First The Worst. Second The Best?

I woke up first this morning, as has been the usual for Saturdays lately. I stayed in the warm, cozy bed, though, trying to get a few more snoozes in. A bit later, I was delighted when Brent got up to answer the demands being yelled from the other room by Little Miss. Eventually I decided I wasn’t going back to sleep so I might as well get up. Of course my first stop after any time spent laying down, but especially first thing in the morning, was the bathroom.

I’ll spare you details, more for my own attempt to maintain some level of decent modesty, but when I came out I stood looking at Brent, wondering what exactly I was going to tell him. He looked at me and could see the wheels turning (underneath the mat of some pretty incredible bed-head hair) and said, “What?…What?”
“Well…I think you might have to take me to the emergency room.”

I wasn’t anticipating saying those words, and I can tell you he wasn’t anticipating hearing them. I called the hospital to speak to the on-call OB, who to my surprise got back to me within five minutes. I explained what was happening, he asked me some questions, and based on the information given he determined I should come in. “But don’t hurry, because the roads are slick out there.” Oh, right, because we got 4 inches of snow yesterday. In mid-March. Because this is our tropical paradise.

I don’t think all three of us have ever been dressed and out of the house before 8 a.m. on a Saturday, so that was definitely a first for us today. Not sure why, but I was pretty proud of how we pulled ourselves together and out the door. The distraction of getting everyone ready was good for me. Once we were settled in the vehicle and driving down the street, I reached for Brent’s hand. As he was driving and holding my hand, he started to pray out loud. That’s about the time I started to cry. I didn’t want another March preemie. I didn’t want to be admitted to the hospital a few days before Haley’s 3rd birthday. I didn’t want to have the same thing happen as before. I just wanted a normal pregnancy. Normal delivery. Normal.

We were met at the door to the birthing center and ushered into a triage room. I put on the lovely gown and a nurse came in to check my blood pressure and gather other information. I couldn’t see the monitor from where I was sitting, and no one was telling me what the blood pressure numbers were. So I asked.

….”High.” Said the nurse.
I raised my eyebrows.
“150/94” she said.
Whoops.

I started having flashbacks. Being wheeled to a holding room. IV. Surgery. NICU. The nurse had moved on to the computer and was asking me questions about medication, history, etc. I came back to the present and answered them. It was hard to hear her petite little voice over the loud “chook-chook-chook” of the fetal heart monitor. Cletus-The-She-Fetus was busy trying to roll away from the monitors and would occasionally hit one dead on as she kicked. Brent looked at me, “Was that you?” No…that was her. She has a thing against cold gel and machines.

I was in the room for three hours. My labs came back free and clear. No pre-eclmapsia today. Thank you, Lord. In that time I was told to lay on my left side – a routine I was familiar with. The next blood pressure after laying on my side was 118/67. What a difference a shift in position makes. The doctor came in to examine me. At that point I wasn’t sure I could handle actual child birth, because the little examination was pretty painful and I was making faces for quite a while. Turns out, I’m dilated 1.5 cm. That could certainly explain why I was experiencing what I was experiencing prior to calling. While it wasn’t common per se, it fell within the range of normal. Sigh of relief. My blood pressure the next two times was the same low number. After going over my daily routine and him finding my activity level (rather, lack thereof) to be acceptable, I was being discharged.

Bed rest all weekend. Limited activity during the week. Work is fine, if I stay off my feet. Discharge paperwork also specifically stated, “Someone else needs to do the laundry and cleaning.” I laughed a little. You’ve all seen me gush over my husband before and today is no different. He’s in cleaning the kitchen right now. Because he has to? No. Because I can’t. Because he loves me. Because he’s freakin awesome. I pray my daughters – his daughters – are blessed to find a man as wonderful as he is.

I called my parents to tell them what had happened. Mom said we had to stop doing this to her. Both of her daughters have had anything but easy roads when it comes to childbirth. “I can’t believe after all of this you would still consider having more.” said Mom. I laughed.

The last time I was on bed rest, I was in the hospital, only allowed to get up to go to the bathroom. I had to wear compression socks and fetal monitors at all times. I remember after a few hours I was going crazy. Today, I’m at home, in my own clothes, and have limitations, yes, but more freedom as well. Six more weeks. Just six more weeks. Bake in there for six more weeks, Cletus.

…and thank you, God, today was what it was and nothing more. Please keep protecting this baby and this baby’s mama.

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