So we had a bit of a scare yesterday. It was a normal Friday afternoon and I had just eaten lunch and was teaching my 5th hour class. At around 1pm I began to feel what I had assumed were gas pains in my lower right abdomen, but the sensation kept growing more severe and painful. After a few minutes the pain was such that I couldn’t take a full breath and I began sweating and got quite flushed. While my Spanish students were doing an activity, I called my assistant principal to watch my class while I caught my breath, or whatever, in the bathroom. He sent a secretary in after me…who sent a counselor in after me…who sent the principal in after me…who sent the nurse in after me.
In a very crowded small bathroom I was attempting to control the pain, not freak out, and stop crying. So many things were going through my mind! Pre-term labor, appendicitis, fetal distress, a possible helicopter ride to the nearby hospital with a Level III NICU. I was so scared that I think I was in denial about how serious the situation was, and kept insisting I would be fine to go back to teach class. When the pain got so bad that I realized I really needed to go home, I still was adamant that I could drive myself. I am incredibly lucky to have such thoughtful co-workers who have more sense than a pain-crazed pregnant woman. They made sure I was given a ride and got home safely.
As soon as I got home C and I got in the car and headed to the ER, which luckily is located only about 3 minutes away from our house, and arrived at 2:40. There were four or five people waiting out front when we got there and I felt so self-conscious. I am obviously pregnant, sobbing, and gasping from the pain. They (like me) probably assumed the worse.
We didn’t have to wait long to get through triage and get a room. They took blood and urine samples, checked the babies’ heart rates and did two ultrasounds. The pain was so severe that I just kind of “let go” after I found out that the babies were fine. My mind checked out and I didn’t really care what happened to me; I just knew that they were safe. After a few hours the doctors were able to rule out the very scary possibilities such as appendicitis, gallbladder issues, and kidney stones. Due to the my pain coming and going, they were afraid that it could be pre-term labor, so they called my OB who admitted me to the mother/baby unit for overnight monitoring.
It was a VERY long night, during which neither C nor I got much sleep. I was incredibly exhausted, but kept being awoken by beeping, alarms, monitors, medications, and nurses. This morning my OB came back to look at the results from last night’s monitoring and definitely ruled out pre-term labor. Instead, he said that I have hydronephrosis, which is swelling of and fluid buildup around the right kidney. It caused by the babies pressing against the tube that carries urine from the kidney to the bladder/urethra and can be incredibly painful. Hydronephrosis is relatively common in twin pregnancies, which was reassuring. It is not incredibly serious as long as I stay active (no bed rest…hooray!), drink lots of water, and keep the pain under control. Unfortunately, it will be a chronic problem until I have the babies.
My OB is keeping me tonight for observation as well, just in case. I hope I get to go home somewhat early tomorrow!