Saturday, October 26, 2013

A {not so} Quiet Little Saturday

My usually uneventful days took quite a turn today!  Here's what happened:

- I woke up around 5:00 a.m. with pretty uncomfortable contraction pain that would not go away.  For the next two hours, I couldn't lay down or get comfortable, which was oh-so-much-fun.  My nurse started monitoring my contractions around 7:00, when they seemed to magically go away.  Figures.

- Around 11:00, I started to see a strange blind spot in my right eye.  This same occurrence is actually what originally prompted me to be admitted to the hospital "for a few hours of observation."  That was 26 days ago.  Today the blind spot lasted about 20 minutes, and my doctor assured me it wasn't pre-eclampsia related, so she didn't want to jump the gun and deliver.  Ok, so we'll keep on keeping on.

- About an hour later, my doctor called my room. {Which let me just say, super confused me.  There is a phone in my room that I have only ever used to call and order meals, so when it rang today I was very perplexed.  Do I answer it??  Well, yes.  Turns out the doctors can call you on these things!}  Well she explained that she had been thinking more about me and had talked to the on-call neurologist and thought it would be a good idea for me to get an MRI.  This would determine if I just happened to have some sort of weird visual thing going on that was just appearing during pregnancy, or if it was in fact somehow caused by pre-eclampsia.  Oooooook then.

- So I had an MRI.  And I freaked out.  As soon as they moved me into the big "donut," I panicked and asked them to take me out.  Super claustrophobia, which I didn't really realize I even had.  After a few minutes of catching my breath, the tech promised me he would talk to me through the entire process and let me listen to music.  My nurse came down too and advised me to just keep my eyes closed the entire time, before I even went into the machine.  So I gave it another try and managed to survive.  I never opened my eyes once and prayed in my head the entire time, to keep me distracted.  I think I went through an entire rosary!  First MRI officially completed.  Add it to the list of things I never thought I'd do ever.  Thanks a lot pregnancy.

- A therapy dog named Mackie came to visit me!  He was a dachshund and was all cute and wiggly.  I got to give him some treats, which let's be honest, was really all he cared about!  He also gave me his official "trading card" (like a baseball card).  I should have asked him to autograph it!

- My mom came for a visit and my sister Kelly surprised me by coming too!!  She came in from Oklahoma City to see me, which was really fun.  Kelly and Mom brought me a little stuffed kitty and some fun doodle books to entertain me.  Oh and some new make-up, which is much appreciated.  I am starting to look like that person who hasn't seen the sun in weeks (well, because I am that person), so a little color on my cheeks could help!

- Mark and I ended the day with Hospital Date Night, which consisted of Chii's to Go and a Redbox movie.  It ended this crazy day on a high note for sure.  Whew!

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Conversations with Grandma

Last night, I was talking on the phone with my mom, who gave me a great idea for the babies:

Mom:  I was reading this website that tells how the babies are developing each week and what is happening to them inside the womb.

Amanda: Oh yeah, I've seen sites like that.  Aren't they growing fingernails this week?

M:  Yes!  And they can hear you and recognize your voice, so you should sing to them.  Then when they are born, when you sing to them they will know you and your voice.

A:  Ok, yeah.  I can sing to them.

M:  Yes, you should sing them that one song... what's it called?  What Do Foxes Say?

A:  Uh.. What Does the Fox Say?

M:  Yes!  You should sing them "What Does the Fox Say!"

A:  Ha, yes, ok.  I can sing them that.

M:  Yes!  You know, ding-ding-ding-ding-ding-ding-ding-ding-ding-ding

And there you have it.  My mom, Hippest Grandma on the Block, knows "What Does the Fox Say."  In fact, she "discovered it" in our family weeks ago and emailed us all to look it up.  That's what happens when you teach high school kids.  You are in with the latest Norwegian pop music sensations!

