At this point, I have already celebrated many holidays here at the hospital, but they did have to be modified due to the circumstances. For instance, my Hanukkah menorah was made up of electric candles instead of real ones, I didn't drink any champagne on New Year's Eve, and most importantly, my awesome "Dirty Thirty" travel birthday plans were completely cancelled. Now with Valentine's Day on the horizon, I knew this February 14th would be very different from all of the ones before. Even so, my husband and I both had plans to make this Valentine's Day as normal as possible and use it as another excuse to express our love for one another. Before I get into the festivities, there were some major developments that happened the day before. Out of the blue I started having lots of contractions which was strange because there was not anything that I was doing differently with my activity level. I was still just lying in bed 99% of the day. About two weeks prior, my doctor did take me off of the anti-contraction medication I was on since my amniotic fluid levels were getting low, and that was a possible side effect from the meds. They were monitoring me closely to make sure that the fluid levels went back to normal, which they did, and that I was not having any more contractions. Everything was going just fine until February 13th when my contractions kicked into high gear. I have never been able to feel any of these contractions for whatever reason but they show up on the contraction monitor and alert the nurses that there is an issue. One or two contractions every couple of hours is not a big deal, but on Monday they jumped up to nine per hour! It was a good thing that I was not able to feel them because they were not very intense but the frequency was concerning because quantity could be dangerous regardless of the level of intensity. I was started on a new anti-contraction medication that night which gave me a lot of unpleasant side effects. The side effects did not hurt the babies at all but they made me very uncomfortable while my body was getting used to this new drug. In addition, I now had to be woken up to take the medication every six hours so at midnight and 6:00am my sleep was interrupted. Other than being woken up to take the medication, every time I was having contractions, the nurse would come in to wake me up to empty my bladder to help stop the contractions. If your bladder is full, there is less room for the uterus and contractions are more likely to occur until the bladder is emptied. Overall, this new fiasco meant very little sleep for me and more importantly a fear that this complication could get worse.
The next day after barely sleeping, Brett came by in the morning and surprised me with two bouquets of roses, balloons, and wall decorations for my room. He brought me an amazing gift as well which was one of our wedding pictures blown up onto a canvas. I cried when I opened it because it was so thoughtful and beautiful. I had already given Brett his gift the week before since all of my shopping had to be done online and shipped out. I ordered him a Burke Williams Spa gift card so that he can have some relaxation between taking care of me, the kitties, the bills, the apartment, etc. So far, my Valentine's Day was pretty awesome considering the circumstances. He left for work and then came back in the evening with take-out from Buca Di Beppo which was so much better than the usual hospital cafeteria food. Luckily, throughout the day, the medication had started to work with me having less contractions than before but still not as few as when I was on the first medication. Regardless of this new scary situation, I just focused on enjoying the holiday and visualizing my uterus calming down so that I could get another couple of months to have these babies cook. I never imagined that our last Valentine's Day without kids would be like this but in the end, we made the best of it and now we can look forward to sharing this holiday with our twins in the years to come.
*The song "My Funny Valentine" is from the 1937 Broadway musical Babes in Armsby Rogers & Hart. This song became a very famous standard after being in the show and most people today don't even know that it originated from this early musical. For me, this song represents how even though you may not have the most perfect Valentine or Valentine's Day, it really doesn't matter because love is what is truly important. I did have a "funny" Valentine's Day with not being able to go out on a real date with my husband and being stuck in bed with scary contractions, but we made it work. This whole bed rest experience has been about adapting to change and embracing it instead of getting upset that expectations have been skewed. Just one more life lesson to work on by the time the twins arrive.