A Moment of Jen
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Monday, April 28, 2003
posted by Jen at 4/28/2003 08:23:00 PM

Oh boy, today was lousy.

First, I had my non-stress test.

"And when are you due?" the nice nurse inquired.

"Today," I sighed. "And nothing's happening."

The test turned out fine -- the Bun is active, and moving a lot -- but my blood pressure, which has been totally normal throughout the pregnancy, was high. "Have your doctor re-check it," the nurse said.

So I trotted across the street, where I sat in the waiting room talking to other moms-to-be ("Yeah, I'm due today. No, nothing's happening,"). Then the doctor called me in and I learned that I'm still not dilated or effaced at all. And my blood pressure was high again.

"Okay," said my doctor, "here's what we're going to do." He explained that he was worried about preeclampsia -- you may remember it as what caused the pregnant woman's horrible death on the scariest episode of ER ever -- and that he wanted me to go to the hospital so they could monitor my blood pressure, and the baby's movements over a few hours.

"Okay," I said, "so, I should make an appointment on my way out?"

"No," he said, "I want you to go to the hospital right now."

Needless to say, I wasn't hoping to hear the phrase "I want you to go to the hospital right now" today, unless it was followed by "because you're eight centimeters dilated and going to have your baby any minute!"

So Adam and I hurried over to the hospital ("My due date? Why, that would be today! And no, nothing's happening! Thanks for asking!"). And I spent three hours wedged on a hospital bed, lying on this one very specific portion of my left side, because every time I moved we'd lose the baby's heartbeat on the monitor, having blood drawn and my blood pressure and temperature taken and a variety of residents and nurses come through to ask me all kinds of questions. A nurse drew blood from the back of my hand and then, after she only got three out of four vials of blood, from my elbow. The woman on the other side of the curtain entertained a parade of visitors and chatted noisily on her cell phone, because apparently those "PLEASE DO NOT USE CELL PHONES; THEY INTERFERE WITH HOSPITAL EQUIPMENT" signs applied to everyone else in the hospital except her. We saw her shuffle by on her way up to labor and delivery. "Somewhere," Adam whispered, "a tanning bed is missing its customer."

My legs fell asleep. Then my butt fell asleep. But I was afraid to move and mess up the monitoring. I sucked on ice chips and watched "Pardon the Interruption" on ESPN (which should tell you how desperate I was).

The bottom line, after three hours, is that everything's fine. My blood pressure was normal ten times in a row. The blood work came back fine. The Bun is still swimming around most happily. I'm going to have another non-stress test on Thursday, assuming still no baby. Between now and then, I'm planning on doing lots of walking, and as little fretting as possible.

Meanwhile, check this out -- the LA Times is running my whiny weblog posts verbatim! Am not sure whether to be flattered or call them up demanding royalties.

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