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Shannon's twin pregnancy journal

Week Nineteen
~ Uneventful? What's that?. . .

May 25 ~ Another, nice, uneventful week here. Well, aside from spending the wee hours of Memorial Day in my friendly neighborhood ER, that is. Sharp pain in the left side of my chest started Sunday morning and became unbearable by Sunday night. By the time Peter and I arrived at the hospital, I was having trouble breathing. In spite of feeling miserable and scared, I was impressed with the ER staff this visit. Just say the words "chest pain" and watch everyone jump. Within minutes, I was hooked up to a cardiac monitor and someone was yelling for nail polish remover to clean off one of my nails so they could attach a blood oxygen monitor to my finger (bummer, I'd just done my nails on Saturday and they really looked great). Anyhow, I was subjected to a chest x-ray (babies well shielded, of course), an EKG, oxygen via my nose, and sticks to both wrists (the right one clotted too fast) for arterial blood gas check. Final diagnoses? Bronchial pneumonia and pleurisy (the doctor tells me this has been called "Devil's Grip" because of the severe pain it causes) . . . oh, and don't forget conjunctivitis to boot! Because of the pleurisy, I couldn't breathe deep enough to get enough oxygen and was given two Tylenol 3's for the pain. No relief in sight. A shot of Demerol helped a little (but made me violently sick to my stomach by the time I got home) and I was released with a handful of prescriptions . . . more antibiotics, drops for my eyes and Percocet for the pain. My immune system seems to have abandoned me in my pregnant state.

Within a few days, I began to feel better. Peter reluctantly left Monday afternoon on a business trip, leaving me alone with the kids until Wednesday evening. That was fun. Life doesn't stop just because mom is sick. I had to go out Monday night to pick up fast food for the kids' dinner. I had to get kids off to school on Tuesday and take my oldest to the doctor's that afternoon (tonsillitis, probably from whatever hit me). I actually cooked dinner Tuesday night, but ordered pizza on Wednesday. By Thursday, I was feeling well enough to make the trip down to Dayton for my scheduled appointment with Dr. T.

May 28 ~ There was a mix-up with my appointment, Dr. T. wasn't in and I was mistakenly scheduled to see the nurse practitioner. Actually, it turned out well because I was able to ask her a few questions while I was waiting for another doctor to free up some time to see me. My records had finally arrived from my previous doctor and the nurse was looking through them. I asked her about her about the first ultrasound that I'd had at 4.5 weeks. She found it and began to read aloud from the report (I can't remember the exact wording, but I'll give you the general idea) . . .

  • Finding 1: One gestational sac in the uterine cavity with fetal pole visible, measuring 4.5-5 weeks, too early for visible cardiac activity

  • Finding 2: What is believed to be a second, smaller gestational sac in the uterine cavity

  • Finding 3: A small amount of separated placental tissue, with evidence of a placental bleed

  • Recommendations: follow-up ultrasound and monitoring of HCG levels
I was stunned! If you remember, I had the distinct feeling something was wrong when they did that ultrasound. The following week, when I went into Dr. A's office and demanded to know what the results were, I was told, "Your ultrasound looks great. Everything looks just as it should be." GREAT? JUST AS IT SHOULD BE? What's great and normal about having a second, SMALLER gestational sac as well as having lost a portion of what was already a very tiny placenta at that point? What gives any of them (the ultrasound tech, the radiologist, the doctor and the nurse) the right to lie to me? Why were the radiologist's recommendations never followed (I only had a second ultrasound a month later because of the severe bleeding and my HCG levels were NEVER checked at all, much less monitored)? I'm sure I will never have any answers to these questions. But you can be sure that I will be reporting this doctor's incompetence and making every attempt to warn others away from this man masquerading as a "specialist in high risk pregnancies."

On the bright side, my babies were too active for Dr. I. (another really nice doc!) to get an accurate count of their heart rates so I got to have a quick ultrasound. My little boy was lying in the breech position and my little girl was above and transverse, busily kicking her brother in the head! He didn't seem to mind, as he contentedly sucked his thumb. WOW, when I consider what these tiny kids have been through already, I have to believe that they're going to come through just fine. Just like their mom, they "take a lickin' and keep on tickin'!"

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