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Operation Stocking

When Mark and I got married, I started making him a stocking.  This was in 2010.  Every year, my big plan was to have it finished by that Christmas, and every year the holidays would come and go with no stocking.  The problem is that I would get into the holiday spirit by about Thanksgiving every year, so I'd pull it out and start working on it.  Then I would get busy or get to a step on the stocking kit that was especially labor-intensive, so I would put it away for a few days, weeks.... and it would never get finished.  And who wants to work on a Christmas stocking after Christmas has passed?  Come January, it would inevitably get stashed away for another ten months.

So the stocking was never finished.  Well I recently suddenly found myself with {a lot} of time on my hands, so I asked Mark to bring the stocking kit up to the hospital.  And what do you know, in a matter of days, I have it finished!

Everyone who I showed it to all had the same idea - might as well start working on two more for the babies, while I am sitting here all day with endless time.  At first I kept thinking noooo, I won't really be here that long.  (Ha. Wishful thinking.)  I'd just get another one started and have it sit for years and years.  But then it really started to sound like I will actually be here for weeks and weeks still (tear), so Mark and I got on Amazon and picked out a couple patterns for our little babies.  Why not?  Let's see if having entire days with NOTHING on the agenda will help me get these whipped out in no time, or at least in time for the twins' first Christmas.  What do we think?  Can I do it??

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Womp, Womp

Well, it's been a couple of days since I've posted and sadly it's not because I've been so happy and peaceful while resting at home.  Nope.  I am back in the hospital again.  Boooo!

I made it (almost) three full days at home, and they were completely worth trying to do bed rest there.  I had my first appointment back with my doctor on Thursday morning, and despite having nothing but good blood pressures at home, once I got into her office, I was measuring 150/110.  Which I have since learned is high.  Very high.  So the process of getting up and dressed, riding to see my doctor, and walking in and up to her office was just too much.  And as she told me, if it's going to get that high whenever I get up and come in to see her, I just can't be at home.  Womp, womp.  So cue the wheelchair.  They whisked me back up to my same hall, two doors down from my original room.  My first day back here, I was very weepy - just mad and disappointed that I was back again so soon.  Well they take tears pretty seriously here, as I was offered antidepressants if I wanted them.  I told them I wasn't depressed, just bummed to be back inside these four mauve and hunter green walls again. (For real, is there a worse wall color than mauve?!?)

After one day of being 100% bummed out, I decided there's nothing I could do and cheered up by Friday.  I still hear of mommas who are in these rooms for 3+ months, so I can surely handle another 3 weeks.  I've had a steady stream of visitors since coming back, with flowers and meals and other goodies for the twins, so that helps the time go by.  I'll work on getting some pictures posted up here, so everyone reading can see where I'm living these days, and what kinds of adventures I'm up to while being in bed for roughly 23 hours a day (I figure the 734 trips to the bathroom each day must take up about an hour!)  In the meantime, thanks again for everyone's thoughts and prayers while we camp out here.  I hit 34 weeks today, so those babies are still doing good and cooking on the inside!

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Breaking News!

We interrupt our regular blogging with this breaking news --- I am at home!!  Yes.  Home.  In my own bed, on my own sheets, and showering in my own, made-for-a-grown-up shower. (Did I ever mention the hospital shower was a whopping 2 feet wide and shaped like a tiny triangle??)

Yesterday morning, when my doctor came by to see me, she told me she had a "proposal" for me.  I could go home and continue on bed rest there.  Everything they were monitoring for me was staying so steady, that I could go home, check my blood pressure several times a day, promise to stay in bed, and come back to be checked twice a week in the doctor's office.  HECK YES.  I called Mark, who left work to come pack me up and we happily signed the paperwork and left. The nurses said there was a good chance that I would eventually be readmitted, but I told them that if I even got to spend two days at home and then had to come back, it would be so worth it.  So for the past 24 hours, I've been at home.  It's been so fantastic!

To make yesterday even more of {The Best Day Ever}, my sweet Book Club friends surprised me by all coming over last night and bringing a delicious HOMEMADE dinner!  After two weeks of eating hospital food and take out, I had two large helpings of a regular meal from home.  My friend Christina had told me last week that she wanted to bring me dinner this week, so when she asked yesterday if she could bring it up last night, I happily accepted with the change of bringing it to our HOUSE instead of the hospital (woo!).  So when the doorbell rang and Christina walked in, imagine my surprise when three other friends followed her in the door!

