Tag Archives: bed rest

“Moving Too Fast” – The Last Five Years

4 Apr

I feel like my life right now is on the fast track in every aspect. It is so hard to believe that with my last pregnancy, I was counting the minutes and seconds while I was held as a prisoner in the hospital on bed rest. Crossing out each day on my calendar and feeling like time was standing still. I became a human incubator confined to a hospital bed with only walking privileges to get up to use the bathroom. Flash forward two years and now I can barely keep up with the tremendous amount of changes and to-do lists that bombard me each day. It took a little bit of time for my husband and I to recover from the shock of becoming pregnant unexpectedly but we quickly knew that with this new baby, we needed to make certain changes to accommodate becoming a family of five. We already got the car situation settled with the purchase of our new mini-van so now, the main focus is moving into a bigger home with a 3rd bedroom.

With our limited amount of time before the baby came and the fact that the housing market is not favorable for buyers right now, Brett and I decided we should just look into rentals for the time being. We have been renting a 2-bedroom apartment for the last six years and have been very happy with our cozy place, thinking that when we eventually move, it would be for the reason of buying a house. With our new change of plans, aka baby #3, we had to kick it into high gear and upgrade to a 3-bedroom before this baby made its arrival. The community we currently live in does not have 3-bedroom apartments and we knew that not only would we need an extra bedroom but also more play space in general for our three kids. We were officially outgrowing being able to live in an apartment so the search for a town home or house was in the works. We looked online at numerous properties and then started to view them in person. We eventually found a really nice privately owned town home in Oak Park that fit our needs and now with the signed lease, we are officially leaving Agoura Hills. It is bitter-sweet in a way to be moving from our 2-bedroom apartment because we have so many great memories here. This was the place where we started our life as a married couple and then eventually brought home our first children to. So many milestones and celebrations have taken place within these walls.

At this point, I am less than a few months away from giving birth and amidst the moving boxes and change of address checklists, I am still in disbelief that I am getting to spend this pregnancy on my feet and vertical. I felt some sadness in the hospital since I was not able to nest and put together the nursery. I had the feeling like I was missing out on what millions of other pregnant women were able to do. When I came home with the twins from the hospital, we all got to see the nursery in person for the first time. Now I am here, not only being able to nest but put together a whole new house for this baby and my family, let alone a new nursery. No more FaceTime with Brett while he shopped for paint swatches and arranged the furniture. I was actually going to be in the driver’s seat and present to create what our new nursery and home would look like. I am definitely not taking any minute of this for granted! There are an abundance of changes happening but all for amazing reasons and it’s hard to slow down at this point to take in each moment. Overall, I am just so relieved that we found a great new home with enough time to get settled and unpacked before the baby’s big arrival in June.

*The song “Moving Too Fast” is from the 2002 Off-Braodway musical The Last Five Years which was written by Jason Robert Brown, one of my favorite composers. Brett and I actually got to see the original production when we were living in New York and fell in love with the music instantly. We are so excited that they have made this musical into a movie that will be coming out this year. The story itself is about a five year relationship where the characters are telling the story in reverse chronological order. Cathy starts the story from the end of the relationship, while Jamie starts the story from the beginning of the relationship. They take turns sharing songs about falling in love and getting heartbroken and throughout the show, you slowly see what happened in this doomed relationship as the puzzle pieces of their stories start to connect. Jamie sings the song “Moving Too Fast” which talks about how happy he is to be moving in with his new girlfriend Cathy while at the same time, his career has taken off. This particular song has been playing in my own head lately with all of the major changes that are happening all at once. To go from finding out that I am pregnant, to buying a mini-van, and now moving into a new home within the span of only a few months is very overwhelming. I’ve got to just keep rollin’ along!

Our new home!

Our new home!

We think we’re gonna like it here (sung to the tune from Annie).

