Three years ago I had an appointment with my perinatologist.
For those of you fortunate enough to be unfamiliar with perinatology, it’s a sub-specialty of obstetrics. Perinatologists complete an additional 2-3 years of training after they complete their residencies and work with high-risk pregnancies.
I was 29 weeks pregnant and had appointments every two weeks with my perinatologist, so it wasn’t anything out of the ordinary—until the nurse took my blood pressure. My silly blood pressure had been slowly creeping upward for a few weeks at that point, but a reading in the 140s/90s was a new high.
“You’re done with work,” my doctor told me. No bedrest yet, but it was time to slow down.
It wasn’t a huge blow. I’d been feeling uncomfortable for a while—Braxton Hicks were already kicking in, I thought. Two nights prior to my appointment I’d been at Labor and Delivery, worried I was having real contractions, but it proved to be a false alarm. I called work to make arrangements and went home, prepared to take it easy. We were hoping to make it at least another three weeks, as 32 weeks is a big milestone in the preemie arena.
Me and my silly hopes.
That night, the “Braxton Hicks” were worse than ever. So bad, in fact, that I decided to time them. Oddly enough, they were coming at regular intervals. Still, I debated whether it was time to go in or not. Crazy? Yes. But you have to understand, going to Labor and Delivery was no small undertaking. We lived an hour from the hospital where my doctor and the NICU were located. Soon common sense won out and off to the hospital we went.
When we arrived, the monitors in Labor and Delivery didn’t pick up any contractions and my blood pressure wasn’t even elevated. I felt like the psychotic pregnant lady who makes up complaints just to get attention. They were about to send me packing when a nurse said, “Why don’t we check your cervix, just to be safe.” This statement was soon followed by, “You have some fluid” and “Umm…when did your water break?”
Yeah, I didn’t know my water had broken.
Of course, of all the phrases uttered during the next 12 hours, the one I’ll always remember most is, “I’m sorry, but you can’t have an epidural.”
I still don’t know why that anesthesiologist hated me so much.
In the end, I certainly can’t complain about the end result of the events that occurred three years ago today.
Happy birthday, Little G.