Tuesday, December 22, 2009

All Natural

December 21, 2009
Another doctor's appointment, another waste of time. Seriously. Last time I had an appointment with this doctor I had to wait over an hour. Today's appointment was also about an hour wait. I had my weight and blood pressure taken (I've gained five more pounds and the blood pressure is normal), Husband was invited in after I told the nurse I felt safe at home, and then the doctor did her two second measuring tape bit, listened to the heartbeat, and told me all seemed fine. I could have told her that! The only beneficial part of this appointment was that Husband and I were able to obtain the necessary documentation to put in for leave when the baby is born.

I think I was rude during this appointment, too. I asked Husband afterward if he thought I had been, but he said I was fine. Before the doctor had come in, the nurse showed us to the waiting area and told us the doctor was running late with another patient. I asked the nurse if the doctor was chronically late, and she gave me an apologetic smile and kind of shrugged. Then she showed herself out.

By the time the doctor showed up I had snagged the next pregnancy monthly letter that they normally give me and both Husband and I had read through it. Separately. The doctor asked me if I had received the flu shot or H1N1 vaccine and I told her no, and she couldn't talk me into it. So she tried. She told me all about how pregnant women are in the highest risk category, and one out of three end up in the Intensive Care Unit due to the virus. I told her I still wasn't interested. Husband chimed in and told her that talking to me about it was like talking to a brick wall. Thanks, dear.

In case you haven't noticed, I am trying to be as natural as possible during this pregnancy. This includes refraining from injections containing tiny bits of viruses and preservatives. If I do so happen to catch something, then I do. If I don't, then I don't. I will try my best to be careful of who I am around and to wash my hands at every opportunity, especially before eating, but I refuse to purposefully inject alien particles into my body.

My next appointment is on January 12. I told the scheduling nurse that I did not have a preference of doctor. Maybe I will see someone else for the next appointment. As it turns out, choosing a doctor does not mean that specific doctor will deliver the baby. Instead, whoever is on duty at that time will deliver the baby. I don't really mind. I figure they are all very well trained and know what they are doing. I would prefer a female, though at the time I don't think I will care. I told Husband that it was up to him to see that my wishes were carried out (i.e. tell me what they are doing when they do it, don't give the baby any formula, don't take the baby out of the room unless Husband goes with them, etc.). We will just have to wait and see who I get. Besides, my doctor told me she will be in Hawaii during my due date, so unless I can hold out for two weeks after, there is no chance she will be tending to me.

Friday, December 4, 2009

My ER Visit

November 29, 2009
Remember how my ribs were hurting me? I was having a lot of pain on the upper right side of my ribcage for some time. Any pressure on it caused intense pain, also brought on by standing or sitting for prolonged periods of time.

Well, Husband and I decided to go shopping on this particular day. We walked around the mall and went to a few different stores. My ribs were starting to hurt more and more. Husband went to try on some clothes and while I was waiting I was practically in tears. I figured that perhaps I should go to the hospital to see if something could be done. I had to return to work the next week and could not imagine working in that condition.

We went to the ER of the hospital and I told them that I was having rib pain and was six months pregnant. As soon as they heard I was pregnant a nurse magically appeared with a wheelchair to whisk me off to labor and delivery. I told them that I thought the baby was fine, it was just me. They said that anytime someone over 20 weeks pregnant comes in, she should go straight to labor and delivery. Husband had to drive the car around to meet me there.

The nurse pushing me through the halls was really nice. There was a weird couple who were trying to find the cafeteria and followed him asking for directions. I was thinking, "Can't you see he's pushing a pregnant woman in a wheelchair? Do you really want to stop him and question him for a few minutes?" Luckily I really wasn't in labor.

I was checked in to the labor and delivery department. I filled out an admittance form and then gave a urine sample. I was put in a bed and hooked up to a few monitors. One was to check me for contractions, one was to monitor the baby's heartbeat, one was to monitor my pulse, and another was to check my blood pressure.

The nurse came in and asked me the "do you feel safe at home" questions before she would allow Husband to come in with me. She asked me questions about my pain and showed me what the computer monitor was recording. On one section was the heartbeat, and the other was my stomach. The stomach line was nice and low and even. No contractions. The baby's heartbeat was very steady as well. The nurse thought that it should be a little more erratic. Whenever the baby moves she is supposed to excite herself and increase her heart rate. My little girl is generally calm, I suppose. Takes after her mother. The heartbeat was well within the normal range. I was rather hoping to have another ultrasound to see the baby, but apparently that was not an option.