“I Got Life” – Hair

21 Dec

December 21st, 10:00pm, Pacific Standard Time, I can’t believe a year went by so fast…

Today marks the one year anniversary of finding out that my babies were in trouble which landed us into the hospital for 126 days.  Such a scary event and difficult time brought so many positive and amazing experiences that I never would have thought could happen.  Starting this blog was the first thing I did when I was admitted into the hospital and it has allowed me to share my story with the world and have the opportunity to help other moms on bed rest who are going through or have gone through this tremendous experience.  I have obviously been incredibly busy which has made it very difficult to regularly write more blog posts but regardless, our story goes on and it needs to be told.  It amazes me how slowly time went by in the hospital while I was on bed rest and now, those same 24 hours I would get each day, are flying at warp speed.  So much has happened since April 21st and my life has completely changed.

Coming home from the hospital was at first so wonderful and I felt such a sense of freedom.  Freedom to finally be a mother after so many years of waiting, freedom to walk, freedom to go outside, and freedom to do everything else I was deprived of in the hospital…especially taking regular showers!  But soon I would discover that this “freedom” was not so easy to come by in my situation.  I was extremely weak and in a lot of pain from the bed rest and c-section.  I could not take care of myself, let alone two infants.  All of the things I had been dreaming about doing as soon as I got home were still dreams since I physically could not accomplish anything.  We were very lucky to have so much help from family and friends when we got home but in a way, I wished we didn’t have it.  I wanted to do everything myself and not have to rely on anyone since I had been living with so many restrictions and limitations at the hospital.  I was so thirsty for independence that not even being able to change a diaper was depressing to me.  I knew that I would be limited because of my body but I did not realize just how much. Thankfully, I was able to go to physical therapy which helped make me strong again and little by little I was able to regain my independence.

Just when my body was starting to feel normal and I could finally take care of the kids on my own, I had to prepare myself to go back to work after being gone for seven months. Then a couple of weeks before I started back at my job, I got the horrible news that my Dad passed away. Ella and Ethan were just about three months old and now they would never get to know their one remaining maternal grandparent. It was hard enough knowing that my Mom would not be around to watch them grow up, but then realizing that my Dad would not be in the picture was very sad.  Even though he was not much of a visitor when I was in the hospital, he did manage to spend some precious time with the twins right after they were born. He came to the hospital and got to hold each of them which meant so much to me.  All I can think of now is that at least he got to meet them and hold them which is more than my Mom was able to do.  My Dad being able to spend the short amount of time with them was better than no time at all and I am grateful for that gift.

After recovering from the loss of my Dad, it has been so hard for me to have new babies and not be able to turn to my parents for advice or listen to the stories of what they went through as new parents.  Luckily, one thing I do have from them is a textile with the poem “Children Learn What They Live.”  It hung in my room when I was a child and I thought it was long gone after so many years.  Miraculously, it was found while cleaning out my Dad’s garage and I took the very dirty and damaged textile and got it restored and re-framed.  Like a gift from the great beyond, now my children can enjoy this poem and the life lessons that it teaches.  It is almost as if my parents left that for me to find to know that they are still with me and watching over all of us.

Despite the difficult journey I have been on this past year, I have learned so much about myself and what I am capable of.  I get stopped constantly by people once they see I have a double stroller and realize I have twins.  “You must have your hands full!” and “I don’t know how you do it!” are the comments that I get.  Yes, twins are a lot of work but honestly, after everything I have been through, taking care of them and spending time with them is easy and fun compared to trying to keep myself from going crazy lying in bed for four months!  My hands are full…but not full of burden and exhaustion like most people assume.  My hands are full of appreciation and pleasure for getting two beautiful, healthy babies that make every second spent in bed worth the wait and sacrifice.

*The song “I Got Life” is from the 1968 Broadway musical Hair which was one of the first rock musicals on Broadway.  Recently, the new revival in 2009 won the Tony Award for Best Revival of a Musical. I absolutely love this musical and its message.  This song in particular really puts me in such a good mood and reminds me that no matter what bad things may happen, I am still alive and healthy and that I also have two new little lives that bring me so much happiness.  It is so important to focus on what you do have in your life, and not what you are missing.

Happy Grandpa

Happy Grandpa

Grandparent's gift from beyond

Grandparent’s gift from beyond

1st Halloween (6 months old)

1st Halloween (6 months old)

Dream come true

Introducing…The Fisher Family!

