the majority of my day. The more reading I've been doing on the internet, the more panicked I become about my cervix shortening. I LOVE my dr. and so far he has been so proactive and cautious regarding every single issue that has come up so the fact that he isn't too worried should calm my nerves, but unfortunately it hasn't.

The blood pressure medication that I'm taking has become quite consuming. I have to take it every 6 hours which means I have to set my alarm for 2 a.m every morning so I can take my middle of the night dose. Luckily I haven't experienced any side effects but I haven't noticed it helping out with the contractions really either.

The boys have been really active lately so I've been enjoying that. I think when they hear my alarm go off at 2 a.m. they think its time to start the day because they start moving around and usually keep me up for an hour. Its difficult to sleep when those little guys are bouncing around as if they were on a trampoline inside my belly. Call me crazy but I love it, even when I'm exhausted.

Speaking of sleep, Kevin's mom bought me this pregnancy pillow that I slept with for the first time last night. Poor Kevin, I have created this fort of pillows around myself that are overtaking his side of the bed. The new pillow definitely helped me sleep better last night. It is u-shaped so I no longer need to set up my fort of pillows every time I need to roll over. Kevin and I always joked pre-pregnancy that we slept in different area codes, we both like to have our own sleeping space so we bought a King size bed. I'm 586 and he's 313 but now I'm afraid he's become 517, somewhere up in Lansing.

A big thanks to Grandma Merris for being so thoughtful and looking out for me and the boys so we can get a better night's sleep.

Saturday, October 07, 2006

24 Week Update

Here is a picture of Baby A with his hands on his face.

This is a picture of the side of Baby B's face/head with his brothers foot

planted squarely on his face.

Our "semi" professional pic taken by Kevin at 24 weeks.

Pic taken at Wolcott Mill by Jared.

Our latest dr.'s appointment was yesterday. We had a Level 2 ultrasound again where they take measurements of the babies growth and progress. Twin A is one pound and eleven ounces and Twin B is one pound and 7 ounces. Both are of average size for a baby that is 24 weeks of age. As you can see in the pictures we were able to get a nice picture of Twin A's face, however Twin B was being totally pinned down against the placenta by his brothers foot and butt. He was literally sitting on top of his head and the technican was unable to make him budge. The dr. says everything is still looking good with our bubs but unfortunately I am not holding up as well as I was 6 weeks ago when we had the last Level 2 ultrasound. My cervix has shortened from 3.5 centimeters to about 2.7. When pressure is applied it has started to weaken a bit and open up. So it was definitely a good time for me to stop working.

As a precaution I will receive 2 steriod shots at my next appointment in 2 weeks to help with the boys' lung development in the event I were to go into pre-term labor. I have also been given a prescription for procardin which is a blood pressure med. My blood pressure is normal but the dr. wants to lower it to open up and relax blood vessels in the uterus to hopefully slow down my contractions and make them less frequent. With the meds and modified bedrest he is confident I should continue to do well and carry the boys to a safe delivery date. I'm trying not to worry too much but it has been difficult.

Today we went to Wolcott Mill and had my cousin Jared who has many a photography classes under his belt and a kick ass camera to take some "semi" professional pregnancy pictures. The pictures above were taken with our digital as practice shots before Jared took the real ones with his camera. He did a great job and we appreciate the time he spent helping us out. Hopefully the real ones will be as nice as the digitals.

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Fall vacation begins

Well things around here have changed quite a bit since my post two days ago. I had a dr.'s appointment yesterday after work and while I was there I mentioned my menacing contractions that the nurse told me were "normal" and my dr. was concerned. As of Friday I am done with work. There is no reason to panic, because I'm always on the verge of that state, but the dr. says that the next 4 weeks is crucial to the boys development and we can't be taking any chances. He said it is WAY too early for me to go into premature labor and if the babies want a fighting chance they need to make it to AT LEAST 28 weeks. So although contractions can be "normal" for some pregnancies he said normal can turn to problematic real quick with twins so it would be best for me to spend a majority of my day off my feet and resting. I'm not on strict bedrest but I do have to take it easy from now on.

Physically I'm so ready to be done with work, but emotionally it is not settling in as I thought it would. I've either been studying to teach or teaching for the past 12 years and its really hard to just up and stop doing that. I really like my job, the kids, my co-workers, etc.. so I am feeling really mixed emotions. Of course I know its best for the boys and I'll stand on my head for the next 16 weeks if that is what the dr. told me I needed to do for the them but still it is bittersweet.

Sunday, October 01, 2006

113 days to go!

Things have been pretty uneventful around here lately. From what I have been reading, each boy should be 1.25 lbs and a foot long by now. Only 113 more days to go!

Even though I have been back to work for a month now, this past week was our first week with students and they totally kicked my butt! The first day with students was on Wednesday and I started having some contractions from all the bending over and physical activity that I haven't been used to. I called the nurse and of course she reassured me that everything was fine. She even mentioned that working with the kiddies was a good distraction for me from all my aches and pains. WHAT? Lady, working with the kiddies is the CAUSE of my aches and pains. I was frustrated but grateful that the discomfort I have been experiencing is nothing serious.

Today we had our first of two baptism classes at our church. We recently decided to change churches and start attending St. John and Paul in Washington Twp. Although I hate to officially leave St. Lawrence, it has just become too far for us. The boys will both have my sister, Tina, as their Godmother and our brother-in-law, Kevin, as their Godfather. As many of you know, Kevin is not religous in any sort of way but I have to say I am so lucky that he has been supportive of this whole process. As much as church is not his thing and I know how uncomfortable it can make him feel, I was so impressed by his selflessness today at the class. He participated in class and never once complained. I already knew that I have an awesome husband, but it seems like during this pregnancy there have been so many reminders of why I love Kevin so much and how deep that love runs. Just like my little guys, I just can't get enough of him either.