When my perinatalogist told me to be prepared to be admitted to the hospital at some point during my pregnancy, I️ didn’t think it was going to be for 9 weeks. The first time we met with her, she explained all the risks that are associated with triplet pregnancies. I️ thought I️ was young and healthy and everything would be fine. However, I️ ended up having a plethora of issues. Here is how I️ spent my 9 weeks in the hospital and the scary issues my husband and I had to face.
At 24 weeks I️ woke up not feeling very well. I️ ate breakfast and fell back asleep until noon. When I️ woke up again, I️ was clammy and had the chills. So I️ took my temperature and it was 101.4 F. I️ waited a little bit because I️ had just woken up. After a few minutes I took my temperature again and I️ still had a fever. So, I️ called my doctors office and the doctor on call told me I️ needed to go to Mary Birch Triage because when you are pregnant you are not suppose to have a fever.
I️ grabbed my hospital bag just in case and Joe and I️ headed to the hospital. When we got there my fever had gone down, but they wanted to monitor me just in case. They put the babies on the fetal monitors and put on a TOCO monitor (which detects contractions). The nurse asked me if I️ knew I️ was having contractions. I️ said no and was very confused because I️ didn’t feel anything. She waited until I️ had another contraction and asked if I️ felt anything, but I️ didn’t. Thankfully, we were told to go to the hospital because I️ was in preterm labor and didn’t even know. They immediately admitted me and sent me up to the Perinatal Special Care Unit (PSU).
All the nurses kept telling me how I️ get the princess room because I️ was having triplets. Apparently the princess room is the biggest room in the hospital, with the best view and they reserve it for triplet pregnancies since we need extra monitors and are usually there for a prolonged stay. I️ didn’t really care what room I️ was in at the time. I️ Just wanted them to stop my contractions because it was too soon for the babies to come. Our goal was to make it to 33 weeks.
At 24 weeks the babies had reached the point of viability, which means they can survive outside the womb. Even though the babies were viable, there are still a high amount complications and risks if they are born this early. They started me on Magnesium sulfate (mag) to slow and stop the contractions. It made me so nauseous and made me vomit even more than HG. It did it’s job and stopped the contractions though. Then for a couple weeks everything stayed the same. I️ would have a few contractions but nothing regular. I wanted to go home so bad, but I️ couldn’t go home because I️ was dilated 1 cm.
At 28 weeks I️ started to have regular contractions again so they put me on mag for 24 hours. Magnesium is awful. I️ felt terrible. I️ couldn’t eat anything or keep any fluids down. It stopped the contractions, so I knew I just had to deal with being miserable for my babies. I️ was dreading having to go back on the mag drip again. After only 8 hours of being off the mag my contractions came back. My night nurse felt so bad when she came back into my room to tell me that my doctor decided to put me on Mag for 48 hours and see if that did the trick.
At around 16 hours it was hard to breathe which is a side effect of the mag. Mag slows down your smooth muscles which stops the contractions but also slows down your diaphragm, which is the muscle responsible for your breathing. So they stopped the mag for an hour and I️ started to feel better and my breathing returned back to normal. Then they put the mag back on because I️ needed to finish the 48 hours. Then at 46 hours I️ was having difficulty breathing again, but I️ was almost done with the mag drip so they lowered the dosage and that helped a little. After I️ was finished with the mag I️ was still having difficulty breathing. My nurses kept saying it was because of the mag and it would get better. The next morning when my doctor was doing rounds she asked if I️ was feeling okay? I️ probably looked as awful as I️ felt. I️ told her it was still hard to breath and my chest hurt. She ordered a chest x ray just to make sure no fluid had collected in my lungs from the mag (another wonderful side effect).
The nurse comes into my room with my doctor on the phone because the x-ray results had come back. My doctor was about to go into surgery so she told me over the phone that they came back abnormal and she needed to do a echocardiogram and ct scan because it looked like I️ had fluid in my lungs, congestive heart failure, and maybe a pulmonary embolism (blood clot in my lungs). I️ said okay as long as it was safe for the babies, which she assured me it was. I️ was absolutely terrified. Not only did this mean I️ was facing something very dangerous, but my babies as well.