We all enjoyed the yummy dinner (me laying on the couch).  It was the perfect end to my first day back at home.  Laying in your own bed all day is so, so, so much better than a hospital bed!  Hopefully I can stay here for the remainder of my pregnancy.  Fingers crossed!

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Gloomy Day

Well the weather here in Dallas today was as gloomy as it comes, which also happened to match my mood.  Today was the day when I really started to dread being in this room, and I just couldn't bear to think about how much longer I'll be sitting here, starting at these walls.  I think the weekends are harder, because I can imagine everything I would be doing at home, or I think about how all my friends in town are running around having normal, fun weekends, while I'm still trapped here.  A couple of the nurses were trying to cheer me up this morning, and they told me how it's totally normal to get the blues about being here.  And I know it's normal - I can't see how anyone wouldn't eventually crack when they are in here for weeks on end!  But it still makes it hard to be living it, waiting and wondering how much longer it will go on.  So the clouds in the sky must have made me feel extra gloomy today.

Some good things did come out of this weekend though!  I had lots of great visitors, and really enjoyed getting to see friends.  My friend Stephanie and her hubby Mark (who are expecting a baby just weeks after us!) came by in their burnt orange with some AMAZING cookies from JD's Chippery.  I have basically been eating them as meals ever since :)  And then my other good friends Virginia and Roth brought dinner for Mark and me with their sweet daughter Audrey, who was so fun to have running around our otherwise borrrriing room.  Seeing friends is refreshing and helps the days go by faster.  Oh and I almost forgot!  My entire work team from school snuck out of inservice to bring me lunch on Friday, and then Laura and her little guy Jimmy came over that afternoon with stacks of US Weekly magazines and other goodies to keep me occupied.  Let me just say that I am catching up on my celebrity gossip thanks to Laura - did you know Jennifer Anniston is preggers?!? ;)  Plus, my parents and my sister and Mark's parents came back up this weekend, which is always great.  And OF COURSE, there was the Texas-OU game this weekend, which was a great little surprise that definitely made Saturday a great day!

This weekend I also scored some official "wheelchair privileges" from the doctor on call, which means - wait for it - I can cruise in a wheelchair and go anywhere in the hospital!  I actually cried tears of happiness when the doc told me this.  The idea of leaving the room was like Christmas morning.  So Mark has been pushing me around for a bit each day.  We've ventured down to the cafeteria to eat at a table, away from my bed, which is lovely.  He's become pretty good at navigating the hospital with all his comings and goings in the past 2 weeks, so he showed me all the "cool" places, like the restaurants, atriums, hallways and not one, but two!, Walgreens.  He makes things like Walgreens exciting and novel, which let's face it, after 13 days in one little room, a closed Walgreens is still pretty awesome.  You can look in the windows!

So weekend number 2 is behind me, and I'm glad to see another week start.  I came in here with the babies at 31 weeks and tomorrow we'll hit week 33, which is great for the twins.  So here's to making it to 34!

Saturday, October 12, 2013

The Latest

Hello Readers!  There are apparently a lot of you out there, since my blog stats went from about 9 readers to over 100 readers.  Which I am perplexed by, but hey, welcome aboard!

The news with me is that I do officially have pre-eclampsia, thanks to a high protein count in my latest 24-hour urine test (yup, I got to do that one again, and this time no one threw out the pee half way into it!).  My protein count was 330, and anything over 300 counts as pre-eclampsia.  So the thing I was waiting to possibly get, I did indeed get.

So what now?  Well, with my current condition, it is still better for the babies to be on the inside, so we aren't ready to deliver just yet.  Basically, as my doctor explained to me, we are waiting for something else to go wrong, thus making my case of pre-exclampsia risky enough that it would be better to deliver the babies.  Pre-eclampisa does not hurt them, but it is harmful for me, especially when it starts to worsen in other areas.  So we are waiting for any of the following to show up, and then it will be baby day:

- consistently high blood pressure
- a sharp drop in my blood platelet count
- a bad headache that will not go away
- "flash swelling," or sudden extreme swelling in my face, hands or feet
- naseau or vomiting
- etc., etc., etc.

