High-risk pregnancy

I had been seeing my neighbor for some months to help her keep her high-risk pregnancy. Her story is quite compelling.

She is in her early 40’s, recently remarried to her third husband! She has 3 boys from previous marriages, ranging in age from 16 to 22 years old. She was not planning on having more children, but her husband loves kids, so for him she was willing to try. She conceived several times, sometimes “trying” and mostly not, but none of the pregnancies were making it beyond the first 6 weeks or so. After 4 miscarriages, they were certain they were not going to have children of their own, and she went on birth control while they looked into adoption.

Just as adoption options were opening up, and despite oral contraception, big news came in: she was pregnant – with TWINS! The key now was how to keep the pregnancy going…

She had an excellent high-risk OB who put her on blood thinners and progesterone, and she also turned to me for help. We met weekly throughout her first trimester, through nausea, low-appetite, difficulty sleeping, the whole works! By the second trimester, things were looking more stable. One time, about week 16, when we missed two treatments in a row, she started with contractions! Emergency visit, and the acupuncture really helped calm the contractions. We learned our lesson and did not skip a week again.

Contractions had been happening sporadically since then, and her OB had her on bed rest and meds to take as needed to stop contractions. The meds are known to have the side effect of giving the babies ADD, but what are the choices – take as little as possible, but take it when needed.

Today, I came in for our weekly appointment, and she was in pain and contractions, the worst she has had this pregnancy. Her husband greeted me, he had taken the day off from work to be with her. She had been contracting since last night, had taken meds last night and this morning. But the contractions were still returning every hour or so.

I got right to work, and amazingly the contractions immediately calmed down. I could feel the twins kicking hard from all the turmoil, but they started getting quiet pretty quickly. The exhausted mom started dozing off, finally getting some rest after a long night. After the treatment, all three were sleeping gently.

Each week was a new chapter in suspense, but slowly the days passed, mother on bed rest, twins still growing. Weekly acupuncture, reflexology and a nurse to give shots…

Then, at 31 weeks, I knew I was going to be out of town and offered an extra treatment. The mom decided against it, “we’ll be fine!” Well, while I was away, I got the text, “babies were born yesterday!” They spent 2 weeks in NICU, but did not have to be isolated; they could be held and loved up!

And now they are healthy, beautiful 3-year-olds!

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