From the moment we found out we were having twins my husband was worried about me. Both of us had lingering fear and doubt from all the bad news that comes with infertility, but even after that passed and we knew we were pregnant for real, he was scared. He worried about me. Having a baby is not an easy thing to do, and having twins adds a whole other list of things to worry about.
Very early in my pregnancy, around 10 weeks, I was being monitored for preeclampsia. I didn’t have it, but my team of doctors (yes, a team) said that since I was carrying twins the chances of me getting it were very likely. So they watched me like a hawk. I had to check my blood pressure every day and keep a log. They called me once a week to collect my BP numbers and ask me about symptoms. Any changes in vision? Any pain in the upper right abdomen? Any headaches? The answer to all of the them was always no. But still they kept asking and my husband kept worrying.
As sure as he was that something might go wrong, I was just as sure that everything was going to be fine. After I got to about my 15th week, all the doubt and fear from failed IVFs of the past seemed to melt away and I was overcome with a feeling that everything was just going to work out this time. The doctors were talking about all sorts of bad things that might be on the horizon, but I still was sure.
At around 24 weeks I had to limit certain activities to prevent pre-term labor. This was another reason for my husband to constantly worry about me. I couldn’t really lift anything too heavy. I couldn’t stand or walk for too long. I had to lay on my side for an hour each morning and night and check for contractions. I followed the rules, but I wasn’t too worried. Everything was going to be fine. At every appointment my babies were developing as they should. It was me they were worried about, but I knew in my heart it would all work out.
At 28 weeks I had to start peeing on a strip every morning. I was checking my urine for protein. The protein would be an indicator of preeclampsia. For many weeks, the strip was fine. Husband still worried, but I was still fine. And then, at week 31, on a Monday morning before work, the test strip turned a color that meant I had to make a call to the perinatal nurses. Before all of this I had no idea perinatal was even a word. In case you are in that boat, it means doctors and nurses that deal with the time before and after birth. I called the number, told them the color of my pee strip, and they said I had to call in sick. They said it was nothing to worry about, but they wanted me to get looked at by a doctor.
That day began with me in my house getting ready for work. It ended with me admitted into Labor and Delivery with monitors hooked up all over me. They let me go home, but I couldn’t go back to work. Instead I got to collect 24 hours worth of urine. Exciting!! After they had a look at my giant bottle of urine and my doctor ran a few more blood tests, he told me to go back to Labor and Delivery for some more monitoring. He told me it would probably be just for the day, like it had been before, but to be prepared for a weekend stay, just in case. The day of testing and monitoring turned into me being admitted to the hospital for severe preeclampsia. It had happened. My blood pressure was up to 160/106. That is insanely high. Even after the IVs, the ambulance ride, and the two week stay in the hospital, I wasn’t worried. I wondered if something was wrong with me because I was being so casual about the whole thing. I felt fine. I figured they wanted to watch me in case something went wrong. I didn’t think anything was going wrong. Everyone else in my life thought differently.
The hospital stay wasn’t that bad. The food was terrible, the bed was uncomfortable, the repeated pokes and prods from nurses and doctors at all hours was annoying, but I didn’t complain. Not because I felt I shouldn’t, but I really was taking the whole thing in stride. My mother, to this day, thinks I was faking and just hiding how scared I was. But no, I was honestly just going with the flow and taking it as it came. I still had that certainty that all would be well.
I made it to 33 weeks exactly and then two doctors came into my room and told me I was having my babies that night. My platelets were dropping fast so they had to do a C-section before my platelets got so low that I would bleed out. That sounds really scary, but at that moment I was surprised, nervous, and excited, but still not worried. That Sunday evening my girls were born. They were early. They were tiny. They were healthy.
It was a crazy and bumpy road, but at the end of it everything was fine. Just like I knew it would be.