It is a little strange waiting around to suddenly feel really bad, and knowing that it's going to happen eventually, but we still love to buy the twins some extra days to grow and develop inside!  So no birthdays just yet.

One last thought for today.  The TV here is a little on the lame side.  I have all day to watch television, but I don't have HGTV or TLC.  Whhhhat?!  Whose idea was it to stick a bunch of pregnant women into small rooms for weeks on end with no HGTV??  For the first three or so days that I was here, I totally had TLC.  So I got to watch What Not to Wear and A Baby Story all day.  Then all of a sudden, the channel went away!  Now it is just static.  I think it's even worse that I had it and now it's gone.  So sad.

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Bed Resting... A Day in the Life

Well, it's day number 9 that I've been here in the hospital.  It actually doesn't feel like it's been that many days, but also, it feels like a realllly long time ago that I was at home and at work.  I was so not prepared to go to work and NEVER GO BACK HOME last Monday.  It's very weird.  I miss being at home and I really, really miss my cat, Gus.  Every day Mark asks if he can bring me anything and every day I say "The Goose Cat!"  He hasn't smuggled him here yet, although he did offer to stand outside the window (seven floors down) and hold him up for me to see.  Humph.  Goose would flip. out. at that!  But! Gus did FaceTime me the other day, which was so fantastic that I almost got a little teary eyed!  Mark followed him around with his phone while I got to watch him pretty much ignore me, but it was awesome.

So I thought I'd do a little "Day in the Life" of my time here, so I can update others to how thrilling it is being here, and also so I can chronicle this crazy experience.  Here's how my days typically go:

9:00 pm - Go to sleep.  Since all this laying around seems to really wear me out, I usually go to sleep pretty early.  Mark stays some nights (and sleeps on this horrible little couch that I need to get some pics of, it is so tiny) and goes home some nights.  We figure it makes more sense for him to go home and actually sleep well!

11:30 pm - Nurse storms in, holy cow it is bright in the hallways, takes my blood pressure and temperature.  Then it's back to sleep.

5:00 am - Lab tech comes in and turns on the lights (he's nice and usually gives a "prepare your eyes warning") and then takes my blood.  Ouch.  I now have visible needle marks and bruises on my arm, but hey, it's for the babies, right?  Back to sleep again.

7:00ish - Mark either arrives for a little visit before work, or leaves for work, depending on where he stayed the night before.  We were having him stick around until we saw the nurse or doctor for the day, but they tend to come later and later and never have too much to report, so now he just heads out for work and I update him once I know more.

7:30-8:30 - Either the nurse or one of the doctors will come update me with platelet levels, blood pressure, etc.  So far, these have always been a "looks good for now" update, which means yay, no babies today and I get to order breakfast!  The nurse will also hook my up to monitors on my belly each morning, to hear the babies' heartbeats.  The twins always knock this test out of the park!  All the nurses tell us how perfect they are, how they've never seen better twins, how they are just the "cutest little babies ever " (this from looking at a strip of their heart rhythms!).  So clearly the babies are in no way affected by all this drama.  If it was up to them, they would keep cooking for weeks to come!

9:30 - Eat the totally awesome hospital breakfast food (sarcasm font there).  I also watch the Today Show, Live with Kelly and Michael, and Wendy Williams every morning.  Then I run out of good TV.

11:00 - Nothing else to do, guess I'll take a shower!

12:00-4:00 - daytime TV (yawn), lunch from hospital cafeteria (meh), nap, and generally lay around doing nothing.  Being lazy really wears you out!  I also still get nurses popping in every several hours throughout the day to check vitals, blood pressure, etc.

5:30 - Doctor might stop by to chat about how the day went, latest numbers, etc.

