Friday, July 01, 2011
No One Looks Good in a Hospital Gown
Sign in, wait for the nurse to call you back, get weighed (eek!), pee in a cup, get your blood pressure taken, and head to the waiting room for God-knows-how-long until the doctor can see you.
Usually, to pass the time in the waiting room and then the second waiting room (also known as the exam room, however I spend a good 5/6 of my time in there waiting, not being examined), I knit on a blanket for my little guy. It's just soothing garter stitch. Knit, knit, knit, and turn.
When the doctor comes in, we quickly chat, talk about how I'm feeling, and then she measures me. After that, she uses a little doppler heart monitor to get the baby's heart rate.
Usually, this takes five seconds. Yesterday, after the most excruciating minute of my life, we couldn't get an accurate reading on the monitor. The doctor said that, perhaps the monitor was picking up my heart rate, but it was showing about 140 beats and then would waver to 80-some-odd beats. Dips like that, the doctor said, could be signs of fetal distress.
This is where I promptly freaked out.
So, just as a precaution, I was sent down to the Labor and Delivery triage area and on to the Maternity Observation ward, where I had to go through the VERY EXACT THING I DID NOT WANT TO GO THROUGH: I was strapped to a fetal monitor for three-plus hours.
It was agony in more ways than one: First, while I'm laying there, scared shitless an unable to see the monitor, all Dave could do was stare at the monitor. This is why I want the very bare minimum of fetal monitoring during labor. I'm having the baby, and my emotional well-being and ability to move around and get comfortable and be supported is just as important. It's what'll help the baby get out faster, and who doesn't want that?
When the nurse returned, I begged her to tell me what was going on.
"Everything looks fine," she said. The baby had a stable heart rate, and I was having very, very mild contractions, or Braxton-Hicks contractions.
We filled out a shit ton of paperwork and then remained hooked up to the infernal monitor for another three hours. Then an OB resident came in to do a brief ultrasound to check our fluid levels (which makes this sound like I'm a car in the garage for a tune-up). There was very little change, which was good.
And then we left. After all that emotional crap, after crying and freaking out, we just left. Everything was normal. We were fine. The baby is fine.
And now, more than ever I am so ready to have this baby. Hopefully he'll be ready soon, too. Real soon.