“I’m Going Home” – The Rocky Horror Show

21 May

After finally experiencing the momentous occasion of the birth of my twins, the next big event that I had been anxiously waiting for was to go back home. At 122 days in the hospital, I only had four more days to go until my discharge papers were signed making my entire hospital stay a whopping 126 days! April 25th could not come soon enough and unfortunately, those four little days recovering from surgery were going to be harder than expected.

Immediately after the c-section, I was taken to the recovery room where we got to spend our “golden hour” with the twins and get some good skin to skin contact before they got whisked away to be fully cleaned up and checked out. My epidural was still going strong so I was feeling really good snuggled up with the kids and just taking in the fact that I had successfully accomplished the biggest challenge in my entire life. Then once the twins left, the anesthesiologist started to transition me from my epidural to regular pain medications since we were only going to be in the recovery room for about two hours. The nurses mentioned that during surgery, there was one complication that occurred which was now under control. I had lost a large amount of blood when the two placentas were removed. This occurred because my uterus was not able to work normally since I had been so inactive these past several months. My uterine muscles were atrophied along with all of the rest of my muscles. My doctor had anticipated this outcome so they put in a Bakri balloon to put pressure on the bleeding so that I would not need a transfusion. This life saving device came with a price because once the epidural was turned off, the strongest of medications did absolutely nothing to control the pain from everything I just went through. They gave me Percocet, Dilaudid, Morphine, and Oxycontin to name a few, but nothing could touch this level of pain. After five long hours, they ended up turning back on my epidural which provided the only relief. While this whole ordeal was going on, I sent Brett out with the twins to spend time with our families who were worried about us since I had not been released from the recovery room. Brett soon returned with the twins once I was stable and after a total of seven hours in recovery, I was sent back to my original room in labor and delivery to be closely observed. I did not get to see my family at all since we got back to our room at 2:00am. After two difficult days recovering, we then made the transition to our postpartum room on the other side of the maternity ward where we would spend our last two nights at the hospital.

After all of the months isolated from the real world, April 25th was at last here and the final packing began. Before we officially left, I decided to take a walk around the hospital one last time. Ironically on this day, the hospital started a new program where all of the moms on bed rest would meet twice a month on their gurneys to discuss their thoughts and feelings with the hospital social worker. Apparently, this program was in the works for awhile and my Facebook group helped make these face-to-face meetings more of a priority. I popped into the meeting briefly to say goodbye to everyone and assure them that every single second spent lying in bed was so unbelievably worth it. Once my babies were in my arms, I would do it all over again in a heartbeat regardless of how difficult or long this endeavor had been. It was nice seeing everyone and being able to leave them with hope that bed rest can lead to a very successful outcome in their own pregnancies.

The last and most important things we had to pack up were of course the twins in their brand new car seats which I got to see in person for the very first time. A huge wave of emotion began to hit me as the room started to look empty with all of our things loaded up on carts to take down to the car. Tears began to fall as a wheelchair was rolled in, signaling that my stay was in fact over. It was very surreal to know that my new life was finally about to begin as I sat down in the wheelchair with Ethan on my lap in his car seat. We started to move and Brett walked next to me carrying Ella in her car seat as we both cried tears of joy. Then after 126 days of confinement, my wheelchair was pushed out into the fresh air and I got to see the gorgeous blue sky for the first time since December. I could see the clouds and the sun and human life happening outside of the hospital walls. I then realized just how much this entire experience completely changed my life and the way I view the world. I had given up four months of my life in order to give my kids the chance to live. A very small price to pay for two beautiful, healthy babies who will get to know that life is extremely precious once they have been told the story of how they came into this world.

*The song “I’m Going Home” is from the 1975 Broadway musical The Rocky Horror Show which then became the famous midnight cult movie The Rocky Horror Picture Show. Frank-N-Furter sings this soulful ballad once he finds out that he is being taken back to his home planet but desires to stay on Earth instead. In my case, there was no way I was desiring to stay at that hospital one more minute, and seeing our car pulled up outside ready to take us all back together was so glorious. The entire car ride home both Brett and I continued to cry that at last we were free to be a family. Brett had made the lonely drive back and forth down Pacific Coast Highway so many times coming to visit me. Now, his wish came true that this final drive back home included not only me, but the twins as well. We all made it through this incredible journey with an enormous appreciation for all of the amazing blessings in our life. Don’t dream it…be it!

