PART 1 - Finding Out
As I sit here on day 13 of hospital bed rest, it is starting to get hard to remember everything that happened in the beginning of this journey. I don't know if it's "pregnancy brain" or just a coping mechanism, but the details have already begun to fad. I don't want to forget where we started or what those first few days felt like, so it is clearly time to write this post.
**Warning, there will probably be episodes of TMI (too much information), there will parts that are very sad to think about, and this is going to be a very long post**
As I have hinted at earlier, I had actually been having some thin, watery discharge for a couple of weeks before the main event. I went in on 2 separate occasions (once to the hospital and once to the doctor's office) to make sure that everything was alright. Both times (at right around 20 and 22 weeks) they tested for amniotic fluid and it came back negative. The last visit was to my doctors office, only 8 days before I ended up being hospitalized. I saw one of the other doctors in the practice and she said that I shouldn't be worried, but to come in again if it changed in some dramatic way. I had honestly convinced myself that the weight of the twins on my bladder was causing some incontinence issues...but in my heart I knew that it didn't feel right. I can't say for certain that I was actually leaking amniotic fluid, but it was very, very similar to the leaking that I am now experiencing except in smaller amounts. For the sake of sticking to my medical records, I will officially say that the rupture of membranes didn't occur until 23 weeks and 5 days when I went to the hospital...but when I really think about it, I think that there's a good possibility that it was before then.
Tuesday April 30th, 2013 was just a normal day at home. I spent the morning hanging out around the house and taking it easy. It was a lovely day outside, so I decided to go sit on the porch and throw Thor's ball with the Chuck-It. That's right, I was sitting down and used the Chuck-It so that I didn't have to bend over to pick up his ball. As I was sitting there, I felt the small gush (or leak I guess, it's a little hard to explain...but it definitely wasn't the waterfall that people imagine) of fluid that I had grown accustomed to in the previous couple of weeks. Honestly, I couldn't tell if I had peed myself or what had happened. I went to the bathroom to change my pad and realized that the fluid on my pad was pink instead of clear like I was used to. My heart immediately sunk, something was definitely wrong. I tried to convince myself that it was a urinary tract infection, but I knew that the fluid wasn't urine and that there was no way that I should have this light pink/peach colored watery discharge. I called my husband first and told him to come home since we would be sent to the hospital as soon as I called my OB's office. Then I called the office and talked to a nurse, who sent us to OB Triage at the hospital (like I had predicted).
Nathan picked me up at home and we drove over to the hospital (about a 40 minute drive from our house). It was a really quiet drive, but we were both really calm. We had already been seen for something very, very similar to this and we both just assumed that we'd get sent home and it would all be ok. I had this uneasy feeling in the pit of my stomach, but I am a worrier and that's not particularly unusual for me. I have been way more hysterical over little aches and pains than I was about this. Looking back it is sort of ironic really.
We got to the hospital and were brought into one of the OB Triage rooms. A nurse hooked us up to the monitors and we got to hear both babies heartbeats at the same time for the first time ever. I remember thinking that it was really cool that I could hear it when they would kick me. I kept saying that I was sure it was probably nothing, but it was better to be safe than sorry, right? I tend to be a little apologetic and I honestly thought I was wasting their time. They did a sterile speculum exam, took some swabs, etc. The usual stuff that they would do in this situation. The doctor said that she saw some fluid pooling by my cervix and that the outside of my cervix was bleeding a little which was why the fluid was pink. My cervix was visually long and closed though, so that was a good thing (they won't manually check to see how dilated you are if they suspect that your water has broken because of the risk of infection). Anyways, they did two tests for amniotic fluid then and both came back positive. The pH strip that they use was consistent with amniotic fluid and there was "ferning" under the microscope. When I heard the words "It is amniotic fluid," my world crashed around me. There was a second of complete shock and then came the realization of what this really meant and the tears started flowing.
I was immediately devastated and sobbing. I assumed that this meant that I would have to deliver and because I wasn't 24 weeks yet, I thought that it also meant that they would let my babies die. Many hospitals won't resuscitate until 24 weeks and I was only 23 weeks and 5 days. I did manage to ask the triage doctor about this and she said that at my gestation, they would resuscitate if we decided to do so after a consult with the people from the NICU. Things started happening as soon as we were told the news. I received my first steroid shot while I was still in the triage room. They warned me that it would probably hurt a lot, but I don't remember really feeling it at all. Then they put an IV in place, I got a new hospital bracelet since I was admitted, and I was wheeled out of triage.