I was monitored for about an hour and a half and the nurse came in periodically to check on me. She had two patients at this time and both of our stats were on the computer (I guess you could say all four of us, if you include the babies). Husband and I watched the other patient and compared data. Her baby was much more active and its heartbeat was more up and down. She was also having some small contractions.

Eventually the doctor came in and basically said there was nothing he could do for fear of hurting the baby. Everything seemed fine. He mentioned that sometime the position of the baby can push internal organs up against the ribs, causing pressure. If I wasn't pregnant, they would do an X-Ray. If I wasn't pregnant, I wouldn't have this problem!

The doctor offered a pelvic exam, since I was already there, but I declined. I'm not having this baby until February. I feel pretty confident about that. I was unhooked from the machines and discharged.

I felt pretty silly after the experience. I told Husband it was practice for when I really do go into labor. Now we know what the room looks like and all the machines I'll be hooked up to. I do feel like my visit was a waste of time for the nurses and doctors. Granted, my pain is very real, but I'm rather frustrated that there doesn't seem to be an explanation. This is the time I'm supposed to be enjoying the pregnancy, not in so much pain that it makes me cry. Grr.

I signed up for more prenatal yoga classes, and those seem to help. Google has shown me that other women have been through the same experience with also no relief until the baby is born. Prenatal chiropractic care has also been mentioned, although I'm not sure if I will pursue that route. In the meantime, I've given up wearing bras because those cause pressure, which causes pain. I'm glad it's winter time because I can wear lots and lots of layers and a scarf as well, just to be on the safe side. Hopefully the baby will drop soon, and maybe that will relieve some of the rib pain (although it might cause pain in other areas!). I told Husband we can adopt the next child.

Lab Results

November 27, 2009
I checked my lab results online. I couldn't resist. So far all the levels were well within the normal range. After all four of the results came in the doctor emailed a wonderful one-liner: "You do not have gestational diabetes." Thank goodness. I was really starting to get upset over the fact that I might not be allowed to have sugar. Seriously, those of you who know me know that I am a sugar fiend.

I'm curious if I will ever get that call from a diabetes counselor, but it doesn't seem like it. I guess I will just cut back on my sugar intake and make sure I'm snacking a little more to keep it from fluctuating too much. I have no idea why my first test was so high, and the others turned out fine, but I feel no need to question the results at this point in time. Donuts, here I come.

Three-Hour Follow Up

November 25, 2009
My phone call from the nurse came yesterday afternoon. They scheduled me to come in for the three hour follow-up to test my blood sugar levels. I was required to eat a half sandwich of my choice and drink a glass of milk between 10 and 10:30 pm. Then I had to fast until my appointment time. I ate a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, drank my glass of milk, then went to bed. My appointment was scheduled at nine in the morning.

I checked into the lab at the hospital where they took an initial sample of blood. This was from my left arm. Then I was given a clear bottle of fluid to drink within five minutes. I was told this drink contained twice the glucose of the first one I had taken. It was definitely sweeter. The nurse told me all about how important it was to be healthy during pregnancy and how detrimental gestational diabetes is. She asked if I had heard of the woman who has no legs and rides around on the skateboard. Apparently she was a product of gestational diabetes ignored and untreated. Yikes. I just thought the babies were born bigger. I didn't know it was that serious.

Then I went to the waiting room to hang out for an hour. I still wasn't allowed to eat or drink anything for the next three hours. I was, however, able to use the restroom (I asked). Thankfully I had brought my own reading materials. An hour later I went back into the lab and had a vial taken from my right arm. Same nurse. Then back to the waiting room. Another hour passed and my blood was taken from the left arm. Different nurse. This was a male, and I wasn't quite sure if the stereotype about male nurses applied to him or not. This time I bled through the little cotton swab they stuck on my arm. I wasn't sure if I should mention it or not, but the bleeding stopped, so I didn't say anything. One more hour in the waiting room then back into the lab. My arms were both sore at this time, and the right one really hurt, so I asked to get pricked in the left again. It was the male nurse again. After that I was done.

I drove home and started to feel really shaky and a little light headed. This had never happened to me before. I got home and wobbled out of the car. I figured that perhaps I needed to eat something. I went inside and had to lie down. I held up my hands and they were literally shaking. I got up and made myself a sandwich to eat, then lay down again. I took a nap and felt better, but it was definitely a weird experience.