January 07, 2009

39 weeks - aka "our first visit to Labor & Delivery" or "Not Complaining Anymore"

Here is how I spent the day yesterday:

10:30am - missed yoga class so I ran errands, had the oil changed in the car, etc, etc

1:30pm - had my 39 week appt with Dr. Honey. Now about 1.5cm dilated and still 50-60% effaced. She did a small amount of "sweeping my membranes" and offered to do this again for me on Thu morning in hopes of getting things moving.

4:00pm - met up with Mr. Spicy to go check out our future pediatrician's office. Took the tour at 4:30, met with a Dr. and a med asst. Decided this is definitely the practice for us and felt very pleased about that.

5:45pm - arrived home, excited to have dinner with a good friend at 7. Began a playful teasing banter with Mr. Spicy.

~~this is where everything changes~~

5:50pm - got out of the car and began walking towards the house - still joking loudly with husband. Caught my shoe in crack of sidewalk and went flying through the air. In a desperate effort not to land directly on my belly, I turn and land on my right side. I end up with a scraped knee, a scraped hand, (later a sore hip), and and elbow to my belly.

5:55pm - make it into the house with Mr. Spicy's help. Call my OB's office. Search Google frantically for information on falling in the third trimester. The Ob on call, and Dr. Google both reccomend heading straight to Labor & Delivery. Holy Shit.

6:05pm - making the 5 minute drive to labor & Delivery, my doula calls. We tell her what is happening and she talks to me and helps me calm down, reminding me to breathe and connect with my body and my baby. I feel Poblano move a few times and the fear becomes a bit less overwhelming. I have a sense things will be ok. We are in this together.

6:10pm - try to get into night entrance at Labor & Delivery but couldn't understand security guard over intercom. He wouldn't let us in because we didn't specifically say the magic words: "We are in labor!" or "This is an emergency!". We drive around to the main entrance and take the long way to L&D. Mr. Spicy is FUMING at this point.

6:15pm - they get us checked in at L&D. Mr. Spicy goes to move our car. He also goes to have a word with the security guard. I sit anxiously hoping he returns soon and isn't arrested for harrassment or worse. The nurses get me hooked up to the monitors, and Mr. Spicy returns. At first Poblano's heartrate looks it flat. It isn't showing the accelerations they normally like to see. More waiting and watching and listening.

7:00pm - now Poblano's heart rate is looking more normal. They move us to one of the nicer labor and delivery rooms because the computer isn't working in the monitoring room I was in. They draw a full panel of blood and everything looks normal. The Dr. on call from my Ob's office has decided to keep us for four hours of observation. We sit, we wait, we listen. I thank God every time I feel Poblano trying to kick the hell out of those damn monitors. I think they are pretty uncomfortable too.

~~ hours pass, Mr. Spicy gets us Thai food, we eat, watch TV and begin to feel confident things will be ok~~

10:00pm - resident Ob does an u/s - more for our benefit than anything. He is so squished in there, you can't really get a decent shot. But his head is down in my pelvis, and his back is to my left side, with his legs curled over and filling the right side. We see the top of his head, his spine, his heart, his femur - he looks gorgeous to me. He has plenty of fluid and the placenta looks as it should for 39 weeks. HUGE sigh of relief!

11:00pm - another blood draw to compare to the first. The phlebotomist is really rough with his technique and bruises me. But, I don't even wince. I am sure this will be the last step before I get to go home, reassured all is well with our little boy. And that is all that matters.

11:30pm - our nurse comes in. Bad news. My hematocrit has dropped from 38 to 31. This could signify internal bleeding. Or it could be lab error. Either way, they are now telling us we will be staying overnight. We have another blood draw scheduled at 3am. The nurse tries to reassure us. She says first: "Sometimes there's a small bleed and it heals itself." then she says, "But if the next test comes back lower - we will probably induce just to get him out of there." INDUCE! INDUCE!? Shit! Mr. Spicy runs home to let the dogs out and comes back with our "labor bag" just in case. He falls asleep on the bench/bed next to my bed. I stay awake - my mind swimming with the idea that we could be induced in just a few hours. I am exhausted and really uncomfortable from trying to find a way to comfortably sit/lie with those montors attached. I am sore from my fall. I don't know if I was induced if I would have the strength or determination to go through labor right now. I am an emotional wreck from the events of the evening and I could desperately use some sleep. Instead, I watch the clock - walk myself through the "what ifs" - pray - and wait for 3am.

