Wednesday, September 30, 2009

29 Weeks

The twins are 29 weeks today, and in celebration of that milestone, we brought the doctors and the nurses donuts from the best donut shop in town (which wasn't hard to do because the shop delivers directly to the hospital--but it's the thought that counts right?).

We had a relatively uneventful day yesterday. Besides the bleeding, an hour of some pretty intense contractions, and an annoying exam all seemed to calm down just in time for dinner. The contractions were most likely caused by the bleeding, but we're happy to report it has slowed down today. Thanks, we're sure to everyone's positive thoughts. Keep sending them out there.

deb and rich

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Actually Resting

We've had two good non-stress tests in a row and so far, which means two days of what seems like just bedrest. That's great news for us and we are thrilled.

Today we were visited by the head of the maternal fetal medicine department. The doctor spent almost an entire hour with us answering all of our questions and discussing our case. She is quite unbelievable and gives us just one more reason to feel lucky that we are being treated at this hospital.

Things were going so well this morning that we even got back on schedule with my once-a-day 30 minute wheelchair ride. Here's a shot of me talking to my mom, finding out how break-fast went last night. Wish we could have been there to visit with everyone!

Here's another shot of my live-in caretaker :).

And finally, here's a shot of all the beautiful flowers we've gotten. The docs say we have the best smelling room in the hospital!

To give you an example of how fast things can change around here, as soon as I had finished writing this, I had some issues with bleeding. Apparently, when a person ruptures her membranes, the placenta can pull away and cause a person to bleed. At the moment it's under control, but the doctors are watching my bleeding very closely. If it progresses it can turn into a complete placental abruption, which nobody really wants. It is, to put it mildly, a bit scary when the bleeding occurs. So, if any of you have time on your side or extra prayers to lend, please pray that my bleeding subsides.

Debbie and Rich

Monday, September 28, 2009


We woke up on Saturday morning, so grateful to be back in our room, not in a threatened emergency, and able to have breakfast. At about 8:00 a.m., the nurse came in. She wanted to run another non-stress test (NST). This is the same test the docs had been running for 9 hours the day before so we were definitely not happy to hear that news, but of course, we knew that it was best for the babies. So they did the test, everything looked great, and the nurse sent the results over to the doctor.
In the mean time, my friend had come to visit and Rich felt comfortable enough to head home, check in on the kitties and refresh. Not 10 minutes after he'd left and my friend and I were chatting did the nurse come back and say that the doctor wanted to bring us BACK over to labor and delivery right away. Apparently, there was some uterine activity during the NST that worried the doc. In particular, she was worried that I was cooking up an infection.This is very scary news because when a person's membranes have ruptured, the risk for infection is high and once an infection sets in the docs have no choice but to deliver the babies right away.

So, my friend and I gathered up my things, I loaded up into a wheelchair and they took me over to labor and delivery. As soon as I got there, the nurse told me they were going to run three different tests, all of which I knew were quite painful, and, based on what we had previously been told, were last resort tests. In other words, while we knew there were certain tests the docs could do to assess how my body was doing, the risk of infection that accompanied those tests was high enough that they wouldn't do them unless they absolutely had to. So, when I heard they wanted to run three of them, my heart sank while my blood pressure and pulse sky rocketed. At that point, I figured I better call Rich, who was half way up the canyon toward our house, but who promptly turned around and sped back to the hospital.

To make a long story short--I sat in labor and delivery--fasting and stressing for about 24 hours. But . . . all the tests came back negative, the babies seem to being doing great, and after a long sleepless night we were finally able to head "back home" to our room again.

On Sunday we spent most of the day sleeping and catching up, counting our blessings that we didn't have to deliver the babies. We essentially did the same thing today with a little less stress. Our morning tests went beautifully and the doctor was very pleased. I also got an A+ on my CBC this morning. My white blood cell count is low and everything looks great. No infection and no baby distress--just another routine day at the hospital.


On Friday we went for our routine diagnostic test and during the procedure, the nurse noticed that one of the twins, Sadie, was having decelerations or "d-cels." This happens when a baby accidentally compresses her umbilical cord and her heart rate plummets. D-cels are actually normal and generally don't last very long because the baby moves and stops the compression on her own, but when a baby has very little amniotic fluid surrounding her (like Sadie), the doctors worry that the d-cels will be more devastating. So, the nurses in diagnostics consulted with the perinatologist, who decided that we needed to be taken to labor and delivery right away. They wanted to watch the babies closely, i.e.., hook me up to tons of monitors for several hours to determine whether they needed to intervene. The babies are not even twenty nine weeks, and intervening means going in and pulling the twins out, so needless to say, Rich and I sat with bated breath for the next nine hours while they monitored us. If it's not hard enough to watch your baby's heart rate go down while there's nothing you can do about it, we had to wrestle with the thought of a very early emergency c-section accompanied with a high chance of a dismal outcome. This wasn't exactly enjoyable. But . . . all the stress disappeared at about 6:00 p.m. when the docs determined that the dcels had subsided, there was no reason for intervention, and we could go back to our room. This was great news for two reasons--not only did it mean that the babies could spend at least one more day growing inside of me, but it also meant that I could eat and drink! When they have you in labor and delivery, they anticipate a pending c-section, thus, the docs want you to have an empty stomach to prevent you from aspirating. So, on top of the fact that we were incredibly worried about what was going on, it didn't help that I couldn't have as much as a sip of water while I was trying not to panic. It did, however, help to have some friends stop by in the middle of our labor and delivery visit. They sat with us and helped us pass the time and they encouraged Rich to go get some much needed lunch. That visit, like all ones we've had, was much appreciated!

p.s. here's me, so happy to be back in "my own" bed

Bed Rest but No Rest

We've been here for a little over a week now but it feels more like a year. Every day is a new milestone and, sometimes, a new emergency. When we found out, on September 19, that we were going to stay in the hospital for (potentially) several weeks on bed rest, we both thought that I would go crazy with boredom. Turns out, however, that bedrest for premature ruptured membranes is anything but boring. On a "regular" day I am hooked up to monitors every four hours, starting at midnight; we meet with the rounding med student at about 5:30 a.m., the rounding doctor at around 6:00 a.m., and the attending on duty at some point in the afternoon. In between those visits, we have an approximately one hour appointment in the diagnostic center every morning and we are frequently visited by multiple other doctors, i.e., the neonatologist who will care for the babies when they're born, doctors from the practice who follow us outside of the hospital, and doctors who happen to know us personally. All in all, bedrest is actually BUSY, and I barely have any time to actually rest. So . . . if any of you have called, emailed or sent flowers or treats and you have not heard from us, please know that we appreciate your thoughts and gestures so much, but we just have not had time to respond to everyone, especially not after the last few days . . .