Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Hospital Day 3

I am behind in updating here, but with good reason.  After spending an uneventful weekend on home bed rest last weekend--including a monitoring session at the hospital with a good NST and decent blood pressures on Sunday--I was admitted to the hospital on Monday afternoon.

Ironically, I thought there wasn't really even much need for me to go in for a doctor's appointment that day.  While at the hospital on Sunday morning for my NST, I'd had my blood pressure checked every 10 minutes, and each reading was under 140/90.  Not great, but not in a dangerous range and better than some recent measurements I'd had.

Nonetheless, I followed my doctor's orders and went to the office on Monday afternoon.  Where my blood pressure was 160/90 and I was immediately sent to the hospital and admitted for further monitoring and work-up.

I was freaked out about getting admitted.  Worried about the babies, yes, and also just generally unsettled at the idea of having to be hospitalized.  (Although I worked in hospitals as a nurse for seven years, I had never spent a night in one as a patient for any reason prior to Monday.)  The last 36 hours or so have turned out to be not as bad as I feared they might.

When I was initially admitted, because my blood pressures were running so high, I was bolused with IV magnesium sulfate and started on a continuous mag drip.  (I had also never had an IV before.)  The mag made me feel extremely hot/flushed--I had my room's thermostat on 65 degrees and would have moved it lower if possible--and also gave me a headache, though I was fortunate to avoid the nausea/vomiting and other symptoms some women experience on mag.  I hardly slept at all the first night; although the nurse was great about not disturbing me unduly, and I have a private room, between the unfamiliar environment, the uncomfortable bed, and the sound of two continuous fetal monitors, I was only able to sleep about three hours total.  (Ugh.)

The first of two shots of betamethasone (a steroid given to help mature the babies' lungs) which I also got upon admission probably contributed to my restlessness and overheated feeling.  (Though I will say that after 10 weeks of PIO shots, betamethasone was a piece of cake.)

At this point, the news is more encouraging than it was when I was admitted.  (On Monday night, we weren't sure if I might have to be delivered within hours.)  I had a repeat 24-hour urine collection which continues to show protein (1015), increased from my last 24-hour urine. . . but still in the "mild" and not the "severe" range.  Most of my liver function tests look OK, and my platelet levels are normal.  My resting blood pressures are running in the 130-140/80-90 range.  (After any small exertion, though, they can shoot up to 160s/100s.)  I've had a second betamethasone shot, and my blood sugars are a little elevated as a result but not to the point of requiring insulin.

On the plus side, my doctors are currently terming my preeclampsia "mild," which means there is no rush to deliver the babies.  On the negative side, I will have to continue to remain in the hospital until I deliver, as the course of preeclampsia is so unpredictable and can quickly take a turn for the worse (as many of you reading likely already know).  It's clear that my preeclampsia is progressing. . . . it just doesn't appear to be progressing too quickly at this point, thank goodness.  Here's hoping that continues to be the case.

The best news of all is that the babies appear to be doing very well in spite of mom's problems.  Their monitoring has all been excellent, to the point where my OB ordered me to be off fetal monitoring last night to get some rest; she didn't feel continuous monitoring was necessary through a second night, given their condition.  They had a comprehensive ultrasound yesterday, including a growth scan and check of their amniotic fluid levels and cord vessel blood flow, and everything looked great.  Their estimated weights are now 5 lb 7 oz (Twin A) and 5 lb 4 oz (Twin B), which I'm told is very good for twins at nearly 34 weeks gestation.

I was uncharacteristically weepy yesterday thinking about all that could go wrong, but knowing that the babies appear to be doing well and that my pre-e symptoms aren't getting worse has helped.  (Getting nearly a full night's sleep last night and being allowed to shower and wash my hair this morning probably helped some, too.  Sometimes it's the little things.)

So that's where things are.  I am still hoping to make it to 36 weeks, although I realize that may not be realistic at this point.  Every day I can keep these boys in utero is another day they won't have to spend in the NICU, so I'm just trying to get through one day at a time.

Today we plan to have a tour of the NICU and visit with one of the neonatologists to prepare for the possibility of our boys' needing that care.  I also plan to ask to meet with a lactation consultant, as I think I may need some help and guidance in building my milk supply for them, especially if they are premature and require NICU care.  (Difficulty coordinating breathing with sucking is one problem common to babies born at 34 weeks.)

