As most of you know by now, I came home yesterday around noon. What most of you don't know (because I forgot to include it in my last pre-op post) is that my mom was able to take time off to be with me for my surgery! Ted and I were so glad that she could come; it was exactly what I needed in order to feel completely serene and prepared. She flew in on Thursday afternoon and we did a little last-minute shopping to make sure I had everything I needed for my little "vacation." Then she stayed up with me until midnight so that I could eat and drink until the very last minute (I knew the babies would be so mad at me in the morning when I wasn't allowed to eat breakfast or even have a sip of water, so I wanted to keep them happy for as long as possible).
After a great night's sleep, I was completely ready to go. I got a nice surprise in the triage room when quad mom Jen showed up. She offered some firsthand advice, encouragement, and a prayer, all of which were greatly appreciated. Shortly after she left, they wheeled me into the OR (a little earlier than expected, but I didn't mind). They gave me my epidural and then did a quick ultrasound to make sure all the babies still had heartbeats (they did). The first epidural didn't take, so they gave me another one. Because my uterus had grown so much in the four days since my last appointment, the doctor had them wheel the ultrasound machine back in so that he could see where the top of my uterus was now, to verify that he could still get away with a horizontal cut rather than a vertical one (he could, whew!). The resident who was assisting him commented that I am measuring at 20 weeks, 7 weeks ahead of singleton schedule. Because of these detours, the actual TAC didn't get underway until probably closer to 2pm.
The rest of the procedure, which lasted a little over an hour, seemed to go off without a hitch. I had no pain from the actual surgery, although I did have what they call "referred pain" in my upper arm (not pleasant, but not the worst thing in the world). When all was said and done, the doctor told me that my uterus was "very conducive" before heading to the waiting area to tell my family that I'd lost only 6 tablespoons of blood (fantastic, considering how much the babies need every ounce of blood in my body) and that I had "the perfect anatomy" for this type of procedure (I'll take that as a compliment).
I was in recovery for about an hour, during which we got to see another ultrasound of the babies, kicking around and being more active than ever. I used the morphine pump a few times to relieve the burning sensation in my incision, and then I was wheeled to Room 237, my home for the weekend. I clicked the morphine pump once more (kind of out of habit, I think); I didn't have to use pain meds again for the rest of my stay. Mom stayed with me that night, and it was so nice to have her there! She's had several surgeries (including two C-sections) herself, so it seemed that she knew exactly what I needed when I needed it. Neither of us got much sleep due to the nurses coming in to check my vitals so often, but I was nevertheless glad to be in such a great hospital.
On Saturday morning the nurse took out my catheter and IV, and told me to call her when I needed to use the bathroom so that she could help me get up. Well, I was so uncomfortable in the bed that I called her before I needed to use the bathroom, just so she could show me how to get up and walk around the room. It felt so great to stand up and sit in a chair! The nurse was amazed and thrilled that I had started walking around so soon of my own volition. After that, it was just a matter of making sure that my temperature and blood pressure stayed down (they did) and that all my "systems" were back in working order (they were). I got plenty of rest on Saturday (listening to The Beatles on the iPod, watching Tootsie on the in-room DVD player) and made sure that I did a lot of walking around (which was much more comfortable than laying there, anyway). I got another nice surprise when Kristen stopped by to visit (after a big detour to the main St. V's hospital, HA!). Ted stayed with me that night and took me home when I got discharged on Sunday.
I won't see the doctor again until the 15th, which means that I won't see the babies until then, either. They definitely aren't letting me forget about them, though, considering how much my belly seems to have grown in the past few days. Hopefully my incision will continue to heal in record time so that I have minimal discomfort in the growing days ahead. I am thankful that everything went so well, and also that I had the chance to see the hospital and meet the wonderful staff. Knowing that I will be so well taken care of will surely make my inevitable return to the hospital much less stressful. Let's just hope it's not for a long, long time!