6:30ish - Mark comes up after he gets off work, runs by the house to feed all the animals, changes clothes and packs whatever new stuff I want him to bring (you should have heard me describing each piece of make-up I wanted him to bring out of the big make-up drawer!)  Sometimes he brings dinner, sometimes I just order in and he eats something from home.

7:30ish - Nurse shift change, so new nurse comes by and we hook the babies up to the monitors again.  As usual, they always get glowing reports!  We watch nighttime TV on our limited channels (hmm, The Voice or Dancing with the Stars?)

9:00 - Tired.  Mark either heads home or makes his little couch bed.  Lights out, time to get a solid 2.5 hours of sleep before someone's back in the room again....

Take that, multiply it times 9, and you have pretty much experienced my time in the hospital so far.  We've had lots of guests stop by with food and magazines and conversation, which is awesome.  I've also had some days where I feel crappy and tired and just lay around with the curtains closed all day.  But the past few days I've been feeling good and optimistic about making the most of this time, which I know is so important for our little guys.  Every day I lay in this bed is another day they stay inside and out of the NICU, so I'll do anything I can to give them that chance.  Every morning I wake up and look at the date on the little white board in my room and think to myself, October 9...hmm, will this day be their birthday?!

Sunday, October 6, 2013

Waaaaaiiiting... Part 3

Catch up with these posts:

Waiting Game... Part 1 and Still Waiting... Part 2

So I'm almost all caught up.  Since deciding to check my platelets every day, the plan has been that if they ever drop below 90, that day will be Baby Day.  This decision came after a day when they were at 90, so if they dropped at all from there, we'd deliver.  The first day after this new plan, they jumped up to 113.  Woo!  No babies!  The next day, they were back at 95.  Still safe, but at this point, it was decided that I would be staying for the long haul, waiting at the hospital until the babies were here.  Yesterday, platelet level was 90.  Oy.  But, as the doctor explained, she did say we'd wait until they went below 90 and they weren't there yet, so we bought ourselves another day.  Whew.  Today they were back up at 95, so we are still safe for now.

In the past few days, we met with a NICU doctor and learned what to expect, depending on how early the babies come.  The bottom line was that we are so lucky to be at the hospital we are at, because they have exceptional NICU care and we do not expect anything but perfect outcomes with the twins.  The length of their stay will just depend on how early they come, so of course every week, every day we can keep them on the inside is a great help to them.  So we are waiting around, praying for high platelets and passing the time with visits from friends and family.  I am so grateful for those who will run by and drop off lunch (hospital food is quickly getting old!), and my sweet mother-in-law even brought her entire manicure/pedicure kit to my room yesterday for some pampering.  My family has come by almost daily, bearing gifts of cookies, candy, magazines and goodies to make this place feel more like home.  We don't know if our stay will be a few more days or a few more weeks before we get to meet the twins, but we are certainly hoping for as long of a stay as possible!  In the meantime, all your prayers and well-wishes are so appreciated and felt!

Still Waiting... Part 2

Catch up on the latest first: Waiting Game... Part 1

So here we are, hanging out in the first of our three rooms that we'll be in during our first night at the hospital.  We moved rooms as others became open, and I'm sad to say the room we finally settled in for good is kind of the most depressing of the three.  It's very.... 80's.  It has a forest green and taupe color scheme, and clunky wooden furniture that seems too large for the small space.  But the nurses here are super nice, so that helps make up for it.

After my first night here, I knew I had until 4:30 that afternoon to keep "collecting" for the protein test, so we figured it'd be a long day before we knew what was up.  That was until at 5:00 a.m., when the nurse told me someone had accidentally thrown out my entire collection thus far, so I was now starting back over for the 24 hour count.  Which meant another night here!  AHH.  I was angry and annoyed.  How did it get thrown out?!  The one thing I was here to do and it somehow got tossed?  But there was nothing to do, other than suck it up and start over.  So another day goes by of hanging out in our 80's glam room, peeing and waiting.  Mark hung out all day, which made it seem *almost* (if you tried really, really hard), like a little vacay.

