Now that Baby B was home, it was like the plates shifted back to their proper position and the ground stopped shaking. Now we just had to sift through the rubble and figure out how to navigate our new world. But we were all together, and that was the most important thing for right now.
I still felt horrible. The next day, I could barely move. I stayed in bed. My husband thought I was dying. I didn’t get up to nurse the babies or change them. Finally, I felt a wave of sickness and got up to use the bathroom. (SKIP THE REST OF THIS PARAGRAPH IF YOU ARE SQUEAMISH.) I passed a huge blood clot, the size of my palm. It was horrible, but I immediately felt better. I called the doctor to make sure this was normal, and the on-call OB said it was normal, as long as I didn’t have a fever or any additional pain.
With that over, I was able to start being a mom again. There was a lot of snuggling to do, and also a lot of shopping and Christmas stuff to finish. Part of the problem with being on bed rest for so long was that, although Amazon helped me shop for some of the bigger things, there was still the completion of the gift-giving process to wrap up (hah). Plus, I love Christmas. I love everything about the season. I wanted to go to the stores and see the decorations and hear the holiday tunes. I wanted to dress my babies up in matching Christmas outfits and take a ton of pictures. I wanted to bring my toddler to see Santa. I just wanted our lives to be normal.
That week, we brought the Babies to the pediatrician, who attempted to assure me that we don’t know what Baby B will be able to do. He reminded me not to worry about the future, just focus on today. That’s nearly impossible for an anxiety-driven worrier like me. But Baby B seemed to be doing well…she was gaining weight and rocking the newborn stuff. We asked about seeing a neurologist, and the pediatrician recommended waiting until she wasn’t meeting milestones. Although we thought that was strange, we agreed…after all, she was eating, sleeping, and going to the bathroom, so what else would a neurologist tell us at this point?
Baby B’s first appointment with the nephrologist (kidney doctor) was that Friday, when she was 13 days old. She needed blood taken that Tuesday prior to the appointment. I received a text message from the office manager at my job asking when I might be coming back and if I could be available for a phone call with the bosses. I decided that after the nephrologist appointment, we would stop by the office so I could hand in my notice, return my laptop and key, and pack up my personal things.
My mom stayed with the toddler and Baby A that morning so my husband and I could go to Orlando with Baby B. Initially, a nurse took the baby’s vitals, then a nurse practitioner checked her out. When the nephrologist walked into the room for the appointment, he brought an entourage of about 4 other people with him. He didn’t even touch the baby. However, he did say that he didn’t think she would need dialysis or a transplant (although his opinion has since changed), so we felt relief that maybe this kidney problem would be temporary. They wanted more blood work done, so we had her blood drawn at the hospital before we left for lunch. Before we even finished our food, the nurse practitioner called to tell us the results. Baby B’s Potassium levels were too high, so she would need to be on medication and have blood work again in 4 days to see if it decreased.
I felt nervous as we headed to my former office. After all, this was the place where I worked for 5 years. I clerked in the Tallahassee office at the end of law school. These ladies had been at my wedding. They were there through my pregnancies and heard all the stories about my adorable toddler. I was really going to do this — be a stay at home mom. I never wanted that. I mean, I wanted to be with my kids, and I hated leaving my son with a babysitter; but I liked using my education and my brain, too. When we got out of the car, I held my office key in my hand, because I wasn’t wearing pants with pockets, but I didn’t want to lose it in the black hole of my purse. I made small talk with the coworkers I hadn’t seen since the end of August, while they fawned over the baby. The boss, office manager, and I went into the boss’ office where we had a phone conference with the big boss in Tallahassee. I handed over copies of my resignation letter and started to cry as soon as I said that I didn’t know what Baby B’s life would be like, so I would need to stop working. I did ask that they consider me for part-time or contract work from home when life became a little more settled, and they agreed. Everyone was so kind and said they would miss me, but they understood. I packed up my office (which was uncharacteristically clean, since I hadn’t been there in months), left my laptop with the boss, and said goodbye to my friends. I was strangely happy in the car, as it went much better than I anticipated. I didn’t know if my bosses would be upset by the news, but they seemed to be understanding and caring. Now I could head home to focus on my babies (and my son) and try to figure out how to be the best mom to these sweet girls.
To read about the rest of our TTTS journey, click here.