21 December 2010

Doctor, Doctor Gimme The News

It's so cold in here... brrrr...

What a strange and emotional day yesterday ended up being. We were planning on a normal and uneventful day of going in for the ultrasound and seeing the babies, dashing around town to get final Christmas things done and prepare for our week in the hospital. Guess ole Robert Burns said it best...

We arrived at Dr. Schneider's office and went back for our ultrasound. Most of the exam went fairly normal but once the sonographer started to look at Penelope's heart and do measurements of the heart wall, the concerns started to come out. After we were done we went to the consult room to wait to hear what the doctor had to say about the situation. Dr. Schneider was actually out of town so we would be seeing another doctor that day. After the doctor came in she began to tell us that the signs of stress, thickening of the heart wall and fluid build up around Penny's heart, that would present themselves at the start of the third trimester had now shown themselves and it was time to go to the hospital. We were a bit taken aback bec. she didn't want to contact Dr. Schneider since he was on vacation but we said ok and dashed home to whirlwind pack a few things and have a few last moments as just the two of us in the house. Bethany's mom was with us, helping us stay a bit We took a few quick pics of us outside of the house since we don't have many of Bethany pregnant and I together so we needed to have at least that one on the way to the hospital!

We got to the hospital, checked in, and then shown to our room where the kind nurse started the process of getting us filed up and Bethany situated to be in the bed for a bit. She got these cool disk heart monitors that show the heart rates of the girls and sends the info to the nurse workstations so they can track them throughout the day and night. They're pesky little buggers and the nurse had to keep coming in to hunt them down when they decide to roll around and change positions. The reason for the heart monitors is because of Penny having the fluid around her heart. If the monitors started to show stress and tachycardia in Penny's heart rhythms or they start to plummet, that would be indicators that we needed to be sent straight to the OR to get them out. Throughout the afternoon and in to the evening, Penny only had one serious moment where her heart rate was sky high and the nurse was about to call the doctor. Thankfully Bethany remembered quickly that when we played our Mozart iPod for the girls they would settle down and so I grabbed my headphones and iPod, quickly started up an album and within a few min. both of the girl's heart rate were nice and calm. The nurse was stunned! She'd never seen anything like that before and was super impressed. So Mozart, for the win!! We'll be playing it as often as we can while we're in the NICU to help keep their little minds active and calm. It was hard for Bethany last night bec. the nurse had to keep coming in and waking her up to reconfigure the placements of the straps and the discs but got a few hours of sleep.

We were blessed yesterday afternoon and evening to have some family and a few friends over in the room. It was a nice distraction of the things that were going on around us and helpful in some cases because we began networking, learning about friends that were in the NICU that were nurses who could possibly help work our case. Today continued the steady stream of family members and a couple of friends helping make the day pass by a bit easier. It was nice to have them all here praying for us, encouraging us easing the nerves that we were starting to gather about the things we'll be facing tomorrow. Sister pedicures, mother's going out to get Chikfila nugget platters, best friend, preemie speech pathologist, out of town pregnant friend, happy aunts, engaged cousin, awesome NICU nurse who gave us amazing information for tomorrow, our resident OB friend and awesome molasses cookie making wife, are some of the folks that came by but the most encouraging thing today, though, was a visit from Pastor Larry, who came dashing in to the room to see how Bethany was after just arriving back in town. His praying for us tonight moved us all to tears and we're so grateful for his shepherding, loving heart.

I picked up momentum in writing but I really need to sleep so I'll just blast through the last of important information that you really are wanting.

Bethany received her last round of steroid shots this afternoon and about forty-five min. ago she started her Magnesium Sulfate(aka magwash) IV drip. The magwash caused her to get even more flushed and hot than where she was before. She's been consistently warm the last few weeks of the pregnancy and even more so since we've been in the hospital. It's made for some super chilly nights here and I had Bethany's mom bring my REI sleeping bag for some cozy sleep relief. Penny's heart rate has looked very steady all day today and Lydia has been a tumbler, rolling around all over the place making the nurses chase her down. We're praying that the heart rates continue to stay the same through tomorrow morning and in to the C section time. We're scheduled for a 4pm section.

Last few important notes.
1) I will be able to visit the babies about 1-2 hours after the section. I'll take as many pics as I can during that time and will be uploading them/showing them at the hospital. So stay posted here for the latest pics.

2) We're going to request that tomorrow and Thur. be limited to immediate family and clergy ONLY. We don't know exactly how many passes we will be given and are reserving the first few for our parents. We will let you know ASAP when we/they will be able to have visitors.

3) Because it is RSV season, no children under 12yrs old and anyone with ANY signs of a cold will be allowed to visit them. Thank you for understanding this!! The girls will be in a very special state of care during this time and we're going to do our best to keep them healthy and safe while they catch up to where they need to be in their growth.

We're so excited to finally be meeting these little gals face to face tomorrow. Your prayers and your thoughts at 4pm CDT will mean the world to us!!

Till then...
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