Finally, we had a full 24 hours of pee, and could find out the results.  Was this pre-eclampsia?!  Basically, no.  My blood pressure was going up and down all day, but never getting high enough to be a real worry.  The protein in my urine was pretty much normal... certainly not high enough to be pre-eclampsia.  So I'm thinking woo hoo!  Let's go home!  But my doctor had other plans.  She thought that even though my levels looked mostly good, they also appeared to be moving up towards actual pre-e.  So she wanted me to stay through the weekend, test again on Sunday, and then decide on Monday what to do.  Again, I got bummed out.  Another 4 days here?!  But what can you do?  I wanted to do what was best for the babies, so we extended our stay and I sent Mark home for some more clothes for me.  Not long after she broke this news, my doctor returned and said they had another concern.  My blood platelets were low, and she was afraid now that if they continued to drop, my blood would be too thin to clot during delivery.  So the plan was now to also check my platelets everyday and if they dropped more, we would have the babies THAT DAY.  Which meant that, as she told us this, baby day could be tomorrow.  This freaked us out.  Tomorrow?!  We'd just have to wait and see what my blood levels looked like the next morning and go from there.  Nerve. Wracking.

Waiting Game... Part 1

Well things have take a slight turn with my "nice and easy" pregnancy.  I am now officially waiting it out in the hospital until the babies decide to make their arrival.  As word gets out that I'm here for the long haul, I have been overwhelmed with people reaching out to me through calls, emails, texts, etc.  It is so great to have so many people caring about me and these little guys!  But it is becoming impossible for me to respond to everyone and keep what I've told to who straight.  I joked with my sister, mom and aunt that I needed a secretary to respond to text messages, and she suggested I just blog about it and send it out to those who are asking.  So.... let's give it a shot on this little space!

In a nutshell, here's how I ended up in the hospital.  I'll break my adventure in bed rest into a few posts, to get everything caught up and not in one super long chunk.  To start off, one week ago today (Saturday), several of my friends threw me a wonderful, amazing, perfect baby shower!  Hopefully I will get some pictures from it soon, so I can post them here too.  I was blessed with so many friends and family in attendance, many from out of town, and they really did shower us and the babies with some sweet and wonderful gifts.  That night, my family helped me unpack and sort everything we received and we started to put together the nursery.  Things were coming together and we were more and more ready for the twins to arrive!  The plan was still to have a scheduled c-section delivery on November 16, so the six week countdown was on.

Monday at work, I was feeling kind of off and especially tired, which isn't really all that unusual.  Toward the very end of the day, I started to see a blurry spot in my peripheral vision, and then had some tingling and numbness in my right hand.  These symptoms had both happened once before in the summer, and my doctor had told me to let her know if I experienced them again.  So when I got home, I called the office and talked to the on-call doctor that evening.  She thought I was likely having a migraine, or about to have one, and didn't seem too worried.  So I shrugged it off and figured I would talk to my regular doctor when I saw her an my upcoming appointment later that week.

Tuesday, I was back at work, and the nurse from my doctor's office called and asked if I could move my appointment up to that day, just so they could check me out.  So I left work a little early and went to see my doctor that afternoon.  After I gave her a rundown of what had happened the afternoon before, she said she would like to admit me to the hospital to monitor my blood pressure for a few hours.  To her, while it could be that I was having a migraine the day before, it could also be that I was developing something called pre-eclampsia, which is a dangerous condition for pregnant women and is especially common with multiples pregnancies.  So if my options were a) I was having a migraine (which I've never had in my life) or b) I was developing a condition that I was already a "ticking time bomb for," it made sense to assume the latter.  She said ideally she'd like me to stay for 24 hours to monitor, which I wasn't opposed to, so the grabbed a wheel chair and rolled me over to the antepartum floor for my stay.

I called Mark and at work and told him what was up, and we figured we'd be in for a night away from home.  To determine if I had developed pre-eclampsia, they would check for two things over the next 24 hours: high blood pressure and high levels of protein in my urine.  So for the next day, my job was the drink water and pee, while getting blood pressure checks every 4 hours.  Glamourous!