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My first glimpse of the sky!

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I’m free!!!

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Happy tears as we leave as a family

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A dream come true

“Someone Else’s Story” – Chess

25 Mar

Initially when I was diagnosed with an incompetent cervix, I really had no idea how close I came to losing my twins.  I knew the situation was serious enough for me to be admitted into the hospital, but I felt like I was well taken care of and the issue was at least under control.  It was not until I began to research my condition that I realized just how lucky I was to have a doctor who was able to stop a disaster from happening.  In doing my research, I found out that a normal cervix during pregnancy should measure 3cm or greater but mine had shortened to just 0.8cm!  If left untreated, I would have gone into full preterm labor probably in the next week and given birth to babies that were not viable to live outside of the womb.

My first instinct when I started my bed rest journey was to seek out support from others in the same boat as me.  Right away, I created the private Facebook group to speak with the other Moms on bed rest in the hospital, and then I branched out to all sorts of online support groups which were specific to my exact condition.  I soon began to discover that within these groups, I was a minority since this was my very first pregnancy and I had no history of miscarriage or stillbirth.  More often than not, an incompetent cervix is usually diagnosed only after a woman has gone through one or more losses because it is not caught soon enough and some doctors don’t include this test during exams.  I was extremely fortunate to be under the care of a high risk doctor (due to being pregnant with twins) who routinely checks for this condition between weeks 18-20.  I was actually looking forward to my 19 week ultrasound mainly because the sexes would be determined, plus the doctor would be doing an anatomy scan where all of the body parts and internal organs would be measured and examined.  The excitement would soon turn to fear once he informed my husband and I that there was bad news.

With such a shocking diagnosis and treatment plan, I selfishly kept thinking about how miserable the next 4-5 months would be at the hospital stuck in bed all day and night.  But as my research started, I began to shift my thinking outward and fully empathize with all of the stories I came across where women had been through the unthinkable nightmare of losing their babies.  How could I possibly complain or feel bad for myself?!?  So many women would give anything to be where I was if it meant their babies were still safe and inside their womb.  Everyday that I am here is truly a gift and as the days, weeks, and months roll by, I can’t help but feel incredibly fortunate that I have gotten this far.

One particular story I recently found online really hit home for me because just two days after I was admitted into The BirthPlace, this other woman Cori, was admitted as well for the same exact condition.  In her own blog, she writes about how it was discovered that she had an incompetent cervix and a cerclage procedure was scheduled on the same day that I was going to have mine…Christmas Eve.  Unfortunately for Cori, her water ended up breaking before the procedure could even take place and nothing could be done at that point to save the baby.  Reading this tragic story, I started thinking that as I was being wheeled into the operating room, this poor woman was already at the end of her journey knowing that soon she would be delivering her baby that would not even get the chance to live.  Later that evening, I was recovering from surgery with the new possibility of delivering full term babies while just a few doors down from me, Cori was holding her angel in her arms and saying goodbye.  As I near the 100 day mark, it seems like a very long time to be stuck in the hospital but I bet Cori or any other woman who has suffered a loss would gladly stay in the hospital over 200 days if it meant saving their baby’s life.  Bed rest can be a very stressful and unpleasant experience for most women, but focusing on these kind of stories can really help put things into perspective and completely change your attitude…I know it definitely changed mine.

*The song “Someone Else’s Story” is from the 1988 Broadway musical Chess which has music written by Benny Andersson and Björn Ulvaeus from ABBA with lyrics by Tim Rice.  The song is actually about a marriage coming to an end but the message in the song is that the woman experiencing this loss wishes her story was not her own.  I am sure that women who have experienced losing their baby certainly wish that this incident did not happen to them.  Originally, when I found out I would be on bed rest for several months, I really hoped that this could have been someone else’s story.  But now, I am beyond grateful that this is in fact my story after reading about countless women who were not as lucky as I.  This lesson really makes me count my blessings and be utterly thankful that I have made it 95 days in the hospital with hopefully more days to come.

