Tuesday, August 21, 2012

A Pain in the Gut, A Pain in the Butt, and Other Tales from the Hospital Bed

"And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose." Romans 8:28

Well, here I am! The day has arrived and I am now in the hospital for the next two months plus, and my babies are viable and in the best care!!! Hooray! Leaving my girls was perhaps the hardest thing I ever had to do, but I know that they are in the best hands possible. Mommom and Poppop's house has more fun toys than our house does, Mommom has the worlds greatest imagination and sits and plays with the girls better than I even can, Poppop gets belly laughs out of Abigail, and I think that they will grow a great bond staying there. No child should have to be separated from their mommy for this long, but if there is any woman who has to be in the hospital this long, I can see in some ways why God chose me!

One, for the reason I just stated: My girls are in THE BEST hands, they have a great place to go. They have a pretty room of their own at my parent's house and love going there. When we were deciding on our last "family fun day" last week, we threw ideas out to Emma such as the zoo, Knoebles, Blue Marsh Beach, etc...and Emma said, "Or we could go to Mommom's house!" And this makes me feel so good to know that it ranks up there with amusement parks and such! Furthermore, my mom has the support on weekends of other people who love my children so much and will do their best to make them smile. They will go to Grammy and Bill's some weekends, where Abby loves to feed the fish in the pond (so much so that she "went swimming" with them the first time - I think she learned her lesson!), and Em loves to shop and dance with Grammy. My INCREDIBLE friend Sara will take them other times and Emma loves to play with her kids John and Elina, and I am honored to have them in the presence of one of the worlds kindest, loving women. Sara, who has 3 kids of her own, offered to take my kids the whole 2 months! That is sacrifice! I am so thankful for her for so many reasons. Then we have SO many other family members and friends who have offered their help and support, and if you are one of them THANK YOU!!!

 Some women in my position might have not had willing or able family and had no other option than to send their kids to daycare or with someone their kids are highly uncomfortable with...I am so blessed to not be in such a position and have family helping. I will miss my kids dearly, but will worry about them little. We could use prayers for little Abby, who is quite the momma's baby and does not do well with anyone other than James and I except my mom and dad. I pray that through this experience she finds security and builds relationships with others and can find comfort and maybe even fun in them. She fortunately has her sister Emma with her too. My mom has generously offered to keep Abby all the time if being with others is just too much for her. After all, while it is a great opportunity to bond to others, she is not quite 2 years old and her mommy has been taken away from her and her whole world turned upside down...now is not the time to force her to be unhappy. I do think a positive to it all is that some of that momma's baby syndrome will cool down just in time for 2 more babies to need me.

The second reason I am "good" for this, besides wonderful family and friends to care for my girls, is that I am innately someone who does not get bored or lonely. The thought of being confined to a hospital room for 2 months never ever worried me in the sense of going crazy bored or lonely. I enjoy time alone, and while I will miss my girls, I will choose to savor the quietness as I will never have this much alone time again!!!! I am an introverted person. I also am quite content just watching TV, reading, crafting, etc...and I very rarely if ever get to do these things, so I will savor that as well! Besides, if the rest of the days go like today did, I will have nurses and doctors in my room multiple times an hour anyway! Can a girl get 10 minutes in the bathroom with her one ply sandpaper toilet paper without interruption? Apparently not so hahaha! People have asked if I can have visitors, and the answer is yes! Visiting hours are 11-8 for those who have asked, and you are welcome to visit. You just may want to text or call me first, as I have frequent monitoring, ultrasounds, other visitors and hope to scrape together some time for naps if I can get an uninterrupted hour or two between all this hospital hub bub! That being said, don't feel that you have to interrupt your own busy life to come see me, like I said, I really don't get lonely!

Which brings me to today, or actually yesterday now since it is the middle of the night. I held it together pretty well the last few days and today, cried tears of course, but I got most of it out last week when I sobbed the whole way home from my doctor appointment because all of a sudden it all got so real. I have been able to remain so positive and so strong throughout this journey so far (Only cried maybe 2 times?!) but this has been a tough week emotionally for me. Any time I looked at my girls, and in moments that I took for granted before (like peeking it at my daughters before I go to bed, staring at them fast asleep and sneaking one last kiss for the night) that I knew I would not be privy to for so long, made me so so sad. It is not totally a secret that I struggle with anxiety and so my mind goes places such as, "what if there is a complication with me during my c-section and I don't come back etc..." or "what if I go away from my big girls and my babies don't make it, one or both, anyway?" I am quick to remind myself God gave me these exact babies, this exact situation, and I have been able to ride on faith and shove those thoughts away quickly. I have been so happy that my anxiety has remained super in check through all of this!

