Monday, August 07, 2006

I know, I know...

It's been an extremely long time since I have contributed a post to the blog. Sorry. Been a little bit busy.

What have I been doing, you ask? Well, working. working lots. Trying to work as much as possible before taking my maternity leave. Trying to get everything established and stabilized with my clients before effectively abandoning them for several weeks.

Been going to lots of doctor's appointments. Twice per week. Usually lasting at least 2 hours and many times more than 4 hours.

These days I am working from home. Thank God.

I have a bunch of new toys. An at-home uterine activity monitor, a terbutaline pump. It's been loads of fun these past few weeks.

Just found out my insurance isn't going to cover the monitor - don't know what we are going to do about that.

The uterine monitor basically is this sensor thing that wraps around your belly (which is now 48 inches around, BTW) with a velcro strap. It is hooked up to a little computer that measures the muscle contractions for an hour. During this hour one must lay still in a reclined position - sounds like a piece of cake, but not when you have 10 pounds of baby and several pounds of baby-sustaining tissue leaning up against your back and cutting the circulation to your lower extremeties. Sitting still in one position isn't all it once was.

Anyway, after the hour is finished you upload the data via the telephone to a monitoring center in St Louis where all of the nurses address you as honey or sweetheart. These nurses call you back once they evaluate your results and either congratulate you or reprimand you for the number of contractions your uterus had in that hour. Bad uterus!

I had many days of 9 - 13 contractions an hour. When this happens the nurses instruct you to lay on your left side and drink a glass of water. Then monitor again. Is it any surprise that I would still experience high numbers of contractions after this high-tech cure all?

After about a week of many contractions my Dr decided to put me on a subcutaneous pump. This pump is in a little pouch that I wear around my torso. It is a mini computer with a big syringe filled with medication attached to it. It attaches to a thin tube (that Mrs. Jinx has chewed through on two occassions) that enters my leg through a subcutaneous catheter. Basically it goes into my skin - or the fattest part of my thigh, as my nurse put it. At this point I have no idea how you would determine where the fattest part is, it's all pretty mushy.

Every hour this little pump gives me a dose of this medication that is supposed to calm the uterine muscle. Side effects include it relaxing your heart and lung muscles too - lovely. So it is necessary to take my pulse several times a day to make sure it isn't doing anything wonky to my heart. It also has the effect of making me shake. I shake like an old alcoholic. It is really nice. And did I mention that is makes you hot? Yep. I have been sitting in my air conditioned bedroom with an oscillating fan blowing on me. Ernie sleeps under the down comforter.

And the best thing is that I am STILL having lots of contractions. They have upped my dosage twice and upped the frequency of when I am given the bolus (higher dose). And this morning I still had 7 contractions in an hour. That is less than 10 minutes apart.

So my days are filled with monitoring and dosing. And working. Three things that alone are not always fun, but when put together are definitely a unique and non-fulfilling challenge.

I keep reminding myself that this is all for the babies' benefit. We need to keep them in there and cook those lungs a little bit longer - maybe 3 weeks? My crazy doctor wants to keep them in there until I am at 38 weeks, which is 4 1/2 weeks from now, but nobody thinks that is going to happen. Me especially. If we make it to 36 weeks I will be perfectly happy and the boys should be fully cooked.

At our last doctor's visit they did a growth scan, which is where they measure certain bones of the babies' bodies using ultrasound. They determined that Baby A is 5 pounds and Bay B is 4lbs, 14oz. So they aren't too scrawny!

We are still working on getting the babies' room together. Window still hasn't been put in. Painting still has not been done. On the flip side, we have managed to set up the "Bachelor Pad" in our bedroom so the boys have a place to stay should they arrive before their permanent room is compelete. We've got one crib, a changing table, a vibrating chair, diaper champ and a little couch for midnight feedings all set. I feel like I am living in my old studio apartment every time I walk into the bedroom. Too much furniture - none of it matching. But at least I can rest assured knowing that my kids have a home.

OK - so that's about all I've got for you guys. Time to go do some work and strap on the monoitor!

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