Saturday, July 19, 2008

the one where I visit the emergency room for the first time in my lovely thirty years

Let me tell you about my day yesterday.

I have had very light spotting since Wednesday. No cramps at all and feeling pretty good compared to earlier in the pregnancy. I called my OB’s office back at home and spoke with a nurse who took a bunch of information and did not sound very alarmed at all at my description of the spotting. She asked my blood type (which is O negative by the way, and requires Rhogam shots with each pregnancy both at 28 weeks and once the baby is born). She told me that she wanted to speak with a doctor and call me back. That was Thursday morning. When I hadn’t heard from her by Friday at 11am I called back and left another message for her.

She returned my call Friday around noon after speaking with a doctor and explained to me that I should probably be seen by someone down here. She said that I could probably get an early small dose shot of Rhogam because of the bleeding but that there was probably no concern for miscarriage based on my symptoms and at 12 weeks pregnancy. She advised that I either go to an urgent care type place or that I go to the local emergency room and she told me that I should probably call first to make sure that they have the necessary shot before I go.

So of course, I called two urgent care type places that could not help me. Then I called a local OB office who said all of their doctors left at noon on Fridays. So I phoned my doctor back and told the nurse that I was heading to the local emergency room and that she could fax my medical records there. Fortunately my dad was able to stay with Julianna who was napping and my mom was able to go with me to the hospital. I got signed in at the ER at 1:15 and was told that there were only 2 OB beds so I would probably have to wait a while.

I was pleasantly surprised when only 50 minutes later they got me in a room. The doctor was very kind, knowledgeable, and personable. He got the Doppler out and listened for the heart beat. He told me before hand that we may or may not be able to hear one because 12 weeks gestation is right on the cutoff line for when you would be able to start picking up the babies heartbeat on a Doppler instead of a sonogram machine. If he hadn’t prefaced it all with that I would have fuh-reaked out because he looked for a long time and we were not ever able to hear the babies heartbeat. He did say not to worry that that didn’t particularly mean anything.

Then he asked to do an exam to check to make sure there was no bleeding from my cervix. Although it was not a pleasant experience, I could immediately see relief on the doctor’s face as he told me that there was a little blood on the outside of my cervix and not coming from the inside. He said that there were small abrasions on the outside that were causing the blood and that was common during pregnancy. He checked to make sure that my cervix was still closed and that the plug was still there and everything was fine. He again assured me that there wasn’t a cause for concern of miscarriage even though he had to diagnose me on the chart as “threatened miscarriage.” He said I still needed to get the early Rhogam shot due to the blood and asked the nurse to order it from the pharmacy.*

I was very, very relieved and while earlier I was questioning why he wasn’t going to do an ultrasound, now I wasn’t too concerned because he didn’t seem worried and apparently didn’t think I needed to have one. So when he left the room, my mom and I were talking about it and since the nurse was still in there we asked her if he was planning on doing an ultrasound and she said that she thought he was. That confused us, but we were like OK whatever.

When the doctor did come back in the room my mom asked him about the sonogram. He told us that they didn’t have the ability to do them where I was in the ER and unless it was more serious cause for concern (like a tubal/ectopic pregnancy) for which they could send me somewhere else in the hospital for that.

Anyway, here’s where the annoying part of the story comes. He said to my mom and I (and I do indeed quote), “Do I think she’s having a miscarriage? No, I don’t. Do I think she needs to have an ultrasound? Yes, she does.” When he found out that my next appointment at home wasn’t until August 4th he offered to give me a referral for an OB down here. He told me that it was totally up to me whether or not I wanted to go in for the ultrasound or not. That’s what confuses me. Does he just mean for peace of mind? Because he seemed so certain that I was not miscarrying.

When I was leaving the hospital I was leaning towards not going in to get the ultrasound as I already have the expensive ER visit to pay for. I talked with Jonathan and we both just thought that if I found myself worrying to death about it all weekend then I would just go in on Monday for the US, but otherwise I would forego it until my visit at home in 2 weeks.

Last night I had some minor cramping and now of course I am going nuts. I didn’t sleep at all because I was laying there “listening” to my body all night worrying about every new feeling. I don’t know if the slight cramps I was having off and on all through the night were from worry and anxiety, the normal round ligament growth and stretching, or a sign of miscarriage.

I am definitely going to the doctor for an US on Monday.

In the case of miscarriage, I think I will be fairly strong about it and handle it as well as can be expected. After all, I am blessed. I have this:

<a href=""><img src="" alt="Jules eating a cone of ice cream" /></a>

My two silliest, but yet biggest concerns about it at the moment are indeed the fact that we’ve already prepped Julianna for a little sibling quite a bit and we would have to figure out how to deal with that and also (silly, I know, but…) my maternity bridesmaid dress for my sister’s wedding in 3 months has already been ordered. What would they do with that? The maternity style is slightly different that the regular bridesmaids dresses so it may be more difficult than just cutting it down a lot.


That’s where I am this weekend. What are you all doing? Seriously. Let me know. Because I’m so bored I could poke my eyeballs out. That and I need something else to keep me entertained until the doctor’s offices open on Monday morning.

*In typical ER style, the nurse did NOT apparently go order the shot from the lab at that time, causing my visit to last a full 5 hours and 15 minutes instead of only the 2 hours it required. She did however go take her lunch break at 4pm and left us sitting in a freezing cold 10’ x 8’ room staring at the same four walls for 3 hours. Yeah. That was fun. She ordered the shot from the pharmacy when she got back from lunch and then it took them another hour and a half to get it ready. I can now see why the check-in lady warned me that them having only two OB beds might be some sort of hang-up.


Courtney said...

ugh - ER's suck! I learned that the hard way when Tony had to go last December. It's a long story but we sat around in the ER forever before they actually took him back to a temporary bed and finally gave him some pain killers. Then we had to wait even longer for a doctor to look at him and finally get him in his own hospital room after he was admitted. We were there for 9 hours before he got his own room. Ridiculous!

Anyway, hope that you are feeling better! Try not to stress too much - I had menstrual type of cramps thoughout the 1st trimester and it was just everything stretching + round ligaments is what I was told. Oh yeah - I've been to the ob dept. in the hospital 2x in the last week. Turns out I have pregnancy induced hypertension. Great - something else to worry about. LOL

Anyway, you're in my prayers! Let's see - today I'm going to Target briefly so I can finish packing my bag for the hospital and then I will be resuming my doctor's orders of doing nothing - it's soooo boring!

Courtney said...

i am sooooooooooo sorry. that really sucks about the ER. it's never a pleasant experience. i am glad to hear that they think everything's okay and definitely want to know what you find out today. i've been thinking about you all weekend so i was glad to see your post. hang in there.

Courtney said...

hey girlie!! so sorry that you have had to go thru all that! that is some craziness (to say the least). and i just wanted to let you know that i have been thinking about you. sometimes the weekends suck, cause you can't get answers your are dying to get. i am sorry that the er was nut-so. you're in my prayers!

Courtney said...

I hope everything went ok for you today. You've been in my thoughts and prayers all day. I know it was probably very stressful to have to wait all weekend to get answers. Let me know if you need anything at all!

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