My Weekend (or, Why I Hate Hospitals)

On Saturday, Tim had to work for a while. He took Alex and Chase with him so I was home with the three littles. Things weren't going too bad, but my back was a bit sore. I just figured it was because I spent Friday night in the very front row of the theater watching "Fireproof" (excellent movie, btw). As it turns out, it was something more...

By 1:30 I was really in pain. I couldn't get comfortable, and if anyone touched my belly it about sent me through the roof. I finally laid down on Chase's bed and hoped for the best. I dosed off and on, but if I moved at all the pain was excruciating. Finally, I called Joy (my midwife) to see if she had any ideas for me. Her advice? "Head for the ER." I knew that... but I was hoping against hope she'd have some miracle cure for me.

I called Steph and she came (after calling Mitch and telling him he needed to come home with the older kids) and took me to the hospital. When you are pregnant, the hospital policy is to send you to L&D. They want to make sure the baby is okay, and that you aren't in labor. At 32+ weeks I couldn't really pretend I WASN'T pregnant...

When I arrived in L&D they wanted me to put on a gown. I refused (politely) saying I would much rather keep my own clothes on. Anything they needed to do could be done easily enough whether I was wearing a gown or street clothes.

After monitoring the baby and making sure I wasn't having contractions, checking my cervix (dilated to 1cm), drawing some blood, and taking a urine sample, and left me alone. At this point, other than confirming that I was in pain, and the location of the pain, there was no attempt to diagnose or treat me.

The tests showed no real reason to suspect an infection but did suggest that I was somewhat dehydrated. I was presented with a cup of water at some point, but no pitcher to keep it filled. Steph filled it for me a couple times... Still, no attempt was made to evaluate my pain. It seemed that since I was not in labor, there was no problem! But let me tell you, I have never experienced prolonged pain like this!! After talking to the dr. (via phone) the nurse came to let me know I could go home and should just make sure to stay well hydrated.

WHAT?!!? I was really not comfortable with that! I was in an immense amount of pain (have I mentioned the pain??) and no one had made any attempt to evaluate that. You know the "...on a scale of 1 to 10"? I was a solid 6 - maybe 7 - when I was lying perfectly still. When I moved, I hit a solid 10, and it stayed there until I'd been still for at least a couple minutes, at which point it lessened once again to a 6 or 7. (Keep in mind here that I have delivered 3 babies with no pain meds.)

After another call to Joy, I asked Steph to do something for me that is completely out of her comfort zone... I asked her to speak up, and let them know that I was NOT in any shape to be sent home. She did -- and did a GREAT job, I might add.

The nurses returned and we asked that they call the doctor and have her evaluate me in person. About 30 minutes later, the dr. arrived. She chatted with me the same way the nurses had. She explained that the baby's heart rate was good, and she was reactive so they weren't concerned about her, and I was not contracting, so I wasn't in labor. At that point I mentioned that I sure felt like I was having contractions because I had regular intervals where my pain would increase and then it would back off again. I asked if perhaps they could put the contraction monitor back on me... and also asked them to take my temp since I really felt like I was getting a bit feverish.

[I’m really fuzzy about the order of things here, but at some point the nurses started to get really rude (about the time we requested the doctor be called in). The doctor also got rude (snotty) after I refused to accept her repeated claim that what I was experiencing was “general pregnancy aches and pains”.]

Although the nurses and doctor had agreed to take my temp and hook me back up to make sure I wasn’t having contractions, Steph had to step out in the hall and remind them after they all left the room. From that point on, we were BOTH treated poorly. As it turns out, I did have a temp… the nurse blamed it on the fact that I was still wearing my sweatshirt and made me take it off (another trigger for a solid 10). I felt pretty - well - cocky when they took my temp later (again at my request) since it’d increased another degree.

Since I see a midwife, and deliver at home, they have no prenatal records on me. That means, I get whatever doctor they assign. Never mind that we’ve determined I’m not in labor and the baby is fine. Never mind that I have a family practice doc that I love at another clinic. Finally, Steph and I decided that I needed to see either MY doctor or another doctor from St. Cloud Medical Group.

