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Shannon's twin pregnancy journal

Week 31

August 9 ~ I started out this week on a hopeful note. When I had the last ultrasound, my perinatologist told me he would consider doing an amnio on Abi when I reached 32 weeks to see if her lungs were mature. If the results were favorable, we could set a date for the c-section. The possibility of having an actual date to shoot for helped me stand the thought of staying in the hospital longer. Also, my mother promised to come down from Michigan and spend a few days with me. She planned to return on the day of my c-section (being more optimistic than myself, she had no doubt I would deliver soon after the amnio results came back). Mom showed up on Tuesday, as promised. Her visit was so uplifting--she gave me backrubs and even painted my toenails! She stayed until Thursday morning and I was sad to see her leave, but I had something else to look forward to.

Thursday night, Peter planned to come down and bring an air mattress so that we could sleep next to each other for the first time in nearly five weeks. We'd celebrated (yeah, right) our first wedding anniversary on August 10th and Peter brought in a wonderful dinner but he went home afterward. This night, I would be next to him all night long, almost like home. I couldn't wait for him to arrive.

Unfortunately, things started to fall apart just hours before I expected him. My nurse of the moment came into my room around 7:30 PM and told me I was being moved to another floor because my insurance company refused to continue to pay for the room I was in. Although I was technically in the Perinatal Intensive Care Unit (PICU), Peter and I were repeatedly told we were not being charged the PICU rate after the first 10 days or so because my condition was stable and I required less care. It turned out that someone had forgotten to inform the hospital billing office and my insurance company continued to be billed $1,800.00 a day for a Labor & Delivery room in the PICU! Considering that the regular maternity rooms are $300.00 per day, it's no wonder they refused to pay! But it wasn't the billing issues that made me so upset; it was the way everything was being disrupted. As much as I hated staying in the hospital, that room had become my home over the past weeks. The nurses had become my friends. I didn't want to have to start all over again with a new room and new faces. Not to mention that I wouldn't be moved until 11:30 PM because the room was still occupied. How were Peter and I supposed to have our night together amidst all that upheaval? I was still crying when Peter arrived.

If there is one thing that Peter hasn't been able to stand during this entire ordeal, it's seeing me upset or in pain. He is a man who was born to solve problems and get things done. It tears him apart that there have been so many things that he could not fix. When he came into my room and found out what was going on, he was determined this would not be one of those things he couldn't fix. The hospital staff never had a chance! Phone calls were made and people were summoned. My doctor on call was paged and Peter had him on the phone at midnight. A patient representative appeared in my room. It was finally determined that I would not be moved that night. It was after 1:00 AM when Peter inflated the air mattress. I had only 2 hours of bliss lying next to him before the damn mattress deflated and I was forced back to my hospital bed! So much for our wonderful night together . . . sigh.

Friday, August 14 ~ The next morning was spent trying to straighten out the situation. It was determined that it would take several days to untangle the mess. In the meantime, I reluctantly agreed to be moved (after being told we would be responsible for the added charges if I remained there). After packing all of my things myself (including my computer . . . and I was supposed to be on total bed rest??), I found myself in a TINY room on the first floor (aqua, rather than pink) surrounded by all new faces. After only a short time, it felt like the walls were closing in, and I called Peter and begged him to take me home. He had previously checked with our insurance company, and they said if I left against medical advice, our entire claim would be disallowed. We would be responsible for more than $60,000.00 in room charges alone. He called the insurance company again and explained what was going on. He was told that exceptions are sometimes made but the decision had to come from the main office and would take a few days. So I was stuck. In spite of orders from my doctor that allowed me to be in a wheelchair for only two forty-five minute periods a day, I spent most of the day outside on the patio.

Friday night, Peter brought the kids down to see me. There wasn't enough space for everyone in my new room, so we took them outside. Before they went home, they wheeled me back to my room. Earlier in the day, I had noticed that my abdomen and belly seemed more tender than usual. When I got up from the wheelchair this time, I could barely stand up straight. Thinking it was just stretching and pulling from another baby growth spurt, it didn't seem important enough to mention to Peter or my nurses. During the night, the pain gradually grew worse. I was so tired that I kept drifting off, in spite of the fact that I couldn't get comfortable. I woke up many times moaning and thinking it might be a good idea to ask for a muscle relaxer. For some reason, it never occurred to me to push my call button.

Saturday, August 15 ~ Finally, at 6:00 AM, my nurse came in to put me on the baby heartbeat monitor, and I got up to use the bathroom first. What a shock to discover I was bleeding heavily! It didn't really sink in at first. I was back in bed and hooked up to the monitor when my nurse asked if I'd slept well. I told her what kind of night I'd had and as an after thought, mentioned that I was bleeding. She took a look at the monitor and saw that I was also contracting. That's when the "fun" began.

I was taken, bed and all, back up to the second floor. My old room was already occupied so I was placed in another room. First, Dr. T. came in. He checked out my bleeding and my belly and asked a few questions. I was in such pain at that time that I could barely talk to him. Then another one of the docs on call came in and repeated what Dr. T. had done. Then one of my favorite nurses came in. She told me she'd been sent in order to give her opinion on my condition. I thought that was pretty funny. All of those doctors and they had to send in a nurse? Someone from the lab came to draw blood.

At some point, I'd been given an injection of pain medication and I was drifting a little when the perinatologist came in. He examined me and asked a few questions as well. He left the room and returned minutes (I think) later. "We're going to do it," he said. "Do what?" I asked, stupidly. "We're going to deliver those babies," he answered. Once again I started to cry. "It's too soon!" "Your white cell count is going up. You have a low-grade fever. Your abdomen is very tender. These are all signs that you are infected. You're also in active labor, and you're bleeding. We need to get the babies out before they go bad," he explained. I was too scared to argue, and he gave orders for me to be prepped for an emergency c-section.

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