Between the nurse checking my vitals constantly and the euphoria that I had healthy twins, it was difficult to sleep that first night.
The next morning the doctor who delivered me came around to follow up. She checked my incision, pressed down on my stomach to feel my uterus, and then talked to me about my ovaries. She said, "Each of your ovaries has about 12-15 golf ball size cysts on them. They will probably shrink back down to normal size eventually. The biggest risk is having them torque and causing excruciating pain. You'd probably think your appendix burst. But your ovaries are pretty even and round so they're not likely to do that. And I tucked them in using the uterus to hold them in place. They're the biggest ovaries I've ever seen. Be aware that you'll have major hormone changes following a twin birth- especially with your ovaries in that condition. Make sure you prevent pregnancy right now -- or you will most likely have at least a twin pregnancy."
The thought of a twin pregnancy in my immediate future was absolute horrifying. I dwelt on the "major hormone changes" part.
"What do you mean by major hormone changes?" I asked.
"Oh," she stammered, "you know, like anything that's from hormone changes." It was as if she was worried about scaring me with her answer.
"So like crying or depression?" I inquired.
"At least," she said.
"Do we know if the placenta is a single placenta? Or is it two fused together?" I changed the subject trying to find out about everything I had questions on before she left.
"It's been sent to pathology. That process sometimes takes a couple days."
"So my ovaries are huge then?" I asked, back to my ovaries again.
"Well yes. Do you have a local OB?" she asked.
"Yes, right off base from where we live."
"He will follow up with you and likely scan the ovaries at six weeks post-partum. Or you can come up here and we can follow up. But don't be worried about that. The thing we are concerned about most is your anemia and blood levels. Your H & H (hemoglobin and hematocrit) after the delivery indicate your iron level is 5.9. That's very dangerous. Normally I don't like to recommend blood transfusions, but I think it's what we need here."
I asked about the risks of a blood transfusion and how it actually happens. She explained the very minor chance of getting Hepatitis or HIV from it. She then explained the blood transfusion is just with a bag hung from an IV pole just like an IV. I guess I was envisioning Dialysis. I was relieved. She asked me if I would accept a blood transfusion. I agreed.
I asked her about my pain during the c-section. "I felt a lot of pain during the c-section. Is that because of my ovaries? Would I normally not feel anything?"
She looked uncomfortable. "Well, your anesthesiologist was very quiet. He wasn't communicating what he was doing and by the time he started to administer more drugs, it was too late and your body wasn't accepting them. Normally you don't feel anything."
Shortly after she left I was finally approved for solid food again. I was so excited. It was 9 a.m. and they were still serving breakfast. Lunch was at 1 p.m. the day before, and other than a couple contraband Dove chocolates, I had only had ice chips in the entire time- not even water. I ordered Cheerios, milk, a banana, and two sausage links and orange juice.
When breakfast arrived I inhaled orange juice and ate a sausage link. That stayed down about 90 seconds. I paged the nurse to say I was nauseas and before she could get there Danny held pressure over my incision as I puked it all back up. I was so disappointed. I love sausage. She said it was most likely the drugs and asked if I wanted some saltines. Oh yum, saltines.
Later the doctor called the nurses and requested I be given a fluid enhancer holding off on the blood transfusion to "try to trick the body into thinking I had enough blood." My body was sure tricked as I swelled up to the size of a hippo. Nurses for the next day would come in and check my swelling by poking fingers into my cankles and seeing the indention stay there. My vitals and blood tests didn't change much other than discovering I had a "raging infection somewhere in my body." By midnight they decided they needed to order the blood transfusion.
to be continued . . .
read The twin birth story part 3
read The twin birth story part 5