Tuesday, May 12, 2009

An Exciting Weekend

It sure has been a busy and exciting last 3 days.

Saturday was great.  Our church sent over about 35 volunteers who, in two hours, dismantled our deck, weeded my garden, weeded our perennial beds, mowed both yards, and moved all our baby supplies from the garage to the new house.  And then they made lunch for every one.  

It is  an awe inspiring and humbling experience to have all these people come help us out.  Truly, I cannot imagine something more generous than a community swoop-in to help out a family. 

I might have ended up pushing myself a little much on Saturday though.  I made Dave drive me over to the old house so I could see what it looks like without the deck. I confess I walked around and stoopd up a bit more than I should have.

I bring this up because Sunday ended up being a tour through Contraction City.  The contractions  started almost as soon as I woke up, but I didn't start timing them until 10:30.  And from 10:30 to 2:00 or so, I had contractions every 15 to 20 minutes continually.  I called the doc who said not to worry until they either got more intense or moved to every 10 minutes for an hour.  I then decided to go drink a lot of water and lie on my left side, which should stop all contractions normally.  I even started my Hynobabies sesseion to stop preterm labor.  Ironically, all of these efforts to stop the contractions (water, left side, hypnosis) occurred about the same time that my contrax started coming every 10 minutes or less. 

So we called the doctor again and went in for a look-see at the hospital. We dropped a thrilled Conor off at a friend's house and scurried to the hospital.  We were much less stressed this time because I know they can (usually) fix pre-term contractions and I wasn't bleeding.  Bleeding is scary.  

So we arrived and they set us up in the hospital triage.  They started monitoring the babies (looking great!) and my contractions (happening when I thought  they were happening).  With no other signs of labor, they decided to give me a shot of terbutaline and the nurse assured me I would be able to go home after they observed me for a while.  

I had the usual side effects pretty qucikly: a racing heartbeat and getting a bit warmer.  The contractions also stopped immidiately.  Hooray!!


I got very, very nauseaus, dizzy and hot.  I was so hot.  I started sweating all over my body.  My hair felt damp and I could feel my belly and legs sweating.  I told Dave and he asked if she should get a nurse and I said yes.

When she came back in, I asked if this was another side effect of terbutaline.  Not really, she said.  And I kept feeling worse.  I thought I was going to pass out, which have been an amazing trick as I was lying down in a hospital room.  I closed my eyes to keep everything from spinning and focused on just trying to breathe.  I do remember thinking "If this is a side effect of this drug, there is no way I can take it for the rest of the pg."

Then all hell broke loose.  I don't really remember what happened, but all of a sudden a lot of nurses appeared in our small room. Dave said it was 5 nurses and he tried to scrunch up in a corner and be as small as he could while the nurses did their work.

I realized something was wrong when the nurse said "Baby B's heart beat is really low." "It's always low," I muttered.  "Nobody's heart beat should be this low," she said.  That's when I got the clue that something was really wrong.  (Dave says at the this point, the babies heart rates were in the 40's.  Very, very bad)

Then they turned me on the side and started oxygen.  Somebody grabbed my right arm and jabbed a needle in it (taking 8 vials of blood and starting an IV, Dave told me later).  I heard my main nurse call to get my pre-natal records.  I realized they were preparing to go to the OR for an emergency c-section.  

I started focusing on breathing deeply and willing/praying for my babies' heart rates to get higher.  I knew this had to do with the drug and was not a "real" problem once we can get everything under control.

"What's their heart beat?" I mumbled through the mask.  "In the 80's," they replied.

This not is good, I thought.  I breathed deeply and willed/prayed some more.  Nurses continued to more around doing all sorts of things.  

Then I began to feel better.  "Hey! I feel a lot better now!"  I said somewhat cheerily.  No one gave a shit.   I kept breathing, willing. and praying.  

"What are the babies' heart beats?" I asked again.  Baby A is 130, Baby B is 113.  Muuuch better.  Breathe.  Will.  Pray.  

Both babies' heart rates reached over 140 and kept climbing into recovery mode.  A nurse later told me that the whole episode was two minutes long.

"Congratulations!" our head nurse said. "You just bought yourself 24 hours in the Presby Hospital Inn!"  

The OB  from our practice showed up a little bit later.  Even though she was not on the scene deuring the "episode" as it came to be known by my nurses, she was doing her work behind the scenes.  One thing she had done after the episode had resolved was call my high risk OB for his perspective about my  very, very unusual reaction to this drug.

He said this was not related to the drug, but more likely an event of supine hypotension or inferior vena cava syndrome.   Basically, the terb may have made the dialation of my veins and arteries more likely, and then in the position I was in on the bed, Squiggle squished my vena cava and prevented the blood from the lower half of my body from returning to my heart.  This is why pg women are not supposed to lie on their backs.   The dizziness, the heat, the sweating, and the nausea are all signs.  If my blood pressure cup had still be on, they would have seen my blood pressure plummet. All I needed to do was roll over. (Which if they had done that when I first complained would have stopped the whole problem!)

In any case, I wasn't going home Sunday night. Mom and twins crashing at a hospital tends to cause them to gat a little more attention.  We were checked into a room.  Dave went to get Conor from our friends (and promptly put Conor, as I would have, in our bed for a comforting snuggle), and everything was fine for the rest of the night.  No contractions for me and excellent baby heartbeats.  The adrenaline stole my ability to sleep, despite an ambien, but knowing they were ok and I wasn't contracting any more was wonderful.  

Tomorrow, Day #2 at the hospital:  To Previa or Not To Previa:  That is the Question. 


Julia said...

Wow! High drama! The power of prayer comes through again. Glad you are doing well Anita, I have been enjoying following your journey.

Evelin said...

Ahhh! Scary!! Glad things got sorted!!