While there was so much joy surrounding my pregnancy, I must be real and share the complications I faced while pregnant.
Weeks 8-32: I was nauseous every single day and vomited weekly. I was put on Zofran to help with the nausea. My first trimester I lost five pounds from being sick, and during my last trimester I was not gaining sufficient weight.
Week 15: I was hospitalized due to a urinary tract infection that the doctor could not resolve with antibiotics I could take at home. I stayed two days in the hospital to receive IV antibiotics and then thankfully they figured out a new drug I could continue to take at home to clear the infection.
Week 17: I was diagnosed with gestational diabetes. This really stunk! When you are pregnant you want to be able to eat what makes you feel good. When you are pregnant with more then one baby your chances of getting gestational diabetes is extremely high because the placentas eat through your insulin quickly. I was referred to a nutritionist and put on a diabetic diet. I had to check my sugar with a prick to my finger five times daily until the babies were born. The good news is, I was able to keep the diabetes under control with my diet and I didn’t need any medications. The diabetes resolved once the boys were born- and they did not have any complications with their sugar at birth.
Week 22: While at a monthly high-risk appointment, the ultrasound showed that my cervix was funneling. I immediately panicked and thought for sure I would be admitted to the hospital for the rest of my pregnancy on bed rest. This was thankfully not the case. So, what is a funneling cervix? It’s a marker of cervix insufficiency, which is characterized by a painless cervical dilation after the first trimester and associated with miscarriage or preterm delivery.
I remember crying to Matt before we went to sit down with the doctor so worried about HOW the babies would stay inside. My doctor told me that while this was not a good sign- it was ok. I was to sit or lay most of the time. If I wanted to go grocery shopping, I should use the riding cart. He told me we needed to get these babies to 28 weeks inside of my body to reduce the risks of really scary things like brain bleeds, cerebral palsy… and I just muted him out after that. I was terrified. My anxiety at this point was close to uncontrolled, but there wasn’t much I could do but follow the doctor’s recommendations and stay off of my feet.
You must be thinking- but were you out on disability? How could you continue to work through these circumstances? When I first learned I was pregnant and was immediately SO sick I was pretty much bed ridden, I gave notice to my desk job at the non-profit I was working at. I knew I needed to care for myself and I also knew I wasn’t going to be a reliable employee. After hearing we would be having more then one baby, Matt and I decided I would not return to work for a few years, as full-time childcare for two infants would cost as much as our mortgage payment. Simultaneously, I was approached by an old friend of Matt’s about a remote bookkeeping job at his start up company. He told me I could work from a laptop in bed and he would send me training videos. I jumped at the opportunity to keep my mind busy while I cooked my babies- and to be able to generate some income. I very proudly report that six years later I am employed by the same guy, Ryan, and his company, Cubepros, who took a chance on me. I worked through my entire pregnancy, the boys NICU stay, twin infants and toddlers to now a full-time position managing a team of eight. More on this in a different post- BUT yes I did work!
Week 26: Contractions begin. The first time I experienced preterm contractions Matt was away on a business trip. I called my mom in the middle of the night and told her what I thought was happening. I also called the OBGYN- and they wanted me to come into the hospital to be monitored. I was in a lot of pain. I was scared this meant the babies were coming and much too early. The nurses monitored my contractions for several hours and both babies heart rates. They gave me IV fluids. The contractions calmed down and I was released home. Unfortunately, this episode happened several times. If I could not get the contractions to stop on my own at home after a few hours and a ton of water, I would have to go to the hospital to be monitored.
Week 29: Contraction episode lands me in the hospital. On this visit the doctor orders a fetal fibronectin test. This test is either positive or negative. I was positive- and what this meant was my babies were likely to be born within two weeks. I was admitted to the hospital that evening and given steroid injections for the babies’ lungs. I remained in the hospital for 24 hours of monitoring and then given another round of injections and released home. The steroid injections are supposed to help speed up the maturity of the babies’ lungs so that if they are born early, their risks of breathing complications are lessened.
Week 30: High-risk ultrasound shows Baby B is not growing as well as Baby A. We are told I will now have weekly stress tests and ultrasounds to monitor the growth of Baby B. If at any point they feel the baby is stressed they will take both babies. To be honest, at this point I was exhausted. I was done being pregnant. I was miserable and uncomfortable, and anxiety ridden. It was inevitable that these babies were coming early. I was happy we had surpassed the scary 28-week mark and was literally putting this in god’s hands because there was nothing else I could do.
Week 31 Day 5: High-risk ultrasound and stress test. Baby A is measuring around 5lbs which is wonderful, and Baby B is measuring behind him at 4lbs and change. I am told all looks ok and we will just keep monitoring.
Week 32- Day 1: I go into full blown labor. To be continued…