One year ago today I began my journey on bed rest in the hospital. It started out as an ordinary day. We decided to switch doctors to high risk specialists since we were having twins. The morning of Dec. 14th I went to my first doctor's visit at the new clinic, MPP. They had wanted to do an ultrasound, a routine check, since this was my first time as their patient. Kevin and I had decided to have me go to the appointment myself since it was a normal appointment. This appointment ended up being nothing 'normal' to say the least. And an appointment that helped save our twin babies!
During the ultrasound I had mentioned I was having some tightness for the past two weeks. Thinking it was just the babies kicking or moving around. The ultrasound tec said she could see something but was wanting the doctor to come in and check everything first. The doctor came in and continued with the ultrasound for a bit more. After taking a look at my cervix she discovered I was having pre-term labor (contractions not babies kicking) that was shorting my cervix. I was starting to feel scared to say the least, but I was still a bit confused at what all of this meant since this was my first time being pregnant. I was soon realizing I could really use my husband here with me at this scary moment.
The doctor saw I was having some stronger contractions and wanted to hook me up to some monitors to check their strength. I sat there in a small room hooked up to a machine for over an hour. My contractions were very close together and not stopping so the doctor gave me a shot of medicine to try and stop it. At first it seemed to help and the doctor was thinking she would put on moderate bed rest at home. But as more time passsed after having the shot of medicine; the contractions started back up again and were still close together. The doctor thought it be best to send me right over to United Hospital. I began to panic and felt scared for the lives of our unborn babies but was trying to remain calm with just the clinic staff! Kevin was working on the opposite side of the cities, so we decided to save time I would drive myself to United (located in downtown St. Paul). I had never driven or been to this hospital before. The nurse gave me directions the best she could. Imagine trying to find a hospital for the first time while feeling panicked/scared to death about this new situation and then to add to it all St. Paul was under a snow emergency from the weekend's big snow storm (the one that collapsed the Metro dome's roof the day before). Thinking back on that day, it amazes me. I still don't know how I did that drive as calm as I did. Thank the Lord for watching over me!
With Kevin's help talking me through the directions step by step, I manage to safely make it to United. Finally Kevin was with me! We checked in and was seen right away. They admitted me into the triage unit where there I was immediately hooked up to monitors to check my contractions. They were not slowing down. I just remember sitting in the triage room, Kevin and myself, feeling scared and helpless at the unknown of our new situation. During this time we met another MPP doctor who decided it was best for me to stay here at the hospital on strict bed rest. The doctor planned for me to have an ultrasound of my cervix in a few days to check the length. He didn't want to do something now to disrupt it and have the chance of making it even shorter.
I was 23 weeks and 1 day pregnant at this time. The chance of survival for our precious babies was not good. Here we were, finally pregnant but now worrying if these little babies were not going to make it. No new parent wants to worry about this. It's suppose to be a joyous time. It was scary not knowing what the outcome would be. We also had no idea how long this 'bedrest' was going to be. I was thinking maybe just a couple of weeks and then back at home but with moderate walking restrictions. The full idea of what was going on really didn't sink in at first since I didn't know too much about bed rest. Over the coming weeks, Kevin and I prayed that I would continue to stay at the hospital until the end. We knew it was the best place for me and our children.
It's amazing to me to think back to this time a year ago. Life was so different then, but now we have two healthy 9 month old babies. Time flies these days with Matt and Kate, but in the moment for Dec.-Feb. it seemed to go so s l o w. I'm asked by many people what I did the whole time. To be honest, I really don't know. I watched a lot of T.V. (or at least had it on for noise), visited with my nurses, enjoyed family and friend visits, but other than that I just was "laying there" trying to be strong (and stay 'still' as our family advised).
I definitely still have days, and I think I always will, where I will begin to tear up just looking at Katherine and Matthew. I think back to how scared Kevin and I were for them for almost 3 months. I start thinking about the many different outcomes that could have happened. I see their smiles and hear their giggles and thank God for the letting us meet and be the parents to these two amazing kids. I owe all of the credit to Him. He gave Kevin and I the strength we needed, and He kept safe watch over Kate and Matt.
This year I am so excited to celebrate Christmas with our families outside of the hospital. But most of all, I'm looking forward to celebrating the twins' first Christmas. To share in the joy of Christmas with them and start our own family holiday memories. Who wouldn't want to celebrate with these two cuties....?
At first Matt and Kate didn't know what to think of Santa. Both sat and stared at him...I'm sure mesmerized by the big, white beard. We were surprised they didn't pull on it. The true Santa test will be next year when the twins will be almost 2 years old. If they are anything like their mom, this situation will not go as smoothly.