Wednesday, March 3, 2010

24 wks, 5 Days: OB Mecca or OB Hell???

An ambulance takes me into Cincinnati to OB Mecca. A registered nurse has to go with me because of the mag sulfate drip. The EMT and paramedic look really nervous when they hear I am contracting every 2 minutes on the mag. They plead with me not to deliver the baby in the ambulance. "We don't want to do that today", they joke. I tell thm I am registered respiratory therapist and have resuscitated babies of this gestational age, that I will not let them deliver my baby in the ambulance. At any cost. The whole experience is kind of surreal. It is about 8 am, and we are driving through Clifton. I know that drive. I take it all of the time to get to my morning pre-med classes at the University of Cincinnati. I know it is wrought with idiot drivers, juggling their coffee and cell phones while trying to navigate traffic. And I am the worst control freak/ backseat driver. But yet here I am, strapped to a stretcher, watching traffic through the tiny windows in the back doors of the ambulance.

We get to OB Mecca, and J is already there. I had called him from my hospital room as the transport team was walking in the door to get me, and wonder first how he beat me there, followed immediately by the question of whether or not he wrecked my car in his rush to get here. I had told him not to rush, that I was fine. But it is J. I've learned not to question anything in our 9 years of marriage.

The OB Mecca staff puts me in their triage, which is the first chance I get to be pissed off. I am on mag, uncomfortable, have been awake all night, and have been sent by a very reputable physician. Why triage? Why not my room, with a bed instead of a stretcher? They won't let J back as they ask me admission questions they have to ask everyone. No, I do not have any sexually transmitted diseases. No, I do not feel I am at risk for them. No, my husband doesn't beat me. In fact, I tell the nurse, if he tried, I could take him. I know they are just doing their jobs, but I am frustrated and tired and miserable. I try to be nice. What is more likely is that my attempt is coming out as a dry, sarcastic version of myself that emerges when I have had it. My mental filter is no longer in place. But it doesn't matter. When J finally comes back to the room that is the size of Harry Potter's broom closet under the stairs, I hear the nurse tell him that his wife is hilarious. At least she likes me.

After changing all of the tubing, a resident comes in. I know it is a teaching facility. All of the OBs in the practice I go to did their residencies here. I expected it. And I am all for being a learning experience for residents. I work with residents. I also let them prescribe my family mmbers antibiotics for strep throat, or manage my asthma. But this? With my OB history? I don't really like being a learning experience in this situation. Anyhow, she does a pelvic exam that feels more like she is trying to extract tonsils from the wrong end of my body, does her little swabby thing to make sure there are no creepy-crawlies in my nether regions, as they do with everyone, and I am on my way to my room finally.

This is when all hell breaks loose. Once I get in my bed, it all hits me, and I am upset. Becuase of the visiting policies at all area hospitals due to H1N1 fears, J won't be able to visit because he will have E with him. E can't visit me. My baby boy will be absent so long as they see fit to keep me here. And by default, J will be also. He has class during the day, and E with him at night.I am going to be alone. Plus all of the smiling faces of my coworkers have been removed from this scene. I don't get the "she's one of us" perk package. This seems silly, but this is what opens the flood gates. And I cry. I cannot stop crying, as a matter of fact, which made what followed all the more worse.

They started asking questions. Why am I on a brethine pump? Why the mag? I'm not dilating so it is false labor. But how can I continue in a pregnancy contracting every 2-3 minutes? At what point do we try to stop them? If the are waiting fo me to dialte, it won't happen. I just don't. I try to explain.

Then there are the contradictions. They will stop the mag drip as soon as I am back on my brethine pump, which had been stopped for the ordeal. But wait! Just a minute ago, I didn't need it. What the hell? Through the course of 2 days, they treat me like crap. Thay act as if my team of OB's in Northern Kentucky know nothing, when in truth, they all completed their residencies there. They act as if the people at my place of business are incompetent, which I take as a personal affront. I am not a NICU therapist, but I am also not an idiot and work for an excellent, award-winning hospital.

The entire experience leaves a bad taste in my mouth. They ended up letting me leave the next morning. I got the home health company to reprogram the brethine pump (that I don't need) so they would stop the mag drip,and I was out of there. I never want to go back, but I know I will eventually end up there again. I have about 8 or 9 weeks to go before I can safely deliver Zachary. And I know that it is the best place for a preemie in this area, barring a local children's hospital. But at the children's hospital, I would not be in the same place as the baby, so it is not as desirable a choice.

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