Having a highly trained obstetrical surgeon attend a normal birth is analogous to having a pediatric surgeon babysit a healthy 2-year-old. M. Wagner
This past week, my sweet little Gabriel decided that I needed to share his stomach virus. I don’t do well with tummy troubles anyway, but this thing pulverized me. My darling came rushing to my arms Monday night, hugged me tightly and proceeded to vomit all down my shirt, back, and hair. Ok, I’m a mom. This is not my first rodeo with getting vomited upon and having worked in an ER before, I’ve also gotten it from children that were not even mine. But this… holy mother-of-god… was the rankest thing that has happened to me in a looooong time.
Not two hours later, I started feeling extremely nauseated. I’ve had morning sickness this entire pregnancy, to the point of losing a lot of weight from not being able to stand the smell of food, so getting sick isn’t something abnormal to me these past 6 months. I’ve gotten exceptionally good at being able to hold on until I can get somewhere private (I’m not one of those hold-my-hair kind of people when I get sick… leave me alone… I’m capable of handling that myself, thanks) but I barely made it. After 3 straight hours of praying to the porcelain god, I knew I was beyond help. I woke up Ian to tell him I was gonna go ahead and go to the ER and get some fluids. He wanted to drive me in, but at 4am, I really didn’t want to wake up the baby and have to tote him over there, so I decided to just go ahead and drive myself.
I started to go to St. Mary’s but I got halfway down the road out of our subdivision and had to pull over to let loose, so turned right back around to go to Barrow. Biiiiig mistake. I thought I’d be seen in the ER for fluids and maybe have to go to L&D to be put on the monitor. I could not stop throwing up. I haven’t been so sick since the time I ate a bad baguette at Epcot 5 years ago. They took me to L&D, put me on the monitor for a measly hour or so while I got fluids and called in their on-call OB.
I so dehydrated and violently ill, I was in and out of it for a while. I barely remember anything of Tuesday at all. I do, however, remember the OB coming in to examine me. I have a personal preference for female OBs and midwives. I am not a fan of male OBs. It’s just my little quirk. I told him, repeatedly, about my SCH and on-going bleeding. They performed an ultrasound, but weren’t able to see the SCH. Big surprise since this was the same hospital that couldn’t see the 11cm one when I first started bleeding either. He examined me and I haven’t felt that violated in a long while. For those of you unfamiliar with the evil, metal speculum they use in hospitals, let me tell you, that is NOT something you wanna have shoved up your hoo-ha, especially when you’re already having bleeding. He barely even warned me he was about to do it. And then he went on to wonder aloud why I was still having bleeding! Um, hi! You stuck that thing up my vajayjay like you were tunneling to the center of the earth! What do you expect, buddy?
Well, after the examine, I blacked out again for several hours. I woke up to a nurse telling me I was being moved to a different floor for observation because they didn’t want to infect all the other preggos. I didn’t realized I was being admitted. I woke up much later in a different room. I remember them telling me they wanted me to stay the night and get fluids. Totally cool in my book, but for some reason, the next time I woke up, my saline drip had been stopped. I assumed it was because they didn’t want me swelling up like a balloon, but I thought I was there FOR fluids. It didn’t make sense to me. I called and asked for more zofran and the nurse came in to push the medicine. She didn’t put it drip, but rather directly into the IV part connected to my hand. It was sudden and intense fire. I almost tried to rip it out. She flushed out the IV and I started to swell. I told her again and again, I needed the IV out NOW. She said she was going to get someone to come put in a new IV for me before they took that one out. Made no sense whatsoever. She left and 30 minutes later had not returned. My hand, wrist, and forearm burned. I called the nurses’ station twice. I was literally going to rip the thing out of my hand, but I decided to call my mom first so she could come and ask them to let me go.
Finally, a new nurse came in. They’d been in the middle of shift change and no one had been told to come remove my IV! She ho-hummed taking it out for a bit until I practically lunged off the bed and told her to get me in the crook of my arm. She removed the IV and placed a new one right before my mom came in and I decided to stay the rest of the night.
The next morning, Ian and my mom switched shifts watching me and the OB came in to “talk” to me about my pregnancy. The first thing he thought important to talk to me about was my weight. Yes, I have gained much more than I care to admit prior to becoming pregnant. I had literally just started dieting and exercising again when I found out I was pregnant with Sam. As I mentioned before as well, I have lost 30lbs since becoming pregnant to hyperemesis, but that doesn’t concern my doctors or me in the least because of my weight starting out. The OB seemed completely floored my doctors and midwives, basically, hadn’t chided me on my weight and told me all the horrible things that it could cause with this pregnancy. I reminded him again, I’m on bed rest and not eating. He finally conceded I’m doing all I can to keep my weight under check. He went on to suggest I have weekly ultrasounds to check the baby’s growth to make sure he wasn’t getting “too large” since I declined the glucose screen (if I can’t keep down food, I can’t keep down that nasty syrup any better than I could the first time… which I couldn’t and ended up eating an entire bag of jelly beans before having the blood test which showed perfect blood sugar levels).
