Friday, July 24, 2009

Bit of a stressful day...

I was rejected by OHSU because they have no appointment times between now and my due date, and so instead I registered with the midwifery practice at Emanuel, the only other hospital that does waterbirths in Portland. Because I believed OHSU when they said it wouldn't be a problem to accept me, I cancelled my appointments with my doctor and had my medical records faxed over. Luckily Emanuel is not so hard to get into, but they still can't see me for another week, and my old doctor will not see me because I defected so I am "homeless." If I go into labor in the next week I get to take myself to an ER and have the baby there. This is all so frustrating and horrible and now I hadn't been checked by a doctor in a few weeks and when I felt like I needed to be seen this morning, it was that much more complicated.

For the last week my feet and ankles have been swelling excessively. The last three days my right foot has been at least twice as swollen as the left. When I put it down on the floor in the mornings I feel it fill right up with fluid and watch it come to resemble a giant pig-foot. This morning when I woke up it occurred to me that this might be a serious problem, and not just run-of-the-mill swelling, and so I searched the internet wherein I became hysterically worried that I had preeclampsia (if I did they would have induced me today) and the crying that lasted all day began in earnest. Dave was extremely good at comforting me and we rushed to the Urgent Care when it opened at 8am to have my blood pressure and protein levels checked. Wonderfully, everything was fine, and though the doctor was very impressed with my massive amount of swelling (she poked her fingers into my fat foot and made indents that lasted 10 minutes) she said it was just normal pregnancy-swelling but for good measure they would send me to the hospital to have a D-dimer blood test to make sure I didn't have a blood clot in my right leg. We went to the closest hospital, I took the test, went home, and the doctor called three times in ten minutes while I was taking a nap. I knew immediately this could not be good. She didn't even get the message I left for her before calling back the fourth time, and let me know that the numbers for the test are high if they reach 500. Mine were in the 3000's. She told me I needed to go to the Emergency Room right away and have an ultrasound on my leg, lest I die imminently of the apparent nasty blood clot. The hiccuping and sobbing began again in earnest and Dave rushed home to whisk me to the ER.

When we got there, the nurse checking me in was very harsh and rudely let me know her disdainful (and uneducated) thoughts of midwives and was only placated when she heard that I would be seeing midwives in a hospital setting with an attending OB. As she was checking me in, she asked if I had any questions and I asked what would happen if I did have a blood clot.

"You could die in labor," she said. "Or you could die during the contractions. Or you could die after the birth." Oh. All right-y then.

"What will they do to help me if I have one?" I asked, very afraid. She told me it depended. "Would they induce me today?" I asked. "Would it ruin my plans for a natural birth?"

"Yes," she said firmly, and stared at me without saying anything until I began to cry again. "You asked me a direct question," she said stoically. "Should I have lied?"

Needless to say, she was not the most compassionate person I'd ever met. Luckily, there was barely anyone there, and the doctor came in quickly and was pretty annoyed.

"It is ridiculous that they gave you this D-dimer test," he told us. "The fact that you are pregnant guarantees 100% that your numbers would be this high, because that is normal when you're pregnant. You are fine. They put us in a bad spot. Now we'll have to do the ultrasound, but it is very stupid." His masssive disdain made me hopeful. And just like he said, I was fine, had no clot, and though when he felt my foot he impressed-ly declared it "juicy," he said it was just normal.

"You are my favorite doctor I've seen all day!" I exclaimed, as relief flooded through me.

"That's just because I'm letting you go home!" he said.

"Yes," I told him. "Exactly."

9 comments:

M-A said...

oh man, that stinks. swimming really helped my swelling the first time around. get LOTS of rest. you will need it for labor. i made the mistake of doing lots of crazy things to put myself into labor and it just wore me out and ruined my hopes for a natural birth. well, that and the insane ammounts of pitocin they had to give me.

i hope everything goes well for you! can't wait to hear all about it.

Emily said...

I love you! i am sending you warm fuzzies, no early labor pains, getting to give birth the way you want to and all that other stuff... xo xo

Cooper Family said...

I am glad it was nothing serious. We miss you way over here in our area.

Staci said...

I am glad you are okay. Try to really take it easy every day, and relax as much as possible.

Keep us posted.

Courtney said...

On behalf of nurses everywhere, I am sorry you had to deal with that twit of an ER nurse. I swear, some people just need to be hit up side the head!!

Hope you feel better, Jess.

Emily said...

Oh, how stressful Jessica! I would have been in tears all day, too! And what a horrible nurse! I swear, it sounds like a lot of nurses should just keep their mouths shut, because too often they don't really seem to know what they're talking about. They saw something similar once and assume you're the same without even really knowing your situation. I'm really glad that you're fine. I was getting stressed just reading that blog! So you have an appointment set at Emmanuel then? When is it? Hoping the time goes by fast and when little Annelise is born (at Emmanuel) this stress is all quickly forgotten.

PDXTingeys said...

Oh my gosh, I can't believe all that you have been through! I'm glad it's nothing serious and I hope you feel better really soon.

Jodie said...

Oh, I feel sorry for you. The swelling is the WORST. I had it that bad with my first and it looks disgusting and is so uncomfortable. You'll be comforted to know that it doesn't happen in subsequent pregnancies.
I haven't used a midwife, but several of my friends have and run into the same attitude from "medical professionals." Hang in there!

melis said...

goodness! what a stressful time. thankfully you are all right!