not the friday i expected

January 7, 2012

we’ll just call it practice
before i detail the events of the last 24 hours, i want to reassure you all that everything is okay! [come to think of it, i’m pretty sure i wouldn’t be here writing about it otherwise].

but let me tell you, when i jauntily wrote about heading out for a run yesterday morning, i never suspected that i would end up stuck in bed with monitors on for the next ~ 20 hours.

comfy . . .
and yet that’s exactly what happened.

i am not graceful.
this in itself is certainly nothing new! in fact, i’d say that once a year or so, i bite it on the pavement on a run. see, look: in 2008 i did it, sans bump. i remember that fall well because it left a hole in my favorite winter running pants! [i still wear them, despite said hole. they are too nice to throw away].

just like that day in 2008, i tripped over essentially nothing yesterday. an uneven sidewalk. a tiny rock. i don’t even know. all i know is that one moment i was 2 blocks from home and super-happy about my workout, and the next i was splayed out on the concrete feeling like a jerk, an idiot, and an unfit mother. and i was terrified.

i landed on my knee [just a scrape – less dramatic than 2008 for sure!] and kind of my side. it definitely was not a direct blow to the uterus, but the impact felt pretty jarring. i walked the rest of the way home in tears and then debated what to do.

the right thing?
i drank some juice [wanted to feel her move!! and she did] and pondered my options for about 5 seconds [because i figured what could the doctor DO about it if i did something horrible!?] but then picked up the phone to the nurse triage line. i knew that if i didn’t let them check me out, i would be racked with worry about what i might have done. besides, i felt like you are ‘supposed’ to call the nurse if something like that happens. so i did, expecting them to perhaps bring me in to clinic so they could wave an ultrasound wand over everything and proclaim that all was okay.

BUT. apparently that’s not how things roll when you are 27 1/2 weeks. the nurse said i had to go to the triage area — ie, labor and delivery-land to be checked out. she suggested they would probably monitor me for ‘about an hour’ and then let me go home. i felt a little silly going in for something so seemingly minor, but at that point i knew i had to follow her instructions.

a very long hour . . .
i let my [very nice and understanding] attending know what was going on, and she signed onto the pager, and i headed to the triage zone. i was put in a gown, which felt entirely unnecessary, and strapped to a bed with two monitors: one for the baby’s heart rate and another to detect any uterine contractions. i picked up my phone and started surfing around to pass the time, but figured it wouldn’t be too long.

but then, a nurse midwife came in looking somewhat serious. apparently i was having contractions — something like over 4 in an hour, which was officially too many for me to leave. she suggested that perhaps some of this was due to relative dehydration, and recommended an IV. i wasn’t sure why a 30 minute run in cold weather would have left me dehydrated, but i complied. my first ever IV fluids — i wondered what it would feel like, although i was dreading the every-15-minute bathroom trips that were likely to ensue.

except i guess was a little dehydrated — and cold — and anxious — and with small veins. they stuck me 3 times before finally giving up and bringing me a liter of water to drink. i set to work, hoping it would help get my uterus over whatever was making it irritable. i went to the bathroom every 30 minutes, which was really fun because i had to unhook and reposition the monitors each time.

unfortunately, it didn’t work. i continued to contract a few times an hour over the next couple of hours. and before i knew it, i was admitted to the L&D ward for overnight observation. for falling on the sidewalk!

being a patient
this part was so weird. i have been at duke hospital in some facility since 2002 — all the way through med school, residency, and now fellowship. but i have never seen the inpatient experience from the other side. the meals that i looked at wistfully during residency sometimes [it’s true! you can get hungry on a 30 hours shift] . . .

not so tempting when they are on your tray. although i was happy to eat — initially i was on a clear liquid diet [in case something were to go horribly wrong and i required anesthesia . . .] and that is not fun for anyone, let alone a pregnant chick who had just gone for a run. by 6 pm, i was able to negotiate with the resident on call, and josh brought me a burrito