By: Heather Somaini
We had a number of fun experiences during Tere’s almost-three-month sentence in the hotel – I mean hospital. Lots of people came to visit including one of Tere’s high school teachers who happens to be a pretty awesome nun – yes, a nun. She’s attended pretty much every occasion for the babies ever since and has even been mistaken as their grandmother.
We celebrated both of our birthdays that year in Room 3007. Mine with our friends Peter and Lauren and our favorite Indian food and Sprinkles cupcakes. Too bad Tere had gestational diabetes or she could have had some of those cupcakes. It was actually much better to have her diabetic diet monitored by the nurses instead of me. I’m very confident that her sugar intake was much lower because she was limited to about three things she was allowed to eat on the hospital menu. Two weeks in, the food became pretty boring when suddenly she received a new menu. It was the “special” menu. Yep, if you stay at the hospital long enough, there’s a “super secret special” menu. Tere was ecstatic – until she realized that even with the new, “super secret special” menu she still couldn’t eat a good bit of what was offered. But at least she had a few more items to choose from!
We learned about an organization here in Los Angeles that supports parents having more than one baby at one time – also known as multiples – when the president of the group stopped by to introduce herself to Tere. The West Los Angeles Parents of Multiples or WLAPOM – yeah, try to say WLAPOM three times fast! – is a great group of people all trying to navigate this road of essentially having too many babies at one time and supporting the parents who are coming down the road after them. Tere immediately signed up and started communicating with other moms right away. There was a running email dialogue about diapers, feeding, sleeping, pooping…it became a great source of information and comfort to Tere that we weren’t alone in this monumental undertaking we were about to undertake.
There was also a woman with a “therapy” dog that came by. Tere said the dog must have weighed over 100 lbs. and the woman asked if it was ok for the dog to get on the bed with Tere. Can you imagine being on bed rest with twins and feeling like you’re the size of a house and some stranger asks if her 100+ pound dog can join you in your little, twin hospital bed?
Then there was the woman who stopped by to play her harp. Tere said that was nice. At least she didn’t ask if she could put the harp in her bed!
We interviewed our potential nannies at the hospital. Lots of them. Sometimes I was meeting with one in the hallway while Tere was having a second interview with another one in her room.
The nurses began to give their opinions too. They were starting to feel invested in the outcome of our twins since they had been there for so long. It’s rare that they actually catch an incompetent cervix as early as they did Tere’s, so her stay in the hospital was longer than most. And we loved them as they watched over my family every day, making sure they were safe.
Tere ordered bagels and lox from Jerry’s for the nurses every Sunday for breakfast. She spent hours with our weekend nurse, Nicol, picking out the perfect diaper bag and discussing all things baby. Nicol’s son was only about 6 months old at the time so she was a great resource for what babies need.
At some point, Tere was given wheelchair privileges. Yes, she was allowed to be taken out of her room in a wheelchair for about 30-60 minutes twice a week. She looked forward to it. I remember arriving at her room after a particularly long day at work. I sat down. Tere glared at me. I knew I was in trouble for something! I was tired and just wanted to sit and chat. She explained in no uncertain terms that she expected her wheelchair ride pronto and that if I didn’t get up immediately, there was going to be some sort of hell to pay.
I went and got the wheelchair. I’m pretty sure we had a nice walk down to the courtyard and back. Don’t ever let anyone tell you that a pregnant woman isn’t hormonal!
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