Food Friday: Magnesium sulfate and sugar water

Today’s Food Friday was going to be an Ina Garten cookie recipe, and it’s a good one.

But instead,  I’m with my sister in the hospital while she staves off preterm labor on a cocktail of magnesium sulfate, and gets a drip of sugar water in lieu of food. She can’t eat, because she is waiting to hear if she will be having a c-section at 28 weeks into her twin pregnancy. Twenty-seven weeks into a mostly easy twin pregnancy, she was hospitalized with preterm labor, and now is fighting the dual complications of preeclampsia and HELLP syndrome. The only real cure? Delivering her babies.

These little ones have a due date of  July 1, though,  and while we are most anxious to meet them, we were all hoping to wait just a little longer before we discover if H & W have two girl cousins, two boy cousins or one of each. (And JUST two cousins—last night my sister, her husband and I all stared, perplexed, at the THREE monitors banding her belly until the nurse explained the obvious–one for each baby and one for mom’s contractions. She assured us they had not discovered a third baby—yet, anyway.)

The babies don’t seem to notice their new locale. They are happy, growing and as hale and hearty as delicate 28 weekers can be. We spent time watching the “baby races” on the monitor—fetal heart rates burbling along, sometimes in synch, sometimes one sprinting briefly faster than the other…133… 145…141…138… My sister assured us she was fully aware of the sprints we were seeing on the monitor. We debated the old wives tales about heartbeat. Do you think slower heart beats are boys or girls?

So we wait. They test liver function and blood pressure and weigh those numbers against the fact that these little ones would really prefer another 9-12 weeks of  membership to club utero.  My sister and her husband are no strangers to critical care. This is the same hospital that provided a stem-cell transplant for my brother-in-law just a year ago. They have an easy rhythm with each other, with the infuriating flow and ebb of information, with the idiosyncrasies and personality pecadilloes of the hospital staff and with the knowledge that it is all out of their hands, once again.

Today they’ll assess her status, and determine a plan for today. And meanwhile, those heartbeats still percolate away…132…145…136…Boys or girls? I think those numbers mean HEALTHY.

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16 Responses to “Food Friday: Magnesium sulfate and sugar water”

  1. B. Says:

    My guess, one of each…

  2. Sarah Says:

    Thinking of your sister and hoping the mag works!

  3. ChiaLynn Says:

    My prayers for her, and her husband, and you, and the babies, and the rest of the family – may I add y’all to the prayer list at church?

  4. Amy Flood Says:

    Hang in there! 28 weeks is better than 24! A friend of mine went through this and her little girl just turned two. All will be well! my fingers are crossed.

  5. Christina Says:

    Oh my! Sending prayers and good wishes for a healthy mama and two helathy babies no matter how it all comes out! My sister’s twins will be four soon…and Easter weekend 4 years ago, she was in the hospital trying everything possible to delay early delivery. And I’m happy to say, those girls sat tight for another 4 weeks.

  6. sdh Says:

    i can’t imagine being pregnant and not being able to eat. sending good vibes down to NY… keep us posted…

  7. Chelle Says:

    Here’s to a continued membership in Club Utero!

  8. Chrissy Says:

    Wow – hope everything goes as planned! We’ll be thinking about all of you!

  9. Crista Says:

    Seeing each healthy baby and strong momma in my mind and a prayer for all in my heart. So glad you are there to support them.

  10. Maggie Says:

    Man, talk about a double whammy — preterm labor and then preeclampsia, with HELLP thrown in for good measure. I’m thinking of your sister and your whole family….with my fingers crossed that everyone comes out healthy in the end!

  11. Sheila Says:

    Praying and thinking of you, sis and the babies all day, every day. Please tell your sister she is a brave and heroic mama. Every day counts, so she’s doing great! I’ll be looking for updates and please let me know what I can do here. xo

  12. Aunt Sandy Says:

    Thanks, Anna, for the update on Kate and the babies. We’ll just keep on storming heaven with lots of prayers. Please keep us posted. Love and God’s blessings upon Kate and those precious little ones!

  13. Jess K. Says:

    Have my own monitor on here – for news. /Thank you for the updates, know all will be well with such love and support. Glad to hear they are ‘home’.

  14. Maria Says:

    sending my best wishes to K and D…and keep up the positive thoughts…..

  15. Karen Says:

    I’ll be thinking of you all, Anna. Glad to see the more recent update that everyone is hanging in there. It sounds like she and her little ones are in good hands.

  16. Laura Sw Says:

    Hope everything goes well for her!

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