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Messages - sarahker

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1
Making the Best of Bed Rest / Re: Frustrated about Contractions
« on: August 13, 2011 at 12:55 PM »
Hi Momma to Olivia  -
I recently delivered my twin boys at 33+6 after 10 weeks of bedrest, procardia and progesterone (dx PTL/short cervix).  I can honestly say that my contractions never actually stopped altogether.  I think the main issue is whether the contractions start to become "organized" (e.g. are they becoming regular, closer together) and are they causing the cervix to soften or shorten.  If your contractions aren't doing either of these things, it's probably ok, but certainly talk to your phyisican about that.  Good luck with everything! 

Sarah

2
Hey - Sorry for the late post - my boys have kept me pretty busy these days so I haven't had a chance to check back into this site.  I used HUAM monitoring from when I was discharged from the hospital at 29 weeks until I deliverd at 33+6.  My insurance did not cover it, but I was able to work out a deal with the monitoring company.  It came out to about $60 a day (down from $89), and included a home visit from a nurse, and daily (1-2x) calls with a nurse.  My diagnosis was preterm labor, so the monitoring at least provided peace of mind after being discharged from the hospital, but to be honest, I already KNEW what a contraction felt like, so I didn't really need the monitoring service to tell me when that was happening.  I'm not sure what your monitoring service covers, but if you aren't feeling contractions at this point, the service would be helpful to let you know when you're having them, but if your contractions are obvious, you can probably monitor them on your own... for me it was more of a peace of mind thing, knowing that I had someone to talk to for advice or if I was anxious about any of my symptoms (without having to bother my physician for everything!).  Sorry I'm not more helpful, but just wanted to relay my own experience.

Hope all is well!  Good luck with everything. 

Sarah

3
Making the Best of Bed Rest / Re: DH gone for a week - tips?!
« on: July 18, 2011 at 08:41 AM »
Hi Babygmom -
My husband worked very long hours while I was on bed rest (just delivered last Thursday!), so I understand what you're going through - he wasn't around very much, so things like meals required a lot of extra planning.  One thing that I found very helpful was buying lots of "snack packs" the type you would buy for a bagged lunch, with things like carrots and hummus, veggies and dip etc.  Also, my husband would cut up cheese and package up baggies of crackers so I could just grab from the fridge.  Also, our gourmet grocer had many fresh prepared meals (we live in NYC so I think we have a little bit of an advantage there) that he would pick up at the begining of the week and stash in the fridge, and I did a lot of delivery as well.  I'll admit, it wasn't really an ideal situation, especially when I was craving something that wasn't among the already prepared items, and it certainly got lonely, but I did catch up on a lot of reading.  It also helps to have a friend or two who can stop by and bring a meal, load the dishwasher or throw a load of laundry in for you, but I'm sure you know that already.  Good luck! 

4
Making the Best of Bed Rest / New Arrivals - twin boys 7/14/2011
« on: July 16, 2011 at 09:20 AM »
Just wanted to provide a quick update  - Our boys arrived around 9:30 on Thursday morning at 33+6, after my water broke unexpectedly.  Kellan James and William Archer arrived via c-section (little Will was transverse), weighing in at 4lbs5oz and 3lbs9oz respectively.  They both recieved 9 out of 9 Apgars, and were screamers at birth.  I was able to hold them briefly before they were wisked off to the NICU.  Kellan required a nasal canula for the first night, but has been breathing completely on his own since then.  Little Will required a little help and was on the vent the first night, CPAP the second night, and this morning had graduated to a canula.  They aren't nippling/sucking so well at this point, but we are working on it, and I'm trying to get the hang of this whole pumping thing.  The boys are absolutely adorable, and I can't wait until I can bring them home. 

I just wanted to thank everyone in this online community - when was admitted to the hospital almost 10 weeks ago with preterm labor, I was frightened and discouraged, and everyone here was so supportive and helpful during a bleak time.  This site has provided such a wonderful forum for me to vent my frustrations and questions and concerns, as well as learn from and gain encouragement from other's success stories.  I hope to post pictures of my little darlings soon.  They are so worth the 5 weeks of hospital, then 4+ weeks of home bed rest.   

Best wishes to all the other bed resting mommas out there! 

5
Making the Best of Bed Rest / Re: Roll Call for Monday July 11th
« on: July 11, 2011 at 11:53 AM »
Hi Ladies -
I'm 33+3 with twin boys, and so happy to have made it this far.  I was a little discouraged last week, as I started having quite a few more contractions than usual, but I'm still cookin' and my OB has even allowed me short outings a few times a week!  My husband and I went out to dinner on Saturday night, and we were able to sit outside, and enjoy the lovely weather - it was amazing.  When we got home, I was absolutely bone weary exhausted though, and it really hit home how little stamina I have now after 9 weeks of bed rest.

My doctor's appointment on Friday went pretty well, but the US confirmed that one of our little guys is still transverse and in a pretty awkward position, so unfortunatetly, unless he gets his act together soon, we'll probably have to have a c-section which is a little disappointing. Obviously, I want what's safest for the babies, but a c-section really wasn't in my birth plan. 

