At yesterday's 22-week appointment, I unexpectedly got to hear the babies' heartbeats for the first time. When I reacted to the sound, the ultrasound tech laughed and said she always forgets that moms of multiples miss out on listening to the heartbeats. I got to hear only a couple of seconds' worth for each baby, but it was long enough for me to notice that each one has a distinct rhythm. Even after all this time, I still can't believe that there are five hearts beating inside of my body!
After the ultrasound, the nurse got out the measuring tape and determined that my belly is measuring at 36 weeks—that's 4 weeks larger than I was measuring just a week ago! This could explain why I suddenly started to experience so many contractions last week; with this huge uterus, my body thinks it's time to get these babies out of here. In fact, when the doctor saw how many contractions I'd registered over the weekend, he decided to take me off the Procardia and start me on something a little more hard core: a terbutaline pump. The pump is about the size of a beeper and delivers the terbutaline (an asthma medication that has been shown to prevent preterm labor by decreasing contractions) straight into my leg muscle via a thin, flexible tube. I get a low dose around the clock, with a big dose (called a "bolus") being delivered every six hours. It makes me really weak and shaky, but the nurse said that these side effects should abate after a couple of days.
The other big news to come out of yesterday's appointment is that the doctor told me that I needed to quit working, even from home. To help keep my uterus quiet, I am to lay on my side as much as possible and avoid any unnecessary stress (these babies make sure I have enough of that as it is). So as of today, I am a woman of leisure—ordered to stay off my feet and lacking the strength or mobility to do anything else anyway! We'll see how long it takes for me to go out of my mind.