With Valentines Day coming, I started thinking back to what would be my most memorable Valentines day that I've had. One in particular didn't involve Jay per-say, so I ignored it and thought some more. But, I kept coming back to that one particular Valentines Day, so I sat and thought long and hard about it. It did have to do with great love, only this was not a love between and man and woman, but between a mother and her children.
This is the story of my most memorable Valentines Day:
We had tried for quite a while to have children. I don't ovulate, and that creates a problem for someone wanting to have children, so we sought out the help of a fertility specialist. Finally after many shots given by doctors, nurses, physician assistants and even by Jay (that's a whole other post in itself), we were blessed with getting pregnant.
My first ultrasound showed I had twins. The next ultrasound I had done showed triplets. One night I miscarried one of the babies and from that point on I was put on bedrest.
Jay was incredible during that time. Our old farmhouse only had one bathroom and it was on the main floor, but our bedroom was upstairs. So he put a mattress on the living room floor right next to the couch for me to sleep on, and he slept on the couch. He could have been upstairs with the whole bed to himself, but instead he willingly slept on that old uncomfortable couch next to me. He bought an office chair with wheels so I could wheel myself to and from the bathroom and also out to the kitchen to get something to eat or drink.
It wasn't long and we learned I had toxemia. I was retaining fluid and it was very noticeable, and I looked swollen.
In January I started weekly doctor visits. By this time I looked larger than someone who is ready to deliver due to the fluid retention, and I was barely 5 months. My blood pressure was going up, up, up and the doctor didn't like what he saw. He said that basically my body is not handling being pregnant with more than one baby.
Valentines day was coming and I begged Jay to take me out to eat somewhere just for that one night to celebrate our last Valentines day alone as a couple. I love good jumbo shrimp and there is a place not far that has the best! He reluctantly agreed and I felt giddy with excitement at the thought we were being so sneaky.
I had a morning doctor appointment on Valentines day and our plan was to go out to eat for lunch (instead of supper) before heading back home. I was still on bedrest, but we had rented a wheelchair to get me to and from appointments, so we just planned to use that, which I felt would be no different than if I were rolling around in the house on my office chair with wheels. Here is the actual insert from a journal I kept while going through our fertility treatments and pregnancy:
February 14, 1990: Happy Valentines day! Today Jay and I are going to go out for a Valentines day lunch. I know I'm supposed to stay on bedrest, but oh man it has been so long since I was out anywhere except to a doctors appointment.
At my doctors appointment this morning I had an another ultrasound done. Both babies are doing good - praise God! I also had blood drawn for a glucose test and found that I have gestational diabetes. Dr. Bob said that's not all that abnormal in multiple births and it will go away after the babies are born. However due to that and all the swelling I have going on, I'm to monitor my salt intake closely. Guess that means no salt on my eggs huh?
My blood pressure wasn't good today. Sitting down, the reading was 180/96 and laying down it was 182/108. Usually when you check someones blood pressure when laying down it's lower. I don't know if it's because of the pressure I feel with the two babies when I lay down or if that has nothing to do with it, but man is it uncomfortable to lay on my back. One of them is always in my ribs, and the other is always on my bladder, so I can't breathe and I pee all the time.
Dr. Bob didn't like the readings at all and told me he was sending me on a trip - a trip to the hospital to be admitted so they could monitor me closer. I started to cry and said "But Dr. Bob, we were going to sneak me out for some shrimp. Please can I wait a couple of hours to go to the hospital?" He patted my shoulder and said he'd allow Jay to bring me some shrimp. He doesn't get it that the shrimp isn't the important part.
I'm not sure how long I'll be here in the hospital. I'm still not even to that magical number of 30 weeks yet. If something happens this early, I'll definitely have to go to Des Moines to deliver because the have a NICU there and this hospital doesn't. Jay got me all settled in at the hospital and let me have a good cry. He went home to get some things I needed, and when he came back he gave me my Valentines day card and a white teddy bear wearing a pink t-shirt that says "You're Mine". (*which I still have*). He stayed for a while and then he left.
I feel so alone and scared. I know that the high blood pressure isn't a good thing. I know that my protein levels are rising, which also isn't good. I can't imagine going through all this and then not being around to enjoy our babies. Please God take care of me. I'm also scared for my babies. They are so tiny yet and they aren't strong enough to survive. Please allow them to stay strong and healthy inside me for as long as possible God.
I have been crying for a while now and I can't stop. I will probably cry myself to sleep.
So that is my most memorable Valentines day. Not romantic, but definitely unforgettable....and less than 1 month from that date I had beautiful identical twin daughters.