Another recent development this week is swelling in my face, hands and feet.  It came on pretty suddenly, accompanied by a significant weight gain (8lbs) this week, so I had to do another 24 urine collection (not fun) and I'm monitoring my BP at home.  Up until last week BP was on the low side (I'm on nifedipine for PTL), but it's been creeping up to high/normal range this week as well.  Any other readers have this happen?  It's especially disconcerting because I'm already on nifedipine, which is an anti-hypertensive.  Just wondering if anyone else has dealt with this and to what outcome?  I'm trying not to be anxious, but it's tough...
 Good luck to everyone this week! 

6
Making the Best of Bed Rest / Re: Roll Call for Monday July 4th
« on: July 05, 2011 at 07:37 PM »
Hi Ladies -
I'm 32w4d now, 5 weeks of hospital bed rest, and 3 at home.  I'm very happy to have made it this far, but starting to worry that I might not make it much farther.  This week I've had a lot more contractions than usual - sometimes 5 an hour for several hours (right below the magic number of 6 where I have to call my doctor) - and then they subside.  I'm also feeling a lot more pressure than usual.  I'm doing home monitoring, and spoke to my nurse, and she wasn't overly concerned, but I'm certainly worried at the increase in uterine activity.  I'm hoping to make it to at least 34 weeks, so I've been a little discouraged this week. 

When I get off bed rest, I'm looking forward to cooking again - I miss home cooked meals!  We've been ordering in almost every meal lately (my husband works late and isn't much of a cook). 


7
Making the Best of Bed Rest / Roll Call
« on: June 27, 2011 at 04:59 PM »
Hi Ladies!
I'm now 31w3d with twin boys, and it's my 7th week of bedrest (5 in the hospital).  I had a MFM appointment today, and happy to report that the boys are measureing 3lbs12oz and 4lbs2oz, and my CL is holding steady at 1.3.  My peri said that they are not even going to bother with CL measurements after this week.  She actually said that she doesn't need to see me again until 34 weeks!  I'm so excited, because when I was admitted to the hospital at 24w my doctors weren't even sure I'd make it 28 weeks, and now I'm looking potentially at a full term delivery.  I'm still having contractions, sometimes quite a few actually, but they don't seem to be changing my CL, so the doctors aren't that concerned as they aren't close together, and arent' very regular.  Just hoping to hit 36 weeks with these boys! 

Good luck to everyone this week! 

Sarah

8
Making the Best of Bed Rest / Re: Monday Roll Call for June 20!
« on: June 20, 2011 at 12:33 PM »
Hi Ladies - Congrats to all who delivered this week!  I'm 30w3d with twin boys - starting my second week of home bedrest after 5 weeks in the hospital.  Not much new here - just got back from the perinatologist, and I'm a little disappointed to report that my CL has dropped a little from 1.7 last week to 1.35 this week.  I know we're only talking millimeters here, but it's just frustrating.  Luckily the cervix is still closed, and contractions are minimal, so they are not going to re-admit me to the hospital (yet), but I'm still feeling anxious.  It's my goal to carry these boys to at least 34 weeks, so trying hard to stay positive and focus on that.  Since I've been home, I'm definitely doing more than when in the hospital, and I'm worried that is what affected the CL this week - it just reinforces the fact that I need to stay off my feet!   

Sending good thoughts to my fellow bedresters!

Sarah

9
Making the Best of Bed Rest / Re: Twins are here!
« on: June 19, 2011 at 09:40 AM »
Congratulations! What wonderful news - I'll think good thoughts for you and both your boys.  Your story has really inspired me, and helped keep me focused on carrying my own twin boys to term, or as darn close to it as I can get - thank you!!

congrats! 

Sarah

10
I agree completely with previous posters - when I showed up to L&D at 24w3d (twins) having contractions 5 minutes apart w/shortened cervix, everyone was so negative about the possible outcome- everything was worst case scenario, and the nurses and doctors made me feel like it was inevitable that I would deliver within 48 hours.  My situation actually stabilized within hours of being admitted to the hospital, and I'm now 30 weeks today, and after 5 weeks in the hospital was finally released home.  Babyrom - You can totally do this, and don't let your doctors discourage you!  Keep focused on your next goal - 28 weeks, then 30 and keep going! 

I know it's not for everyone but I switched primary Ob/Gyns - I found that my original doctor was so negative that I was in tears every time she stopped by to visit me in the hospital, and would say things like I 'should make friends with the woman in the room next door because we'd probably be spending a lot of time in the NICU together' and make comments about other women she'd treated who didn't have a good outcome - not things that I wanted to hear!  I found that one of her partners was much more optimistic and kept joking with me about having to induce at 38 weeks, and was saying that he fully expected me to be one of their success stories- I recently switched my care to him, and have been feeling so much more confident in reaching my goal of 34 weeks - who knows maybe I'll even end up like McKoygirl and end up being induced?  I love this forum for all the success stories - women like McKoy girl remind me that we CAN do this. 

