October 27- Blindsided

As you know, this whole pregnancy has been going pretty smoothly for me. Sure, the first trimester was rough, but ever since I hit the second trimester I have been feeling great. With each of my posts I have mentioned how much energy I've had and how surprised I've been with myself in how things have progressed. Having read so many nightmare stories of people having to go on bed rest with twins, I was so paranoid throughout that something like that would happen to me. So when I made it to the third trimester, still dancing every day and feeling fantastic, I honestly thought I was in the clear and would continue rocking through the home stretch. Boy was I wrong...

Yesterday was a productive day. I went to dance as usual, the hubs and I went to a party for a friend's daughter's first birthday, and we had another pregnant couple over for dinner. It was getting late and the chairs we were sitting on were noticeably uncomfortable. I kept shifting my weight because it felt like my insides were being pushed up, but didn't think anything of it, as the chairs were hard. Our friends left around 11:30 and I was feeling bloated as all get out. I had been backed up the past few days so I figured it was a bout of the oh-so-wonderful constipation rearing its ugly head and immediately chugged some prune juice. It worked within an hour and I thought I would finally have some relief. But after I went, I still felt full and bloated and I noticed there was blood in the toilet. For a moment I thought for sure it was from the back end, but quickly discovered it wasn't. There wasn't an excessive amount, but enough to cause concern since it was bright red. I immediately started looking up vaginal bleeding from constipation during pregnancy and found a lot of women had posted the same question, so I figured that's what it had to be. I kept grabbing more tissues and wiping to keep checking, but the blood was still there. The hubs and I were going back and forth about it, trying to decide if it was serious enough to go the the hospital since it was already 1am by that time. I Googled some more about bleeding during pregnancy and everything I read said if it was in the third trimester that I should definitely seek medical advice. After hemming and hawing a bit, we decided to bite the bullet and just go to the hospital to be on the safe side. And it's a good thing we did...

On the way there we made comments about how we were sure it was nothing and that we'd probably be sent home shortly, but at least we'd have peace of mind. By the time we arrived at the hospital (triage at Winnie Palmer, our delivery hospital) it was just about 2am. They quickly took me in, took down all my info, and sent us to a room to be observed. The first thing the nurses did was hook my belly up to the monitors to check my heart rate along with the babies. All seemed to be doing well. Meanwhile I was still getting on and off pressure feeling like I still had to go to the bathroom. As it turned out, the monitors were picking up that those feelings I was having were small contractions. Being this is the first time I've been pregnant, I had no frame of reference of what a contraction felt like so to me it just felt like I was bloated and had bowel pressure. It was toward the back and not the front, which honestly I always imagined contractions feeling like menstrual cramps so it surprised me to learn that the pressure I was feeling were actually contractions. The nurse kept asking me what my pain level was, 1-10, and I couldn't answer because A. I wasn't in pain, it was pressure, and B. I had no bearing on what a 10 felt like. Shortly after, two nurse practitioners came in to check me. The first one slapped gloves on and stuck her fingers up my cha-cha and instantly looked at the other nurse and said, "ummm you need to feel this." My heart dropped as my eyes darted to meet my husband's, both of ours flung open. The other practitioner walked over and stuck her fingers in me and said, "that's a head," then told the other nurse I was 1cm dilated and 80% effaced. What?!?!?! This couldn't be happening. I was in shock. In what seemed like an instant, a swarm of people came at me with a plethora of needles and equipment. They stuck IVs in my arm and gave me magnesium to help accelerate the twins' neurological development, a steroid shot for their lung development and antibiotics to prevent infection. They also gave me pills to relax my uterus to try and force it to stop contracting and told me they would be sending me down the hall for an ultrasound and were going to have to admit me to the hospital.  It was all happening so fast and seemed surreal.

They immediately wheeled me down the hall for my ultrasound, which seemingly took forever. During that time, now that I knew what I was feeling were contractions, I started watching the clock as soon as I would feel one come on. I definitely noticed them getting stronger and closer together and was wondering if the ultrasound tech could tell when I was having them by looking at the screen. After about 20 minutes of her measuring the babies, my contractions went from every five minutes to about two or three. She then switched to a vaginal ultrasound to see what was going on with my cervix. Much to my dismay, she was shifting the wand around for a bit before saying she couldn't find my cervix. All she could see was the baby's head. ?!?! She took a picture of it to show the doctor. This wasn't looking good.

Right after the ultrasound, they put me in a wheelchair and brought me up to my room, as I was officially being admitted. After that, things were a blur. It was already 5am and I was pretty out of it between being sleep deprived, doped up on meds and in total shock with everything going on. As I laid in bed, the contractions kept coming in stronger and stronger waves. Now I was definitely able to identify my pain level on the pain chart, and it was at around a 6 or a 7 at times. The ironic thing of it all was that our birthing class was scheduled for this coming Saturday, so as the waves rolled on I was telling my husband to Google breathing techniques for labor since I didn't know of any. He had me trying to control my breath by breathing in and out slowly, which wasn't easy. It is REALLY hard to think straight when you are going through strong contractions, but every once in a while I could get a grip and try the breathing technique and for a split second it would help before spiraling back into the delirium that came with the pain. And pain isn't even the best way to describe it. While it definitely hurt, the hardest thing about it was that it would happen every two minutes, for about a whole minute, which means every other minute I was going through it. It was exhausting! I remember the nurse coming in and saying, "Your face is different. You look like you are in a lot more pain than you were a half hour ago. I am getting the doctor." Next thing I knew they came back in and shot me up with some morphine to dull the pain and the doctor checked me. All I heard was that I was now 90% effaced and at 3cm and that is when I finally told my husband to call my parents. They live an hour away and I was holding off until morning so they wouldn't freak out and drive in the middle of the night, but at this point the doctor thought I might actually have the babies that day. I couldn't believe this was happening. I was loopy on the morphine but the pain had died down. They gave me a different kind of pill to relax my contractions to go along with the IVs I was on. Whatever it was they gave me worked because each contraction became a little less intense and more spread out between and by 10am I had my last contraction for the day. 

By the time my parents made it out, I was in much better shape. In fact, I was feeling quite good. No contractions or pressure, though I was running on empty from having missed an entire night of sleep. The nurses in my room are so attentive. They come in and check on vitals, monitor the babies with NSTs and pretty much get you anything you need without hesitation. Wondering how long they will keep me now that they stopped my labor. Hoping it won't be too long, as I could see getting a bit stir crazy in here. Luckily I had the hubs and my parents with me all day and even had a friend visit in the evening. It's my first time staying in a hospital, and while it's not bad, I already can't wait to be home...