Saturday, October 24, 2009

Almost there

We met with my doctor on Tuesday. She was glad to see that I was still pregnant. She said she grew a little concerned on Monday when she had returned from vacation and found hospital paperwork on me and had seen that I was admitted. Luckily, she found out that only one 34 week preemie had been born, so she knew it wasn't me.
The appointment went well, still more progression. The great news is that she only wants me on bedrest for another week, so as of Tuesday the 27th I can be up and moving around.
We went back on Wednesday for a growth scan on the babies. She wanted to reassess their positions and see how big they are now. Well, I am still carrying big babies because according to their measurements they are both over 5 1/2 pounds. Baby A is still head down, perfectly in my pelvis and just waiting to go. Somehow Baby B managed to completely flip without me realizing it. He is still transverse, but his head is angled down now. I'm hoping that he will slide right down into position once his brother is born.
We will see how the no bedrest goes. I highly doubt I'll be out running around. Just laying and reclining all day causes a lot of pain on my joints and back.
So who wants to guess on when these kids are going to arrive?
My guess is next weekend. Just in time for Halloween and to share their Grandma D's birthday.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

2 1/2 weeks down, how many more to go?

I have managed to complete two and a half weeks of bedrest. I am quite proud of myself! My front window is not really allowing me to enjoy much of fall, and there are times when I feel like the walls of the house are closing in on me.
I was really naughty and went to Target the other night. It was my first time leaving the house in week. I had to, I was crawling out of my skin. It was a nice, short trip, which I ended up regretting because I got so out of breath and had a lot of contractions during the 10 minutes I was in the store. I
We had an appointment yesterday with one of the doctors that I had seen a few times in the hospital. She was very happy to see me still pregnant.
Everything looks great. The boys heartrates are good, my blood pressure is very good (even more so for being pg with twins the nurse told me), I have progressed a little more from the last time I was in, but that is to be expected at this stage. She said my cervix is thin, but not paper-thin, and between a fingertip and 1cm dilated. Baby A has moved down low again to where he originally was. He'll probably remain there until he and his brother decide that it's time to make their grand entrance.
They weren't too concerned about the weight loss, but would really like to see me with an additional 5 to 10 pounds. I'll try my best, but it's so hard to eat anything these days. My stomach is beyond the point of being squished.
My personal doctor returns on Monday, and I have an appointment with her on Tuesday. I will also be able to deliver at my own hospital as of Tuesday. We have pretty much hit all of our goals, and Joel and I are quite excited about that.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Scary Belly

Here are the latest belly shots. I had to show one at an angle to give you the best view.
No full body shots because that would require me to look half decent, i.e., to shower, get dressed, and actually do something with myself. Right now I am really just enjoying being a lazy bum;)

Good news

I went in yesterday for another cervical length u/s. Can you believe that my cervix lengthened?! I was shocked. The tech even called in the doctor to confirm what she was finding. The doc agreed- my cervix has lengthened back out to over a 2 and the funneling is gone. This is amazing news!
Baby A who has always been extremely low has managed to move up in my pelvis. His head was causing all the extra pressure, funneling, and cervical shortening.
The bed rest seems to be working wonders for me and the babies. Although I am more uncomfortable now since Baby A moved back up which in turn causes Baby B to basically live under my rib cage.
Laying down all the time is doing wonders for my circulation. My feet and legs look normal again. I am trying to keep drinking as many fluids as possible to keep the contractions at bay. With the extreme fluid intake and the better circulation I have somehow managed to lose 5 pounds. I know that it all came directly from my hands and feet. No worries about it, I am still on track ,weight-wise, and we have no concerns about the size of these boys.
The babies really seem to like me on bedrest. Being able to lay down all the time keeps them very active. My tummy looks like a bowl full of wiggly jello with babies jumping and kicking and hitting all the time. My skin is stretched so tight across the top of my belly that you can almost see an outline of Baby B. We do this cool trick where I can press his butt and his head pops out on the other side of my belly, and then I press his head and his butt pops out. That poor child- he is always getting picked on. Mostly because he is the easiest access.
I'll have to put another belly pic up because I am looking quite big now. My belly measured at 40 weeks about 2 weeks ago, so I am probably a 42 now. Scary.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Our Latest Adventure