11
Making the Best of Bed Rest / Re: What makes you happy these days?
« on: June 15, 2011 at 07:03 PM »
Snuggling with my dog - I was just released from the hospital after 5 weeks and I missed him so much!  He's been such a wonderful couch companion for me since getting back home.  Food cravings are another thing - I've been craving pepperoni pizza, fudge brownies, and macaroni and cheese (the homemade kind). 

12
Making the Best of Bed Rest / Re: Monday Roll Call! June 13, 2011
« on: June 13, 2011 at 01:13 PM »
Hi Ladies -
I'm 29w3d with twin boys, and happy to report that I was finally released from the hospital on Saturday evening after 5 weeks of hospital bedrest for short cervix and PTL.  They measured my CL on Friday and luckily we're holding steady at 1.7.  I've been doing the HUAM monitoring from home, and haven't registerd a single contraction yet, so hopefully my luck will hold and I can keep these guys in for at least another month.  I'm cautiously optimistic that we can go to 34 weeks or even full term at this point. 

Congrats to Laura!


13
Making the Best of Bed Rest / Re: Monday Roll Call for June 6
« on: June 06, 2011 at 07:20 PM »
Hello Ladies!
Just checking in - I'm 28w3d (twins) today, and still in the hospital (pre-term labor, short cervix).  I've been here 4 weeks now, and eager to go home.  My doctors have given me a tentative discharge date of June 13, if all continues to go well.  My contractions have mostly subsided, but still continue to have some uterine irritibility, and usually have about an hour or two of irregular contractions in the evening.  I had my weekly CL today, and happy to report that I'm holding steady around 1.5 cm, which is great (I've fluctuated btw 1.4 and 1.8 over the past few weeks)- doctors have said that they won't discharge me if CL is less than 1 cm.  I'm really hoping that things continue to look good until next Monday and I can get out of here! 

I have a new dilemma - my doctors have recommended home uterine activity monitoring (HUAM) once I'm discharged, but just found out that my insurance doesn't cover any kind of monitoring (their coverage policy actually states thaty there is NO proven therapy to extend pregnancy for longer than 7 days once a woman is diagnosed with preterm labor - we all know that isn't true, or we wouldn't be here!).  We now need to decide if we pay for this out of pocket, or go without.  Does anyone have experience with HUAM?  I mean, I know what a contraction feels like, so not sure how necessary this service is, but want to weigh my options. 

Good luck to fellow bed resters! 

 

14
Preterm Labor: Anything and Everything / Re: Repeat Steroid Dose?
« on: June 06, 2011 at 06:40 PM »
Thanks so much for your support and words of encouragement!  I had a long talk with the perinatologist today about the pros and cons - he said that the second dose of steroids was essentially my "rescue" course - he said that evidence shows that the effects of steroids don't completely wear off after 7 days as some research had indicated and can protect for several weeks, but that since my initial dose was given at 24 weeks (over a month ago) the beneficial effect had worn off, and this "rescue course" given this week (I'll be 29 weeks on Friday) would cover me until 32 weeks (or close to it).  He said that after this rescue course, that's it - even if I presented to L&D in booming labor in 2 weeks, they wouldn't give me any more steriods and he believed this course of treatment was the best way to protect the babies to 32 weeks - he also said it's hospital practice to not give steroids past 32 weeks.  I'm at a large teaching hospital in NYC, so I really hope that they know what they're doing. 

I felt a lot better after talking with the perinatologist - I just don't understand why my doctor wouldn't just answer my questions and walk through the various scenarios with me?  I looked at a few recent articles that seem to support what the perinatologist said, so I think I'm going to move forward with the repeat course of steroids, but I'm so frustrated with my doctor's unwillingness to answer any of my questions or even discuss the issue with me.  He was practically gloating when the nurse told him I'd finally consented, and it made me a little sick. 

Thank you to everyone for encouraging me to be persistent in getting answers to my questions.   

15
Preterm Labor: Anything and Everything / Re: Repeat Steroid Dose?
« on: June 06, 2011 at 08:10 AM »
Thank you Angela, Mckoygirl and Nadrobertson for your responses - everyrthing you said supports the research I've found on the topic.  As a brief update, I spoke to one of my doctors this morning, and he said that the repeat dose of steroids was the "standard of care" and that the decision was out of my hands.  He said that because the first round of steroids was given at 24 weeks, rather than 28-34 weeks as is typical that they give repeat doses after 28 weeks.  I haven't come across anything in m research that supports this, and I'm very concerned, because I HAVE come across data suggesting that repeat steroid doses can cause developmental delays and behavioral problems.  My doctor was actually quite defensive, and got a bit nasty that I was questioning his decision.

I have been given a tentative discharge date of June 13, but the doctor implied that if I refuse the steroids they will not let me go home so they seem to be holding that over me to bully me into going along with the plan.  I'm so depressed and feel so powerless.  I'm a healthcare attorney, so you'd think that I'd have more fight in me when it comes to this, but I just feel like I'm not getting any support or explanation from my care team --I just don't feel like I have any allies here. 

Any advice is appreciated, but I'm ready to give up.

Sarah   

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