The next week goes by fast, I am proud of myself for keeping her in even though I’m literally doing nothing. I have it all down to a routine, the early mornings, the breakfast burrito (actually pretty decent) the bad daytime TV, the Caesar salad for lunch (no chicken), the checking of the vitals, the temp, the blood pressure, the drawing of blood, the urine tests. I call my mom to check in daily of course and my sister calls me on her lunch break, I text a lot and e-mail with my friends and I am actually feeling fine. I am tired of this hospital bed, the food, the nurses, sure (sometimes I just feel like running away or throwing something big and heavy that would make a loud sound) but I am here and I am here for a reason. The reason is an incredibly important one, I’m trying to make sure a human being; a human being inside me will be okay. That alone is worth every sacrifice. I take a nap in the early afternoon while I’m on the monitor and not allowed to move anyways. I have some small scares of her heart beat actually going up a couple of times (as opposed to down) but she always calms down before a doctor has to be called, she is very active (which is great) and I can’t feel any contractions. My husband calls me on the way home from work and he and mom actually seem to have worked out their own routine and he seem to know when he needs to leave in the morning (not to early) and when he is expected to be home (not too late). There were a couple of discrepancies in the first week and I know that sometimes worry tends to translate into frustration in everyone involved, but they now communicate and I don’t even feel like I have to referee. I’m still marveling over the fact that my mom has completely, selflessly and unconditionally taken over all my responsibilities, taking care of our house, our dog and most importantly, our son. She also seems very content by the fact that she is handling him so well and that he is really, truly behaving (could he be growing up?). She also does everything from laundry to dinner and I feel more grateful than I think she realizes and it is a huge relief for me, being stuck here without any choice in the matter. I think mom and my son have developed their own routine (even though it must be so hard being stuck in the house all day for both of them; since my mom doesn’t drive). I read and watch TV, starting my blog and writing friends at night, still having a very difficult time sleeping. I’m starting to recognize the nurses and vice versa and some of them seem pretty surprised that I am still there. Week 32 is a very important milestone in fetal development and some of the doctors I can tell are relived. This young, tall, slim doctor making early rounds (I’m pretty sure that he is gay) sits on the side of my bed, legs crossed, actually taking my hand, telling me that this is great news for my baby, making it this far. He still discourage me from seeing someone from the neonatal care unit (a neonatologist?) because it can still seem scary and he still does not want me to stress out or get my pulse up but just keep relaxing. “Keep doing what you are doing, you are doing great” (I think I even see real emotion in his eye, but I can’t be sure). I appreciate him, I really truly do.
Some nurses are really nice, some are rude and some are just plain weird. We have the motherly type (nice), the forgetful one (kind of scary; didn’t I need that pill?), the detached one (rude), the “I rather be anywhere but here” one (rude and again slightly scary; is she really doing her job?) and the grandma type (nice but too much; I feel like I’m suffocating in concern but I still need to be nice or she will start crying). If we are talking weird, I have a winner the next day. This nurse is free-spirited at best. She is telling me that she really should have been born a mermaid (no, I’m pretty sure she is not joking). She loves the ocean and if she could, she would live there (eh…okay). She keeps telling me that water has healing powers and even if the water in the shower might not come from the ocean (?) I should probably shower daily (what happened to once a week, the doctor’s orders) but I also have to conserve the water (there is a fine line there). She tell me that she doesn’t believe in any medications (I’m slightly confused by her career choice here) and she complains about my food choices (I’m really trying to keep in healthy but at same time they need me to actually gain weight and eat a variety of food because some of the nutrition goes to the baby). After one of her stories about thinking she might be a mermaid and that she wakes up, surprised that she does not have a “fish tail” (seriously) every morning she tells me that today is the day for my second (32 week) ultrasound with the high risk doctor. She does not like ultrasounds because research doesn’t know what kind of harm it might do to the fetus yet (great, thanks for that information). She is asking me if I think it’s weird to want to be a mermaid or sometimes think that you might actually be one. (noo, not at all) while she is laughing “you do think I’m weird don’t you?” “girl, you have to be able to think outside the box” (hmm, yeah…). She keeps on saying that realistically (yes, she seems very realistic) she knows she is not one but she would really like to be one (she knows that they are mystical creatures that do not exist, right…?). It is not the high risk doctor performing the ultrasound but an ultrasound technician. If I didn’t think the doctors were talking to me, giving me information and answers, this lady is talking even less, she sometimes even completely ignores me not answering any of my frantic question about what she sees. She does give me some very valuable information though as she wheels me back to my room (without the IV stand this time, making the journey easier) telling me my amount of fluid AFI is up from a 3 to a 7. As soon as I’m left alone, I am googling like crazy and no, 3 is not good, not good at all, maybe the doctors did have a reason to be concerned, maybe there is a reason to why I’m here and maybe just maybe they are right about everything. The mermaid nurse is tall with long, blond wavy hair, she has boot cut jeans under her “nurse outfit with flowers and she really resembles the actress Daryl Hannah (remember her?). She dances into my room the following day announcing that she will get in trouble if she doesn’t make sure I take my meds but you know it’s not like she will force me to take anything that I don’t want to take. I tell her that I’m frustrated that nobody has told me about the ultrasound results yet and this is where she proves to be helpful. She giggles like a teenage girl while she makes me promise that I don’t tell anyone that she is snooping through my patient file on the computer in search for the ultrasound report. She does find the first report but not the second one, but she does give me a diagnosis! As long as we are bonding and sharing she decides to divulge that she also believes that pot (or weed) has some healing powers along with water (again, seriously). “It comes from nature, man” (I always had a hard time with people calling females “men” or “dudes”). I am hoping that nobody overhears her but maybe she does want to lose her job to go be a fulltime mermaid…or something. I wonder if she is not scared that I will tell on her but she does not have anything to worry about, she tells me everything she can pull up from my first ultrasound and even shows me some pictures. I am just grateful that she is willing and able to answer some questions and go out on a limb for me, I’m actually starting to realize that mermaid “wanna bees” aren’t that bad but actually quite nice!
I spend all the rest of the week trying to reach my own doctor who should be back from vacation. I want to talk to my doctor; I want her to specify the delivery plan and method, to tell me what they really think about my baby, to tell them to give me both ultrasound reports and to tell me all her fears and concerns regarding my diagnosis. I’m turning into the neurotic mama again, leaving her even more messages (oh and I might have called her nurse’s private cell phone a few times as well).