Friday, February 12, 2010

Our Story (Part 2)

{You can read Part 1 of our story here}.

We arrived home from the clinic in shock. I'm not entirely sure how we made it home. Ryan's parents were there within the hour. Praying for us. Comforting us. My parents would be coming in a couple of days. A few close friends were called. We were loved and supported. And we were in shock.

I took the zofran hoping for even the slightest relief of my never ending nausea. It didn't come. Instead of relief, a whopper of a headache was added to my discomfort.

For days, Ryan and I were in a haze. Not really believing it was true. That my body was trying to sustain six lives. We questioned so much. Why was this happening? All we wanted was one baby. We didn't ask for this. We didn't want this.

And the nausea continued. Worsening by the day. Every morning, Ryan would blend one frozen gatorade ice cube before he left for work, telling me I had to eat it by the time he got home. It was a struggle. Some days I couldn't finish it. I was losing weight. By the time I was 8 weeks pregnant, I looked like this.


But I had lost 11 pounds.

That week I was admitted to the hospital for hyperemesis. Because I wasn't able to eat anything, the doctors inserted a PICC line, and for the next month, 2,000-3,000 calories in the from of TPN were pumped into my body. I was released from the hospital after 5 days, still unable to eat.

The next two weeks were some of the darkest I've ever experienced. Even sleep could not offer relief from the nausea I felt. Over and over again, I begged Ryan to let me end it all. To selectively reduce. Surely if there were fewer babies inside of me I wouldn't be as sick. I was out of my mind, spending my days in a state of delirium. By this time, I couldn't even put a toothbrush soaked in water in my mouth without vomiting. Being on the phone made me vomit. Light made me vomit. Touch made me vomit. I felt as though I was dying.

Ryan was terrified for me, so at 10 weeks gestation, he called a doctor in Arizona. This doctor is known as the "quad god," due to his experience taking care of women pregnant with multiples. Ryan explained our situation, and the doc recommended that I take a steroid known as prednisone. Ry called my perinatologist and that day, he wrote a prescription for the steroid.

That first day, I was to take six pills. Are you kidding me? If I couldn't even stick a toothbrush in my mouth, how was I going to swallow six pills? I will never forget the love of my husband during this time. He got the pills, a small glass of water and a saltine ready. I took the first pill and a tiny sip of water, then laid as still as possible. My Love sat next to me and sang. In his beautiful voice, he sang songs of hope to me. A half an hour later, I took another pill and Ryan sang. Another 30 minutes later, another pill and more singing. Three pills in 90 minutes. It was all I could do. I was trembling with exhaustion from tying to not throw up. But I did it. 3 pills. And it was enough for now.

The next morning, my mother-in-law and sister-in-law came to our apartment. Cleaning, folding laundry, being family. Soon after they arrived, I walked out of my room feeling different. I still felt slightly sick, but I wanted to eat. I was starving. I ate an entire blueberry muffin.

I even opened the shades. I wanted sunlight.

The next 7 weeks were the easiest part of my pregnancy. I was still sick, but if I snacked ALL.DAY.LONG, it wasn't so bad. I was slowly weaned off the TPN. I had a bit more energy. And the most beautiful part of this time was falling in love with my babies. Each of them carved out a place in my heart that is theirs alone.

{13 weeks}


And soon, my babies started kicking. First tiny flutters all over the place, then like a 24 hour wrestling match. I adored them. I couldn't wait to meet them. I started dreaming of what it would be like to care for 6 children. It was terrifying and exhilarating. I couldn't wait.

I was being seen by my perinatolgiests every 2 weeks, and at my 15 week appointment, everything looked superb. Nice long cervix and weighing five pounds more than when I got pregnant.

{15 weeks}

I walked into my 17 week appointment feeling on top of the world. The nurses commented on how great I looked. I laid down on the table ready for an ultrasound, but when I looked at the screen, my world stopped. I asked the technician where my cervix was. It had shortened and I was already dilated to 2 centimeters.

Ryan drove me straight from the clinic to the hospital where I was put on strict bed rest. A cerclage was scheduled for the next morning. I wasn't allowed to eat for the typical 12 hours before a surgery, so when I went into the operating room, I was terribly sick. I was strapped to a table and put in the trandelimburg position. Basically I was upside down. Not a good position when you need to vomit. It was awful. For almost the entire 30 minute procedure, I vomited.

But it was worth it. The procedure was a success. My cervix was closed. The babies were staying in for awhile longer. And I would be on bed rest in the hospital until they arrived.

{All photos in this post are by Noemi Photography}.

12 comments:

  1. Wow...I cannot imagine, Brianna. Thank you so much for sharing. I pray writing it out brings you continued healing and a peace that passes understanding.

    PS - When would you like to have a play date at the Children's Museum? We are most likely purchasing a minivan this week, so I will be able to go easily without having to bring my hubby to work (yay!). Hope to see you soon!

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  2. I cannot get over your gorgeous pregnant self :) You were glowing!
    My mind just cannot wrap around what you had to go through...

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  3. oh, bri. your precious babies. it is beautiful to see these pictures...them all tucked inside of you. you're gorgeous.

    i've had hyperemesis/zofran pump inserted/TPN/hospitalizations with each pregnancy and i understand the depths of despair that it brings with it. it is unimaginable unless you've experienced it. i'm so thankful that you had those 7 weeks of it being alleviated and enjoying your sweet little babes.

    love you.

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  4. I know your story doesn't end here -- already, though, it's more intense that what I could imagine. I'm glad you were able to get relief from the nausea to enjoy your babies and fall in love!

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  5. thank you for having the courage to continuing sharing your story. i pray this brings healing to you, and also through your story, others may come to know the God that you know.

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  6. thank you for sharing this story...i am sure it is painful. i love the pictures you posted...and i can't image how you felt...oh my word! i am praying for you!

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  7. Reading this made me nauseous and nervous and realize how very brave you are--which is something I already knew, but it was a nice reminder.

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  8. Thanks for sharing more with us. Thanks for being vulnerable and truthful with all of your story. You and Ryan are amazing. I know you love your babies so much!

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  9. What an ordeal!How great of Ryan to do that for you when you were taking the pills. Were able to take the other three later on?

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  10. Thank you for continuing to share your story with us. Helping us to understand your thoughts and the process you went through carrying your beautiful babies.

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  11. Thank you for sharing more of your story. Like others, all I can say is wow. I am continually amazed at your stregth and courage through all of this. You are an amazing woman.

    Hugs!

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  12. This is an extraordinary journey. Phew. I'm exhausted just reading it. You are a strong woman !

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Thank you so much for taking the time to share. I love hearing from you.

P.S. I'm sorry for the word verification step, but oh, my. I'm getting lots of spam.