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Maureen and Andrew's
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October 30 & 31, 1998
26 weeks + 1 day, I must Admit!
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After our appointment on Wednesday with the pediatric Doctor, we came home. But after Wednesday, Maureen just wasn't feeling the kicks the same as she had been earlier. Up to now they had been very few and muffled, mainly because of the placement of the placenta across the top (anterior?) but also due to the small size of the babies.
She grew concerned on Thursday evening, when she hadn't felt much during the day.
So, on Friday, we went to the high risk unit, and asked for a check-up to verify all was okay.
Dr Seaward saw us, and conducted the scan and blood flow measurements (on the new machine again (it really does give a better clearer picture!)). All looked fine. There was quite a bit of movement from Abigail, and she was now head down, with her feet near Mo's belly button, so that is why she felt less movement. That is where the thick placenta is!  When he took her blood pressure, Maureen's blood pressure was elevated (145 over 105, I think) and that concerned him. He was also concerned by the fact that though the ultrasound showed a lot of movement, Maureen wasn't able to feel it (because of the above factors), and she really wouldn't be able to tell if the babies were getting into any sort of distress. (i.e. if she were really able to say there was less movement, then we could take that as a cause for concern and we could rush into the hospital. But since she couldn't feel the "normal" movements, then she really had nothing to go by, distress-wise!)
So, Dr Seaward was really considering admitting Maureen so she could be watched more closely. He decided that if her blood pressure did not fall in a couple of hours, then he would admit her. We went to the day-room, for bloods to be drawn, and a fetal heart stress test to be performed.
The stress test, is performed, simply by pressing highly sensitive microphones to Maureen's belly, and listening to the heart beats of the babies. As the microphones listen, they print the hear rate on a strip of paper, and you can easily see what the hearts are doing.
The heartbeats of both babies were typically 145 - 165. They showed no abnormal drops or rises, and they were considered good. (apparently the stress measurement is not really accurate on babies before 28 weeks, so it was really just a quick way to monitor them for a period of time)
By the time her blood work came back a couple of hours later, her pressure was checked and it was back to the 120 over 85 range, and due to the fact that there were no beds available, Dr Seaward sent us home, but he asked us to come in and be checked Saturday and Sunday, just to be safe.
We are near the point now where every day counts, but we do not want to be caught unaware, and find we have waited too long to save the babies.

SO, on Saturday, after dropping Olive at Union Station, we went to our appt. at the hospital. (as Bob says: "what good is bed rest if they keep asking you to go to the hospital to be checked! That isn't much of a rest!"). Dr Kelly Murphy gave Maureen an ultrasound exam, and found that though the blood flow looked good in Abigail, and adequate in Boris, she didn't see a lot of movement. There was movement, but not to the same degree that Dr. Seaward had described to her after the Friday exam. She didn't like the looks of the amniotic fluid (I think it was about the same as it had been the last few visits, but she just had no reference to go by since she hadn't checked on us for a while!) Being cautious, she decided that she would like to admit Maureen to the Hospital, for closer observation. In hospital, they could do more stress tests, and check with ultrasound more frequently.

So, our 11am appointment turned into being admitted to hospital. Maureen had a stress test in Obstetrics Labour and Delivery (the area where mothers are about to give birth), and it looked fine, and finally around 4:30 a bed was freed up in the maternity floor. Reuters, the darlings that they are, provide "private" room coverage, so Maureen has been given a room of her own.
(for you relatives who might like to give her a call, she is in room 706 at Mt. Sinai, and the phone number is (416) 586-4800 x4705.) 
She was admitted on Saturday 31, 1998, and we don't know how long she will be in there. This situation is literally being decided on a day-to-day basis. If Abigail shows any sort of distress, they will schedule a Caesarean section. Hopefully it won't happen that quickly, and they'll schedule it for the next day, but we just don't know.

That is the latest.

I'll try to fill in the previous pages data soon.

Baby A weighs approx. 580 grams, and Baby B weighs approx. 340-370 grams.
They are still very, very tiny babies.

.... Andrew

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