(An update from Kevin)
Tuesday Laura went in for her first checkup and ultrasound at a specialist center for high risk and multiple births. During the checkup they determined that Laura was already having some contractions and that her cervix was a little shorter in length than they would like to see. Since too many contractions can continue to shorten the cervix they decided to send her over to United Hospital in St. Paul for further monitoring. So Tuesday afternoon at United they looked at her more and ultimately decided she needed to be admitted to the hospital to start medications to get the contractions settled down. In addition to the medicines, Laura was ordered to be on bed rest the remainder of the pregnancy.
Tuesday evening was very scary and we didn't get much sleep. The doctors and nurses were giving Laura Magnesium Sulfate (Mag) and Terbutaline to control the contractions and a couple steroid shots that are meant to accelerate the babies' lung development in case of early delivery. It took awhile to find the right balance of Mag. Too little and the contractions were too frequent, too much and her blood pressure dropped. Eventually they found the right balance and the contractions slowed to an acceptable level and the last few days have been pretty stable. Many women have very bad reactions to Mag such as nausea, but Laura did pretty well with it.
After 48 hours on Mag, they took her off of it and started giving her some lower strength medicine. So far the lower strength stuff is doing the job, which is a great sign. Now that the contractions seem to be under control, our biggest concern is the length of the cervix. As we understand it, the longer the better, as the shorter it gets, it can mean she is closer to delivery. On Friday afternoon they check Laura's cervix for the first time since Tuesday and it had shortened somewhat. While it wasn't the good news we were hoping for, it wasn't the worst news either. The doctor said she has seen many others who were shorter and already partially dilated who held off delivery for several weeks and even months. Laura isn't dilated at all yet. However, because it shortened, they do want to keep her at the hospital just to be safe. We don't have a good idea of how long that might be, but we are preparing for an extended stay. The hope is that continuing the bed rest will minimize the pressure on the cervix from the weight of the growing babies.
Laura and I are in decent spirits. Obviously these developments have been scary, but we know we are in good hands and have prayers and support from so many of you. The hospital we are at has one of the best pregnancy and neonatal intensive care units around, so if there is anywhere we'd want to be, it is here. In fact we are lucky that Laura had a checkup on Tuesday due to switching doctors otherwise we may not have caught this as early as we did. Laura's dad is up staying with us now, and we are starting to see a few visitors which has been nice.
The good news in all of this is that the babies are looking great! The ultrasounds and heart monitoring is showing them as developing right on schedule. We just need them to stay put!
I'll try to post occasional updates here as opposed to sending out a bunch of individual updates. Please continue to pray for us.