Sunday, December 13, 2009

The pregnancy

It is important to talk about the pregnancy to get a little background information.  This was my second pregnancy.  My first pregnancy was relatively uneventful.  I became pregnant with my son, Zev, with the help of infertility drugs.  When I was 8 weeks pregnant with him, I started bleeding very heavily.  Jason and I went to the ER and I was convinced I was miscarrying; every time I stood up, bright red blood would just pour out of me.  It took hours to get an ultrasound, but there he was.  Heart beating strongly and kicking around.  I was told to take it easy for awhile and wait for the bleeding to stop.

It took about three weeks.  When I finally saw a midwife for the first time I thought the baby was dead.  I bled every single day.  But she used a doppler, and we heard his heartbeat and we knew he was fine.  Minus that initial scare, the rest of the pregnancy was rather easy.  Zev was a stubborn little bean, and stayed frank breech throughout my pregnancy.  I refused to be induced however, and when I did go into labor I had a c-section.  He was 6.5 lbs when he was born, and had his feet up at his ears for a few days, which was rather amusing.  I suppose he was just comfortable that way.

I needed infertility drugs again to get pregnant this time.  But I had an intuition that if they worked I would have twins.  I even mentioned it to Jason, who probably thought I was crazy at the time.  When I started bleeding in THIS pregnancy, again we rushed to the ER.  The first thing the ultrasound tech said to me was, "Well, I see two gestational sacs."  "I know", I replied.

I ended up bleeding 3 times in this pregnancy:  at 7, 9, and 13 weeks.  By week 13 I had a high-risk OB.  Vaginal ultrasounds showed a short cervix and we decided it was best to have an early anatomy scan.  I went into that scan at 17 weeks and we discovered we were having two girls.  And everything else looked fine.  At a second scan at 20 weeks, my OB noted my very short cervix and pulled me out of work immediately.  I was to go straight home and stay there.  I could not get out of bed except to use the bathroom or make a snack.  I had to take daily progesterone suppositories.  And, if I were unlucky and started miscarrying, there was nothing they could do.  Viability is 24 weeks gestation, and if I made it that far, I was to check into the hospital and receive steroid shots to hasten lung development.

I actually made it through those four weeks.  At 24 weeks I had another ultrasound, confirmed the still short cervix, and checked into the hospital.  I stayed for four days, received the steroid shots, and went home to more bed rest.  Things seemed ok.

At week 26 I started feeling cramping that didn't seem to be brought on by anything specific.  Jason and Zev were out of the house, so I called Jason and he came home, leaving Zev with friends.  We went to the hospital and I learned I was 100% effaced and now about 1 cm dilated.  I was checked into the hospital and given some oral meds to stop the contractions I was feeling.  After roughly 9 hours, the contractions were still occurring and I was further dilated, so I was started on magnesium sulfate.  Mag is a horrible drug that is used to stop labor but can only be used for short periods of time given the toxic effects.  Luckily I did not have that many side effects and stayed on the drug for 36 hours.  I remained in the hospital for 2 weeks to reach 28 weeks gestation.  Twenty-eight weeks is considered a fetal milestone in development, and it was safer for me to be under strict observation until that point.  My two weeks were uneventful, and I went home to more bed rest.

Interestingly I had always had another premonition about this pregnancy:  that something was going to happen at week 30.  I became 30 weeks pregnant on my 32nd birthday.  When I woke up that morning, I felt cramping again.  Stupidly I waited until the afternoon to say anything:  I knew if I were to call the hospital I would have to go and I knew they would admit me.  By 4 pm I realized that I really did need to call, and we went to the hospital.  Once again I was in labor and this time I was 3 cm dilated.  I was checked in and the doctors decided to put me on the magnesium sulfate, this time at a higher dose.  I was also given another steroid shot with the hopes that we could delay the labor enough time to finish the rounds of steroids.  Five minutes into the drug treatment, I vomited.  The dose was decreased and after a short while it was increased again.  Again, I vomited.  I spent the next 24 hours unable to see or to move.  I threw up a total of five more times.  And I continued to contract.  By 5 pm the next day I was 6 cm dilated and the contractions were increasing in frequency.  I had to deliver the girls.

I was rolled into the OR

And Jason gowned up.

Tzelia Devorah was born at 6:10pm on December 7th

And her sister Meorah Linit was born at 6:11pm

I was sent to my room to recover from the spinal, and Jason went to the NICU to see the girls.

In total, I spent just over 2 months on bed rest, 18 days of which were in the hospital.  Three episodes of severe bleeding.  Six runs to either the emergency room or triage center in labor/delivery.  Two episodes of pre-term labor but only one was able to be stopped.

These girls wanted to be born.  Happy birthday ladies.

1 comment:

  1. Wow. What a pregnancy but my eyes are filled with happy tears since I see from your newer posts that both girls are home and healthy. What a miracle.