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Shannon's twin pregnancy journal

Week Nine
~ Be Careful What You Wish For

March 16 ~ While Peter was gone for five days, I had given this pregnancy thing a lot of thought. I decided the next several months would go much smoother if I made up my mind to just relax and enjoy it. Peter had always told me that he thought pregnant women were so beautiful and sexy since they are "full of life." I happened to think I looked tired, sick and rather unattractive, but hey, I was willing to let him have his own opinions! He was relieved when I told him I'd rather have a baby than a nine-month panic attack. Unfortunately, I spoke too soon . . .

March 19 ~ Peter arrived home from a two-day trip to Canada (just days after his return from the five-day trip). All I could think about was how my nausea had eased up, and I was more than ready to "make up for lost time" with my husband. He'd been home less than half an hour, and I was making dinner when the bleeding started. I grabbed the phone and called Dr. A.'s office only to learn he was out of town that whole week. A machine instructed me to call the hospital for advice. I was told to come in immediately. Since dinner was only half finished and one of our sons had a friend over, we couldn't both just leave. Peter told me to "GO!" and said he'd be there as soon as he could. I called a friend in town and picked her up on the way there so I wouldn't be alone.

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Once again, I was not thrilled with this hospital. First, there was construction going on and the door to the ER had been changed but they neglected to put up signs telling how to get there. We parked near a door, had to ask someone how to get there and Kelly, my friend, practically carried me through the hospital. Where's a wheelchair when you need one? Next, the ER receptionist couldn't decide if I should go to OB or be seen there. She decided to call up to OB to check, while I stood there bleeding and crying. Since I wasn't very far along, they decided the ER was a better choice and FINALLY took me to a room where I could lie down. The OB who was covering for my doctor wasn't in the hospital, so the ER doc had to consult him by phone. It seemed to take forever for them to get started examining me. I heard the words, "threatened miscarriage" several times, and they ripped through me like a knife. Every time I got up to use the bathroom, I could feel the blood gush. I wanted to be anywhere but there, doing anything but that.

An internal exam showed that my cervix was still closed and that was a good sign. The doctor commented that I was "large for dates." I just figured it was all that leftover "baby fat" from my previous five pregnancies. My blood was drawn and my red blood count was good, so I wasn't yet in danger of bleeding to death (I wanted to know about HCG levels, but no one would listen to me). They couldn't find a heartbeat with the Doppler but it was still quite early. Peter suddenly arrived, and I felt a little better with him there. I demanded an ultrasound and the ER doc had to consult with the OB by phone again. It was decided that an ultrasound was the next logical step. I asked Kelly to wait in the room with my things and off Peter and I went.

Shannon's Twins!The tech was the same one who'd done the first ultrasound. I would have crawled off the table and ripped out her throat if she tried to turn the screen away from me this time! But she just rolled the gurney right in front of the monitor and proceeded to prep me for an abdominal scan. I was prepared to see the image of my disintegrating baby on the screen. At first, she ran the scanner over my belly so fast that all I could see was tracking and double images on the screen. Then she slowed, paused, stopped, and the double images were still there! "Why does it look like there's two things there?", I wondered aloud. "Because there are!", she laughingly replied. Peter screamed, "TWINS!" and I burst into hysterical sobs. It was bad enough to be losing one baby, I couldn't bare the thought of losing TWO. But she pointed out that they were moving and the heartbeats were strong (176 and 180 beats per minute). I tried to see clearly through my tears but had left my glasses in the other room. Then I remembered Kelly, "She's going to kill me for making her miss THIS!" Peter went to get her at the tech's urging. When she walked into the room, the tech made sure the monitor was full of BABIES. Kelly's mouth fell open and she squealed, "What did you DO???" Hmmm, exactly what I was thinking!

The OB arrived at the hospital after learning about my twins. He decided not to examine me himself since the first exam had been quite painful. He told me there wasn't anything they could do at that point and we could only "wait and see." I was given the choice of being admitted to the hospital for observation until my doctor returned or sent home on bedrest with instructions to return if anything changed. The bleeding slowed after I'd been given a vaginal ultrasound so I decided I'd be more comfortable at home. If I had stayed, I would have demanded an ultrasound every half-hour just to prove to myself that there were TWO in there and they were still okay. My regularly scheduled doctor's appointment was on Monday morning, so I told myself I just had to make it through the weekend. Somehow, I thought everything would be fine if my babies were still alive on Monday.

The weekend ~ By Saturday morning, the bleeding had pretty much stopped, just a trace of spotting when I used the bathroom. I needed some things from the store (larger underwear, comfortable bras) and Peter and I thought it would be okay to do some shopping as long as I took it easy. Two stores later and we'd come up empty handed for what I was looking for. I didn't want to push it, so we went home. Within hours, the bleeding had picked up a little and I was having horrible cramps in my back as well as contractions. I thought about going back to the hospital, remembered what they said about "nothing we can do" and decided to head for bed with a heating pad and Tylenol.

Sunday, the pain started easing and I was up at my computer, frantically searching for information on twins, bleeding in pregnancy, premature labor, anything I could find that would give me the slightest ray of hope. I placed an online order for three books on pregnancy with twins. I called my mom and told her about the twins and she laughed. Although she was seriously concerned about the well-being of the babies, she reminded me of what I always said when I was frustrated with my three children. I would yell at the top of my lungs, "I NEED SIX MORE KIDS!" I gained four kids when I married Peter in August, the twins would make it an even six! Hmmm…guess there's truth to the old adage, "Be careful what you wish for."

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