Saturday, April 28, 2007

A Virgin to the Hospital

By the picture, you can guess where Scott and I spent 10:30 pm - 1:30 am last evening... at Riverside Hospital! Before I go on, all is well, thank goodness.

I had been experiencing contractions for a little over a week now. My OB reassured me that as long as they were erratic and not occurring more than 5 times in an hour. Last night, while watching "Saturday Night Fever" and eating Donatos Pizza, I began getting nervous about how frequently they were coming. Scott got out his handy-dandy stopwatch and we discovered them to be consistently 10 minutes apart... 6 in an hour. These contractions aren't painful, just a strong tightening lasting 20-45 seconds. We called, just to check. The gal on call from my OB's group said to count for another hour and call her back. This time I was experiencing them every 5-8 minutes - about 8 in an hour. When we called back, she said to head to Labor and Delivery.

So off we went, in our loyal Town and Country. They put that contraction-monitor-thingy on along with the devises that track the babys' heart beats. So it was cool for about an hour, but after two I was wondering WHAT AM I DOING HERE (the contractions were pretty regular still)? I was a virgin to being an actual patient in a hospital, although you'd think with how often I've visited I would be familiar with how LONG everything takes!

Bottom line - they finally did an FFN, which is supposed to indicate if labor is imminent in the next 10-14 days. It tested negative (meaning I WON'T go into delivery in the next 10-14 days), so that, along with the fact that I hadn't become more dilated, convinced them NOT to administer the medication designed to stop contractions.

So that was it! Back home we went... This journey truly is the ARTHUR ADVENTURE! Think I could write a book?

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Day 3

Today is my third day on bed rest here at home in Columbus. Actually, I've been pretty sane. The majoy dilemmas are: #1) I don't yet have a land line (Time Warner dude coming next week, thank GOODNESS), so my cell calls should be limited and #2) I don't yet have internet access (we had been getting away with using Scott's work lap top in the evenings, but when he is gone all day, I am left strandid with no online access... this too shall pass, because we invested in a "family" lap top to be delivered next week also). So in the mean time, I must make do with reading, writing, watching movies, and writing to do lists (which someone else will have to actually DO!).

Sunday was my first baby shower - I felt SOOO honored. It was a lovely occasion, filled with really special women friends. The girlfriend-ness of the event really was felt, and I am so deeply grateful for these ladies' involvement in my life. And you should see the loot! Lynette and I have been organizing (let me rephrase that: Lynette has been organizing while I "supervise!") the heaps of blankets, towels, washcloths, and clothes from the shower. How lucky I am!

Scott and I went straight from the shower to Carmax, where we retrieved "Tipsy" the Town and Country [the name just came to me]. Yes, it's official. We are mini van owners. You can see by the look on Scott's face just how thrilled he was with the purchase. In all honesty, he is enjoying the "grown up" feel of Dadhood... I think the van was a milestone in that progress!

Monday was another OB appointment (an unroutine one I requested be scheduled so that I could make a decision about my plans to return to Louisville to spend time with Mom). Dr Paul was quite clear about discouraging my trip back. Monday was a tough day for me, because that news meant for me uncertainty about when I would see Mom next. And it also meant my dear aunts would need to cancel/reschedule their already-planned baby showers this weekend in Louisville. As it turns out, we have re-invented the event to include all ladies in an Open House format - honoring Mom as a Gradmother To Be. SHE will be the guest of honor in my place. She has been so looking forward to these showers and this gives her the chance to still celebrate. Mom always loves a good party!

Her first radiation treatment, of 10, began today. The hope is that this will assist in reducing the brain swelling for extending life and helping increase brain function during the time she has remaining with us. I will keep updating her condition.

Monday, April 23, 2007

Bed Rest Blues

Today was truly the first REAL experience with being on bed rest in my own home on a weekday while the rest of the world was working. I don't much care for it, to be truthful.

My cell phone bill is going to be outrageous, first off.

It wore me out so much (sarcasm) that I'm exhausted at 10:05 pm. So off to bed. More later.

Friday, April 20, 2007

Update from Louisville

I have spent the past 4 days here in Louisville visiting with Mom and the rest of the family. I envisioned helping with cooking and cleaning and getting Mom to and from appointments. I imagined giving Dad a break and serving him for awhile. I guess in the past few months, God is trying to teach me, "Don't plan, Tricia." Because as soon as I make one, it gets turned upside down.

Because I have been directed to stay off my feet, it has turned into ME being served (not what I had in mind at all) while here. So poor Dad and Grandmom and Grandad are doing double duty. Can you imagine how frustrating this is for me? But they are all being very gracious, trying to avoid me from straining myself or the babies. Dad has been a saint... he works non-stop, doing dishes, bringing Mom and I food and snacks, making necessary medical phone calls, getting laundry under control, and taking Mom to all the appointments. He really is an excellent care-provider. We are lucky.

Mom's state seems to change based on the day. When I first arrived (Tues), she was really having trouble communicating, thinking, and getting around (VERY weak on her feet). She fell three times in one day, leading to the decision to take her to the emergency room. At that juncture, her medical team made the decision to refer her for Hospice, which had already been a thought of the family's. They also made the decision to take her off two of her pills - an oral chemo she had been taking and reducing steroid drugs. It seems that, since that time, she has seemed a little more with-it and able to communicate. Last night, in fact, she played bridge with her girlfriends (who she affectionately calls "The Bridge Babes") and did great! Even won $4!

Today is the first of 10 days of a low-intensity radiation treatment, intended to extend life. She also met this morning with the Hospice folks, who are truly wonderful (so far!) in their graciousness and sensitivity. Today was just an initial introduction to the services they offer and explanation of what to expect. They will be bringing by a hopsital bed this afternoon.