Everything was fine and dandy with everything he said up until then, even though I wasn’t particularly thrilled at being talked to like I was 5 and had been found hiding candy in my pockets. Then he actually dismissed my entire doctor group and said, “you aren’t a patient for a midwife.” Excuse me? Had he not heard that my group includes 2 OBs to whom my midwives report and that I was also seeing a perinatologist for the SCH? Did I hallucinate that? Had I not told him, repeatedly, about my bleeding and that I was being watched closely for preterm labor symptoms? Did he not see in the ultrasound my perfectly closed cervix? He was completely dismissive of the value of my midwife group. I was livid. I wanted to tell him how Meredith turned Gabriel numerous times during delivery to make sure I didn’t have a C-section. I wanted to tell him how caring she was and how she’d been delivering babies probably longer than he’d been alive. I know, in my heart, that if I’d had a OB for Gabe’s delivery that he or she would not have been as patient or funny or consoling or guiding as a midwife.
I can’t say enough how much I completely trust them with my care. When they first told me how large the SCH was and what dangers it presented, they didn’t try to scare me. What good would that do? They understand how important it is for women with problems during the pregnancy to remain calm and keep stress-levels low to stave off the fight-or-flight instinct that would cause my body to possibly miscarry to preserve itself.
Anyway, he finally suggested I have a course of steroids to speed up Sam’s lung maturation. I thought he meant IV steroids, but after realizing he meant shots, I asked to be discharged. I didn’t want to stay another night or two for something that could be done as an out-patient procedure. He had multiple labs drawn (which was absolute agony because of my teensy, rolling veins), gave me the first round at the hospital and dismissed me. HALLELUJAH! I was feeling completely full of fluid and free!
When I got home, the steroid shot had given me a huge boost of energy, so I began to disinfect the entire house. Norovirus can live on surfaces up to 2 weeks, so I wanted to kill it as quickly as possible. Midget still wasn’t feeling well, so over the next day, my mom and I disinfected all of his toys and all our linens and took him to see his doctor who assured me as long as he was still willing to drink, he’d be alright. I got my second round of steroids at St. Mary’s (soooo much cleaner than Barrow!).
Today, I woke up feeling very nauseated all over again. I ate something, took some phenergan, worked for a bit, and then passed out. About an hour later, I started getting calls from the OB at Barrow. Ugggggggggggggggggggggh. I was hoping I’d never have to talk to him again. I finally picked up and he told me the lab work had come back and it showed I may have lupus or, what something that sounded like shogun syndrome. I tried not to laugh and told him again I was seeing my doctor Tuesday if he’d call them and tell him all the lab findings, we’d discuss it then…
But no. He still had to make a few comments about my midwives. Rather than get argumentative, and mostly because that phenergan packed a wallop, I just uh-huh’d him and went back to sleep. He called again later to tell me that he’d talked to Dr. Leach (one of the OBs I haven’t seen since I first started going there) who “agreed” with him I shouldn’t be seeing the midwives. Um, excuse me? I was a little more than pissed off. I am not this man’s patient and if I’m going to be seeing either one of those OBs, it’s gonna be Dr. Allen as she consulted with me on the SCH to begin with. Second, unless I end up needing a c-section, I see no reason why I would have to see Dr. Allen during my birth as she’s the physician that signs off on all the orders given to her by the midwives. She already knows what’s going on. She’s the one who set me up to see the perinatologist. I simply don’t understand why this guy isn’t able to understand how they work in tandem with each other.
He said the lab findings came back and showed I do not have lupus but Sjogren’s Syndrome. It mostly causes dry ducts (like salivary glands and tear ducts), but during pregnancy, it causes antibodies that attack the baby’s heart. I’m going to have to talk my doctors on Tuesday about having a fetal echocardiogram either at their office or at Dr. Rosemond’s. I just cannot catch a break with this pregnancy! Every ultrasound I’ve had done shows Sam’s internal organs are perfect, other than the small cyst that was detected during my last ultrasound that Dr Rosemond assured me will be gone by the next time I see him, and my amniotic fluid levels are exactly where they need to be.
While I appreciate being told about all this, I can’t say I’m terribly concerned yet. Sam, himself, has looked great at every ultrasound and is getting more and more active. The tear in the placenta that caused the SCH was closed and there was no blood flow to the SCH, so that was not affecting him at all. I’m at the point of viability with him now and my only concern is to keep him cooking for at least another 8 weeks, preferably another 12. I’m still really angry at this OB for suggesting I should not be allowed to see my midwives and that I need even more interventions than I’ve already had thus far when I’ve been told multiple times by my group and the perinatologist that the baby’s growing perfectly on track.
I guess I’ll update on Tuesday after talking to my group. Thoughts, prayers, good vibes and juju appreciated to keep me sane and Sam cooking until then!