Joe had just left for work because they were throwing him a baby shower. I️ called him as soon as I️ got off the phone with my doctor, but he didn’t answer. So I️ texted him what was going on and that he needed to come back to the hospital. A few minutes later he called me and said he was on his way back and I️ could tell he was as worried as I️ was. When the CT scans and the echo-cardiogram results came back my doctor explained that I️ had fluid in my lungs, parts of my lungs were collapsed because there just wasn’t any room for them to expand all the way and I️ had congestive heart failure. She said we could deliver right now or we could try to wait, but they couldn’t give me anymore medicine to stop the contractions.
Joe wanted to deliver right away at first. He told me “I’m not going to have three babies alone. I need you too.” I️ had started feeling better because they gave me lasixs to help get rid of the fluid in my lungs. We asked the doctor and nurse a bunch of questions and Joe and I debated back and forth. I️ told Joe “let’s just wait and see. I️ will probably start having contractions again anyways, but at least we can say we tried and if they stay in 1 more day that would be good.” The entire stay at the hospital the nurses would tell me one day in your belly means 3 less days in the NICU. To everyone’s surprise I️ didn’t go into labor again. The nurses were listening to my heart and lungs and checking my blood pressure around the clock to make sure nothing changed.
Then at 31 weeks my platelets started dropping. My doctor explained that if they dropped below 100,000 then we would have to deliver right away because I️ would be at risk of bleeding from the c section and they would have to put me under instead of having a spinal tap. At this point I️ didn’t even care if they had to deliver the babies. I had made it further than anyone thought I would. Plus, I️ was so miserable because I️ couldn’t breath, my chest hurt, my ribs hurt, and I️ could barely get out of bed. After a few days my platelet levels stopped dropping.
At 32 weeks my doctor scheduled my c-section for July 17th, which would make me 33 weeks. I really wanted to do the c-section that day, but she really wanted me to try and make it to 33 weeks.
Here is how I️ survived being on bed rest in the hospital for 9 weeks.
I️ can honestly say that if it wasn’t for the amazing nurses in PSU I️ wouldn’t have made it those 9 weeks. Also, I️ was fortunate enough to have my husband with me most days. He was able to work from his laptop in my room and go into the office when he needed to. It was so hard because I️ could have the babies any minute and we didn’t know when that was going to be. At one point we asked the nurse what is the quickest they could deliver the babies and she said 15 minutes. Joe was so worried to leave the hospital after we found this out. He stayed on the couch right next to my bed every night except for 2 nights, which is so sweet of him. He earned husband of the year because hospital couches are not comfortable at all.
My dad would visit me most days during his lunch break to keep me company and break up the day. My mom and dad would come every other day after work and visit me. We started doing puzzles when they would visit because the hospital is so boring. My mother-in-law and father-in-law would bring Joe and I homemade meals for dinner because we were so sick of hospital food and fast food. My siblings, nieces, and nephew would visit regularly. They eventually started calling the hospital my house because I was there for so long.
On Tuesday’s I️ had a support group with the other moms on the PSU floor. Thursday’s we had arts for healing where we would do crafts and visit. I️ had a therapy dog come visit with me. My in laws were watching Lily, our Great Dane, and she would come visit with me when I️ had wheel chair privileges ( 1 hour a day to go anywhere on hospital grounds). Joe would take me outside and I️ would visit with her for an hour. It was always so sad when the hour was up because she would try and follow me into the hospital.
I️ literally took it one day at a time. I️ had like 5 adult coloring books. I️ binge watched Netflix. I️ took naps whenever I️ could. When I️ would have anxiety I️ made lists of everything I️ was thankful for. When I️ wanted to give up I️ would talk to the babies. I️ promised them that I️ would fight and be strong for them as long as possible and they had to do the same when they were born.
Looking at my babies now makes every minute in the hospital worth it, but I never want to be in the hospital again. My sisters say I am a warrior for fighting and being strong for my babies for so long and many people say they don’t know if they could have done it. I didn’t have any other option though. I am their mom and I had to do whatever I could to keep them safe and healthy. I truly believe any other mom put in this situation would do the same thing.
I️ know I️ am leaving out a bunch of stuff that happened when I️ was in the hospital. If I️ wrote everything we would have a novel though. Look for my next post about the birth of the triplets.