When I woke up and opened my blinds yesterday morning, the helicopter was landing on the roof - which means that the person inside was in critical condition. When my daughters come to visit me, we sometimes go outside into the Healing Garden, which is outside of the cancer wing. These, and other things are just reminders that I am here for blessed LIFE while so many others are here fighting death. And not just my life, two precious new little lives! If I have to be in the hospital, what an awesome reason, right?! Eight weeks is nothing compared to a lifetime!! People who could walk yesterday will leave here never being able to again. Children will come to visit their mommy, maybe for the last time ever. Without this hospital monitoring, my sweet babies only have a 50% chance for survival, but with this monitoring, an 85%-90% chance!!! I am not only grateful to be here, but grateful for the reason I am here.
So I've crossed week one off the calendar and that feels good because it actually went quite fast! Like I said before, I don't get bored, and I don't get lonely, and I definitely didn't! I partly write this blog for fellow momo moms following behind me so they know what to expect and hopefully so they have a success story to read! That, plus the fact that people ask what I do in here, leads me to share with you my super exciting day :) I wake up around 8, get my insulin shots, eat breakfast and figure out my carbs for the day and order my meals for the next day (can I get an Amen for no cooking or cleaning?!) Next, after my blood sugar prick, I do my devotions, pray and check emails/keep myself updated on current news. I walk around my hamster wheel - I am only allowed to walk small circles around the antipartum floor unless I have a visitor with me to walk me elsewhere in the hospital. But the lady on complete bedrest with quads down the hall would probably love some hamster wheel time! I use my exercise bands and ball, all in an effort to not get blood clots because we all know I do not need one more issue! Then it is time for baby monitoring round #1. Monitoring is why I am here.
In monitoring sessions, they need to get a full 30 minutes of baby activity/heartrate accellerations and look out for decels etc...which never takes just 30 minutes because the babies - especially our busybee Aubrey - never stay still or in the same position. I have an anterior placenta, right smack in the front which complicates it too. More often than not, it's seeming they need to get an ultrasound in here to FIND the babies to monitor them because they are such little acrobats! I joke that the babies hear the velcrow of the straps and know it's coming and they start hiding. They literally sense the monitors and jump around like crazy when I am hooked up! So it's been up to 2 hours each monitoring session but it is cool to be able to hear the babies heartbeats and sneak peeks at them on the ultrasound machine. One of the things I love about being in here is feeling like I am getting to know the babies more and getting more excited for their arrival. Walking by the NICU and seeing an occasional teeny little foot in the air and knowing that is the goal is pretty cool. The hardest part is sitting still without moving that long while they monitor me, it's amazing how fast your back and bottom get sore, but there could come a time when I am on continuous monitoring which means allll day constant monitoring in the delivery room, so right now this is looking pretty good. So far the monitoring has all been good overall, with the exception of just a few decels which have all been on the same baby which is a little concerning but nothing major at this point because the baby always recovers. The Dr. said this is from the cord compression and they are expecting to see it, it is because they are MoMo, and that is why I am here. It can also be from a nuchal cord sometimes, or cord around the neck, which actually happens in 25% of all babies, not just Momo Twins. It helps to know that even when it is frustrating for the nurses and Dr's to not be able to get the babies on the monitor in a timely fashion, they are patient and do what it takes to make sure the babies are ok.
After monitoring, it's time for lunch and I usually have a visitor somewhere before or after lunch. After lunch is another blood sugar prick, more hamster wheel time, visitors, more monitoring if the morning session was unsuccessful, and a nap if my stubborn body lets me! Insulin shots round 2, followed by dinner, followed by hamster wheel, finger prick 3, and then monitoring session #2 - this evening's turned into an ultrasound at 9pm due to yet again uncooperative baby girls! Finally, a shower to get all that glorious ultrasound jelly off, and I must say that my bathroom is nicer than some hotel bathrooms I've been in although the shower pressure leaves much to be desired and makes me thoroughly miss and look forward to my shower at home. But the bathroom here, it's my own, I don't have to share it, it is stocked with fresh towels I don't have to wash, and am I ever grateful for that! A final insulin shot before bed, meds, and that's a day! With all the nurses coming in and out, with visitors and my girls coming in, it really does fly by!
Emotionally I am doing really well, but when the girls are here to visit and it comes time to say goodbye when they leave, it is rough on all of us. They cling to me and cry and I watch Abby screaming down the hall with her arms out screaming "Mommy!!!!" and I myself am crying as I walk back to my room. The nurses are all so understanding and never say "it's ok!" when it's really not, but they know it is really tough and acknowledge that. I always have tears in my eyes when I am on the phone with them, and little Abby sings "TwinkleTwinkle" to me or tells me, "I pwaying mommy", or "Mommy home soon?". When Emma tells me she misses me being out of the hospital and tries to understand when I will come home but she doesn't get it. She always asks if the babies are born yet, and tells me I am not allowed to have anymore babies so I never leave her again (not a problem kid, I agree!) I know they are in good hands but it is not easy being away!! I got to have Emma sleep over the other night along with James :) She was so happy and they wheeled a little bed in here for her, and just looking at her in her Hello Kitty Jammies made me smile.
