The next day they immediately roll me in to the ultrasound room in a wheelchair with the IV still attached to my arm.
I carefully maneuver the huge rolling IV stand with multiple bags of fluids and medicine as the first side effects of dizziness, stuffy nose, tiredness and chills hit.
The nurse tells me that this is normal, carefully places me on the narrow bed (they are all really treating me like an extremely fragile china doll) and puts a blanket over me (I really do feel ice cold).
As I wait for the high risk specialist (how is that for a scary title) to complete my ultrasound I start worrying again, I simply can’t help it.
I remember how scared I was during my last ultrasound in the doctor’s office and my doctor’s exchanges of concerned glances.
The high risk specialist, Dr. S seems very efficient and knowledgeable, she also seems like a no BS kind of a person. She looks for the kidneys and bladder first (at this time I have no idea why) and then she moves on to the other organs.
This ultrasound experience is sort of surreal (I know you can relate if you have ever experienced one) and this time I get to watch my baby on my own monitor. It is just so unbelievable that I have a growing human being inside of my stomach. I totally get why my son is in disbelief every time I’m trying to convince him that “yes, mommy does have a baby in her belly”.
More green cold gel and more searching around for a healthy heartbeat (yes, it’s normal) brain (appears normal) and limbs, legs arms (great) continues with the search for the gender (still very much a girl!)
I’m anxious to see what she’ll say about the water and finally she finds the amniotic sac and takes careful measurements. I don’t mean to seem disloyal but I have to ask this specialist if my doctor made the right call; was it really the water that broke and where do we go from here?
It is here the secretive “not telling me anything” starts and it is the start of a very frustrating journey.
Being from Sweden I guess I’m just used to medical professionals being more upfront and honest with you (the downside being that they can be a little too blunt) but I also know that professionals here have to deal with the whole liability and suing issue that forces them to keep information in and not say too much. I get it, I really do, but I am not some nut job that will sue them if they talk to me like a real fellow human, I am scared that they might misdiagnose me and I am terrified since this is so incredibly important.
It is not only me that this is about, it is also my unborn baby girl and this will affect the whole family. Dr. S does say that my doctor did well and that she definitely did the right thing telling me to go to the hospital.
That does make me feel better but only temporarily, because as I get wheeled back to my room I wish I would have asked more questions and I wish she would have told me a clear diagnosis and that she would have explained what the next step is.
I know that I need to be the one to stand up for myself and my baby right now, she only has me and nobody else is going to do it. I do trust my doctors, I really do, but what if it wasn’t the water leaking and I’m here unnecessarily getting all sorts of strong medicine and steroid shots and getting put on bed rest when I have a family who need me at home.
I feel slightly disoriented when I get back to my room and I feel like I’m in major need of a nap even if it’s still morning, but I know that I won’t be able to relax until I have some more answers.
I ask the nurse to call my doctor telling her that I need her to come to the hospital to talk to me, and if she doesn’t I will have to call and call until she does; I really need to see her. This nurse (a new one) seems slightly scared of me and rushes away (presumably to go call my doctor). Luckily my doctor does come by later on in the afternoon.
By now the nausea from the magnesium sulfate has hit. I try to concentrate on my questions and to look like I am a strong, educated woman who needs her answers but it is kind of hard from a hospital bed.
I know I’m a mess, dressed in the huge green gown, my thick tangled hair all over the place, laying down in this huge hospital bed and pale from the medicine and not eating for two days (I am not allowed to eat yet). I try to explain to my doctor without hurting her feelings (I am Swedish after all and I do not want the woman who is likely to cut me open eventually, against me) that I need to know what is going on. She tells me that I am not going anywhere anytime soon and that I should probably plan on being on bed rest for the rest of my pregnancy (huge shock)…. The REST of my pregnancy???
That, because of the risk of infection I’m very likely to go into labor if not within the first 48 hours (I already made the 24 hours or longer depending on when you count from), within the first week (even more shocking). If I make it 4 more weeks (which is the very best case scenario) they will have to get her out because of the risk of infection (what is going on here?). All I can ask is “but what if you are wrong? What if my water didn’t break?
She calmly explains that the test strip turned bright blue in her office indicating amniotic fluid (this is news to me) and that my fluid is really low per the specialist’s ultrasound (again she didn’t really specify that information).
My doctor leaves when she feels she is done with the question and answer session even if I don’t agree with her, the last thing she says is to get comfortable (what is with these people and the word “comfortable”) and to get ready to stay here for a long time (no hope of getting to go home I guess).
The poor nurse is left with me and my questions and I can tell that she is desperately trying to find an opening to leave the room. She reconfirm that “no it’s not likely that you get to go home any time soon”, “no they probably won’t change their mind about getting her out at 34 weeks”, “yes, you will probably go in to labor sooner than that”, “yes I know that you thought you had another 9 weeks at least”, “yes I know that is way too early” and “no, they are usually not wrong about their diagnosis.
Great, just great, I don’t even have the energy to cry as I sink down on the uncomfortable (yes uncomfortable) hospital pillows….