Tuesday, July 22, 2008

the story, continued

When we last left off, I was nicely being scoffed at by emergency and OB personnel. It's okay; I deserved it. But where was Joe during all this, you might ask yourself? And you may ask yourself, how did he get there? Behind the wheel of our small economy automobile, of course.

So, not only had Joe settled in for the night with The Wire and pizza, he had also taken an Ambien. Lovely. So when I called at midnight to say that "everything is fine, ho-ho! just going to the hospital because I can't stop peeing! will call you shortly so you can go back to snoozing!" the poor man was drugged and soundly asleep. (Now that I am thinking about all this, it occurs to me that I had to call his cell about ten times before he picked up. Thanks, Ambien!) Of course, once I had my oh-crap-poops-this-is-actually-happening realization, I had to call again. And say, "Sorry, dude. Looks like you have to come back." I did not say it nearly that calmly, however.

At this point, Joe tells me he leapt into panic mode. Had there been a LARGE RED PANIC BUTTON, I am sure he would have pounded the crap out of it. He called the airlines; nothing until 11 am the next day. He looked up train schedules; would take 12 hours at least to get there. He looked up bus schedules; same deal and nothing leaving til morning. He called our friends Danielle and Evan and left frantic messages: "Ha ha! Just have to drive back to Boston right right now oh my god seriously! You don't want to come with me, do you? Just checking!" Poor Danielle and Evan didn't get the messages until the next morning, and of course, freaked out because Joe had already left, drugged out on Ambien, to drive seven hours back to Boston, and yes, indeed, I am not even making this up, in the middle of a blizzard. I believe he drank copious amounts of coffee and Diet Coke. He did not tell me about the blizzard until he got to the hospital.

Meanwhile, back at the hospital, the very nice OB on call had come in and done a pelvic and the swab o' doom. Of course at this point they don't know that I am a medical student, but I think they might have picked up on it when the nurse said to the doc: "Yep, it's blue" and my face bleached out. I might also have started blathering about pooling and ferning and ay-yi-yi-yi-yi...I don't really remember. So, confirmation that no, it wasn't pee, and yes, my water had broken. I was just 31 weeks at the turn of midnight.

The plan was outlined for me. Three days of steroid injections for lung maturity, magnesium sulfate to stop labor (just for a few days, as the balance of tocolytic benefit v. potential side effects for the baby have to be considered), antibiotics for the duration. To hopefully not deliver until 34 weeks, and then induce if I hadn't delivered by then. Me: "So, I'll be on bedrest for three weeks??" Doc: "No, sweetheart. You'll be here."

Everything started going into overdrive at that point, and I have to give mad props to the staff of South Shore Hospital. They were efficient, careful and considerate of both me and my parents. The mag got started and one of my nurses warned me how gross I was going to feel. Man, she was for total serious. Everything but my face was cold and clammy, but my face, it was on fire. They wrapped me up with monitors strapped to my belly and an IV for fluids. I got my first steriod injection...in the butt. It reminded me of happier times when I was just getting a shot in the butt because I might have been exposed to hepatitis from a non-glove wearin' Papa Gino's employee back at Brown. Sigh. Those were the good old days, no?

And then, everybody left. My dad fell asleep in the chair by my feet. My mom was sitting to my left, cradling my hand. The monitors glowed orange and we could hear Graham's heartbeat thudding away...161, 159, 172, 153...and everything was quiet. I said, to myself as much as my mom: "But, I'm not ready. I'm really, really, not ready." And finally, started crying.

And the end is here...

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