On my way to surgery on Christmas Eve

 

 

“A Quiet Night at Home” – bare: A Pop Opera

17 Mar

There are certain aspects of pregnancy bed rest that are just so ironic when I think about what my new life will be like once I deliver.  I will be going from such an isolated, quiet environment to raising two newborns all at once.  Trust me, I am taking full advantage of this alone time to catch up on reading, watch all the movies in my Netflix queue, and of course write this blog.  But even with these activities to take up my time day after day, bed rest can still be a depressing experience due to the lack of human contact and solitary confinement.  Thankfully, I have created alternatives for myself by starting the Facebook group with the other moms on bed rest and also encouraging friends and family to visit.  Regardless, this experience is definitely in no way a vacation, and having this much time to myself mixed with my lack of freedom sometimes makes me feel like a prisoner.

Just think about it…there are 24 hours in each day.  If I sleep about 8 hours a night, for the remaining 16 hours I am pretty much by myself.  Yes, there will be the occasional visitor and my nurse checks in on me as well, but in general I am alone way more than the average person is on a daily basis.  Definitely a huge change from my old life where I interacted with dozens of people per day.  Being here three months now, I have gotten into a routine and this lifestyle change is not as challenging as it was before.  With a little more than a month to go I have started focusing on what life will be like outside of room 2524.

Is bed rest a nice break before the craziness of being a new parent takes over?  Or does bed rest cause more of a shock to the system going from one extreme to the next?  These four months in the hospital will soon become a blur as I spend the next 18+ years caring for these twins wishing that I could get some of that alone time back.  The bottom line is that no matter how unpleasant this solitude is sometimes, there will probably be many times in the near future when I will realize that I took it for granted.  That is the nature of the bed rest beast.

But as I think back to the many hours of time with me, myself, and I (approximately 2,088 hours at this point), the big picture looks better and better.  When I am in the thick of being alone, it is hard to get out of that funk and look on the bright side since so many thoughts and feelings take over my brain.  Although looking back, I have been very productive and many things that I was able to accomplish here, would not have been possible if I was just home living my life as a normal and busy pregnant woman.  For instance, I was able to spend good, quality time putting my baby registry together online by researching which products had the highest reviews and ruling out what were absolute necessities.  Also, I have been able to read a bunch of books on baby care which I would not have had the time for once the babies were home.  Most importantly, being alone has given me the chance to really focus on the new lives growing inside of me.  Since I am constantly laying down, I have the advantage to feel all fetal movement without any distractions.  I can just stop whatever I am doing to watch a foot protrude against my skin and feel the interactions between both babies as they fight for space and kick my ribs.  They constantly remind me that in actuality, I have never been alone since being confined to bed rest!  The twins have been with me through this entire journey and continue to remind me to focus on why I am here and not what I am missing out on in the real world.  It is way too easy to take the “woe is me” stance when put in this situation but early on I realized that was not my style nor was it productive in any way.  I have so many things to be thankful for in my life and when I finally leave this hospital, I will have two more blessings to add to the ever growing list.

*The song “A Quiet Night at Home” is from the 2004 Off-Broadway musical bare: A Pop Opera, which is a powerful musical that deals with how sexuality and religion can sometimes be at war with each other.  The main story revolves around two gay high school students in a secret relationship at Catholic boarding school and the issues that arise in their world.  The song itself is sung by the character Nadia who is the overweight sister of Jason (one of the main characters in the secret relationship with his roommate Peter).  She is often the outcast because of her looks and this song sums up her feelings about being isolated from her peers.  Like Nadia, I have been in that sad place of feeling like I was missing out on life by being stuck at the hospital.  My feelings have definitely changed as time has gone on because I put the focus on what I could control as opposed to all of the things I couldn’t.  So as I get closer to the end of my bed rest journey, I have accepted the quiet for now but fully look forward to the lack thereof once I get home with my two little rib kickers. 🙂

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Just some of the baby books I have been reading

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Quiet time with a therapy dog

“Home” – The Wiz

25 Feb

Homesickness is a very real illness and I am definitely infected with it. There are so many things I miss about being home and in my neighborhood that I keep fantasizing about what it would be like if I had a 24 hour “hall pass.” If I could leave the hospital for 24 hours and not have any of the physical limitations I am currently facing (muscle atrophy, fatigue, contractions), what sort of things would I take advantage of? With all of this time on my hands, I have deeply thought about my escape and what that day would entail.