This morning Emma just wanted me to hold her and kept saying she would miss me so much, and she cried a little, but when I actually left to come to the hospital she just hugged me a lot and didn't cry. Abby has no clue what is going on, or that I won't be back, so I think her tears will be saved for when she comes to visit and then has to leave without me. James and I had a "last supper" at Austins and then I wheeled my two suitcases into the hospital. I was SO SO happy to have him by my side as I left the girls, checked in, and on the first day here which I assume will be the roughest emotionally. I was pleasantly surprised by my room, I have a large window and can see trees which thoroughly excites me as I will mostly miss the change of the leaves as summer turns to fall. It is fairly quiet, and I can't complain about having a room of my own that NOBODY CAN MESS UP!!! I will live in cleanliness woo hoo!!! No dishes, no wash, no housework, no cooking, and someone brings me food I order. Yep, there are positives to this my friends! I posted pictures on the wall of my girls and James, and I have my stack of books, magazines (thanks to my sister in law and friend!), Bible, Notebook, and TV. Not exactly home sweet home, but knowing that my unborn babies are being taken care of is such a relief. I will live for visits from my hubby and girls, and for getting to see my babies on the ultrasound screen, knowing they are doing well.

I will take a minute to say what has NOT been so pleasant so far ...and now I'm going to be a little Susie Sourpuss, excuse me. Of course it is all worth it and of course I am grateful for so much but this blog is about my journey: the good, bad, ugly, and honest and so I am choosing to share some of my not so sunny feelings now and then! Besides, what is true growth without some struggle? Part of the title of this blog is Pain in the Butt...well, I had to get my first dose of steroid shots in the you-know-where today to help develop the babies lungs. I was admitted today, at 24 weeks, because that is considered Viability - we made it!! My babies could be born tomorrow if something is found to not look right on the monitoring strips that they run daily, and so at the risk of having micro preemies, they will give me a steroid shot today, tomorrow, and then another set right before my CSection which will hopefully be at 32 weeks and no earlier. The shot itself didn't hurt but the after effects sure did!!! I don't mind the pain much but I just freak myself out before hand! However, what a blessing to live in this country in this year and be able to get a simple shot to help my preemies breathe! The steroid shots will also help to prevent brain bleeds and digestive disorders in the babies.

 The next con would be that it is 2am and I can't sleep, surprise surprise! I even took a unisom but not only is the bed small and not comfortable, my mind is so full and I have stomach pain (Pain in the Gut, the other part of the title which I'll get to after a bit). I will be woken up each morning by 7, despite trying to fight this...why wake a pregnant insomniac so early when she finally has the chance to not be woken by two little curly haired angels yelling, "wake up seepy head! Mommy get dressed! Get out of bed!"?  (For the record, that means I would much rather wake to my beautiful girls at 9am but I guess in a sense I am waking FOR my other two girls :) Well, I won the battle of residents making their rounds between 6 and 7am, they agreed to come later and not wake me up so early so I was happy about that. BUT, then when I got my finger prick to check my blood sugar tonight it was sky high. Soooo I got another finger prick, and then another. Still high. By the third one it had gone down a bit, but not only does being pregnant with multiples greatly increase your odds of gestational diabetes, the steroid shot also elevates your blood sugar. ANNNDDD this girl didn't know they would be checking my blood sugar tonight, so my day consisted of some leftover baby shower cake that was out of this WORLD after breakfast, and then a "last supper" binge of sorts on Crab alfredo, chicken fingers, and baked apples at Austins. Tack on the coconut cake they brought with my dinner plate tonight and yeah, it's gonna be high. The steroid shot elevates your blood sugar but she said it would not elevate it that fast. So I will be getting my pinpricks a couple times a day to monitor my sugar, and insulin shots just in my arm before meals to steady my sugars. A dietician will come in and help me with a diabetic diet. In 2 weeks once the steroids wear off I will get my glucose bloodwork to check for 100% tride and true gestational diabetes, and I am praying I don't have it...but with all my grandparents having diabetes and the multiple pregnancy adding to the risk who knows.

