Apr 3, 2017
The time between last Friday and this Monday seems to have somehow taken up several years of my life. I feel older and tireder for it. To be honest, I’m tired of talking about it at all, but if you’ve read the last few days’ posts then I think you at least deserve to hear how it all turned out.
Yesterday evening by the time we got home and tucked the kids in bed, I was so stressed that I was having some very real anxiety-induced pain. I finally decided to call the on-call doctor, hoping she’d say it was nothing and that I didn’t need to worry so much and to just go in for my appointment in the morning as planned. Instead she said she hoped nothing was wrong, but wanted me to go in to labor and delivery at the hospital to get checked just in case. That if I were 40 weeks along she wouldn’t sweat it, but to have the symptoms I was having at 26 weeks was a little concerning.
So my visiting teacher, bless her, came over to stay in the house with the kids while Bryan and I went to the hospital. I told him on the way how much I hoped the staff there would be nice. I’ve been in before (at a different hospital in a different state for a different pregnancy) to get checked when I thought/hoped it wasn’t the real thing yet and the staff then had been so condescending and aloof that I hesitated going back again. I wasn’t eager to relive a similar experience, especially when I was feeling so much more emotionally charged this time around.
My cramping and discomfort was bad enough and the wheelchairs were plentiful enough that I let Bryan wheel me back to labor and delivery. We were met with a fairly empty unit and a station full of nurses looking cheery and bright-eyed. The doctor had called so they knew I was coming. They were joking with each other and really sweet to me as they introduced themselves. Then my nurse took Bryan and me back to a room and started getting me hooked up to all the machines.
After an hour or so of being on the monitors for contractions and heart rate and having her check me in all kinds of ways, she very respectfully and genuinely reassured me that both the baby and I were just fine. I told her I had questions and confessed my fears to her. She answered each one seriously in a way that validated my wild concerns, but also laughed and smiled in a way that let me know things were alright. She was loud and funny but knowledgeable and genuine and truly an angel. At the end she said, “Ok, so, what to come back in for in the future… Anything. Come back in for anything. We’re here anyway and there’s no point in ever having to sit at home and worry. Don’t ever be afraid or embarrassed to come in.” I called in today to get her name so I can send in a thank you note.
I came home and went to bed exhausted, but significantly relieved. Then this morning my mother in law came and watched Felix while I went in for my appointment with the specialist. I still didn’t really know what to expect. There were a lot of minor things about the way that office functioned which were not great, especially for an emotional, hormonal pregnant woman who’s already been through a lot of emotional whiplash, but I’ll spare you the details and just say that the doctor’s conclusion was the same as the nurse’s last night; that everything is fine. He told me very clearly that I’m completely fine and have nothing abnormal going on. He said I did have a little bit of funneling, but that my cervix was totally fine and not about to dilate anytime soon. He told me that the baby was measuring totally fine, that everything looked good, and that the fluid levels were fine.
When I asked him why I was measuring big and why I even ended up there in his office, he basically said that I was only measuring big when the doctor measured across my belling with the measuring tape (a fairly crude, inaccurate test), but that according to all the ultrasounds (a much more advanced, accurate measurement) everything was fine. He said I didn’t need to come back for a follow-up, but that if I needed more ultrasounds done in the future I should come to their office because they’re more accurate and, he added, that he didn’t agree with the ultrasound tech’s assessment of the first batch of ultrasounds that had landed me in his office in the first place.
All in all, I left feeling very grateful that everything was okay. The specialist had said that I shouldn’t overdo it, but that I didn’t need to worry about taking it easy. I could exercise and do whatever I normally did. It felt something like I imagine it would feel to get arrested for a crime you didn’t commit, think you’d be spending months in prison, and then find out that you were being released after all with no charges. I feel grateful, but also, I admit, really frustrated that I ended up in the whole ordeal at all. It is what it is and I’m trying to just focus on moving on and being grateful and enjoying my life.
Though I did call the office manager of my OB today to have a long conversation with her about everything that had happened, mainly because several of the things the nurse said to me on Friday were both completely inappropriate for her to say to a patient ever and also turned out to be completely untrue. The specialist today told me that they don’t even do cervical stitches on anyone past 24 weeks. And when I asked the labor and delivery nurse last night what the likelihood was that I’d suddenly go into labor on my own at home and miscarry, she said to me, “You’re 26 weeks. You don’t miscarry, you have a baby. If you go into labor, you call 911 and they’ll get you to the hospital right away and the baby will be born and be just fine. A baby born after 24 weeks can live. A baby born after 27 weeks is basically just boring us.” Maybe it sounds cold reading it all typed out, but coming from her it was warm and jovial and really spoke to my worried mama heart. I really couldn’t be more grateful for her.
Anyway, I’m glad it all seems to be over and I hope it turns out to be the most eventful thing I experience this pregnancy. But if there’s one purely good thing that came out of all this, it’s that I got another ultrasound picture today and I can already tell that his little profile has the same familiar button nose.