Welcome to Southern Comfort!

Hi, I'm Elizabeth and I invite you to grab a glass of sweet tea and join me as I (along with my husband, John) renovate our love nest. We're both born and raised in the south and love to share with you some of our favorite recipes, stories and our life. We hope you'll come back often!

Friday, November 9, 2012

The Unimaginable

I know I keep promising to post updates about the house. And I do plan to. But right now our focus is on our family. The house can wait. Over the past 3 weeks John and I (and our families) have been through quite an emotional wringer. I'm going to back up and explain, but it's emotional. This is a post I've been putting off writing. I know I need to write it for my own sake, but it doesn't make it any easier. It's for me to look back on one day. For our girls to know what their parents/ grandparents went through for them. For me. Yes, I'm making it public, and I'm ok with that. It helps me feel human.  If you prefer to only keep up with our house progressions, then just skip this one. ok? Ok. Glad we got that over with.


A few weeks ago John and I had a normal appointment to do a growth scan on the girls. They look great, always have. Growing on schedule and within an ounce of each other. Bouncing around. They decided to go ahead and check my cervical length while I was in the ultrasound room and check that things were fine. They were not. My world crumbled. The normal cervix is about 4cm in length. I have what's called a funneled cervix, which is where the amniotic sac is bulging into the cervix making it open from the inside to the outside. A funnel, and that's what it looks like. At this particular appointment I was funneled to the 2cm point. That's 1/2 of my cervix.. gone. Here's a little diagram of a funneled cervix, it gives you an idea.


So bed rest it was. For 2 weeks. We hoped my stopping work, stopping house work including projects (hence the lack of house posts), no driving, no stairs, no laundry, no nothing and hopefully, that would stop things. The hope was give it 2 weeks, reassess the situation and then either continue bed rest or possibly come off it for a little while.

Fast forward to this past Monday 11/5/12. Went back to the OB for follow up. Not good news. Funneling progressed to 1cm left. Another centimeter gone while I was on bed rest. Now, we start to really worry. My OB made an appointment with Duke specialists for the next morning.

Oh boy. Here's were things get really scary. Had another growth and full anatomy scan of each of the girls. They are measuring right on schedule. 25 weeks. Perfect. Then they looked at my cervix again. More progression had been made since the day before. I'm down to 2mm of cervix left. 2 millimeters. They're coming. Soon. Too soon. They lay be back on the table, put my legs up and call in the doctor. At this point it's been John and my Mom with me in the room. Mom being a RN in Labor and Delivery for 30+ years was such a comfort to have her with me to ask questions that I may/ did not have the mental forethought to ask about. I could see the concern in John's eyes as I lay there. Helpless. I cried. He held my hand.

We were told to go straight to Duke and be admitted. They wanted to get a better look at the girls. Make sure I wasn't going in to pre term labor, get steroids on board for the girls' lungs in case of early delivery. I'm a ticking time bomb.

Over the next two days, they watch me closely. They watch the girls closely. No labor. No dilation. Thank God. Then, Wednesday morning they decided to do another cervical scan and see where things stood. We were up to 4mm!!! I had regressed some! They felt confident my cervix was stablilzing, but wanted to keep me for observation another day just in case. The OB/NICU team spent hours going over possibilites, expectations and statistics with us. They have a plan for every scenario we could have. They've been wonderful to work with. Yesterday 11/8, I was discharged. I'm home now. Resting. On strict bed rest. I'll go back to the Dr. on Monday for another scan and see where things are. Either I stay on bed rest at home, or I head back to Duke. We will have to see.

John is amazing. He's exhausted. I'm exhausted. Emotionally, physically. Everything. He's had to take care of meals, clean the house, feed the cats, making sure our fuzzies are ok, going to work, helping me bathe, brush my teeth, put clothes on. Not to mention working all day and then driving to the hospital to stay with me until 10 pm... or later, then driving home, and repeat the next day. This could easily be our life for a while. We are trying to wrap our minds around that.

My parents have been keeping Maggie for us while I was in the hospital. Not to mention spending every moment they have at the hospital with me, even after working all day and an hour drive. My parents were supposed to go on a cruise for 10 days, leaving today. They canceled their trip. Since we dont know what could happen, they couldn't leave the country. What if something happened? They'd never know. It would take them days to get home. And would they enjoy the trip spending the whole time worrying about things back here. I hate it for them. They work so hard. They deserve this trip. But not now. Not like this.

We worry for our girls. Each day they stay in is a blessing. There's no cure for what I have. We just have to wait and see what happens. I struggle with the thought that my body is failing my family. Making everyone around me work harder. I know it's not my fault, but I can still be mad about it.

I struggle with the thought of preemies. Never in my life did I see myself as a mom of multiples, much less preemies. Who thinks they will though? As of right now we're sure they'll come early. How early? We don't know. No one has mentioned December. Or being pregnant in Decemeber. Which means they could be here today, tomorrow, next week. 26 or 27 week-ers. This scares me to death. It hurts me so bad to think of my babies having to struggle to live because my body failed. They'll have such a hard, long road. Luckily, I have the steroids already for their lung development. They're strong. They're measuring a week ahead in weight. But it's still going to be difficult.

The dreams of having babies and not taking them home immediately is gone. I won't be able to hold them for days.. even weeks. Tears stream my cheeks as I write. Suddenly birthday parties will mean more than another year marker. Suddenly all the sleepless nights most mom's fear is something I crave. I crave to hold my babies, rock them to sleep. Comfort them. I crave normal. I want plump, overweight, screaming babies. And it's a possibility I have to come to term with that may not happen.. and it sure wont' happen for a long time. I want to chase them around the yard, I want to scare away the monsters from their closet. I want to be a mom. I want to worry about if they've peed and pooped today. I want to worry about normal mommy stuff. Not if my baby is going to stop breathing, have brain bleeds or need CPR today. I just want normal.

I write this for me. I write this so I can remember. I never want to forget what I'm working for. I never want to take my children for granted. God knows best, yes, he has a plan. But its hard to tell a scared mommy that.