First and foremost before any special outings, I would arrive back home and just enjoy being there. I would spend a lot of time with my cats because at this point, they probably think I am either dead or I abandoned them! After some quality time with my four legged kids, I will take that long awaited shower I keep dreaming about. I would love to take a bubble bath too but on my one day off, I want to limit the amount of lying down for obvious reasons. Once I am fully clean and rejuvenated from the shower, I will put on real clothes (not pajamas) and actually put some shoes on! Wearing my normal clothes, I will venture outside into the fresh air and just take a nice long walk in the sunshine. Not being able to go outside and only breathing air from an air conditioner is unbelievably depressing…especially when I have a window to look out of to taunt me and make me feel like a caged bird. This is probably one of the toughest things to deal with at the hospital because I do feel like a prisoner sometimes. Okay, back to my fantasy! Where was I…oh yeah, in the great outdoors. So I spend a good amount of time just walking around my neighborhood taking in the beauty of nature and doing some much needed people watching. I walk to my favorite local nail salon and get the full mani/pedi/massage treatment as a gift to myself. I loved the session I had at the hospital but nothing beats the real experience of sitting in one of those comfy chairs that massages your back the entire time. Yum!

After fulfilling my mind and body, the next order of business is taking care of my stomach with food! At the hospital, the food has gotten very repetitive and I am not enjoying ordering the same things over and over again. Plus, it never arrives very hot since there is a long path taken in order to reach my room. The same holds true for food brought in by visitors. I love getting variety with outside meals but I am constantly eating food that is luke warm or heated up by a microwave. To top it off, I have only been allowed to eat while lying in bed with a big towel draped over me for spills. Not very appetizing or comfortable. For my hospital day off, I will actually sit at a table and receive piping hot food! The first place I go…In-N-Out Burger, and I will savor every minute of it.

Now that I am fed and have gotten my fill of being outside, I will hop into my car and drive around to run errands and go shopping. This day is not about doing anything extraordinary but literally just doing the ordinary. I miss normal and part of that normal is driving to pick up the dry cleaning, stopping by Petsmart for cat food, and taking a stroll through the mall to buy clothes and eat a pretzel. You would think that on my one day off I would rush over to Disneyland, go to the theatre, or do something really exciting but honestly, it’s all about the simple things. The most simple thing being at the very end of the day, where the only lying down I want to do is on my own bed. Sleeping on a twin sized slanted hospital bed is about as uncomfortable as it sounds. Regardless of the countless hours I have spent lying in bed at the hospital, I still just want to curl up in my own bed and sleep soundly without any beeping contraction monitors waking me up. Although this entire day is simply a fantasy, I will get to do all of these things soon enough once I have delivered. Well, maybe not the sleeping soundly part once the babies come home but everything else is definitely possible. Until then, I will have to keep clicking my heels with the hopes that I will soon be back home.

*The song “Home” is from the 1975 Broadway musical The Wiz which is a unique retelling of The Wizard of Oz way before Wicked came along. The Wiz was then made into a movie in 1978 starring Diana Ross as Dorothy and Michael Jackson as the Scarecrow. This was one of my favorite movies growing up which I watched on Betamax…yes Betamax, not VHS. This song in the show is the closing number where Dorothy is about to go back home after experiencing her amazing journey through Oz. She reflects on what she has learned, how she has grown, and how much she will appreciate her life back in Kansas. In a way, I am in my own kind of Oz, far away from home facing challenges and making new friends. Like Dorothy, I want nothing more than to go home and be in my familiar surroundings again. My husband actually gave me the idea for this blog post because he asked me what I would do if I had one day to go back to my former life. This song popped into my head and I started thinking about how Dorothy felt being stuck in Oz. Like Dorothy, I also realize that there is no place like home and thankfully, soon that home will include two little munchkins!

