Adventures in Pregnancy

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Last week was… interesting.

On Tuesday, I went to the perinatologist’s office for the 16 week ultrasound and the second blood draw for genetic testing.

I have decided not to post the ultrasound photo, because frankly, unless you are a trained professional, there’s no way that you’re gonna see anything.  I had to ask the technician to tell me what the picture showed and I still don’t see it…  Anyways, the Nugget measured in at 16 weeks 3 days and looked really good.  Placenta looked good; fluid was perfect.

Preliminary results from the first blood draw were back with my risks of Down’s Syndrome being 1 in 2000 and Trisomy 18 is 1 in 10,000 so again, I’ve got the risk of a 20 year old of having a child with these issues.  However, since I’m an asshole, my child has a 50% chance of that so you know.. whatever…

Wednesday, I spent the morning at the OB/Gyn’s office.  I had to do a 1 hour glucose tolerance test and they had to re-do my Pap smear from the 12 week visit.  They didn’t get enough cells the first time to get a reading. 

I met with a new doc this time: Dr Francis – a sweet lady about my age with 7 year old twins.  She was incredibly gentle during the pap smear procedure, but still there was a spot on my cervix that bled like crazy.  She said it wasn’t a polyp but rather just a really sensitive spot that bled the moment she touched it with the collection q-tip.  It bled enough that she used a little silver nitrate to make it stop.  I started cramping while she worked on me and the cramping and some light spotting continued for the rest of the day.

I drank the lovely orange Glucola before the examination so about the time we were done with the exam, it was time for my blood draw.  I wonder now if I was dehydrated because it was really difficult for the tech to get blood.. she ended up hitting my good donation spot and it fizzled out before she got enough so she ended up hitting the top of my hand.

I must digress here.. I do not have good veins and as this story continues you’ll hear about the adventures that causes.  The veins in my arms are small and roll like crazy.  I have one good spot on my right arm that once you hit it, will give whatever you need but you’ve gotta work for it a bit.  It’s for this reason that I don’t give blood.. it’s just too hard to stick me…

So I go home, feed the kiddo lunch and then lay on the couch the rest of the day.  The cramps were pretty bad and I will admit here and now that I was worried.  I even started timing them like contractions for a little while.  They kept coming in waves and I was concerned.

Thursday morning, I wake up with just a slight twinge of cramps and during the day, the spotting stopped.  I didn’t think anything else about it until about 6PM as I took a quick pit stop before I started dinner.

Y’all, I was bleeding like I had started my period and there were clots.. not big ones but clots nevertheless.

I freaked out.

I knew I needed to go to the hospital but I didn’t know whether I should go to Labor and Delivery or to the Emergency Room.  I called my OB’s office.  My hands were shaking so bad when they called back that I hit the wrong button on the phone and sent the call to voicemail.

Thank goodness, the nurse on call left a message telling me to go to the emergency room.

Moo would be home any moment so I moved fast.  I packed Phoebe’s diaper bag with extra diapers and snacks, filled her water cup up, and packed a few toys.  And then I found and put on my shoes, located my wallet and keys and sat down with my feet up to wait on Moo.

By 6:25, we were in the car headed for the hospital.

I freely admit that I was scared to death.  I freely admit that I cried all the way.

I was so upset that by the time I got there, my blood pressure was sky high: 180 over 101…

Now, I’ve had a problem with hypertension in the past.  I also know that I’m one of those delightful people that on the outside looks calm and peaceful but on the inside is seething.   I could go into a whole diatribe about how our blood pressure goes up to help us deal with stress at hand, getting us ready to flee if necessary.  Medical personnel see blood pressure like mine on Thursday evening and freak out.  They see me as a stroke waiting to happen.  I know that I am simply reacting to the problem at hand and given the opportunity to calm down, my blood pressure is perfect.

I sent Moo to the cafeteria with Phoebe for dinner.  Meanwhile, I’m sitting there scared.  Right before I get called back, Moo and Phoebe return from dinner. 

I get back to the examination room and I’m greeted by the most wonderful young doctor, a Dr Zirkin.  I explain the pap smear fiasco and tell him about my tendency towards hypertension when stressed and he says “Of course your blood pressure is up.  You’re upset. That’s what it’s supposed to do.”

At last!  A doctor with common sense!!

He orders an ultrasound and blood work.

The ultrasound reveals that Nugget is fine.  It reveals that I do not have placenta previa which was one of the potentially bad things causing the bleeding.  The ultrasound also reveals that my cervix is long and tightly closed, so the pregnancy isn’t in danger right now.

Having seen my little one waving at me on the screen and greeted with good news, my blood pressure drops like crazy. 

It takes 3 people and SIX needle sticks before blood work is finally together.  Two nurses can’t get me, the experts in the lab are behind at least 3 hours so the nurse brings in the delightful Dr Zirkin.  He goes for the radial artery in my right wrist.  This is painful but not as bad as getting an IV in your foot – don’t ask.  Again, I’m stingy with my blood.

Blood work reveals that I’m clotting normally and blood counts are good.  The OB on call wants me admitted for observation and to see me the next morning.

So we got to the ER at about 7, got called back about 8, and I got put into the “Short Stay” unit at about 2. 

Dr Zirkin told us about 11:30 they were keeping me and I sent Moo and the baby home.  She was starting to get a little wiggy and there was no way she was going to sleep in the stroller.

The room I was in was nice, but very small.  Just big enough for the bed, a chair, a hospital tray on wheels and a door to a tiny bathroom with only a toilet and a sink.  No shower as people weren’t supposed to be in this unit for more than 24 hours.

The nurses finally left me alone about 3 and I used Airplane! to help me go to sleep. Well except for the hospital bed that seemed to be possessed.  Every once and a while, it would suddenly start “roaring” and the mattress would inflate and then deflate.  Weird.

So I finally got to sleep and slept until about 7 when the nurse woke me up to take my vitals.  Then Dr Schaeffer, the OB who wanted me admitted came in.

He asked me questions about my last pregnancy, talked to me about the exam on Wednesday and talked to me about what was happening in this pregnancy.

It’s been determined that I have cervicitis or inflamed cervix – I’m calling it an “angry cervix”.  Basically during pregnancy, there’s tons of extra blood flow to that whole area.  The cervix is already sensitive so if anything “disturbs the peace” like sneezing or coughing or sex or even going over a speed bump too hard, you can have a bleed.  It’s not dangerous – just scary as all get out.

I’ve been ordered to take it easy for a few days – not exactly bed rest but just not doing a ton of running around. 

And as a reward for all the aggravation, Nugget did major flip flops for me yesterday and today…

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