By: Heather Somaini
Tere’s home. Sounds like a good thing, right? Well it was – until it was actually happening. It’s sort of difficult to take care of someone at home, keep the house stocked in food, and hold down your 12-hour-a-day job. It was stressful. I know that sounds silly – how hard can it be to make sure there is enough food in the house for one pregnant lady? Think about that for a minute. It’s nearly impossible to make a pregnant woman happy when it comes to food unless you’re living in a supermarket and next door to every restaurant she loves. I’m serious.
A week after Tere returned home, we had a follow-up appointment with our perinatologist. Dr. P was out of town so we saw his colleague, Dr. S (not to be confused with Dr. S, our fertility specialist). The cerclage was, at a minimum, doing its job and keeping everyone inside, but Tere’s cervix wasn’t improving like they thought or hoped it would. Dr. S sent Tere back home for another week of bed rest.
We had been planning to leave the next day for the great state of Tennessee. The great state of Tennessee? Yes, I know, it seems odd since I grew up overseas and my family is originally from Vermont. The simple answer is that when my parents decided to retire and move back to the states, they bought land on a lake just south of Knoxville. This Christmas was going to be the first one with all of us at my parents’ new house on which they had recently completed construction. My mom was ridiculously excited to fully outfit her new house with every Christmas ornament and decoration she had collected over the 25-plus years she had been in Europe. I had convinced everyone to be there.
And we weren’t.
Tere and I spent Christmas at our house. I have no idea what we ate and I have a feeling it was pretty uneventful. I do remember spending a lot of time talking to my family that day. My mom was incredibly sad and I kept reassuring her that nothing else would have stopped me from coming home. And although she understood, it was heartbreaking that we weren’t all together for the holidays.
A few days after Christmas, Tere had another follow-up appointment with Dr. C. She had to have a glucose test to check and see if she had gestational diabetes , which from what everyone says, tastes like you’re drinking this really sweet orange soda. That can’t be good.
Dr. C also checked Tere’s cervical length. After a short discussion and an apology about spending New Year’s at Cedars, I drove Tere back over to the hospital. At least this time she didn’t have to be dropped off at the emergency room and sent upstairs in a wheelchair. It was December 29th and Los Angeles was pretty quiet, including Cedars-Sinai. I knew how the parking system worked and drove straight to the perfect parking structure and escorted Tere directly up to Labor & Delivery.
They checked us in and set Tere up in a room in the MFCU – Maternal Fetal Care Unit. She was one door down from the room she had been in only two weeks earlier. We were feeling quite cocky since we had already done this before. We were old hats and knew the system well – nothing to worry about.
And then it seemed like all hell broke loose…