The nurses used to joke about my rascally babies because they could never find and keep them on the heart trace monitor. Andrew was VERY low in my belly, under my pubic bone and they could never find him. Usually it took a team of nurses to locate the babies and hold them there long enough to get a good reading.
Over the next few weeks my family would come to visit and Kenny, my mom and Kenny's mom would alternate staying with me in the hospital room. There was one sleeping bag that just about everyone took a turn in. My room in the APU was right next door to the NICU. In fact the nurses lounge was on the other side of my wall and they would get really rowdy everynight around 2am and you could smell popcorn through the wall. It was stressful trying to relax and sleep and hear the party going on next door. Plus I couldn't keep my mind off all the tiny babies in there and wondering if mine would end up in there.
I spent a lonely Thanksgiving there in my room, my family brought me a plate of leftovers from turkey dinner but it just wasn't the same. I was comforted by the flowers, calls, emails, and cards that so many friends sent to me. Every morning I would get a visit at the crack of dawn from the ob on call. And then my wonderful father in law would also come by to check in on me.
My awesome sister would make me a dessert every week celebrating every additional gestational milestone. We were no longer taking it minute by minute but now day by day. I was much more at ease but every so often fear and uncertainty would take over. I believe all the prayers going out for us helped to keep me from losing it into moments of despair. Knowing others are praying for you and that the Spirit is interceding provides so much peace. Plus the powerful kicks of those precious babies kicking within me continually encouraged and sustained me. They were so pure, so innocent, so oblivious to everything going on outside of their dark and quiet little home.
Every few days I would have another contraction spell and I always wondered if "this was it". My doctors were not all on the same page as far as using tocolytic drugs. I was at continued risk for developing another pulmonary edema if I went back on them but if we were conservative with the doses they might be worth using to help in a rescue situation. I was under the impression that if things took a turn then we would use them once again, that we were keeping them as an option if needed.
All the things they tell you not to do while you are pregnant I was now being told to do. It was really strange. They were giving me sleeping pills, taking x-rays, giving me narcotics, having me drink as many caffeinated drinks and fatty foods as I wanted. At all hours of the day I could order anything I wanted off the delicious and extensive hospital cafeteria's room service menu. Note the sarcasm here ;-). My main staples were dr pepper, pretzels, chicken noodle soup, peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, a variety of popsicles, and ensure milk shakes made with chocolate ice cream. Of course my favorite meals were when family and friends would bring me things from my favorite Houston restaurants, these meals always brightened my days.
It was really strange to be in one room all day, day after day without leaving. It was like being a prisoner at times and I missed my comfortable bed, I missed my little puppy dog, I missed sleeping next to my husband. I have to add in here one of my favorite memories of those weeks in the hospital. I know many have heard this before but a few nights before the babies were born Kenny looked over at me from his sleeping bench and said in the most serious tone "You know, I really think this has all been a lot harder on me than it has been on you" Excuse me?? Have you been in labor for over 2 weeks?? Have you not been able to leave this room and see real sunlight?? He couldn't spin his way out of that one and now I think it was pretty funny, a classic husband moment.
But I do think the walls were closing in on everyone and so many had put their lives on hold during all this. So it was decided that I was going to start staying a few nights here and there on my own. My first night solo was going to be Friday night. My mom was staying with me Thursday night and was going to head out of town Friday morning and then Kenny would come down on Saturday and stay until Sunday.
I was not really looking forward to staying on my own at all but I knew it wasn't fair for everyone to give up their lives to keep me company. Plus we were all beginning to let our guard down I suppose. But then I guess in the end you could say I "showed them" ;-) about trying to leave me over night alone.
To be continued . . . .