3am - finally. a different phlebotomist arrives. A kind man, probably in his forties with a thick accent. He is much more gentle and wishes me luck. I am grateful for his kindness. I hope it is a good sign of things to come.

3:30am - Our nurse comes in. I am just coming out of the bathroom. My last hematocrit looks great. I didn't even ask for a number, I just was so relieved. She tells us we can stop the monitoring (Poblano's been looking awesome all night long!) and we can sleep till 7, or leave now - whichever we prefer. I wake up Mr. Spicy to tell him the good news. We both agree we'd rather be home. We pack up our stuff, get our discharge info and head home.

After everything works out, after I know my baby boy is ok and so am I - I feel guilty. Guilty for falling. Guilty for taking up so much time - from Mr. Spicy, from the nurses and doctors.....from everyone. I feel like the girl who cried wolf. I feel uncomfortable with the amount of attention and resources I have drawn to myself. Mr. Spicy assures me the fall was not my fault, and that we did all the right things. He reminds me that neither of us would have slept or probably exhaled the entire night had we not gone in to the hospital and made sure our son was ok. He is right. He is completely right. I just wish I had paid more attention and not fallen in the first place.

I also realize that I no longer feel any room or desire to complain about being uncomfortable or feeling so "ready" for Poblano to come. I don't care anymore. I don't care if he decides to stay in there another 2 weeks. I just want him safe and sound. And he can get here whenever he is ready. The most comforting thing in the world was hearing his heart beat all night long. I got home and could still hear it in my head - the phantom of the monitors wooshing away next to my ear. It had been less than an hour and already I missed hearing him - having some tangible outside proof of him, of his health and strength.

Lastly, even though the nurses and doctors treated us incredibly well and the accomodations were as comfortable as they could be - this visit really cemented my desire to labor at home as long as possible. No matter what they do, the hospital is just no match for home. And even though I was only on external monitors - I realized how limiting and uncomfortable those could be - even just on an intermittent basis - when I am trying to move and adjust and deal with contractions. So. As long as I am doing well, and Poblano is moving around, we will try to stay home during labor as long as we can. We are literally 5 minutes from the hospital and my Dr. fully suports this plan. But - I also realized from our stay last night, how compassionate and helpful the nurses and Dr.s (and even the phlebotomists) are and can be. I realized that if our plan goes awry, if we spend more time there than we hope to - we will be in really good hands. And that is a huge relief.

On our "to do" list before Poblano arrives, Mr. Spicy had written: "Make several practice runs to Labor & Delivery" - we are so close that this is kind of laughable, but he wanted to be prepared. So, as we were leaving last night I told him I thought we had filled that requirement. We hadn't only done a practice run, we'd done a whole "practice stay". He laughed and asked, "Why do we always have to be the overachievers on everything?!"


Jen said...

That was some day...

I am so happy for you and can't wait to hear of Pablano's arrival whenever it is!

Denise said...

I'm so relieved everything is okay with Poblano. Of course you didn't fall on purpose. Even if you HAD been paying better attention, your balance is all out of whack from being 39 weeks pregnant. You did everything right and I'm sure all of those medical personnel would agree. You did NOT waste their time. You did what you should have done and they just did their jobs.

Okay, I'm done lecturing you now. I still have echoes of those monitors in my head after 11 straight days of it plus labor.

Secret Pop Star said...

Looks like you are going to pass on the coordination skills of the Childress girls to Pablano.

AJ said...

Glad everything is okay -- your story reminded me of when I was 8.5 mos. pregnant with Mary - and I fell down a flight of steps in our house... scary - but everything turned out okay. My biggest concern was that I was so bruised up, I thought when I went to the hospital to deliver they would think I was an abuse victim. Looking forward with anticipation to delivery date -- Love you, AJ

Phoebe said...

I'm glad to hear that everything is ok! We can't control everything in our lives, so don't beat yourself up about falling. It happens. And now you will be more comfortable with the hospital once you do go to deliver. It's so sweet to hear how you have bonded with him.

Meg said...

You know tiptoeing with a headlamp on is the safest way to go about at this stage in pregnancy...hah!

You are naturally going to gravitate towards guilt I think. But you did the right thing and Mr. Spicy was right, you would have been up all night wondering how he was.

Hopefully this late post finds you feeling well and resting up before the real deal!

Secret Pop Star said...

isn't it about time for you to pop??? When you don't post for a while it makes me think he's here!