This blog entry was meant to be about the difficult decision of what to do with any remaining frozen embryos, but instead it is coming direct from my room at the Royal Hospital for Women in Randwick, where I am a guest until further notice.
My waters broke last Friday night, just hours into my maternity leave. I had left the office with a long list of things that needed doing, and less than 10 hours later found myself legs aloft in hospital, probably to stay here for the remainder of my pregnancy.
It's just bizarre the way it all unfolded. Friday I had an ultrasound to check for growth, which my midwife attended, and I recall bragging about how I had managed thus far to avoid so many “yucky” pregnancy things, like stretch marks, haemorrhoids and bladder leakage.
The babies were also measuring perfectly on schedule, for singleton babies, at about 1500 grams each. I had a bit of an “oh no” moment at this news, reminded once again of my great aunt who held some kind of record in the 1940s for birthing twins weighing over 11 pounds in the old money, sans drugs of course.
But of course, now, they can't be big enough.
I had been feeling fine. A little tired, and more than ready to finish up at work, but with lots of stuff still to do. My brother in law was here Friday to help my husband move stuff out of what is meant to be the babies' room over the weekend, and while the boys had gone to the pub to watch the cricket, I had settled in with a pizza and the last few episodes of True Blood. I went to bed before they got home, and not long after I laid down, I felt a definite trickling sensation. All I could think was how pointless my rigorous pelvic floor exercises had been, and had visions of discreetly buying Poise Panty Liners – for light bladder leakage, or LBL as Kimberly-Clark has acronymised it – at the supermarket the next day.
But the trickle turned to a gush as soon as I got up for the loo, and the visions of discreet Poise pads turned into full pant Depend undergarments. I laid in bed for several hours, furiously trying to hold back the tide with pelvic floor exercises and half a roll of toilet paper wedged in my undies, to no avail. By now, my husband and brother in law had arrived home, and while the thought that it might not be my bladder had briefly crossed my mind, I wasn't about to walk out to the lounge room and ask him, in front of his little brother, to smell my panties “What do you think darling?? Wee or amniotic fluid?”
But by six in the morning, I couldn't ignore it any longer, and duly got up and drove to the hospital where, after a quick prod and poke, the membrane rupture was confirmed. We think it's Twin A, “the naughty twin” who was responsible. I was worried about the poor thing drying up and shrivelling away in there, but the doctors and midwives reassured me that they actually keep manufacturing amniotic fluid, so the levels stay up, but the drip, drip, drip, alas, doesn't stop.
I have been pumped full of steroids to mature the babies' lungs, and as I write this, five days in, the medicine I was taking for the first few days to stop the very mild contractions I had seems to be working. I am also on antibiotics to stave off any infection which is the big worry.
But it looks like I am here in hospital in for the long haul, hopefully. The membranes broke at exactly 29 weeks, which isn't great. I'll let you, dear readers, Google the survival rates and issues that come with having early babies, but I have had a few chats with the pros, and despite it not being all bad news, I am going to keep my legs crossed as long as possible thank you very much.
As everyone keeps reminding me, I am in the best place probably in Australia for this sort of care. Everyone here – midwives, doctors, consultants, tea ladies and cleaners – has given me exemplary attention, and been completely honest and open about my care and prognosis. My hotel suite, as my husband calls it, is more than adequate and now that I am hooked up to the world – I have the internet – I'm not really wanting for much at all.
And the food, despite my first day confrontation with “square eggs” really isn't that bad. I am lucky enough to regularly enjoy eating at Sydney's finest hatted restaurants and by my own admission am a shocking food snob, but you know this morning, nothing could have tasted better than the dry, overcooked poached egg on cold rubbery toast with a cup of lukewarm tea.
Keep your fingers crossed for us.
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