So after the surgery and the growth restriction scares, we finally went to appointments with Dr. MFM where everything was looking OK. In the meantime, I was diagnosed with Cholestasis of Pregnancy, a gallbladder disorder that can come up during pregnancy and causes major itchiness, among other potential complications. Fortunately, the medication I took for it worked pretty well, so I wasn’t scratching my skin off day and night.
I also canceled my baby shower, because I didn’t want to have a shower at my house when I was on bed rest and when we weren’t even sure if two babies were going to survive. It was a sad decision, and it was hard not to celebrate the pregnancy like a normal person would. I missed seeing my friends and opening all the cute outfits, saying, “oh, they’ll be so adorable in this!” Instead, I was laying on my side, counting kicks, drinking water, watching all the t.v. I could stand, leaving the house only for doctors’ appointments, and counting down the days until December 2, when my c-section was scheduled.
I cried a lot. I just kept waiting for more bad news. We thought the babies would be ok, but there was still a concern about Baby B’s kidneys. After what we went through, I just couldn’t allow myself to feel that positive about the outcome of the pregnancy. I tried, but it was like I had post-traumatic stress disorder from TTTS and the surgery. I questioned every move, replaying every doctors’ appointment and visit to the hospital and wondering why no medical professional could figure out that I had the signs of TTTS before the actual diagnosis. I did everything right. I went to the doctor when I was concerned. I went to Labor and Delivery when I was concerned. I went back when I still didn’t feel right. Why the hell did it take so long? Why did Dr. MFM not have me in for a follow-up ultrasound earlier? With nothing but time, I did a lot of thinking, wondering, and questioning every move.
My poor son took some time to adapt to having mommy in bed all the time. He knew that I needed to keep the baby sisters safe, but it was still hard for him. Up until the time I got pregnant, he was the center of my universe. It was an adjustment for all of us when that dynamic changed.
My wonderful husband had to do everything. He took care of our son, his sons, me, and every household chore, in addition to going to work every day. I know it wasn’t easy for him, but he very rarely showed how worn out he was or how stressed out he was, too.
I had to watch my little man go off for trick or treating without me. I played Farmville on my phone constantly. I cleared out the DVR. I just maintained and grew babies…a human incubator. The first time I felt like a normal person again was when I tried Jamberry nail wraps. I just felt pretty. It had been so long since I dressed up or did anything for myself. I kind of threw myself into it to have something to do and something else to focus on besides the ticking clock. I know it sounds strange, but it came at a time when I needed a little lift and a way to connect with people again.
It was November, and I knew that the babies might come at any time, and yet, they stayed put. 32 weeks passed, then 33, and 34. I was surpassing everyone’s expectations of when the babies would come, and I was so grateful. I started to think that maybe everything WOULD actually be ok.
My last appointment with Dr. MFM was the Wednesday before Thanksgiving. The new ultrasound technician, who I didn’t like, did the ultrasound, and Dr. MFM came in briefly to mention the kidneys and tell us to come back on Monday if I didn’t have the babies before then. I was really upset for some reason. I just couldn’t place it, but there seemed to be huge differences in the ventricle size in the brains of Baby A and Baby B. He said not to worry, it was probably nothing. I still questioned why there would be a difference like this, and he said, “why are you still crying? If I’m not worried, you shouldn’t be worried.” How arrogant. I guess I couldn’t argue with that, but I still felt funny about everything. I just wanted to meet the babies and know that they were finally OK.
My dad, the chef, agreed to cook dinner at our house for Thanksgiving, since I couldn’t go anywhere. My uncle, aunt, cousins, grandparents, parents, and nephew came over for dinner. It was nice to have everyone over and really get excited about the babies being born, hopefully that following week.
My friend A came over the next day with her husband and their little boy. It was great to see them, but it was even better to know that the next time I saw them, we’d have two little girls!
I kept joking that I’d definitely have the babies that weekend after Thanksgiving, because Dr. OB was going to Ohio then. So I wasn’t entirely surprised, though I was disappointed, when I woke up Saturday morning and thought I might be leaking amniotic fluid. I called the on-call doctor, and she told me to go ahead and come in to Labor and Delivery at the hospital as soon as possible (I was supposed to come in around 10:30 anyway for a non-stress test) so they could test me and see if my water broke. If so, I’d be having my c-section that day. She hung up and called me right back to tell me not to eat or drink anything so there wouldn’t be a huge wait to perform the c-section if I needed one. I called my parents and asked if they could come up and meet with my husband to get the kids so he could be with me, just in case the babies were ready to come.
I got ready to go, and my husband dropped me off while he went to the park to wait for my parents. He quickly joined me at the hospital, where I was hooked up to the monitors and watching the babies move around in my belly. The nurse did the test and confirmed that I was leaking amniotic fluid, so we’d be having the babies that day, November 29.
To read about the rest of our TTTS journey, click here.