Friday marked 40 days of bed rest and 40 days more to go to meet my goal. It was my busiest day on bed rest so far with lots of ups and downs. It was also the first time I had to ride in a wheel chair. Rich was a very good driver and only exceeded the speed limit a few times and kept asking if I was buckled in.
To start with, my brother was here for the week and it is astounding to me how much he reminds me of Papa. He has the same sense of humor, same toes (second one longer than the first) is interested in things that I remember my Papa doing when I was little and Papa was the same age as Isaac is now like making granola, baking bread, and concocting ingenious ways to fool the birds into not eating his tomato plants. He also loves the Austin Farmer’s Market and brought all kinds of food with him from the market. This is just a sampling of what he made me for dinner one night: Grilled filet wrapped in bacon, golden beets with lemon butter, kale and beet greens with balsamic vinegar, tomato mozzarella salad, and cheese ravioli with homemade pesto.
No wonder I’m right on track with my weight gain. It’s very good for the babies but very bad for the size of my thighs. I also started on another medication to help with the heartburn because this past week I had been so miserable with heartburn that it was making me not want to eat or drink anything which is terrible because dehydration is one of things that can stimulate labor. We’ll see how it works.
On to the more exciting baby news…
On Friday I saw my perinatologist followed by the cardiologist. The weights this week are:
Baby A- 3 lbs 8 oz (and very long)
Baby B- 2 lbs, 15 oz
Baby C- 3 lbs, 6 oz
The weight of baby B freaked me out a little bit because it looked like she hadn’t grown from last week but he said that given the measurements from last week were done by a different sonographer and different machine at a different office the measurements can vary. As it is, the weights they give me are estimates that can be off by as much as 8 oz because they are based on such things as head and abdomen circumference and femur length. So, he was not worried about the weights as long as it looks like they ALL are growing. All the babies are so tangled up and one is behind the other two they had a heck of a time just getting measurements so I think the days of alien-looking claymation baby pictures are over. We are just going to have to wait until they are born.
They also think I possibly have something called intrahepatic cholestatis of pregnancy (ICP) which is causing all the terrible itching on my arms and shoulders.
“ICP is a pregnancy-related liver disorder in which there are abnormalities in the flow of bile (a substance produced by the liver that aids in the digestion and absorption of fats). These abnormalities lead to a build-up of bile acids (components of bile) in the mother's blood, resulting in symptoms such as severe skin itching.”
This makes sense given all my previous problems with my gall bladder and stones in my bile duct. Anyway, there is a medication which I have opted not to take and try to manage the symptoms with aloe, cortisone cream and Benadryl if I can’t sleep. Sometimes it can impact the babies but they are not worried because I’m monitored so closely. It typically goes away within a few days of delivery.
My perinatologist thought that they way everything looked on Friday it was possible that I could make it until July- that is until he checked my cervix. It has shortened from the previous week and I was having a bit of funneling which made all of us nervous. He consulted with my OB and decided the best thing was to give me a set a steroid shots that day and the next to help mature the babies’ lung development in case anything unexpected happened in the next two weeks.
The shots have to be done at Labor and Delivery at the hospital but first I had to go to my appointment with the cardiologist. Again they did an echocardiogram on each of the babies’ hearts to look for any new problems and to see if the VSD’s (hole in the wall between the right and left ventricle) on Baby B and C that I had talked about before had closed. Baby B just has a “pinhole” sized hole and he said he would be “shocked” if it didn’t close before birth and then we would be done with that problem. The hole in Baby C is much smaller than last time and he expected it would still be present at birth but very small and didn’t anticipate any problems. Again, because of the small size he thought it would completely close on its own within a few years with no interventions. And everything else in all the hearts looked great so he didn’t anticipate that we could have any additional cardiac issues that can sometimes be associated with multiples or birth before full term. So that was all great news.
By this point I was exhausted so I had my first of my wheelchair rides of the weekend back to car. We went back to the house, said good-bye to Isaac because was headed back to Austin, picked up my mom and headed to the hospital for my steroid shots. That was my first experience in Labor & Delivery (L&D) which I think is very lucky given that I’m already 30 ½ weeks pregnant. Even though all I needed was shots, per protocol they had to get a strip of all the heartbeats and my contraction pattern for 20 minutes which was quite a feat. It took 20 to 30 minutes alone to even get the monitors on in the right place and ensure they weren’t tracking the same baby. All the heartbeats looked great, I had no contractions, got a big old shot in the butt and I was back in my wheelchair to the car in less than 2 hours.
And that was just Friday...