today, tomorrow, and the next day

squashAs of today, Christine has been in the hospital for six weeks. Tomorrow is the 32nd week of the pregnancy. The day after tomorrow is New Year’s Eve – and the twins’ birthday.

We’re scheduled for a Caesarian section at 8am. C-sections tend to be pretty quick procedures. By 9, the girls will be born and I’ll be a dad twice over – a daddad.

The girls likely won’t be home until mid to late February (around the 40-week mark), so we have a while to go. But I’m still marveling at the passage of time. When we found out in September that we were having a monoamniotic pregnancy, it felt like the next months would be interminable. And it was long and tough and I do have a few new gray hairs.

But the pregnancy has also been quick. We didn’t know that Christine was pregnant for the first several weeks. That cut down on the first trimester. And, because the C-section is happening at 32 weeks, the third trimester is shorter as well. The second trimester was the only one we experienced fully.

And we rushed the pregnancy along, praying to make it to 20 weeks, to 26 weeks, to December and 28 weeks, to 30 weeks, and finally to 32 weeks. When Christine entered the hospital at 26 weeks, we started crossing each day off on the calendar. Soon we’ll be praying that the twins make it through their time in the NICU without any lasting issues and crossing off the days on a new calendar.

One of my hopes for 2015 is for the luxury of being able to be in the moment instead of straining for the next goal.

Everything is awesome

Everything has been going really well since Christine got into the hospital, health-wise.

I think the most dangerous thing with the pregnancy right now is driving to visit Christine in the hospital, but I’m doing my best to be careful. I might write more about that later, but it really feels extra important to drive safely now.

It’s like college

On Monday, Christine went into the hospital. We had gone back and forth between going in at 26 weeks and going in at 28, and after our ultrasound on Monday (just shy of the 26-week mark), we decided to go in. The ultrasound showed that the girls were doing well, but that the cervical shortening had continued. So we went in. The first two days were hard. We were having good tests, but it’s scary to be in the hospital and it’s hard to be apart. And it has been difficult for me to juggle housework, a full-time job, taking care of our dog (Rae the Magnificent), and visits to the hospital.

We decided that Rae should go stay with my parents for a little bit. Mom and Dad live in a rural area, so Rae will get to smell interesting things, bark at cows, chase squirrels, and (because my parents heat by wood), zonk out in front of a wood stove. These are all top-notch things for dogs. Honestly, they sound pretty great to me too.

Christine is at a great hospital, in a special maternal care unit, and is being well cared for. Her room is about the size of my first apartment. She went in on Monday and I visited her on Wednesday and Thursday and we video chatted on the other days. Visiting her in the hospital reminds me of visiting her in her college dorm. There’s even a cafeteria. And everyone I see when I visit is female, just like in her college dorm (she went to a women’s college).

Tonight, my parents are coming to take Rae, and then I’ll spend the night at the hospital with Christine, for the first time. Her room has a couch that turns into a bed. Okay, I guess it’s a futon. It’s a nice futon though.

Hospital

Yesterday, Christine moved into the hospital. Going into the hospital this early is the best practice for monoamniotic twins and we think it’s the right thing to do, but it’s pretty scary. It means that the girls could be delivered at any time (via c-section). Birth at 26 weeks isn’t as rough as it once was, but it’s still not ideal. We’re taking things a day at a time, but have our sights set on December – 28 weeks. Birth at 28 weeks is much better than 26.

Things are going pretty well right now and we’re hoping that will continue.

It had been wonderful to hear from friends and family near and far. Thanks for all the love and support!

PS – Yesterday was 26 weeks. Apparently, we had the dates wrong.

26 weeks!

Yesterday, we reached 26 weeks, a big milestone! Christine will be going into the hospital in two weeks and staying until the babies are delivered, hopefully about a month later.

These next two weeks are a bit scary. They’re the last two weeks of limited observation – limited observation means more opportunities for things to go wrong and go unseen. They’re also the last two weeks before successful delivery of two healthy babies becomes quite likely.

Our minister has been really wonderful. We’re going to be missing services for the next few weeks at least and he’s coming over to give us a private service. He’s also going to supply us with Advent readings for when we’re in the hospital. And we’ve been added to the prayer list. We’re really grateful for and comforted by this.

Thanks to everyone else keeping us in their thoughts and prayers.

Update

We had another ultrasound yesterday and it was a bit disappointing. The girls are doing well, but Christine’s cervix has shortened back to what it was two weeks ago. 🙁

On the other hand, Christine’s mom visited us for a few days and got to see the girls for the first time.

Keep us in your thoughts and prayers please.

Ultrasound update

So, we got some not great news at the ultrasound appointment referenced in the last post. Christine’s cervical shortening continued and she was given a prescription and placed on bed rest. This was a bit demoralizing – one more thing to worry about on top of everything else that is worrisome about monoamniotic twins.

Bed rest is also not as much fun as it might seem. A few hours of vegging out on the couch is nice every now and then, but when it’s all day for the foreseeable future, its side-effects include irritability, cabin fever, and addiction to River Monsters on Netflix. For me, Christine’s bed rest has meant taking care of all household chores and doing all the dog-walking on top of work. The toughest of these is walking the dog. I leave for work before 9 and don’t get home until after 6, so that’s a long time for poor Rae to be inside. Luckily, my commute is only 14 minutes (come on, you know the exact number of minutes your commute takes too, don’t you?), so I’ve been able to come home during my lunch break to give the dog a quick walk, check in on Christine, and get back to work. But some days are very tiring. I suppose this is good practice.

So that was what happened last week. It was hard for Christine to be on bed rest, tiring for me to take on all the chores, and nerve-wracking for both of us to wait 7 days to find out if the treatment would improve the cervical shortening. If the shortening continued, we could have a real problem on our hands.

However, we had another ultrasound on Tuesday and got good news. Christine’s cervix hasn’t gotten worse since last week and has even gotten a bit longer. It looks like her cervix may be dynamic – that is, it changes length. She’s still on bed rest and will be until after the twins arrive, but it’s a big relief.

Not only that, we’re past (as of 20 weeks) the most dangerous part of the pregnancy in terms of cord entanglement and the twins’ cords are looking great! No issues at all! And they’re both about 1 pound now, which is pretty good for twins, so good news all around!

Ultrasound Nerves

We have another ultrasound today (we’re getting them weekly now), and I am nervous. We’re past the most dangerous part of the mono mono pregnancy, so I should really try to relax, but it’s not happening. Every time we go in, I worry we’ll get terrible news and have to say goodbye to the girls. I haven’t officially met the girls yet, but I’m already pretty fond of the little squirts, so the idea of saying goodbye is dreadful.

Last week, we discovered that we’re having cervical shortening, which is pretty normal, but not this early. As is the theme of this pregnancy, there’s nothing we can do, but we did Google it. That’s usually not a great idea (but with two librarians as the parents, it’s going to happen), but it was actually reassuring this time. We found posts from a few mono mono moms who reported having cervical shortening early and who still had successful pregnancies. I think one or two even made it to 32 weeks, which is our goal.

But I’m worried that we’ll get bad cervical news. Hopefully we get good news.

Think good thoughts, please! Well update on the ultrasound later.