Friday, March 25, 2011
With Every Heartbeat...
I started battling pre-term labor at 20 1/2 weeks. I went for ultrasounds every week. There were 3 babies in there, any thing could go wrong. I went for a routine cervical check on September 6th, 2007. The technicians were always so kind and smiling as we caught glimpses of the babies moving around but that night, the technician's smile froze and she excused herself. That was odd but I was looking at the pictures that she had already given me, no worries. Another technician came in and started examining me. Now wait a minute, what's up? Both looked at each other and the supervisor said, "We are not allowed to discuss our findings a doctor will call you to discuss the results." "Get me a doctor!" "I'm sorry the doctor has left for the day." "So you're telling me that something is going on but I'm not allowed to know until the doctor calls? You're scaring me. At least tell me that there are still 3 heartbeats." "Yes we can confirm that there are three heartbeats." I took a deep breath and relaxed. I wasn't going to get any more information that night. I left a message for my doctor and she didn't return it.
The next morning, I woke feeling crampy and sore. I was tired but I needed to go to work. I commuted 2 1/2 hours away and I wasn't looking forward to the drive or the day but I wanted to hold on to as much time as possible because I knew that I may have to go on maternity leave early. I drove at my normal brisk pace, arriving to the building with 10 minutes to spare. I called the doctor again and no answer. I left another message with service, I believe this was message number 6 and I told the woman that I felt really off, like a great pressure was baring down on my pelvis. Three hours passed, I tried to work but I was starting to get worried. I was starting to feel pain. I stood in the hallway and desperately called the doctor's office again. The same receptionist answered and apologized "I'm sorry, there is nothing I can do if the doctor chooses to not respond to your messages." "What if I'm in labor?" It was my biggest fear and my voice broke as I asked the question. Why was this woman ignoring me? I went to the restroom and cried. My mind was racing, should I go to a hospital here or try to get home. Could I even drive? God, I was so hungry! The mind of a pregnant woman can be very complex but food is the great equalizer. I decided to try driving down the road to get some lunch. I left a message with a specialist that I had seen several weeks before, she is world renowned and I called on the off chance that she would get back to me. I needed a doctor. As I was driving, she called back and listened to my concerns. I told her that I had a feeling that things were going wrong. She told me to come to her hospital and she would check me out. I drove back to work and explained that I needed to leave. I was walking quickly out the door, breathless from fear that I was too late and my cell phone rang. It was my doctor, finally. "You need to come in. I have to check you." "Now you call, I've been calling you for 18 fucking hours!" "We have all of your medical records, it will be better for you to come here." I listened and 40 minutes later I walked into the hospital that was 10 minutes away from my house. The doctor was shocked to see me so quickly but she shouldn't have been, I don't think I drove under 90 mph at any point in my drive.
She was so calm and did an internal exam. "Okay, when was the last time you ate we need to get you into the OR asap." It's too soon! NO, this can't be happening! The woman from the fertility clinic words popped into my head, "I lost my twins when I was 18 weeks." Oh God No! I called my mother and husband, they needed to come help me.
"I'm going to close the cervix in the operating room, I know it's highly unusual to do it at this point but I believe that labor is eminent. We need to stop the pressure on the cervix."
They rushed me into the OR and stitched me up. I was able to go home the next day. The babies were still inside. I was put on strict bedrest, only times I could get up were to pee ( the highlight of my day) and to see the doctor. I was bored out of my mind.
September 11, 2007 I was sitting in bed watching TV with my husband and my 10 year old brother. It was a comedy, we were laughing and suddenly a sharp pain swept through my body. It radiated through my back and even the hairs on my arms raised. I had been sitting up and my body spasmed back and I screamed. I have never seen my little brother disappear so quickly in my life. My husband grabbed the phone and called the doctor. I couldn't even speak, OMG, the pain! My husband half carried/dragged me down the two flights to the car. My mother was waiting with the car started already. I couldn't cross the street because my body kept hunching over. My clothes were drenched. OMG, the pain! My mom ran lights getting us to the hospital. "I don't have names for A & C! What are we going to do?" My husband looked at me and said, "These are the names____ & ____. Done. Good." We got to the entrance of the hospital and a wheelchair magically appeared. I couldn't walk anymore.
The doctors were standing at the elevator when the doors opened. The took me immediately into a room and hooked me up to different monitors. 1. Thump, thump, thump. 2. Wosh, Wosh, Wosh. 3....3... "Where the third heartbeat?" The doctors were concentrating and ignoring me. Another one hooked another machine up on the other side of my body. "Come on Baby A, I know you're there." I looked wildly back and forth as my body spasmed with each pain. Wosh, thump, shhh, wosh, thump, shhh. 3!!!!! "We got her!" There were doctors looking in, going in, taking sonograms, watching the contractions. The put in a central line and started pumping drugs into my system. Within minutes, my contractions started to slow. I was so woozy. I started counting the heartbeats and felt content to know that they were still inside. I was hospitalized for three days as they monitored the contractions and altered the medicine to stop the contractions all together. I was in a fog but they were safe, with every heartbeat, we were one step closer to a positive outcome. It was just the beginning...