Tuesday, April 27, 2010

33 Wks, 1 Day: Relief

Yesterday,on what was to mark my 33 rd week of pregnancy, I went to see my doctor. It all started like it normally does--I went into the little vestibule where they check weight and blood pressure. I got on the scale, and the nurse got concerned, made me step off and back on again. I had lost 5 pounds since last week. Same scale, roughly the same clothing. And I know it wasn't all water weight because I was never really swollen to begin with. I told her it was probably right, that I haven't been able to eat all week. Which prompted the question: "What's wrong?" And so the floodgates opened. I told her a brief synopsis of everything, and as I was sitting there, the high-risk clinic nurse, who sees only us problem patients, came walking in, saw me crying, and got in on the conversation. Before I knew what was happening, they were crying too from my story.

So we go into the exam room, and she hands me the little disposable sheet, to which I just handed it back to her, telling her no, I'm sorry, I just cannot tolerate an exam right now, as I am in too much pain. She agrees and in less than 2 minutes, the doctor comes in. It's the one I like, and he comes through the door with a hearty "Duuuuuuude, what's UP????" This is why the L& D nurses refer to him as "Surfer Boy". He's young, and blond and tan, to go along with that personality. But he is also the one who listens to me, who promised me I would not suffer any longer than necessary, who finally offered me pain relief.

So we talk. I tell him I am miserable, as the tears start again. By the way, I think this is the first time he has seen me cry in all of this. We talked about the ridiculous number of trips to the hospital, the brethine pump's future with all of this tachycardia, and more. As soon as he said "36 weeks", I started crying yet again, and told him no, that I couldn't. Because then when I come back at 36 weeks, someone else would change it to 38 weeks, and so on.

Then he looked at me and said "No, I'll do it!" At which point the nurse handed him a calendar. I heard something about amnio, then something else about the next day. Huh? It has really been a long time. I remember the amnio with E taking almost a week to get back. I literally started laughing at this point. Amnio at 36 weeks, then c-section the same week? I could deal with that. 3 weeks.

Then he started explaining. We think of lung maturity, because that is the biggie at this stage in the game. But we want his brain to be developed, too. And his bowels. Nectrotizing enterocolitis is a big one in preemies. I agreed. "Plus," he said, "Little Dude wouldn't be able to eat yet!" At which point I laughed again. This is honestly the first time someone has referred to Zachary as "Little Dude" instead of the "baby" or "fetus".

He wanted the amnio on May 13th, but the perinatologist is unavailable on that day, so it was scheduled for the 12th instead. I was going to have my c-section, assuming amnio results are favorable, on the 14th, but now we aren't sure. I asked him after the date was changed, and he said they would call me, that he had to look at his schedule, that he should be able to find an hour in there somewhere. That was almost comical and completely strange to me: something this big and life-changing on my end is just a spare hour to him. Weird.

So the bottom line is that I am staying on all of this junk: the brethine pump, the monitor, etc., until then. He admitted that the pump isn't doing the trick, but that he is afraid it will be even worse for me without it. He refilled the pain meds and told me to continue taking them, that I was fine so long as I used discretion. I told him that was not a problem,that a few years ago, I had to have my knee reconstructed, and I am so leary of pain meds that I took about 10 total through that entire process, but that I was actually needing them now.

He ended the converstaion with this: "Please tell me you aren't having any more!" No, I'm not. But they all keep telling me this, and I wonder if it is a concern for my well-being or a concern for them, not wanting to deal with another of my pregnancies. They cannot say I didn't warn them--I had been telling them, as early as my first appointment, that it would get bad, long before it actually did. I consider that fair warning.

So in a little over 3 weeks, I will be holding my youngest son in my arms. Somehow, since finding this out, I have been able to relax a little. I'm still hurting and exhausted, but this knowledge has instantly made it more tolerable.


  1. He does sound a little flippant about something so major in your life, but I guess you take the good with the bad. I am glad to hear he's willing to do it sooner rather than later. Hopefully you'll get it scheduled for real so you don't have to be in limbo wondering if things will change.

  2. Yeah, he's flippant, but I try to dismiss it. We healthcare people are way too informal behind the scenes, but we censor ourselves and put on a professional face for ptients. I'm one of them, so I think this censor has been sort of set aside.

    As far as scheduling he amno--ME TOO! I don't think I'll be completely content until I am strapped to an OR table!