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.

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