Pregnancy never seems to be without it’s surprises. Last night was no exception. I got up from the kitchen table chair at 5:30 pm to get dinner going and found myself immediately doubled over in pain. Severe cramping, pretty low. It didn’t feel like contractions — it was constant pain, rather than a tightening in my abdomen that came and went. I tried to go about my business hunched over and limping until my hubby came into the kitchen and took pity on me. Even while sitting, the pain was strong. I grimaced my way through dinner… after dinner I stayed put in my chair and tried my best not to move but the pain remained. Hubby went to work on his thesis and I decided to call the advice nurse and see what she thought. After all, both my OB and the nurse practitioner had told me to go to Labor & Delivery if the pain got worse. Well, I thought, “It’s definitely worse!”
I explained the situation to the advice nurse who then transferred me to the L&D advice nurse. Repeat story. I told the nurse, “I really don’t want to come in for this since it’s probably not preterm labor… on the other hand though I want to be absolutely sure.” She agreed, and told me that pain at that level was definitely “not normal.” She told me to come in. It was at this point that I realized that hubby had absolutely no idea what was going on. I limped my way over to our office and stuck my head in the door and announced, “We need to go to to Labor & Delivery.” He looked at me with complete surprise and jumped out of his chair while exclaiming, “We do?!” I nodded my head and said that I’d be waiting for him in the car, as sitting down was my first objective.
Hubby dropped me off at the door of L&D/Pediatric/NICU building with Kaiser and I walked inside. The security guard asked me if I was there to see a patient and I said, “No, I’m here to go to Labor & Delivery.” He got major kudos when he said, “Oh, you’re pregnant?” Why, “yes I am”… feeling slightly amused and mostly like the guy might need glasses. He took me to the back to the counter with L&D where both the clerk and RN’s seemed to already know who I was from my prior phone call. I had to give a urine sample and then the RN had me rest on a stretcher while she hooked up the tocometer and took my vital signs. I explained my story again at her request as to why I was there, etc. I was really getting tired of hearing myself talk at this point. She left after a little while and told us to wait for the doctor to come in, but that it might be a while because they were in the middle of shift change.
Hubby was thankfully there with me and pretty fidgety… wanting to know what every last thing in the room was, what every graph was on the monitor, what baby’s heart rate was and if that “machine on the wall was a respirator” or not (I explained to him that it was a suction canister). I was hurting and just not wanting to explain it all… at the same time I was glad to get this out of his system before we had to return to actually have the baby. We debated who had more acronyms in their job, mine being in the medical profession or his being in the engineering profession.
Meanwhile, we sat there pretty bored for a while and I got to listen to baby’s steady heart beat and watch him kick the tocometer over and over again. He really didn’t like having that on my belly! It made us both smile, and even the nurse commented on it. After a while the doctor made his appearance. I got to repeat my story again. Blah, blah, blah. I had to go into the endometriosis and adhesion history part every time, to make sure everyone knew that it was most definitely a huge factor in my pain level. He was professional and to the point. He checked me and I was 100% relieved to find that my cervix was closed and not thinning out. They weren’t picking up any contractions, either, which meant the pain was there to stay but at least it didn’t mean baby was coming anytime soon.
And just like that we were free to go home.
Amazingly enough, we were only gone for two hours. It sort of felt like a waste of time, but as I was trying to fall asleep with often sharp pain, I had peace. Peace knowing that our son was doing just fine, and peace knowing that I didn’t need to be on bed rest or doing anything else to prevent further preterm labor. For those reasons alone, it was two hours well spent! Peace of mind is worth a lot.
In the end, we got a trial run through labor and delivery. Hubby knows where to park and where to go, and the fastest way to get there. I have the direct number now for the back desk in Labor and Delivery, which is something I didn’t have before. And best of all, we have a renewed hope that our little son will keep growing and stay put for the next twelve weeks.