Friday, September 26, 2008

162 Beats Per Minute, Impressive! By Mel

We got to see our little utero bean for the first time today, after much commotion, stress and crying, but it was amazing. We saw it's little heart, racing at 162 beats per minute, which is probably about what mine was when I got up this morning. I already know he or she is going to be just like Trey, fidgety and can't stay still. I am also pretty sure that once the little bean gets big enough, my belly is going to be moving all the time!

So now that we know things are looking pretty good right now, I'll explain the details leading up to the unscheduled sonogram. I got up with Trey this morning at 4:45 Am to make his lunch and see him off to work. Guys, you may want to skip this part. I went to pee and immediately began to panic at the sight of so much blood. When I say panic, I really mean panic, the scariest thing that has ever happened to me. After the hysterical crying, so much that my poor sweet dog was on the floor licking my face and crying with me, we gained a little composure, got Trey out of the shower and headed to the ER.

We were greeted at the entrance with helpful, friendly faces. There was no sitting in the waiting room for 5 hours, like I have grown accustomed to in Newfoundland and Alberta. It may have had something to do with the fact that people around here don't run to the doctor with a sniffle or a paper cut, but was probably more that it was 5 am and most people were still sleeping. I immediately went in to have my blood pressure, heartrate and temperature taken. They have this fancy thing they roll across your forehead to check your temperature. I think they still use the good ole trusty mercury thermometers back in Canada (slight, but only slight, exaggeration there). I sat down and waited a whole 2 minutes for my room to be ready, an actual room, with a door and everything, not just a slightly opaque curtain that ends 3 feet off the floor.

We sat in there and the nurse came in right away, my nurse, not one of the two taking care of 12 patients, one nurse assigned to each room. She was very sweet, until she said "We are going to do some blood work and a Cath UA to start." Blood work is fine, but I was wondering what a Cath UA was, and hoping it wasn't what I was thinking. I finally swallowed that lump in my throat and asked. She answered and I was thinking I didn't really like her that much anymore. What do I need a catheter for? I can pee just fine. But they had to be sure it wasn't "contaminated" with blood. Being that I have never actually had a catheter and only hearing how horrible they were, I was sweating bullets at this point. She reassured me that it isn't as bad as I was thinking, and surprisingly it really wasn't. It is kind of weird that someone else can make you pee without any help from you.

Next up, IV, though I only heard blood work, which I have had a lot of and was totally fine with, then she said "You're going to feel a BIG pinch," and she wasn't lying. I never really feel the 'pinch' they warn you about, but I did this time, it wasn't serious but I knew I was getting stuck! My first response was, "wow, I felt that, is that normal?" She said it was and then asked me what kind of needles I had before, I told her normal ones, blood work, vaccinations, stitches etc. Then I was informed that it was an IV, much bigger than a "normal" needle and it gets threaded through the vein, not just stuck into it. She was very gentle and got it right in there on the first try, there isn't even a bruise. She wanted to leave it in in case they needed more blood or had to give me meds, then came the worst part, medical tape, one of my biggest hospital fears. You can stick me, draw blood, vaccinate, cut and stitch, but please, not the medical tape. It just doesn't co operate with my unusually hairy arms. Being the super nurse she was, she gave her best effort to avoid the hair, my hero!

She cleaned up and told me it would be about 30 to 45 minutes for the results. I was quite confused about that. For the past 27 years I knew that test results never come back the same week, never mind the same day! What kind of top-secret, super high tech devices do these American hospitals have that can produce test results in 30 minutes! As I was sitting there with visions of flying cars and The Jetson's cartoons running through my imagination, she stunned me again! She asked me if I needed anything? I wondered if I had walked into a 5 star resort that just happened to have doctors and nurses on staff. I didn't even answer, I just looked at her in bewilderment. Then she gave me examples, would you like another pillow, a blanket, some water, a newspaper? I just sat there and said "No thank you" and looked around for the hidden cameras, trying to figure out who was playing this joke on me. She then proceeded to get a TV, a remote and a pager in case I changed my mind and wanted anything. She was even sweet enough to go get Trey so he could wait with me. He stepped outside my room (with walls and a door) before the whole catheter thing.

So we waited. They didn't just leave us hanging either. I am sure at least 5 people came to check on me in less than an hour, giving us updates, test results as they came in, and reassurance that we were not forgotten about. When all the results were in the doctor came in and said everything looked fine so far. I was all ready to leave when he threw another wrench into my idea of what hospitals were like when he said, "I am going to do a couple more tests, just to be sure." Wow, he didn't just send me home with antibiotics and instructions to visit my family doctor if it didn't get better! Amazing!

After all the poking and prodding came the best medical procedure I have ever had, a sonogram! We got to see the baby in it's little sac, heart racing and fidgeting all over. It was the coolest thing ever. I arrived with tears in my eyes and now they were back, but completely different. The look on Trey's face was also priceless.

We left there with instructions for me to do nothing but sit on the couch or bed, except to go to the toilet or to get something to eat, a bleeding hole in my arm which the nurse was nice enough to leave unbandaged, and a peace of mind that I haven't felt in quite some time. Thanks to God for everything being OK. What a day and all before the sun came up!


Rachel said...

Welcome to motherhood,sister. They scare the crap out of you like that on a daily basis! You love them so much and they aren't even here yet! I'm so sorry you went through that though. I wish you the best and you are in my thoughts. Please keep us posted on your health and the little Mel-ette or Trey-son. Stay in bed and make him bring you popsicles.

Erin said...

Hey Mel,
Glad things worked out okay! Are you on bed rest for a while or was it just for the day?
I laughed at your hairy arm delimma ;)

shannon said...

Glad to hear you are okay and baby is too....follow the doctors orders !!!!!

Annie (laughterqueen) said...

I'm so glad everything has worked out. That had to be so terribly scary! :( I'm glad you had a great experience with American healthcare! Rest up girlie!!!

Anonymous said...

I'm so glad every thing is ok with little baby!! I know that is scary, I've been there before. Praying for a safe seven more months. Take care and milk the bed rest thing for all it's worth!