Friday, June 24, 2011

Our Story (6) : The Hospital

Within a couple of weeks of getting my prescription for blood pressure meds, they stopped working. My blood pressure was all over the place. I emailed my doctor about it. She told me that she was at the hospital that day and I needed to come in. Again, everyone flipped out when I got there. They admitted me to monitor me while they did another 24 hour urine test. I would not accept the possibility that I might have to bring this baby into the world so early. I was only 29 weeks pregnant. I believed that this was merely a medication issue. I just needed to find the right combination of meds to get me to the end. They sent in a NICU nurse to talk to me about what would need to happen for Baby at 29 weeks gestation. I thanked him kindly for his time but told him that I wasn't there to have this baby - only as a precaution. I fought with nearly everyone who came in mostly about the vbac issue. It seemed that all the residents and doctors wanted to convince me that I was wrong. I again reassured them that if I needed to have an emergency delivery then I would probably opt for a repeat c-section but that I still believed I could go full-term and have a safe vbac. It was a miserable 24 hours. I really hate hospitals. We finally got back the results from the 24 hour test and it showed an increase in protein levels. Thankfully, at that point, my levels indicated mild pre-eclampsia. One doctor in particular tried to convince me to stay in the hospital. I refused. I wanted to go home.

I was home on bed rest for less than a week. That weekend we celebrated Fourth of July and my sister came for a visit. She had been planning the trip for awhile to help me get ready for baby #4. The day after she arrived, she drove me to my doctor for an appointment. It wasn't good. My doctor came in and sat next to the exam table. I was lying on my side to try and bring my blood pressure down. She said I needed to go back to the hospital. I asked if I had time to go home and pack a bag. "No," she said, "You need to go straight there." My husband and I had spent the weekend talking about whether or not to have the steroid shot to prepare the baby's lungs in case she needed to come early. I was hesitant, but after researching it and talking to one of the doctors at the hospital, I felt like it was the best choice for our situation. But, we hadn't had the shot yet. I knew that would be the first thing to do once at the hospital.

My sister drove me back to the hospital and waited with me until my husband could get there. What did I freak out about as I was waiting to be admitted? The fact that I hadn't knit a purple hat out of cotton yarn for the baby to wear when she was born. I was giving her instructions on where to go and what to get for me. I had to at least have a homemade hat for her. I'm sure I sounded a bit crazy. It was easier to freak out about a silly hat than face the realities of what was going on with my body.

Ahh, teaching hospitals. For the most part, we had a really good experience. But, there was one resident that drove me insane. He talked to me like I was a complete idiot. He sat down next to me while admitting me and said in a very syrupy voice, "So, Mrs. B, you have what we call high blood pressure." No sh-- sherlock. I wish I could remember his name, because even that was annoying, and he looked like he was 17 years old too. Anyway, it became a joke because this person kept showing up. Every time he would walk into my hospital room, my husband would start chuckling to himself. He thought it was funny especially because he annoyed me so much. The flip side was another doctor there that I really came to trust. He knew first hand the stress of having a baby premature. I trusted his opinion because he "got" that I wasn't in this to just save myself. I was determined to give my baby the best possible chance which meant I needed her to stay safe in my womb for as long as possible. He explained things to my husband and I (like the steroids) with respect and real data about risks and benefits. He was never condescending. Thank God for him. Truly.

I knew I was stuck in the hospital until Baby arrived. Everything I was trying to avoid - extra tests etc., I was now having ten-fold. Two non-stress tests a day, ultrasounds, medications, blood pressure checks all the time...the whole works. I felt like I was defeated. My hope for a natural birth was completely destroyed. And I felt like I couldn't be sad about it because this was what was going to keep Baby and me alive. I did my best to focus on staying pregnant. We were past 30 weeks which was better than 29 but I really wanted to get to 35 weeks. My awesome friends kept my spirits up. They all came bearing gifts of snack foods (the hospital food was getting to me) and nail polish. They gave me a pedicure and chocolate. What more could a girl want? I passed the 31 week mark. Another week down. I just kept thinking that every day I was still pregnant was a good day. So far I was maintaining all my levels and the tests showed that Baby was doing fine. But, how long would it last?

1 comment:

Unknown said...

I can't believe it was almost a year ago this happened! WOW! I can totally visualize Brad sitting there chuckling at the 12 year old doctor. :D Did you get to knit V's hat?