Tuesday, July 28, 2009

The emergency room trip: Pregnancy - 26 weeks

No tour through pregnancy would be complete without the necessary detours to small points of crazy, so here’s mine.

I tried to do my best to not over-react and go crazy on EVERY single little thing that happens during my pregnancy. There will be LOTS of weirdness, of course. My body is changing tons and who knows what’s going on. It’s certainly all new to me. So lots of things that feel weird or odd are probably normal and I shouldn’t overreact. It helps that I am ADDICTED to pregnancy websites and always have to ready EVERY detail of each week on the website as the week starts. As I’m progressing pretty normally, I’m usually pretty well on par with what the sites suggest will be going on in that week, which means I have a little head start on what to expect and don’t wind up shocked as often.

But that’s not to say that I won’t come up with things to stress about / go crazy over.

The first thing I hadn’t even mentioned (as it didn’t involve a trip to the ER?). It was just one night that I was convinced the baby wasn’t moving enough. Had I felt her move all afternoon? I’m not sure… Why wasn’t she moving now? I called the doctor and the lady at the answering service was VERY kind. I’m thinking she deals with a lot of crazy day to day. I apologized for my call, as I know I’m being crazy, but she very kindly told me that that was what the doctors were there for. The doctor told me to lie down and drink something cold and see if she moved at all. I’d been trying that (as the billion websites I look at had said something similar) while I waited for her call back. She’d moved just a little, but far less than normal. The doctor told me that any movement was fine and not to worry about it.

The second flash of crazy is a little more in depth. I was at work and it was getting late in the afternoon – about 5. I had gone to the restroom and when I wiped, I suddenly noticed blood. I froze as I looked down at the piece of tissue. Oh God – what is this? But I tried to be rational – it’s probably hemorrhoids. Why I never thought I’d be so happy to possibly have hemorrhoids! But on a second check… the blood didn’t seem to be coming from butt. I wasn’t entirely positive, but it seemed more like it was coming from the front. Oh God.

By the time, I got back to my desk, it was after 5, so my call went to the answering service again – with a promise of a call back. I decided to shut down immediately and start heading home as the hospital was near my house (45 minutes away), not my office. I decided to go to the bathroom one more time to see what was going on now. This time I didn’t notice any blood. OK, good sign. But what did the first blood mean?

I started driving home and called My husband (who was unfortunately at work). I couldn’t get him! I left a message – panicked, but trying hard not to be – saying I was waiting for the doctor to call me back, but I was sure it was no big deal. I called a few more times (hanging up and redialing when it went to voicemail), hoping he could pick up, but nothing. The doctor finally called me back. She said if it was just a little blood it was PROBABLY nothing, but the options were to go to the hospital where she was now or to wait and go to the office first thing. She said it could probably wait, but didn’t want me to stress all night, so it was up to me. I told her I’d defer to her judgment and she told me to come in.

The thought of going to the hospital had me flipping out a little. I wanted to call me best friend, but she’d JUST had a baby 2 days before and really, I mean, she had her hands full as it was. I tried calling My husband a few more times and left an update on his voicemail. And then I was stuck. I couldn’t call my Mom and stress her out. I couldn’t call my mother in law and stress her out. I managed to talk to his sister calmly and pretend I was just stuck late at work to ask if she could let our dog, Shiloh, out (apparently I managed to be convincing to her). I didn’t want to call my cousin, as she wasn’t my source for baby advice and tended to say things like ‘you’re so lucky you’re not pregnant so you can drink’ (during her 6th month with her second baby) to our other cousin who’d had 4 miscarriages. I decided to call another friend as I needed SOMEONE I could stress to. Someone who would be rational and talk me down. I got Maria on the phone and she calmed me down a bit. And then I got to the hospital.

I thought that the doctor was just going to squeeze in a consult the way she described it. I should know better. I should know that they don’t do that. I was admitted to the hospital. They asked me questions like – would I allow visitors if I had to stay overnight (what? Overnight? I’m not going to be here overnight!)? And what was the name of our pediatrician? Then they sent me up to L&D Triage where they put me on a monitor for the baby’s heart and ‘potentially’ for contractions. Oh God.

Finally the doctor came by and THANK GOD there was no vaginal bleeding. But then she checked – and there wasn’t rectal bleeding either. Upon inspection, she noticed some irritation in the perineum – probably from wiping too hard with cheap toilet tissue! The bargain brand toilet tissue at the office (combined with my 34 trips a day to go pee) cost me $180 in copays and A LOT of my sanity. We won’t get into what part of my dignity it cost…

My husband arrived after the exam while I was still on the fetal heart monitor (she wanted to watch the strips for a bit as long as I was there). He’d managed to make it all the way around the city in about 20 minutes!

Feeling exhausted… and not a little bit stupid… we met his sister at our place (he’d explained what was really going on as she’d apparently believed my poor acting) and got some dinner.

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