Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Another day, another needle.

Sometimes I thought maybe we could prolong the pregnancy another week, we were after all on day four in hospital. With each day I survived we slowly added the days to my gestation 25w4d, 25w5d, on a white board in my room.
Speaking of my room. Originally we had booked into a private hospital for their expected birth date in late February, but as only the public hospital in Hobart has a NICU we really didn't have a choice. So I was given a rather spartan private room (this photo was taken after their birth hence the pump). You may have noticed the lack of photos, we didn't bring a real camera into hospital. I didn't have a compilation play list of music to soothe me during labour. I hadn't even packed a suitcase for hospital, so poor Rob was sent off to shop for all sorts of things! As news spread around our family, friends and work colleagues, my room did start filling with beautiful flowers, a stark contrast with the scuffed up walls and stained ceiling. 

On Tuesday morning, however, I woke up in the delivery suite. They detached my IVs, but left the cannulas in just in case. 
Our favourite part of the day was the ultrasound to check on the babies. We headed off to radiography not long after breakfast. The babies were still doing well, the TTTS had not gotten worse (there are four stages, depending on the severity of the symptoms, the babies were still only stage one). But my Doctor was keen to perform another amnio reduction later that day. 

We headed back to the ward for a rest and some lunch. Rob even helped me have a shower. It is amazing how quickly muscles disappear with only a few days of bed rest. I laughed at my reflection in the bathroom mirror, a huge belly with little skinny arms and legs. 

I was still having the occasional contraction, but my Doctor arrived and got ready to do the fluid removal again. She decided to use a slightly bigger needle and syringe so the procedure would be faster. This time there was only my doctor, Rob and a nervous midwife in the room. Knowing what I was in for this time and not being in as much physical discomfort from the pressure of the fluid made me a little nervous. If I thought the ultrasound they used on the first day was old, the one she had to use the second time was even worse. But she carefully guided the needle in. Once the needle was through my skin I could feel it go through into my uterus. The pain was exquisite and shot through my body, also every time I had a contraction (they didn't happen the first time), it would cause the shooting pain again. 

To make matters worse baby A was awake and kicking (the needle is actually removed but a tube was in it's place), we could see it jiggle on the outside! The midwife left after a bit so the three of us chatted about life, almost as if nothing unusual was happening! We also discussed the Caesarean section she planned to do. The stress of being birthed naturally would be too much and too uncontrollable for the tiny babies. So when she decided it was best I would be prepped for surgery. 
After an hour I realised that I had been lying on a join in the delivery bed, right where my hip was. It was getting increasingly sore, but I wasn't allowed to move! I couldn't wait until it was over. She went as quickly as she could, removing another two litres over two hours. Finally the equipment was removed, a welcome but painful feeling. My Doctor happy that it had gone well, and the babies were ok, packed up and left me to rest. I was returned to my small room, and the contractions kept coming. After dinner, despite ongoing contractions I sent Rob home. He was tired and couldn't sleep in my little room anyway. But I felt the same as the day before so I didn't think the babies were arriving any time soon. I took a sleeping tablet and tried to sleep. At first it worked.

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