To complicate that, we move onto "A Pain in the Gut". If you were wondering how to pray for me, boy am I making your head spin, huh? Well, the day I found out I was having twins, I first had an appointment at the Gasteoentorogist. Before I knew I was pregnant, and since about December of last year, I had been having gagging sensations, some swallowing issues, stomach pain in my upper stomach, and some nausea among other symtoms. At first I thought it might be related to my lack of sleep from insomnia...my sleep studies showed I wake 32 times an hour from apnea blurps, restless leg syndrome, and my anxiety does not help with falling asleep. (Am I 90 or 30?) But my regular Dr. decided to schedule a barium swallow x ray series to see what was wrong digestively. Praise the Lord I decided to take a pregnancy test days before this x ray because pregnant women cannot get x rays or drink barium! My babies were spared! However, the pain just got worse as my pregnancy sickness began and my body was being pumped with progesterone. I landed in the ER on the way back from the beach in April with what was guessed to be stomach ulcers and an H.Pylori infection - I literally thought I was dying the pain was so bad! They recommended I see a specialist. So I had my visit to the Gastroentologist, who diagnosed me with a rare stomach condition called Gastroparesis, not stomach ulcers. This disease is most often caused by diabetes, but can also be brought on by stomach viruses. We had 2 rounds of bad stomach virus in our house right around when my pain began. And let me get back to the irony of THAT in another blog. The cure for this painful disease? NONE. The treatment however, is eating small amounts and a low fat, low fiber diet with no raw vegetables, very little fruits and veggies in general, no whole grains, basically a very unhealthy diet for anyone, especially someone pregnant with twins. So I tried the diet, it didn't help much but I did find trigger foods like salad, apples, broccoli, etc...that I had been eating a lot of, made it worse. They referred me to a nutritionist. The nutritionist told me she had never seen this and honestly didn't know much to tell me. She scolded me for only gaining 12 pounds (HELLO I was vomiting my whole first 4 months and eating a lot hurts my stomach!!!) She told me that a snack for me should be a McDonalds burger and add a glass of milk to that. She told me to eat 3100 calories and that I need to get my weight up, which is now quite up! Everything seemed contradictary to what the Gastroentologist told me. NOW I have to go on a diabetic diet. And yes, I have stomach pain tonight from all the food I ate today but it sure was delicious at the time! So this is the "Pain in the Gut", and it is a never ending battle. Once I have the babies I can get proper testing and hopefully some relief. I just hope that through it as I control my pain and bloodsugar levels, my babies get all the nourishment they need.

So, there are pro's, there are con's, and I am going to choose to dwell on the pro's and make the best of it. After all, I bet in a couple months I would give anything for a day in bed by myself with free reign of time and the remote, someone cleaning and cooking for me, and so I need to enjoy it now!!!!Being in here makes me more excited to meet my twins,  and to focus on them and getting them here healthy. They seem more "real" now! It is crazy to think they could be born at any time, and scary to think that if they are born sooner than later that there are so many risks. Next time I walk into my home I will have 4 kids!! I cannot wait to meet and look at and touch my babies!!! I believe God chose me for this and will carry me through anything though. I am in good hands, everyone has been so kind. I have great memories from the last weeks to carry me through. My husband surprising me with an overnight getaway to the beach where he replaced my lost wedding rings...Watching my girls grin huge grins on the rides at Knoebles...A date with just my mom...Dinner with my brother, sister in law, and parents at Beverly Hills Tavern...A fun pool day with my in laws...And a surprise baby shower Sunday night with best friends, old friends and new friends, and some family.

I apologize my blog has not been so frequent...now that I am here with no responsibilities I will keep it more up to date and I hope to be reporting wonderful news! I have an ultrasound to look forward to tomorrow between monitorings (yay for seeing my babies!), and hopefully I can score a nap with no interruptions and my body lets me sleep! I can't wait for my big girls to come visit me tomorrow!!

Again, thank you all SO VERY MUCH for your prayers and encouragement. I am one lucky gal. Pain in the butt, gut, and all :)

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