She was so well behaved, and so kind and chatty with the nurses and cleaning ladies. We got to wake up together and eat breakfast together, and it felt good just to help her brush her teeth, do her hair, and have her and James here. She enjoyed participating in a monitoring session and was sure to tell her sisters to stay still, and to tell them how much she loves them.
And truly, so am I. Through those loving my children - my dad and mom along with my handsome husband James, my in laws, and sister wife Sara, through Dr's and nurses who are advocates for my babies (I have read about so many Momo mom's whose doctors told them to terminate their pregnancy since it was Mono Mono and considered too risky or not viable - I have never heard anything but hope and encouragement from every medical person I've been in contact with!), through my awesome friends and family. My cousin and her husband, along with my aunts have taken over caring for my grandmother so my mom can devote her time to my kids. My aunt sends me a little care box once a week to brighten my day. My girls draw me beautiful pictures and last night when Emma came to stay overnight she showered me with affection and wanted to rub my back and sing me a song before bed. My friends bring me fun surprises or spend time with me amidst their busy lives, and my mother in law brought me two cute little preemie outfits which hang in my closet here and make me smile. I have notes of encouragement, and am being honored with prayer and kind uplifting words by so many. My mom brings not only my girls in to see me, but wheels in a suitcase of fun things to keep them entertained while they are here. I had a friend give me a mini pedi before I came in here, and look forward to a friend teaching me to crochet cute things for my girls. I am so so humbled by the love I have been shown, and the support in all of this. It's awesome how God reveals his love and purposes.
I feel that the Lord gave me this situation, and gave me this time in the hospital for a purpose. I have enjoyed being able to drink a cup of coffee and have my breakfast and spend time praying and in His Word like I am not able to - or should I say I don't make time for - at home. The things I have been reading in my devotionals/Bible are just so spot on for this situation I am in and each day it is like it is written just for me, on that very day, and it's been really cool. My first full day here, as I was struggling with missing/leaving my kids a lot, I woke up and this was my devotional...and I'd like to say who says He doesn't speak today?!:
"Entrust your loved ones to Christ. Release them into His protective care. They are much safer with He than your clinging hands. If you let a loved one become an idol in your heart, you endanger that one, as well as yourself. Remember the extreme measures I used with Abraham and Isaac. I took Isaac to the very point of death to free Abraham from son-worship. Both Abraham and Isaac suffered terribly because of the fathers undisciplined emotions. God detests idolatry even in the form of parental love. When you release loved ones to Him, you are free to cling to His hand. As you entrust others into His care, He is free to shower blessings on THEM. His presence will go with them wherever they go, and He will give them rest. This same presence stays with you, as you relax and place your trust in Him. Watch to see what He will do"
And the night of my arrival, I won't write out the whole thing, but the first sentence: "Trust Me, and don't be afraid. I want you to view trials as exercises designed to develop your trust muscles."
It is also pretty cool to be able to watch whatever I want on TV! The nurses here have all been so so so kind and accomodating, and even the food servers and housekeeping staff have been nice and caring. Having no responsibilities for awhile needs to be looked at by me as a gift, because I have a lifetime of responsibilities ahead of me. I look forward to what I will learn about myself and others through this experience, and I hope that I can keep on smiling through it all and inspire someone else. Of course my babies don't have the best survival rate and of course I have to mentally prepare myself for that, that anything can happen, that I could deliver tomorrow, that my babies will be preemies and along with that comes risks - besides death, particularly brain bleeds and cerebral palsy. God already knows the plan He has for me, and for my babies, and for everyone along this journey with me - my other kids, my husband, my parents and anyone else helping with the kids, my medical staff, you blog followers - everyone! I have complete faith in the outcome, regardless of what it is, that in the end it will be good, and I will love my babies nomatter how they turn out. What an exciting way to come into the world. What a story to tell for years to come! We are all awaiting Aubrey and Ava's birth like nothing before!
I look forward to turning my calendar to September, and then to October and I can only hope I make it that far so my babies have the best possible chance to be "normal" and healthy. The Dr. was just in here and celebrated with me that they are now 25 weeks instead of 24 and that alone is huge. She has prepared me that 32 weeks is the goal but may very well not be the reality. They are such little miracles and I just want to do the best job at giving them the best chance. I look forward to Halloween and Thanksgiving and Christmas when I will be back at home with my big girls, but know then I will have new trials and face one of the most challenging chapters of my life. But like I said in the beginning...being in a hospital makes you truly thankful for just that - LIFE! There are people drinking dirty water in the world, starving, who would kill for a hot shower or a bed much less TV, electricity, etc... I am BLESSED :)