The call was made, and eventually, Dr. Danielson arrived. FINALLY, someone took the fact that I was really in pain seriously. I was able to rate my pain. Dr. D went through all the possibilities of what it could be, and eventually had me admitted.

I was given an IV bolus and then a constant drip for the entire night. An ultrasound was ordered to check (among other things) my kidneys and gall bladder to make sure there were no stones. I was given Tylenol for my pain.

Slowly, over the course of the night, I began to feel better. By morning I was still experiencing lingering discomfort, with minor amounts of pain when I moved, but was feeling much better. Dr. D came to check on me in the morning (after reviewing the labs from the blood draw they took at 6:45 am). He was still at a loss as to what had caused me so much pain, but felt that I was okay to go home (and this time I was comfortable with that as well).

Overall, what I took from the experience was this:
*I WILL NOT go to St. Cloud Hospital unless I’m dying and there is ABSOLUTELY NO ALTERNATIVE.
*I love my midwife, and am so glad to have made the decision to homebirth my babies where I and my family and my baby will be treated with love and respect.
*I am scared to death at the thought of ever needing to go to L&D at SCMC ever again.
*Dr. Danielson is great.
*Stick up for your rights! and don’t go alone -- take someone with you that will also stick up for you when you are in too much pain and crying too hard to stick up for yourself.


Politics (**shudder**)

I very seldom discuss politics, and I don't follow them at all.  When it comes time to vote, I vote based on the candidate that most closely matches my stance on the *big* issues.  Who did I vote for tonight?  McCain.  Coleman.  Bachmann.

Then, my husband got me hooked on "watching" the race.  And now I'm anxiously awaiting the results of the on-the-fence states -- Virginia, Indiana, North Carolina (among others).

Poor Alex couldn't fall asleep because he heard somewhere (and we've discussed politics -- at his urging -- several times over the last week or two) that if Obama gets elected, the war will come here.  And he's my worrier.  So, I don't know what I'm going to do with him in the morning if I have to tell him Obama won!  

Actually, I do... we'll pray.  While we look from a human perspective and have an idea of who the *right* candidate is, the wrong person will not be elected!  GOD IS IN CONTROL.  No matter the outcome of this election, he already knew.  And whatever the outcome, HIS plan WILL be accomplished.

And maybe if it gets too bad, I'll just pack up and move to Canada...


Gratitude (updated)

I've fallen behind on sharing my gratitude.  Not only on my blog, but in my *real* life too.  One blog I read for it's uplifting and heart-touching and push-to-soul-searching entries led me to another blog today with a post about *baditude*.  Wow.

Certainly I am guilty of baditude.  And on an almost daily basis.  And so, today my gratitude is for friends and family that love me and accept me -- right along with that baditude.  Apologies to those who see my batitude more than my gratitude.  My closest friends, my immediate family.  These are the ones who deserve my gratitude more than any other.

More than any but Christ.  And He certainly sees my baditude more than anyone.  Shame.  For the one that deserves it least to see it most.  And yet I am forgiven, and loved deeply and without condition.

edited to say (after a few hours with my parents this afternoon):
I am eternally grateful for the wonderful parents God gave me.  And when I said gave - I guess he really gave me to them.  I was adopted at the age of 4-1/2 months.  They were childless for 11 years until they found me.  I can only pray that as my children age I will be able to serve them with the same selflessness my parents have shown.

They give so much -- their time, their finances, their lives -- to my family, to their church family, and so many others. (If you follow the link, click photos and check out the couple in the second row of pictures, that's my mom and dad.  He's been the pastor at FBC for 30 years, but will be retiring from the ministry at the end of this year.)  Never do they expect anything in return.  I guess that's how you live a life of gratitude.  Thank you God for giving me my mom and dad.  Thank you mom and dad for giving of yourselves.


Time for Change

Last night as the kids were getting ready for bed Alex said to Tim and me, "Don't forget to change the clocks!"

I said, "We won't."

He looked at me, confused, and said, "Why?!"

After pondering for a moment I responded, "We won't forget..."

LOL  He thought I meant we wouldn't change the clocks.