The last few days have been exciting, to say the least. We went in for our weekly doctor’s appointment on Thursday. I had decided to have another exam, to see if there was any progress (there was none). I always get so, so nervous for exams; apparently it’s a real thing, and it’s called “White Coat Syndrome”. I honestly believe this is the reason my blood pressure has been so high for my past three appointments.
On Thursday, though… it was too high for them to ignore, I guess. So, they sent me to the hospital to be safe, for 24 hour observation. I was a wreck. Our sweet midwife tried to explain to me that it was just a precaution, and Paul tried to absorb all her words with a level head while I sat on the exam table crying quietly. All I heard were the bad words: “worse case scenario”, “induction”, “emergency c-section” as she tried to educate us on all the outcomes. THIS is supposed to help my blood pressure?
All I could think about was how this wasn’t in my birth plan. The carseat was IN the car, but not strapped in. Bags were packed, but sitting at home by the door because we’ve been too distracted to pick them up and haul them to the car. We wanted to rearrange our room to the optimal layout to allow a Pack-N-Play to sit at the foot of the bed. I hadn’t painted my nails or did my hair or put on my “we’re heading to the hospital to have a baby!” outfit. All of a sudden, nothing was going the way I planned it in my head and I was FREAKING. OUT.
I won’t go in to all the details of our 24 hours at the hospital, because it was truly uneventful. I’ll give you some bullet points:
- When they checked me in and took my blood pressure at the hospital, I had somehow calmed myself down enough (now that the exam was over) and my blood pressure was back to normal. The nurse seemed confused as to why I was there.
- They put an IV in my hand (“just in case” they needed to give me meds to bring down my blood pressure for my induction, which they informed me of quite merrily. Insert angry/panicked face here). THE IV HURT SO BAD. Why does no one tell you about the little things? Sure, labor hurts. Duh. But the IV? Worst part of my 24 hours by far.
- They took my blood to run labs and test all my major organs (I guess). And everything came back perfectly fine. One red flag eliminated. Thought for sure they’d send me home, they didn’t.
- Had to stay for a 24 hour urine collection. Sorry, TMI, but this was my reality for a full day, so this gets recorded on my blog. Someday, someone may be going through the same thing — and if you are, let me tell you. A pregnant 24 hour urine collection is super annoying. I had to page the nurse every time I peed, so they could collect my — err, deposit. So, needless to say, I got to know the nurses extremely well, since I peed every five minutes. Literally.
- The nurses at St Joe’s are amazing. I’m actually very excited to go back and have a baby there, they were wonderful. And I met like 24 of them. Apparently patients in observation get to hang out with whatever nurse isn’t assigned to an admitted mom in labor, or something. I had a new girl every couple hours, and a few that randomly popped in to collect my stuff once or twice. They were all wonderful.
- Wait. One nurse was not wonderful. Once nurse merrily announced my weight to the entire room. I’d made it ten full months without Paul knowing my weight – and while it obviously doesn’t matter because he sees me every day and knows my body pretty well (hello!), the numbers are still annoying to hear and I didn’t feel like that was info that he needed inside of his head… especially when I weigh more than I EVER have because of the little human growing inside of me. So, anyway – that was the single solitary moment during my 24 hour stay where I hated my nurse and wanted to punch her in the face. She SHOUTED it throughout the room, as if announcing to everyone that I’d hit my goal weight of 120 lbs. SHUT UP WOMAN. That number is not something I care to acknowledge or remember.
- I spent time on the monitor, where I could watch Baby Burton’s movements — and also watch my contractions. That was fun… Baby was super active, and my contractions looked intense on the monitor. The nurse kept asking me: “those don’t hurt? You’re not having any pain?” For a brief second, I thought that maybe I was a freak of nature who wasn’t going to feel any pain during labor and I was going to be able to push soon.
- I asked one particularly sweet nurse what would happen if something came back wrong with my urine, or if my blood pressure stayed up. “Oh, you’re totally due in a couple days, so we’d probably just induce labor.” That word again. Uh. No you won’t. I’ve heard how horrifying inductions can be, and for my first baby when my body isn’t at ALL prepared for labor? Not in my birthplan AND setting me up for failure.
- I proceeded to spend the next few hours on my phone, on Google, reading about induction and when/if it was necessary. I then made sure to tell everyone that came into my room that an induction was to be avoided at all costs – only if absolutely necessary. Mama was putting her foot DOWN.
- Hospital food isn’t too bad.
- I didn’t sleep at all. Every time I moved, my bed would adjust… loudly. This kept me up ALL NIGHT. Poor Paul was asleep next to me on a really questionable cot, and I thought for sure he was up all night, too — but, that guy can sleep through anything, I guess.
- My 24 hours was supposed to be over at 4pm. They sent my stuff to the lab, and said I’d hear back within the hour. TWO HOURS LATER and nothing, I was starting to panic again. Of course, they decided to come in and check my blood pressure. They don’t exactly do things in a way that makes sense, do they?
- Everything came back normal, about a half an hour later. No protein in my urine, I was going home on “modified bedrest” until I could check in with my midwife this week.
The whole experience was completely terrifying, but it’s probably a good thing that I went through it. I’ve always known not to get too attached to my birth plan, because let’s face it… things don’t always go as they’re supposed to. I have to be ok with whatever fashion Baby Burton decides to come into this world. Our story will still be our own, and it will be perfect. Now, I have to coach myself to react in such a way that mirrors my newfound belief… and how perfect was the message this weekend at church?
I have a choice. I can react and become a victim (“Why me!? I don’t want an INDUCTION… this is not in the plan!”) or I can take a moment, take a breath, and make a choice.
God knows exactly how our story is going to go, so there’s no use in stressing myself out about it Obviously, it does no good. Time to sit back, relax, and wait for this little journey to come to a close so we can embark on phase two!
Thank you to everyone who text, called, said a prayer for, emailed or messaged me while I was at the hospital. You all are quite amazing!