I woke up feeling like something REALLY bad was going to happen. I tried to shake the feeling. I cleaned house, I baked, but the feeling was still there. In the late afternoon I took a nap. When I woke up, I made dinner. Within about 90 minutes of eating dinner, I became sick. I thought it was my gallbaldder. By three am on Dec. 1st, I was in Triage 4 at Antioch Kaiser. I was crying in pain. I mean crying. By about noon the decision to admit me, start me on magnesium (to prevent seizures) and give me betamethasone (to help mature the boys' lungs) was made. The call was made to Walnut Creek Kaiser. They couldn't take me. The doctor was saying he was going to call Oakland; I offered to go to Roseville. Traffic and parking in Oakland is horrible. Oakland was actually called, but couldn't take me either. Roseville had room for me and the boys. At about 2 pm on Dec. 1st, I in the back of an ambulance on my way to Roseville Kaiser.
Let me tell you, I have never been so scared in all of my life. I was terrified!! I knew what was happening and how bad this could/would end up. My nurse who admitted me was so super nice. She actually sat with me a prayed for the mine and the boys' safety. She was a sweatheart. Really. And, then, on came the night shift nurse. Oh Lord!! She scared me. I never thought I would be afraid to fire a nurse, but this woman scared me. I mean, really scared me. And, lucky me, I ws stuck with her for 12 hours. Whoever thought of 12 hour shifts was INSANE!! When she left, I knew I would never have to have her take care of me again. WHEW!
(I should interject that the rest of my nurses were awesome! Tish, Lib, Stephanie T, Cindy: you ladies all ROCKED! Cindy - sorry for trying to die on you. I really didn't mean to. I swear.)
I spent the 2nd of December feeling pretty good until midafternoon when I was sent to ultrasound. I was trying to get transferred to Walnut Creek (they now had room for us). The perinatologist wanted a growth ultrasound on the boys before allowing me to be transferred. Well, the ultrasound showed that Sean was severely intrauterine growth restricted (IUGR) - he was in the 3%tile of growth - and his umbilical artery had almost no blood flow. So, that meant no transfer and the intermittent baby monitoring I had just been granted was switched back to continuous monitoring of the babies. It also meant that Sean wouldn't survive inside me for very long. But, the ultrasound showed that his estimated weight was 450 grams (454 gms = 1 lb). Anything under 500 gms is considered too small to survive (yes, babies smalled than that have survived, but it is very rare). Colton was doing a little better - his weight was estimated to be in the high 800 gm range (nope, I can't even remember what the estimate was).
On the morning of Decmeber 3rd, the perinatologist came to see me. He had a plan. We would check Sean by ultrasound every other day to see how he was doing. When he had no umbilical artery blood flow, we would deliver the boys. Or, if I was "ICU sick" we would deliver the boys. The perinate told me that I was the sickest patient that had, I was the patient they were talking about at the nurses' station, and I was the patient they doctors in house would be calling him about.
A few hours after speaking to the perinate, I had a little mental breakdown. I was trying to get some sleep and I realized that the boys would be born before Christmas and I wasn't ready for their first Christmas. Yes, totally rational. I know. But, it was how I was dealing with things on 3 hours of sleep a night. So, my friend Jen went to get my nurse to ask for an Ambien for me. Tish comes in, practically climbs in bed with me, holds me and strokes my hair and tells me it's going to be okay. And, then she hands me a that little sleeping pill.
I talked non-stop for three hours.
Yes. Non-stop. Three hours.
It was described as me being a drunk Vegas party girl by someone who has seen me in drunk in Vegas partying! The nurses admonished Jen and Jen for keeping me awake. They assured her that they were not engaging in conversation with me. I say they were, but whatever! And, then I finally passed out and slept for 90 minutes!! Yes, the Ambien gave me 90 minutes of sleep after a three hour talking fit. I woke up and declared:
I FEEL GREAT!
Later, one of the Jen's confessed that I might have felt great, but I looked like HELL. Um, thanks. But, that's Jen, she's honest.
At the time, we didn't know it, but I was getting sick again . . .