Tuesday, February 3, 2009

An unexpected Afternoon at the Hospital

Yesterday I had my routine check up with the OB/GYN. When asked if I have been OK or if there had been any problems, I had to tell them about falling off a ladder the day before. I KNOW!!! I shouldn’t be up on the ladder. I just got caught up in setting up the baby’s room and decided I needed to organize the top-most shelf of the closet. I was doubly smart because not only was on the top step of the 3-step ladder, but I also had on my big, oversized fuzzy slippers. I fell from the top step straight down to the hardwood floor right on my tailbone, which still hurts today. After a bit of crying, I lay down a bit, the baby was kicking as usual, I had no cramps, and just a tiny bit of spotting that stopped immediately – so I figured all was well and I would just mention it at my doc appointment the next day.

After telling the doctor this little story he said he wanted to send me for a non-stress test just to check that the baby is alright. He said he also had some concerns about my blood pressure being a bit too low. He explained the only place he can send me without an appointment was the hospital and the OB/GYN office had a doc on duty over there. I was to go next door to Shady Gove Hospital, ask for Dr. Alter and he’d get my tests done.

I walk into the Labor and Delivery waiting area, it was 12:30pm and I was starving! I tell the front desk what I was there for and what doctor I was looking for. I was asked to take a seat. I sit down and look at the very full waiting room. That’s when I realized this was not going to be an in/out visit because the people waiting in the waiting area were not only family members but pregnant women waiting to be seen! One woman was moaning in pain. I also noticed that all the women had actually already been admitted; they all had the bands on their wrists with their names and vital info. Moments later the head nurse comes out and tells me they are backlogged with about a two-hour wait and she can’t get me a bed for a while. I explained I really didn’t need a bed that all I was there for was the non-stress test and some blood work. She said she can take me back to an office and draw the blood now…and said it was best to get that done now since it took 4 hours for the results to come back! Ugh. So, I’m admitted, wrist band on, blood drawn and seated back in the waiting area. This is how my day went all day… Me, taken back for a test, brought back to the waiting area. I watched as the moms in labor were finally taken back to their rooms one by one; and the surprise on the new moms-in-labor’s faces when they show up only to be admitted and ushered to the waiting area.

Now it was 1:30 pm, I had not eaten since breakfast at 8:00am and the only test done was the blood work. I ask the front desk what was next and how long the wait might be. She called the head nurse and with in a few minutes another nurse was out front asking for me to take me down to another floor for the Ultrasound. More waiting at the Ultrasound area, I’m finally in the room and on my back for the ultrasound around 2:00 pm. We start chatting and I mentioned how hungry I was and how long I’d been there. She was genuinely shocked. She said she had to call up and ask for me to be sent down. Grrr… The ultrasound required they monitor the baby for 30 minutes watching for particular things such as flexing a major limb, she checks the spine, the heart, and “breathing”. Of course there is no air in the womb the breathing they refer to is the baby practicing his breathing. He never did, but, the technician said, that’s not unusual…it’s not something the baby does constantly. I wait outside the ultrasound room for the nurse from upstairs to come back and get me. I’m back upstairs and ask what’s next – the front desk calls back to the head nurse to find out what’s next. She says we just wait for the test results.

3:00 pm and I still haven’t eaten and I’m still waiting. I go back to the front desk and smile at the nurse there, she smiles back and says “you poor thing”. I said, can we check for the results, I think it’s been an hour since the ultrasound. She calls back to the head nurse says OK a couple of times and hangs up. She says, they’re reading the results with your doctor now.

4:00 pm the front desk nurse calls me up to the desk and asks what my due date is. I tell her I have scheduled c-section for March 5th. She repeats this into the phone says OK and hangs up. She says they’re not letting you go home, the nurse will be out a minute to take you to your room. Now let me say, I had been calm collected and unbelievably patient the whole day…all because I just knew all these tests were just a precaution and that the baby and I were just fine. However, when the nurse told me they were keeping me …the events of the day just overwhelmed me! I was tired, irritated, sooo sooo hungry and now, and worried beyond belief. I managed to say OK to the front desk nurse without a single show of emotion, and the instant I turned around to walk away a flood of tears gushed out, I dug in my bag to find my cell phone and call my husband. How he understood a single word I uttered I don’t know, because I could barely speak for the all the crying. I’m in mid-sentence when the nurses (two of them) show up to take me to my room…more gushing of tears. I get off the phone.

I’m brought to my room, told to undress and put on the gown and the doc and nurse would be in shortly. They arrive to talk to me, ask questions, and discuss the results of my tests. The doc asks the nurse about the ultrasound results, in their doc-lingo I hear them discuss the amount of amniotic fluid I have, it seems the baby’s heart rate was in question as well, and my blood pressure was discussed again. They turn back to me and ask the last time I ate, the last time I had a movement, if I’ve seen more bleeding. They turn back and discuss more. They tell me they are going to monitor the baby and hook up a heart monitor for the baby on my tummy and leave.

I’m in the room, by myself, listening to baby’s heart on the monitor. Horrible thoughts of early delivery race through my mind, and I start crying again. I start calming myself down by thinking about the fact that with only 4 weeks left to my due date that if the baby did have to be delivered now, it will be ok. To prepare myself for the baby to be in NICU for a while, but that everything would OK….just fine.

An hour later the nurse comes back in the room, starts unhooking all the equipment and says…OK, you can go home. What?! I start crying again. She says what’s wrong. I said I’m emotionally distraught and explained I had spent the last hour trying to mentally prepare myself for the baby to have to be delivered today and trying to prepare myself for a baby in the NICU. OH honey, she says, if something had been wrong, the chances you would have had to deliver today would have been pretty slim – there are a lot of things we can do! Next time, voice your concerns so we can put them to rest. She finishes unhooking me, I jump up to pee (it was urgent) call my husband and tell him to turn back around he doesn’t have to battle rush-hour traffic to come to the hospital and I got the hell out of there!

I get home at 6:30 pm and am greeted with a GIGANTIC hug from my son, and by my husband and my parents waiting with concerned faces. I explain the day, we all eat dinner, my parents go home and I go to bed.



Christy said...

HOLY CRAP. I am so glad for you that yesterday is history! Onwards and upwards my dear friend. I hope the remaining month of your pregnancy is nothing like the last 24 hours!!!

Jennifer Golden said...

Thanks! me too!

Now to learn how to ask for help so I can that darned baby room finishe!!! :D

Jennifer Golden said...

Typos galore in that post... oh well.