Welcome to the Hotel Hospital
All of us hope it won’t happen. Each twin mom thinks she will escape it. Unfortunately, about half of us don’t. I am now on hospital bedrest. On Sunday evening, Tony and I went to the hospital after an afternoon of "just not feeling right." I was having contractions- I was sure it was more than 6 in an hour, though they were mild- so it was hard to get an accurate count. The babies also seemed really active and I just felt something was "off".
Sure enough- we arrive at the hospital at about 7:30pm on Sunday evening, I get gowned up, strap on a contraction monitor and it turns out my contractions are 5 mins apart! So, they start me on an oral medication called Nifedipine. It has the least side effects and is usually very effective at stopping contractions. And it worked… for a minute, and then… not so much. So we moved on to the next drug called terbutaline, which has more side effects (racing heart, jitters) but is also effective. And it works… for a minute, and then… not so much. The on-call dr. kept saying, "I really don’t want to have to put you on magnesium sulfate, so we’ll watch and see if these work". Unfortunately, about 10pm or so, it was clear that the other drugs weren’t working. So it was time for the big guns.
Magnesium Sulfate (or "mag" as they call it) is administered through an IV, so I had to get hooked up to an IV. Once this was done, they started out with a relatively small dose but had to keep cranking it up. The nurses kept coming in and saying they were so sorry I had to be on "mag"- that it was terrible stuff. And quickly, I discovered that they were right. Pretty soon, I just felt like hell. By morning, I felt like someone had run me over. I was having terrible waves of nausea and sweating that would leave the sheets drenched. My head and neck were flushed and swollen feeling. I felt so terrible I couldn’t even talk. All I could do was lay there and wish it would stop. This went on for most of Monday.
Finally, Monday evening, the storm broke and I began to feel better. Apparently, this is a drug you acclimate to, so finally my body was adjusting and I was able to tolerate it better. On Monday evening, I had my first bite of food since Sunday around lunch time. The majority of Monday was just a blur. Tony stayed with me because they were concerned that if things didn’t get under control, they might have to deliver the babies. Luckily, they didn’t have to. Now we are focused on getting every additional day we can! Monday also included an ultrasound and a visit from a social worker to see if we had any questions about premature babies. I was too sick to ask any and besides, we weren’t having these babies yet. Though I must admit, at one point, I was feeling so terrible that I really was thinking that if this has to continue this way, then just cut them out. I really felt just about the worst I ever have in my life. Luckily, that feeling passed and of course, I am grateful for everyday we can keep the babies growing and happy in my uterus! It is so much better for them to develop there than in the NICU- no matter how good the care is.
It’s now wednesday and I am getting settled into the hospital routine. I’ve already had several visitors and that makes such a difference. Even for just an hour- to have someone to talk and listen to. The laptop is wonderful, though typing with an IV in your arm gets a little uncomfortable. I’ve got some good books stacked up and am confident I can keep from going crazy… mostly.
So, that’s the view from Hotel Hospital. For my friends also expecting twins, take it easy- you don’t want to end up on hospital bedrest!