I remind myself that this possibility--the need for advanced care--is why I chose this OB group and this hospital (which is reckoned to have the best NICU in the metro area, if not the entire region) and why I established care with the maternal/fetal medicine specialists associated with this hospital.  I can't control how my body is responding, but I believe I have done all I can to optimize the outcome for our babies. . . . which, at the end of the day, is all any of us can do.

Now all I can do is hope for the best.

Keep us in your thoughts.  Thanks.


  1. I'm so sorry you are going through this, but hopeful since you are in great hands, and you seem to be in good spirits. You are in my prayers every day - I know all of this will be worth it in the end, but I'm sure you're stressed out with worry in the meantime. Keep your eyes on the end goal and take care of yourself by letting others take care of you. Sending you much love!!!!

  2. Wow! A lot has happened. Wishing you all the best, I'm glad things are going OK so far.

  3. Keeping you and your hubby and the babies in my thoughts. You are definitely in the best place to ensure a safe and healthy delivery for you and your boys.

    You are going to be a Mom soon! Wow.

    Take care.

  4. Oh, S, how scary for you! I'm glad your preeclamsia is mild and that the babies are doing well. Keep us posted!

  5. I sure can relate to everything you said this post! I was admitted at 32 weeks 6 days and was terrified my boys would have to be delivered early. The hardest part it just not feeling like you have any control over your want a safe environment for the babies and it's hard when your body won't cooperate. I haven't been diagnosed with pre-e (though my pressures are high too and they think I will have it soon,) but I do have regular contractions and my cervix is dilated which is definitely just as scary! But, the good news is that your boys are doing great in there and they are already nice and big. So, even if they were to be delivered soon....they probably wouldn't need much time in the NICU. We had a tour of the NICU while I was there and it really helped! Keep us updated and I'll be thinking of you!

  6. I'm glad that things seem to have stabilized for now. Sounds like you are in a great hospital and are being well looked after. Keeping my fingers crossed that you hang on for 2 more weeks!

  7. you and your boys are in my thoughts! here's hoping for 36 weeks!

  8. I am sending the best of wishes your way ... all I can say is been there ... done that ... it sucks now ...but here I sit 5 years later and all is great!! You will be here faster than you can imagine.

    My twins were born at 35 weeks and one day ... they were 6 lbs and 5 lbs. My daughter was in NICU for 11 days (it was because of the suck/swallow thing) ... one day whilst I was slightly freaking out about not being there every second, my mother-in-law said "This will just be a brief moment in time ..." I have always remembered that comment and how it helped me to get a better perspective at the time ... and she was so right!!!

    Sending great thoughts your way ... hang in there!!!!

  9. I'll be thinking of you all! Be well and get as much rest as they allow you to.


  10. So glad to hear you are doing better, though I'm so sorry you have to still be in the hospital! I guess anything they can do to make sure you and the babies are in good health is what needs to be done. Sending positive vibes your way!!!

  11. I'm so sorry you're going through all this but I'm so happy your little guys are still in there oblivious to it all! Its amazing how resiliant our babies can be! I love that you did all the pre-planning to be with the right doc and hospital so that you're ready in the event the boys have to come early. I'm a big believer in the 5Ps, proper planning prevents poor performance, although in this canse I think you can replace the poor performance with unnecessary stress!

  12. It sounds like you are in wonderful, very capable hands. Sorry that you have to go through this. Being in the hospital sucks, for just about any reason.

    Your babies sound like they are doing great, though. At over 5 lbs they may not even need the NICU but just a level II nursery, or whatever they call it. I'm thinking of you. Fingers crossed for the best possible outcome!

  13. thinking of you s. and praying those babies stay put for as long as possible.

  14. S, I'm in the hospital now too. I'm 34w4d and they had told me they might deliver them yesterday and had me meet the NICU folks. I'm stable now though and like you are trying to hold onto them til 36w (only 10 more days). Good luck to you!

  15. Keeping you all in my thoughts & prayers! I'm sorry you are there but so glad you & the babies are stable and are in good hands. Sounds like your two boys are big and strong! Hope they can stay put as long as reasonably possible.


  16. I'm so sorry you are going through this. You are definitely in my thoughts! xo

  17. So sorry you are in the hospital and going through all this, although it sounds like things are going very well, considering. I hope you are able to make it to 36 weeks but like you say, you have picked your OB group and hospital for a reason and you are getting the best care possible it sounds like.
    Will keep you in my thoughts and prayers...


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