We are trucking along. This is no doubt a tough time. And really that is all there is to say: it's just tough. But we are blessed to have a supportive network of family and friends. And I am blessed to have an incredible husband and friends to see me personally through this journey. I am grateful. God is faithful. This is one unwaivering truth I hold to be certain.

Monday, April 16, 2007

Level 2

Today was another set of appointments, both with regular and high risk OBs.

Good news: The boys are still growing very much on pace with how they should be developing. Their estimated weights are: Duncan 2 lbs 12 oz., Jackson 2 lbs, 11 oz. I was VERY excited about this, because I had felt like I hadn't been gaining much weight recently. Apparently, they are taking exactly what they need, because their weights are normal, even for singletons at this stage in pregnancy (apparently, it is at week 30 that twins start slowing down in growth, as compared to singletons).

Bad news: The bed rest begins. Dr. Paul examined my cervix (sorry, guys, to be specific!) and I am dilated just a wee bit. She placed me on Level 2 rest, which means I need to not work (thank goodness those wheels were already set into motion!) and be off my feet as much as possible. I can still be up to shower, go to the bathroom, and do some short walking/standing. But overall, I gotta watch it. ALL FOR THE BABIES!

Speaking of work, today was my last day at Liberty High School for some time. My students were caught off guard - I didn't tell them until today. They were sweet for the most part - very concerned and interested. I have been instructed to visit and share pictures... I have a feeling a proud mother of twins won't need to be prompted to send pics of her babes!

A busy day! I am feeling a bit icky about being bound to lounging... but all other signs seem to be pointing to a healthy pregnancy.

Sunday, April 15, 2007

Marvelous Multiples

A good friend of ours, Becky Smith, researched classes for parents with twins and found a great one offered by St. Annes. She "gifted" us with "Marvelous Multiples," and it was today from 9-3:30pm.

We got to ask lots of questions and listened to panelists with twins discuss their experiences. We are in for a ride, folks. A real ride. Let's talk about nursing, for one. Getting both those suckers latched on at the same time and burping them intermittently?!?!?! And can you imagine trying to go to the grocery store with two infant carriers by myself? (I think that might be a wait-for-Daddy-to-come-home activity).

I guess what I have found to be true is that with labor, birth, and the stages of parenting - THERE ARE NO ABSOLUTES. We will be making a lot of gut-decisions and experimentation. But what a gift to have two!

I am looking forward to my last day of school tomorrow, although with that comes some natural feelings of identity-shifting too. I'm not just taking off for a couple weeks while I visit in Louisville... I'm not just taking off for a month and a half until school lets out for the year. I am leaving my career for a minimum of 1 year and 5 months (at least until the 08-09 season). So - it will be a big goodbye to what has been a big part of my life. And on to a brand new part of my life. WOW! We are truly excited.

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Anything Goes

Well, it's official that anything now constitutes as "Spring" weather here in Ohio. The newest addition to our strange collection of cold, wind, rain, and snow is HAIL. Last night there was a major thunderstorm involving not only network airing interruptions from American Idol (can you tell I'm hooked?), but also a batch of dime-sized hail. ICK! I'd be perfectly happy with 50s at this point!

We have another set of appointments this Monday... one with my high risk OB and one with my regular OB. We'll get updates on size and weight. And we intend on asking final questions about what is safe travel-wise at this stage in the pregnancy.

I most likely will be heading to Louisville to spend time with Mom and family early next week (directly following the appointments Monday, if possible). Mom has taken a turn for the worse and I want to spend as much time with her as possible. Pray for all of us to be good care-providers for Mom and to help her have peace about the end of her life. We probably have between 3 months and 6 months to be with her.

Monday, April 9, 2007

The beginning of many more FIRSTS to come.

Tonight is our first Child Birthing class. Scott knew it was at 6:30pm... I had been reminding him for the past few days. But tonight at dinner, when he discovered its full length (6:30-9:30pm) and that there are a total of 4 of these suckers, he began wondering what all could they possibly prepare us for? In fact, his exact words were, "Doesn't nature just take its course?" On one hand, it DOES seem a bit excessive to plan 12 hours of training around the act of childbirth - on the other, I am left feeling nervous about all the things I don't know I don't know! YIKES!

This is the beginning of many brand new experiences. I'll let you know what I learn tonight. Well, on second thought, maybe you'd rather not learn!!

Sunday, April 8, 2007


Have we shared our baby twins' names?

Jackson Reed Arthur
Duncan Rann Arthur

"Rann" is a family name : Scott's dad's middle name. So, it's official~

Easter is here.

Happy Easter, All. Despite the chilling temps here in Columbus and the drooping tulips all around, we had a really fantastic Easter celebration. The day started with the Johnson family and Arthur family sleeping in (Mom and Dad are visiting here for the weekend)... then Dad and Scott prepared breakfast in bed for Mom and I. We all had breakfast in or around the bed (how bout that for family closeness?!).

Easter service was next at our church home. It was a wonderful sermon and music. This weekends' Christian celebration of new life was especially hard-hitting. Above is one shot of Mom and myself after Easter service.

We then moved to another meal... a tight knit Easter meal with just the four of us. It has been a nice day - and weekend altogether. Mom and I went yesterday for manicure and predicures along with Lynette, my mother-in-law. Whew, was that needed! Pampering felt good.

In closing, I have some pictures included from Florida. Though you might enjoy!

Monday, April 2, 2007

The latest

Duncan is 1 lb 15 oz and Jackson is 2 lbs 2 oz!!! The appointments today went very well and both the high risk OB and my regular OB were impressed by the status of the pregnancy. Whew, what a great bit of news for us! All for now - the NCAA Championship game is on and I'm whipped!