Where to start? How about the beginning :)
When is the beginning? To make things simple (for this blog's sake) I'm starting at the beginning of when we became a family of five. Indeed, a very scary time for us.
I had a fairly uncomplicated twin pregnancy until about 27 weeks, when I was placed on full bedrest at home due to hypertension. A few days later, my doc put me in the hospital due to hypertension (which was continuing to go up, despite my bedrest) and elevated protein levels in my urine. This was enough to diagnose me with pre-eclampsia (or toxemia, as it is more commonly known.) I was prepared for the long haul: staying in the hospital until the babies were born in about 8-10 weeks. However when I was admitted, the perinatologist immediately informed me that my rapidly rising protein levels meant that my liver was not functioning right, and it was becoming increasingly unsafe for the babies to stay inside me. She told me that I would be monitored closely, and that I could deliver any day.
I Could Deliver Any Day.
Shock. We were in shock.
I looked down at the ultrasound pictures on my lap. My babies weighed just 2 lbs and 2 1/2 lbs each. I looked back up at the doctor and stammered,
"...but I'm only 28 weeks."
She reassured me that I was in the best place possible, given their pending premature birth. The Children's Hospital of Illinois NICU is a level 3. That is the highest level. Our neonatologists and nurses are top-notch. Your babies will have the best care in the country.
I could not wrap my mind around her words: the babies would not be safe inside me any longer. How is that even possible? Isn't the mother's womb the safest place for a growing baby (or two?) Why was my body betraying me now, when I needed it the most?