If you are reading this and have not yet indulged in my article entitled, “the World of Antepartum and pProm” it is a precursor to this.
I was slowly starting to get into a routine at the hospital. The food was actually quite tasty, and I looked forward to receiving my menu every morning (or maybe I was just pregnant with twins and hungry). My nurses would come in twice a day to perform a non-stress test – which sometimes proved stressful. They needed to monitor each baby for 20 minutes simultaneously, and most of the time the babies didn’t want to cooperate, so 20 minutes usually turned into an hour or more. They start doing this kind of monitoring at 28 weeks, but because of their small size, the babies are able to move around and away. I think every time the babies didn’t cooperate, my nurses would tell me their stories about the hardest NST’s they’d ever had to perform, and most were stories about women carrying triplets or quadruplets – my heart went out to those women. Two babies in my tummy had given them enough trouble.
Through these NST’s they did discover that Ethan had a little heart arrhythmia – I have convinced myself that Ethan developed this as a way for us to tell the two babies apart on the monitor. It was always comforting to hear their little hearts beating, but Ethan didn’t like all of the attention and spent most of his time hiding.
As it happened, if the NST didn’t cause enough drama, distinguishing between who was Baby A and who was Baby B sure made up for it. Saskatchewan Health and Alberta Health have different ways of classifying twins in the womb, which ended up a confusing mess. In ultrasound, the presenting twin (the one that would ultimately be born first) is labeled Baby A, and the other baby is labeled Baby B. Our monkey Henry was originally our Baby B, but as he ruptured his membranes he also took Ethan’s place as the presenting twin. In Alberta, because they had already labeled them – they didn’t switch labels at subsequent ultrasounds – Henry stayed Baby B and Ethan stayed Baby A. For my brief week in Regina, however, they felt this was ridiculous and switched their labels – giving Henry Baby A status and Ethan Baby B. I spent the bulk of my days explaining to my nurses who Calgary A was, and that yes – I was aware that my Calgary A (Ethan) had a slight arrhythmia.
Everyday that passed uneventfully was a good day. I was having ultrasounds regularly to check Henry’s growth and ensure he was thriving without his protective bubble of fluid. There was a weight discrepancy between the two babies but they were both in the normal range for their gestation. If that discrepancy were to change, however, they would have to deliver me. The bleeding had subsided for the most part, it would still come and go – in nowhere near the amounts it had been. I found no interest in reading or watching TV (although it was during the winter olympics so I almost always had some kind of event playing on in the background)- I passed my time looking out the window – and was lucky to have had an incredible view of downtown. The sunrises were to die for, I purposely slept with the blinds open so I could enjoy them day after day. I had a pretty good view of the Calgary tower, which they would light a flame on every time Canada won an Olympic medal (there was only one medal-less day during my stay).
Here is a similar view of downtown that I had – with the Calgary Tower flame lit. Unfortunately, none of my photos turned out like this one:
(credit to Calgary Tower website)
Caleb, my mom and the kids would visit me on the daily (my highlight), the kids would bring a snack and a board game, and we’d end our visits with a cuddle and some treehouse tv. On a really good day – Caleb would come back in the evening just to keep me company.
The night before my labour began was just like any other night had been. The kids had spent some time with me – we played Disney Yahtzee and they sang “Hush Little Babies” to my belly before they left for the day. My favourite nurse happened to have been on shift – she came to say goodbye and to let me know that she would be off for the next few days – and for me to “stay pregnant”. A bad omen? Perhaps.