Our excitement this week started on wednesday when I began having regular contractions, 10 minutes apart. It kicked us into gear packing hospital bags and Drew even installed the car seats. We had an appointment with our OB that morning who checked on both babies (who were looking great!) and found I was still 0 centimeters dilated. Good news. Because of their size, she told us we would be ok to use the community hospital in the event of an early delivery as there is little likelihood of needing a high-level neonatal intensive care unit. More good news!
She sent us home with instructions to call her later that day (“I’ll be hearing from you in the next 6 hours and then you can head to the hospital”) and we were giddy with the thought of meeting our little ones so soon, if not that day then certainly be the end of the week!
We stopped for a celebratory lunch at the only place that sounded palatable: TCBY (because come on. when does that not sound good?) and slurped melty frozen yogurt while grinning at each other like fools. It was gorgeous in Chicago that day, upper 50s and sunny and everything was so cheery. I spent the afternoon timing contractions and trying to get comfortable and Drew worked from home. We had an apartment viewing planned for later that evening and I decided to go along since there hadn’t been a marked increase in intensity over the afternoon and hey, if we were headed to the hospital anyway, why not help things along!
The apartment was amazing and I’m happy to report that our application was accepted and we will be moving in next weekend! I wish I had taken a few photos but I was just a smidge distracted. 🙂 But, it’s a two bed/two bath condo with a gorgeous washer and dryer that just makes my heart sing! We’ll be on the first floor with a little patio that opens into a shared lawn with a picnic table and space to run. I can already imagine chubby toddler legs a year from now climbing over snow banks, and the picnics to come whenever spring decides to sneak in!
Such a huge answer to prayer. Drew and I are both struggling to know how to celebrate provision and peace after such a long season of hardship and confusion and doubt. I’m finding myself in need of a theology of joy and abundance just as much as I needed a more robust way of processing God’s movement (or seeming lack thereof) a year ago as we lost Selah, job and school prospects fell through and doubt was pressing in. How can we faithfully and joyfully embrace this good season with a genuine peace and expectant hope? Something to ponder. Wisdom welcomed!
Anyway, although the excursion ramped up my contractions, by 10pm they had spaced waaaaay out and weren’t nearly as intense. That continued through thursday (when Kendra dropped in for dinner and I dramatically said “next time I see you, I could have babies in my arms!) and most of Friday. We had tickets to a Josh Ritter concert downtown last night and decided we may as well go after encouragement from our midwives that all we can do is respond to what my body is doing, taking it easy but not hiding away in fear of triggering contractions. Drew wisely suggested we try to find parking in the city rather than commute by transit and I jokingly printed off directions from the venue to the hospital, just in case…
The concert was fabulous, with a wonderful opening set by Gregory Alan Iskaov who nearly lulled us into the sweetest dream. The venue was 4th Pres downtown and we listened while watching city lights illuminate stained glass saints and cast shadows on regal angels perched at the high curves of the vaulted ceiling.
Then Josh took the stage and kept things simple and sweet with acoustic renditions of his most beloved tunes. He is a fantastic and down to earth performer, I highly recommend attending on of his concerts if you ever get the chance! There’s something about his love for creating music and the storytelling of his lyrics that is honest and genuine and so far from the pop-hipster ambitions of so much of the folksy music we listen to.
My contractions had begun coming back over the last few hours, despite the relaxing music and propped-up feet and I realized they were starting to come every 5-6 minutes. Drew and I finally had to duck out back and decide what to do. I couldn’t sit quietly through the contractions on a hard wooden pew but I felt sort of silly calling my OB at 10pm to report I was out enjoying the city a bit too much and brought back my contractions. But, I called and she told me to head directly to the hospital and assured me there was nothing to feel silly about. So off we went! Good thing I printed those directions. 🙂
We spent over 4 hours in a triage room while the doctors monitored babies and contractions and tried to form a game plan. Although I was having regular contractions, I was only 50% effaced and just a half centimeter dilated. More good news! They did a few other tests to determine if an infection was contributing to this early early labor or if one or both of the twins’ bags had begun separating from the uterus. (If this is TMI, please feel free to skip ahead. I just find it so interesting!) That test came back negative as well which means I have a good chance of holding off on delivery for at least the next week if not more.
Still, it was concerning to the doctors that my body continued to try to kick itself into labor so early. I got the first of two steroid shots to help mature the twins lungs in the event that labor does somehow arrive in full force in the next week, or if something were to cause distress for one of the twins requiring a C-section.
Isn’t it just amazing what medicine can do? We have been trying to learn about and approach pregnancy from a natural, more simple perspective and it has been so good, but I am also so thankful for the advancements of medicine that can help give our little people a fighting chance in scary situations.
We were finally discharged around 3:30 in the morning with instructions to come back whenever things escalate. I feel more confident knowing what to look for and grateful for the doctor who told me he’d rather I come in 100 times with pre-term labor than not come in the one time they were actually ready to arrive. Everyone was so encouraging and kind, even at such a late hour. Way to go, West Suburban Medical Center!
So now I’m home and contracting and hopeful we can ride this out at least until I hit 34 weeks and the risks drop way down. I was encouraged to keep activity to a minimum, not as strict bed-rest, but understanding that even a short ten minute walk from car to concert was enough to amp things up. Although the boredom and loneliness of being stuck at home are starting to wear on me, after a sleepless several hours in the hospital, I’m grateful I can be in my own bed again and off those dang monitors!
But, this has been a novel. I hope it satisfies any nosy impulses (which I completely support as I have developed a deep love for reading the detailed blogs of other pregnant ladies. But, maybe that’s just me and my shut-in boredom.) 🙂
Thank you all for your prayers and encouraging words through these ups and downs – we are so grateful!