We arrived to our appointment early Monday afternoon and hoped to find out some good news at our u/s check-up. Unfortunately that did not happen. The tech looked and my cervix without measuring it and let out a sort of "Huh."
I asked "Bad news?"
"Your cervix is really thin."
"How thin is really thin?"
"It's a 1" (anything less than 2 is bad)
"There is also funneling" (funneling is bad)
We met with the doctor. Not my doctor, since she is on vacation in New Guinea. it was one of the other practitioners who had an opening in her schedule.
She looked at my numbers and gave us our stats. The best we could hope for is another 2 weeks. They could give me meds in attempt to stall labor, but they would only let me hold out for another 48 hours, and there are risks involved.
Our instructions were to head to the hospital and start monitoring. She would consult with some other doctors and let us know what happens next. Plus those meds are essentially used to provide enough time to get the betamethasone shots in, and we were able to do that last week.
We headed out to the hospital and I got all hooked up to the machines. The boys are still VERY active and my contractions are still irregular and mostly only happen when I move around.
We met with the second doctor who checked me out and agreed with the u/s findings- 75% effaced and dilated a fingertip. She had a hard time trying to decide if she should transfer me downtown to the U (since this hospital is not equipped to deal with 32 week preemies), or if they should keep me overnight and see how I was doing in the morning.
They decided to keep me overnight for 24 hour monitoring and recheck my cervix in the morning.
I was pumped full of iv fluids and had the TOCO wrapped around my belly all night. The nurses came in all night to check on me, check my contractions and occasionally monitor the babies.
The doctor came in around 8 am to do his rounds and re-checked my cervix. Thankfully, it had not changed. They decided to send me back home on a more strict form of bedrest. I am only allowed to use the bathroom, shower if necessary, and go up and down the stairs once daily, other than that I am to be in bed or on the couch, preferably laying down.
Joel has set me up a nice little home in the bedroom. I have the big screen tv, a stack of movies and books, paper for lists, the computer, a cooler full of snacks, and the massage chair.
We met with a NICU nurse practitioner who informed us of what would be going on with the babies once they are born. We won't be able to take them home, they will likely stay in the NICU for a few weeks. They'll need iv's, possible respirators, feeding tubes, and "fake bake" under the lights for jaundice. There are no big risks for them if they are born right now. Joel and I are very positive. We know that the babies will be in good hands at the hospital, and that the Lord is looking out for us.
Right now we are really just waiting for these babies to arrive. Hoping they hold out for a little while, but ultimately knowing that they will be okay when they do.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

31 weeks 4 days

I headed back to the hospital yesterday for another NST. The babies are looking great.
At the NST testing, the Fetal Non- Stress test, they are watching the movement of the babies and how their heartrates respond, along with my uterine contractions.
The babies passed with flying colors. Baby A is definitely the more cooperative of the two little ones. We rarely lost his heartrate, perhaps because he is being squished by his brother and can't really move. Baby B would squirm all over the place and we would lose his heartrate, which completely messes with the test since we were trying to analyze what the rate was doing when he did move. He is my squirmy worm, a little monkey.
I got my second shot of betamethazone. That should be all I need to mature these little lungs for whenever they should decide to arrive. The nurses kept apologizing for all the shots that they were having to give me. It just made me chuckle, and I had to let them know that these were IVF twins, so shots don't faze me in the slightest.
My stict bedrest has been downgraded to modified.
I am able to get up and move around, but I am mostly stuck either on the couch or in bed. I just need to rest a few hours each morning, a few each afternoon, and most of the evening.
The benefits of bedrest are huge. It reduces the strain on my heart, increases the blood flow to my kidneys and helps eliminate excess fluids (I can wear my ring again!!), it increases circulation to the uterus and provides additional oxygen and nutrients to the babies, it reduces my stress hormones, takes pressure off of my cervix. Limiting my activity level reduces my contractions, and conserving my energy allows more of what I eat to do directly to growing the babies nice and big.
I head back to the clinic Monday morning for another cervical length check and to meet with one the doctors. Wouldn't you know it?! My doctor is on vacation for the next 2 1/2 weeks. How dare she have a life?!

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Bedrest boredom

It looks as though I am officially on bedrest. We went back to the hospital today to have the Fetal Fibronectin test and the results came back positive - not what we were hoping for.
To further explain the test, fFN is a sort of "glue" that holds the amniotic sac to the wall of the uterus. This "glue" starts to break down between one and three weeks before you go into labor and is slowly leaked out into the vagina. The test was performed and sent to the lab and the results came back showing an elevated level, meaning that the "glue" that is helping to hold these babies in, is breaking down. I was monitored while I was there and there wasn't much going on as far as contractions were concerned. I started receiving my shots of betamethasone in hopes to mature the boys' lungs. I head back tomorrow for more monitoring and another dose of steroids. In the meantime I sit, or lay, and try to keep these babies baking as long as possible. No work, no cleaning, just hanging out and gestating.

Here's a little of the fun stuff that we found out yesterday at our appointment before all the dramatic stuff happened.
The boys are continuing to grow very well. They both still have big heads, 35 1/2 weeks and 34 weeks, their bellies and legs are measuring right along with their actual age, 31 weeks. Their weight estimates are around 4lb 7 oz, and 4lb 3oz. Baby A has hair. Baby B seems to have a perfectly round head, with a little bit of hair in the back. I'm now thinking that Baby A will take after his daddy and Baby B will take after his mama.
My belly is now measuring 40 weeks. Let's see how big I can get it!! Somehow I have managed to get this far with no stretch marks (knock on wood) My guess is that I will wake up tomorrow morning covered in them just for writing that and acknowledging it.;)
Baby A is still vertex and still extremely low. The doctor felt his head while checking my cervix. Baby B is still transverse and will likely remain that way.
I spoke with my doctor and as long as Baby B doesn't grow much larger than his brother, I will get to try a vaginal delivery.
The Lord has been on our side and we have been so thankful for how far we have come. The babies look extremely healthy and have grown nice and big. Hopefully, with rest, I can keep them in a while longer.
Thank you for following us on this amazing journey.