Thursday, September 19, 2013

Isla's Birth Story. Part I

Three months ago my world was completely turned upside down.  I was 34 weeks pregnant, and I was exhausted.  I really was wondering how i was going to make it to the end.  The weekend before (June 8th), we had a lot going on.  I went to a baby shower, and then headed to my in-laws for my father-in-law's 60th birthday party.  By the time we got to the party, i was completely wiped out.  Sunday was the same- we went back over for my nephew's baby dedication, and that night the 3 of us went to dinner together for pizza- not knowing it'd be our last meal with just the 3 of us!  Dave was headed to Lake Geneva in Wisconsin that night for an all-week work conference, and although he was only an hour away, I still felt very nervous.  I had been to the doctor the prior week, and everything was great- the following week I would be starting my weekly appointments- when he got back we planned to start setting everything in motion:  getting meals prepared, getting the crib ready, washing clothes- our baby was going to be here in about 5-7 weeks!  I joked with him about having the baby while he was gone- i knew the week might be rough, but i'd make it.  I spent most of the week at my in-laws' house- I was watching Ian and my nephews Wednesday morning, so we just planned to stay there Tuesday night.  I was going to take Ian back home Wednesday and come back Thursday evening and then we were going to go to the Children's Museum with my mother-in-law, nephews and sister-in-law Friday morning.  Dave would be back Friday afternoon, and we would do birthday and father's day stuff over the weekend. 

i was really excited for dave to come home on friday- it had been a long week and i was ready to have a break.  i had made plans to have dinner that night with my friends beth, kristen and melissa.  we had decided to have dinner at a place called claimjumpers, that i had never been to before.  these dinners had become a regular thing for us, and with kristen and i both being pregnant they had become sort of an indulge-fest.  so, of course, i indulged.  when i got home, i felt over-indulged.  i talked to dave for a little bit and then i tried to go to bed.  1 AM rolled around, then 2, i was starting to feel worse.  i had terrible heartburn, a headache and my back was killing me.  plus, i was having my usual contractions.  i chalked it up to the food, but still was a little worried.  i started downloading pregnancy apps, contraction counters; i googled "back labor", and i looked to see if my acupuncturist was available (she wasn't).  3 rolled around and i had had enough.  i had been to the bathroom many times, had water, taken tums, and gas-x and nothing seemed to help the heartburn.  finally i decided to buck up and take the mylanta i had- oh, that stuff is the most terrible stuff of all time.  i poured it up and took it like i was taking a shot, and as i swallowed it something terrible happened- i could feel my heartburn drop from my sternum all the way down to my belly button.  i felt absolutely miserable and had no idea what to do.  finally, i decided around 4 AM that i would call the 24-hr nurse line provided by my insurance- the nurse suggested that i drink 2 big glasses of water and lie down on my left side for 30 minutes to see how i feel, and if i wasn't feeling better, i should call my doctor.  i guzzled my water, and went to lay down, and i finally got still enough that just as the sun was coming up, i finally fell asleep.

i really don't remember much about saturday- i'm pretty sure i got up and had breakfast with dave & ian.  before i knew it, i was back in bed asleep, and i slept for quite a while.  i felt better, so i just figured i was tired from the lack of sleep.  when i woke up, dave & ian had left a note that they had gone out for a while- i was so out of it, i had no idea they had even left.  i decided to pull myself together and shower b\c i really wanted to go out to dinner for my birthday- i really wanted thai food!  before we left to go, i spoke on the phone with my friend katie- she called to see how things were and i had told her about my previous night.  she asked if i had had my blood pressure checked recently- and i told her not since my last appointment.  she then asked if i would go have it checked on my way to dinner- and i agreed, so i told dave we needed to stop at walgreens.  we headed out to dinner and when we were almost there, we stopped and i made my way to the pharmacy.  they didn't have have a machine, so i waited while some guy picked up his $1000 prescription (no lie!).  i asked the tech about having my bp taken and he said i would have to fill out some forms and wait for the pharmacist, which i did.  finally the pharmacist took my bp and this conversation took place:

rx:  your blood pressure is 210/106.  that's high.  are you going to see your doctor soon?
me:  yes, on tuesday.
rx:  be sure to tell them when you get there that this was your blood pressure.

so i left walgreens and i told dave in the car.  i guess i didn't think anything of it b\c the pharmacist seemed so ok with it.  when we got to the restaurant i texted katie, my mother in law and my sister in law.  of course, my phone is about to die (per usual) and i am getting a barrage of texts about getting it checked elsewhere for a second opinion (walmart, the er, etc), but we decide that we'll check it at my in-law's house b\c my father in law has his own monitor.  so we order dinner and wait.  while we're waiting i google blood pressure, and i get these graphics... it was my first warning...

 (yes.  i am basically dead).

i didn't say anything to dave, but i was a little worried at that point.  everything kind of went crazy after this.  my friend katie calls me, and she was freaking out.  she said that she had just talked to her mother (a midwife) and her mother was worried and she was worried, and did i call my doctor?  then she said what scared me: "people die from this."  i promised her i would call my doctor and i hung up.  so i told dave i was going to call, just to be safe.  i had to have the doctor paged since it was saturday, and luckily my doctor was on call.  she got back to me pretty quickly and we had this conversation.

me:  hi, sorry to bother you, but i had a really bad night last night- i thought i ate too much- i had heartburn, a headache, back pains- i just felt bad, so a friend told me to have my bp checked and i just did and it was 210/106

dr: ohmygod

me: uh, yeah, and i think i've also gained about 10-15 lbs since the last time i saw you (at this point i was up at least 55 lbs).

dr.  i need you to come in right away.

me:  i'm at dinner right now

dr.  you don't have time to finish dinner- you need to come straight in, i will let them know to expect you.

me:  i don't have a bag packed, we have ian with us

dr.  dave can drop you off and pack a bag for you, you need to be here right now.

so i went back in and told dave.  commence both of us freaking out.  we let ian finish eating while dave had our meal bagged to go and paid.  we headed to the hospital frantically calling for someone to watch ian.  i was making a list of things i might need on a scrap piece of paper for dave to pack while he was at home.  i was freaking out about leaving ian so soon.  we were all pretty scared.  i kissed ian goodbye as dave dropped me off at the er, and i just remember being so sad.  i felt like he was really being cheated out of these last few weeks, and then i waved goodbye to them and walked in... and i went to the wrong place.   oops.  i was supposed to go straight to l&d, so they called a nurse down, put a bracelet on me, and she came and wheeled me to the l&d triage, and that's where my journey began.  i feel like i've typed so much already and nothing has even "happened" yet.  i'll leave you a picture of what my feet looked like.  don't look at this while you're eating, or before you eat.  seriously though:  if you are pregnant and your feet ever look like this- call a doctor.  

my poor feet.  and my poor toenails.  i was supposed to get a pedicure the next week.  they were hideous.  luckily, i had a friend fix them before delivery...  those marks near the big toe- my flip flop indention. 

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