In the morning hours of day three in the hospital, the cocktail of medications and remedies that had been administered were beginning to do their job. The machine was letting me know that I was no longer having contractions, yet thanks to the muscle relaxers, I don’t think I would’ve felt them anyway.
My muscles were shaky and achy and I longed to take a nap. I knew the doctor would be arriving in the afternoon to let us know the verdict: could we go home or would there be more hospital time? Had my labor stopped or would these boys be here soon?
My brain began formulating all the possible scenarios.
He’d come in and probably check me for dilation (gag).
He’d say we’d have to stay here another night. Or worse, he’ll make me stay on bed rest in this tiny hospital room for weeks.
He’s going to say we’ll have to do an emergency c-section for whatever reason.
The different possibilities swirled in my head as we awaited his arrival.
By 3:00 pm, not my doctor, but rather another doctor in their practice, arrived to our room. He was saying hello as he slipped on his facemask and we all followed suit.
As he was taking a seat on the chair next to the bed, I heard him say, “So, how far do you live from the hospital?”
Well, that’s an odd topic for small talk, but I obliged. “Uhm, like fifteen or twenty minutes.”
“Great,” he paused. “Go home.”
“Wait, what?” Jimmy and I said.
“Go. Rest in your own bed. We’ve done what we can here. Medication won’t stop labor…nature runs its course. What we’ve done here is taken a few days to slow your contractions so the twins can get the steroids and have the best chance possible for when they do arrive.”
Jimmy and I were speechless. We were hanging on to his every word.
“You’ve made it to 32 weeks with twins and 32 weeks is golden. You should be proud. At this point, your body thinks you’re like, 50 weeks pregnant, so 32 to 34 weeks with twins is pretty common.”
Jimmy and I looked at each other and I knew we were thinking the same thing: why did no one tell us that?
“I’m sorry,” I laughed. “It’s just everyone told us we’d make it to thirty-six weeks. We didn’t know this was common.”
Or we’d have a lot more prepared by 30 weeks, I thought.
“Well, 36 weeks is the average. But 32-34 is great. How big are they measuring?”
“Well, at my 30 week appointment they were 3 pounds 14 ounces and four pounds.”
“…Yeah that’s huge,” he stated.
This is not new. Nurses from the triage, nurses at the doctor’s office, my doctor all tend to comment on the size of these boys.
“So, am I going to be on bed rest when I go home?” I asked. I dreaded his response. I don’t do well doing nothing.
“Nah,” he said, nonchalantly. “I want you up and moving, just take it easy. Think of this more as house arrest…don’t go anywhere or do anything, just in case. You want to be ready to go to the hospital at anytime.”
“No worries,” Jimmy laughed. “We’ve been on house arrest for the last five months.”
“One more question,” I interjected. “Are you sending me home on the medication to keep the contractions at bay?”
“Nah,” he shrugged.
I kept thinking how different, how laid back he was compared to my cautious, analytical doctor.
“So basically, we’re going home and just waiting for it to happen?” I questioned.
“Absolutely. I mean, you’ve got the steroids, they’ve had a few more days to cook. I’m not worried about it. Anytime you feel like you need to come in, even if it isn’t time, the OB ER is open 24 hours. Don’t hesitate. We know our twin moms are going to be frequent flyers because you’re more high risk.”
I felt relief washing over me as he spoke. I’m pretty sure Jimmy was already packing his area. Sweet freedom!
“Yup, go home, make those last minute preparations. If you have bleeding, if your contractions become more intense, or if your water breaks…you know where to go. Consider this stay a practice run.”
“I can’t thank you enough,” I said.
“Sure. Emma here will get your discharge papers. Go see our doctors like normal this week and we’ll probably see you soon.”
He waved and made his way out the door, followed by the nurse who would be giving us our discharge papers.
Jimmy and I were smiling from ear to ear.
“Oh my god, I really thought we were about to become parents this week,” Jimmy laughed.
“Me, too,” I gasped with my hands to my chest. “I thought I was going to have to go on bed rest. I’m so glad I can move around again!”
Jimmy was stuffing blankets and pillows into bags while I changed into normal clothing for the first time in three days.
Jimmy made trips to the car while I signed my discharge papers with the nurse. I was told again the signs of labor so I could be on the lookout for the next few weeks…or days.
“Would you like me to take you down in a wheelchair?” the nurse asked.
“If you don’t mind…I’d really like to walk.” I answered.
“That’s no problem. Totally your choice!” she laughed.
I have never been happier getting into my car. I have never been happier to still be pregnant. We drove in silence for a while, soaking in the joy that we still had time to prepare, that the boys still had time to cook, and we could soak up a few more days being just us.
“So, was it just me,” Jimmy broke the silence, “or did that feel like a movie, when people are dying, and the doctors say ‘We’ve done all we can. Go home, make them comfortable, let them die in their own bed.’ Except it’s like ‘Go home, get comfortable and let your labor happen on its own.’”
“Exactly,” I laughed. “We still have no plan.”
And that’s the truth. If there’s something we’ve learned about twin pregnancy, it’s that no plan is the plan. Your doctor may say, “The plan is to deliver at 36 weeks,” but that plan never goes into writing. You’re never given a date for the calendar. You just go to appointments every two weeks and hope that this time you’ll get more solid answers. Will I have a C-Section or will I deliver vaginally? What day will we schedule this? But solid answers never come.
And that’s due to the inability to predict just how your journey with twins will go. There are too many moving parts, too many variables to be factored in. And sometimes, there’s no time to plan because nature will take its course.
We don’t know when we’ll become parents. At this point, it could be anytime. It could be this weekend, or, God willing, they’ll get more time in utero and it’ll be two weeks from now.
Whatever the case, we’ll continue trusting in God’s timing and dancing along with the plan that doesn’t exist.