Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Contractions, be gone!

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.


Anonymous said...

Why is it that moms of multiples don't get to hear the heartbeats? I'm a little sad for you now, especially since we've got to hear ours twice in the first few weeks! Wow, no more working!! Did they tell you no more being online too?! Hopefully they don't think of that one. ;)


Anonymous said...

Ahhh!!! Hearing the heartbeat is the best! I'm so sorry about working, I know you had wanted to do that as long as possible. I wish I could come hang out, wait on you hand and foot and all that good stuff. Take care of yourself!

Christine said...

I can't believe you hadn't heard the heartbeats before! The first time we heard them was at about 8 weeks during an ultrasound, then we heard them often at our checkups. Our OB checked them by doppler at every appointment, though he admitted there was no way to be sure he was getting 3 different ones - maybe that's why some doctors don't bother with multiples. In any case, I'm glad you finally got to hear that wonderful sound!

Other than having to rely on others for everything, bedrest was not so bad for me. But then I am essentially lazy and have no problems lying around watching TV and reading for days on end. :-) I think you are a bit more industrious, so I hope you find some things to do to occupy your time!


Melinda Q said...

Suzy, I emailed you yesterday at working wishing you all the best, only to realize I was one day late. Rats! The intention still applies: be happy, be strong, be healthy!


Heather said...

I'm stunned you hadn't already heard the heartbeats, too! You've had so many ultrasounds that I figured you got to hear them really early. I heard Sam's at my first prenatal appointment, and that was the first time I felt like the pregnancy was really happening.

Suzy said...

I'm not sure why we didn't get to hear heartbeats until now ... they check for heart "tones" at each visit, but that's a visual check where the machine registers the heart rate without the need for sound. I kept thinking "maybe at the next visit" and eventually so much time passed that I felt dumb asking about it! :)

Lynn said...

WOW. I just learned from your mother tonight (at the SETEX meeting) that you are expecting four. It's amazing. I had twins and that was something. (As I progressed through the pregnancy, they were so active. There were times that they could only find one heartbeat because they were so active). I didn't want to take off earlier, but after they explained the importane of me being off my feet, I was better. You will not go out of your mind. This is your rest time (inasmuch as possible). You first have to get comfortable, but of course then you have to head to the restroom (smile). I'm so excited for you and your husband and family. My mother says - It's already alright. We'll be praying in Texas. We're waiting for them to touch the Texas soil. Thanks for sharing. Psalm 138 - He will perfect those things that concern you and Baby A, Baby B, Baby C, Baby D and Daddy. Love and prayers.


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