Reporting from Hospital Bed Rest: Day 25

Posted on: March 29th, 2013, Categories: struggles, twin pregnancy

Vivi likes to kiss my belly.


A few days ago, my nurse wheeled me from my hospital room to my perinatologist appointment upstairs. Every week, I have an ultrasound so they can see how the ole' cervix is holding up. I was feeling good and confident. I'd had no contractions and no other obvious symptoms of preterm labor, and at the prior week's appointment, it actually looked like things were improving. I strongly suspected that they would send me home after this one. I had a home bed rest plan all figured out: I would put the guy to work and stay off my feet. I wouldn't climb the stairs more than once a day. I'd explain to Vivi that I couldn't walk her to her bedroom for story time. I wouldn't cheat AT ALL on the home bed rest protocol.


I just knew they were going to let me out of here to continue my routine at home and wait out the birth of the boys. Then I saw the ultrasound screen.


"What's that big gaping thing?" I asked.


"That would be your cervix opening," the tech replied.


"And does that number up there mean what I think it means?"


"Yes, I'm afraid so." the tech answered. "I'm so sorry, honey."


Seeing that I was fighting not to cry, she handed me a box of tissues. As mortified as I was to be sniffling in front of her, I couldn't help it—a mixture of hormones and raw disappointment were having their way with me. Until this week, I've taken great pride in my no-tear track record with all of my nurses and doctors. Now, my record's gone all to hell.


The news worsened. I was 4 centimeters dilated, and I could expect to stay here for the remainder of my pregnancy. Within an hour of the news, they sent a neonatal doctor in my hospital room to brief me on all of the complications that could potentially arise with the premature births of my boys.


"We're not saying that these things will happen to your babies," he semi-assured me. "We just need to make sure that you're prepared in case they do."


I looked down at the notes I took from our conversation. Possible intubation due to respiratory issues. Airway tubes. Potential need for blood transfusions. Issues with sucking and swallowing. Neurological risks. I wasn't having a good day at all. My thought process rapidly morphed from obsessing about going home to fixating on keeping these boys safe.


Yet that's the most agonizing part: I have no control. I've laid in a hospital bed for nearly a month now...and still dilated two centimeters more over the last two weeks. There's nothing else I can do—nothing but wait and hope.


Yesterday, due to my perinatologist's nagging—er, urging—I finally agreed to tour the Labor and Delivery NICU. I procrastinated it for two weeks, afraid that I wouldn't be able to handle seeing all of the premature babies. No surprises here: it was as difficult and as affecting as I'd envisioned. Most of the babies were concealed in their isolettes, but 3 or 4 were exposed, and they were so tiny—so very, very tiny. They had tubes and wires emerging from their little bodies. Even their cries sounded miniscule. I know that the chances of our babies spending some amount of time in the NICU are probably in the 99% range, and I know that it was right and proper for me to be there in order to manage my expectations. Still, I couldn't leave fast enough.


The "intermediate" room was our next stop on the tour, and it was much less disturbing. Intermediate care is the last stop for premature babies before they can go home—they often refer to it as the area for "feeders and growers", because most of the babies are past any respiratory issues and are waiting to get to the point where their swallow and suck abilities mature.


The longer these babies can stay inside of me, the faster they'll get to the feeding and growing room. According to the docs, just one day of keeping the babies inside of me subtracts 2-3 days off of their NICU stay.


On a positive note, Jeff had a follow up visit to his cardiologist and he's improved considerably. I'm so grateful for this—at least I know that he's nearly back to normal despite (or maybe thanks to) the arsenal of drugs his doctors have him on. He loads Vivienne in his truck and comes here every day, which is no small feat considering how busy he is with work. Their visits—along with calls and drop-ins from family and friends—are getting me through this time.


I'm really proud of Jeff—in a matter of weeks he's embraced the single Dad role as he simultaneously runs a business. Our nanny helps out as well, but he's still inundated with plenty of dirty diapers, potty training, play dates, bedtime and bath time. I know he gets frustrated and overwhelmed, but he rarely shows it.


I think we're both just keeping our eyes on the prize(s): two healthy, happy baby boys.







10 Responses

  1. Daddy

    March 29, 2013

    You are the strong one my dear and our sacrifices will be greatly awarded very soon – I’m already getting baby fever, can’t wait to expand our family.

  2. Shannon

    March 29, 2013

    Molly, I’m so sorry to hear you need to stay longer, but I know the time will pass. I see the boys as healthy and happy! Hang in, and thanks for writing about your experience (as difficult as it is!)

  3. Mary Tveit

    March 29, 2013

    We are all in awe of your strength – thinking about you every day. Can’t wait to hug those precious, healthy baby boys. I will be there for another visit soon. Love you!

  4. whitney

    March 29, 2013

    Molly- I am so sorry that you and Jeff are having to go through this!

  5. Barbara Schantz

    March 29, 2013

    Sending twin vibes to you from Alabama! NICUs are amazing places with incredible nurses and doctors. Much love to you all.

  6. Joyce@MommyTalkShow

    March 29, 2013

    Praying your baby boys stay inside their loving mama to “cook” enough to be healthy and strong.

  7. Ashley McLure

    March 29, 2013

    Praying for your boys and your family.

  8. Linda Hatfield

    March 29, 2013

    Molly I am so sorry to hear everything you & Jeff have been through & are going through. I will be thinking of you & your family. Sending positive thoughts your way. Please keep us updates as you go along. Praying for you & your boys.

  9. Mamie Tirs

    March 30, 2013

    I have to compliment my beautiful daughter for being such a trooper. I know it is so tough not seeing Vivi more but I think it is wonderful how Daddy Jeff and she are having lots of quality time together. He’s awesome! The good news is that every day keeps those little boys growing and that is thanks to your patience and diligence. Mindy and I look forward to seeing you next week. Love the belly kisses from Vivi and she will be a protective and loving big sister. xoxo, Mamie

  10. Amy @ Marvelous Mommy

    March 31, 2013

    Wishing you the best, for you and your baby boys!! :)