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There's no place like home...with Milo

“My Funny Valentine” – Babes in Arms

19 Feb

At this point, I have already celebrated many holidays here at the hospital, but they did have to be modified due to the circumstances. For instance, my Hanukkah menorah was made up of electric candles instead of real ones, I didn’t drink any champagne on New Year’s Eve, and most importantly, my awesome “Dirty Thirty” travel birthday plans were completely cancelled. Now with Valentine’s Day on the horizon, I knew this February 14th would be very different from all of the ones before. Even so, my husband and I both had plans to make this Valentine’s Day as normal as possible and use it as another excuse to express our love for one another.

Before I get into the festivities, there were some major developments that happened the day before. Out of the blue I started having lots of contractions which was strange because there was not anything that I was doing differently with my activity level. I was still just lying in bed 99% of the day. About two weeks prior, my doctor did take me off of the anti-contraction medication I was on since my amniotic fluid levels were getting low, and that was a possible side effect from the meds. They were monitoring me closely to make sure that the fluid levels went back to normal, which they did, and that I was not having any more contractions. Everything was going just fine until February 13th when my contractions kicked into high gear. I have never been able to feel any of these contractions for whatever reason but they show up on the contraction monitor and alert the nurses that there is an issue. One or two contractions every couple of hours is not a big deal, but on Monday they jumped up to nine per hour! It was a good thing that I was not able to feel them because they were not very intense but the frequency was concerning because quantity could be dangerous regardless of the level of intensity. I was started on a new anti-contraction medication that night which gave me a lot of unpleasant side effects. The side effects did not hurt the babies at all but they made me very uncomfortable while my body was getting used to this new drug. In addition, I now had to be woken up to take the medication every six hours so at midnight and 6:00am my sleep was interrupted. Other than being woken up to take the medication, every time I was having contractions, the nurse would come in to wake me up to empty my bladder to help stop the contractions. If your bladder is full, there is less room for the uterus and contractions are more likely to occur until the bladder is emptied. Overall, this new fiasco meant very little sleep for me and more importantly a fear that this complication could get worse.

The next day after barely sleeping, Brett came by in the morning and surprised me with two bouquets of roses, balloons, and wall decorations for my room. He brought me an amazing gift as well which was one of our wedding pictures blown up onto a canvas. I cried when I opened it because it was so thoughtful and beautiful. I had already given Brett his gift the week before since all of my shopping had to be done online and shipped out. I ordered him a Burke Williams Spa gift card so that he can have some relaxation between taking care of me, the kitties, the bills, the apartment, etc. So far, my Valentine’s Day was pretty awesome considering the circumstances. He left for work and then came back in the evening with take-out from Buca Di Beppo which was so much better than the usual hospital cafeteria food. Luckily, throughout the day, the medication had started to work with me having less contractions than before but still not as few as when I was on the first medication. Regardless of this new scary situation, I just focused on enjoying the holiday and visualizing my uterus calming down so that I could get another couple of months to have these babies cook. I never imagined that our last Valentine’s Day without kids would be like this but in the end, we made the best of it and now we can look forward to sharing this holiday with our twins in the years to come.

*The song “My Funny Valentine” is from the 1937 Broadway musical Babes in Arms by Rogers & Hart. This song became a very famous standard after being in the show and most people today don’t even know that it originated from this early musical. For me, this song represents how even though you may not have the most perfect Valentine or Valentine’s Day, it really doesn’t matter because love is what is truly important. I did have a “funny” Valentine’s Day with not being able to go out on a real date with my husband and being stuck in bed with scary contractions, but we made it work. This whole bed rest experience has been about adapting to change and embracing it instead of getting upset that expectations have been skewed. Just one more life lesson to work on by the time the twins arrive.

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These put a smile on my face

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Our wedding photo on canvas