Jennifer Pinizzotto, Folsom, CA
The Triplet Connection Newsletter
(although this is not a TTTS pregnancy, it is a good story for the importance of bed rest)
September 23, 1992, began as every other day had since I had started bed rest 10 weeks prior at 20 weeks gestation. That morning, however, I received a surprise phone call from my doctor who was responding to a concerned call from my husband. I told the doctor that everything was all right and that my husband was simply growing impatient with my confinement. I agreed to see the doctor that afternoon. I expected a routine appointment, but I had dilated three centimeters, and I ended up admitted to “Hotel Kaiser”.
That first evening, an army of doctors, nurses, and technicians saw to my care. Each was concerned that I might begin labor. I did not come to the hospital ill or tired, but by the following morning, I was both.
At first I was monitored during every shift –quite a feat with triplets, since it would often take more than 30 minutes to find three separate heartbeats. However, as days passed, I needed only one monitoring session. One evening I had more contractions than usual. I was given magnesium sulfate. The literature said that this medication has relatively few side effects, but I found it to be awful. Within a day I began the Terbutaline Pump. At least I could tolerate this medication.
I began to settle in, realizing that I probably wasn’t going home for some time. Sometimes I would entertain the thought of going home for the day, but my doctor would convince me otherwise. I was committed to giving these babies the best possible start, but being confined to the hospital and to bed was hard. I longed to walk in the rain, and when a friend delivering her baby was hospitalized for only 24 hours, I wondered if I were ever going home. I did enjoy the use of a VCR and friendly conversation with my roommate, and I received a lot of visitors and calls from concerned friends and family.
My goal was to reach 34 weeks, but I was coaxed to go until 36 weeks. On October 31, 1992, I gave birth by c-section to Justin Michael (5-8), Janelle (4-2 1/2), and Tom Nunzio, Jr., “T.J.” (4-15). My six week hospital stay had paid off! I can now offer the following advice to anyone who may be contemplating or experiencing a long hospital stay:
First, commit to providing your babies the best possible start in life by having them benefit from these ‘safe” days in the womb.
Remember that these days will pass, and soon you will be holding your precious babies. Relax! You’ll be busy soon enough.
Ask family and friends to bring your favorite foods.
Sleep –Turn off the phone; close the door; delay meals.
Ask for a roommate with similar medications so there are fewer interruptions. If you don’t like your roommate, ask for a room change!
Catch up on your reading, needlepoint, or cross-stitch. You certainly won’t have time later.
If allowed, sit outside for some fresh air.
Good luck, and remember, “It’s worthwhile, and it is temporary.”