Item the first - Mandy wanted to know more about the terbutaline pump and the contraction monitor. It is about 2 inches by 3 inches and weighs less than 3 oz. It comes with a little case that theoretically clips to your belt loop but believe it or not my pajamas were not designed to be belted. I usually just carry it around in my hand. Actually, I usually forget all about it until it falls on the floor and starts bobbing after me. And then the cats pounce or Patrick steps on the cord or something. Many people think the age of physical comedy is dead but not me, sister. The difference between a continuous low dose and intermittent higher doses is that I no longer feel any terbutaline side effects. No shaky hands, no racing heart. Of course, I also have not had less than four contractions in an hour for over week and I am more frequently getting seven or nine or even twelve. I might be better off with a cotton candy pump. They have increased my dosage two times now and added a permanent extra dose yesterday. We will see.
The logistics of contraction monitoring is just like the setup at a doctor's office, only smaller. You get the velcro belt, the circlular plastic thing and a cord that attaches to a monitor. The monitor magically records contractions for an hour and then you send the recorded data to the nurses (I think mine are in Texas) via a fax-like machine. Within an hour the nurses call to tell you how many contractions you had and what they want you to do next.
To be honest, I do not think it has anything to do with preventing preterm labor but I am positive it prevents unnecessary L&D visits. In an ideal world we would all spend our pregnancies doing yoga and drinking kelp shakes but should you wind up worrying about an early baby the terb pump/monitor deal isn't so bad. And it is reassuring to know that someone who knows what they are doing is keeping an eye on you. That is my summary and I hope that helps.
Item the second - Since I showed hubris and mentioned that I am not suffering from any back pain or sleep problems or swelling or troubled breathing I have been smacked with something arguably worse. As is right and proper of course; never show hubris. I have gotten a migraine every single day since Wednesday. And I don't mean like gosh, my head sorta hurts, but a full-fledged 30 minutes of jagged flashing lights in the shape of a greater than sign followed by a CRUSHING headache. On Thursday I curled up on the couch and cried before throwing up into a bowl. Steve was so concerned he actually called my OB on his own initiative. Yesterday I had not one migraine but two. Thank god for Fiorcet and let me just say that the next person who criticizes the pharmaceutical industry in my presence is getting smacked in the mouth. Migraines are awful. Migraines while contracting are... there are no words.
But other than that, I feel terrific.
Item the third - Steve took Patrick to his parent-teacher-child conference this week. Being a parent is hard, that's all I have to say. We have NO IDEA what the right thing is to do with Patrick. None. We seem to be in a situation in which his existing mastery of the material is perceived as a good thing. Like, see? He got these problems right on this worksheet, so school is going great for him (although he needs to cooperate more with cleanup). Meanwhile, he had flipped the page over and written new problems for himself that were harder.
It's a pickle.
Item the fourth - I am finally realizing that I am most likely not going to carry these babies to 38 weeks. Steve and my mother were both, like, snuh, ya think? but I have really been thinking that I was not going to go into labor until I felt like it. Apart from a few scary moments over the past five weeks, I rarely feel like I should have a toothbrush in my purse or something just in case.
At Friday's appointment I was 50% effaced, a fingertip dilated (totally meaningless, probably just a souvenir from Patrick) and Baby A is at -1 station. I don't think any of these tell us anything, really, but combined with the contractions and the shortening cervix and the twin thing and the not gained much weight thing... well let us just say I am a candidate for 2007 babies. So I need to buy some long-sleeved undershirts and maybe get someone to wash the car seat that Steve was using to hold potting soil. Worse thing that happens is they sit in a closet somewhere for another two months.
Steve and Patrick finished one baby room and even put together the crib and the dresser for that room. Patrick filled the crib with couch cushions and a throw blanket, which actually looks pretty nice. A total hazard for the babies, of course, but I have noticed that designers always care more about how things look than how they work. Frank Lloyd, for example, did lovely things but when you go into a Wright house you will notice that there is no place to put actual stuff. Like shoes and baking powder and scissors. Stuff. Function. I told Patrick that babies don't sleep with pillows because they might suffocate and he stared at me for a long time before saying, "But these pillows are orange."
PS Since you asked, the REDBOOK post about infertility was written by Julie and was accidentally posted on the mom site instead of the infertility site.
PPS If Baltimore, Arizona, Oakland and Dallas win this afternoon Patrick wins the pool.