Bill and I had a somewhat adventurous weekend… which was a huge bummer as James, Kristen and Logan were here to hang out. I think I saw James for all of ten seconds.
It started on Friday morning when I woke up with the beginning symptoms of a urinary tract infection. I knew that a UTI is supposed to be taken very seriously while pregnant, so I drank a bunch of water and called my doctor’s office right away. They scheduled me to come in at 1:30. By the time my appointment came around, I was already having some pain in my right kidney. I talked to my doctor about it and she explained that if the UTI escalated into a kidney infection, or Pyelonephritis, it could cause me to go into pre-term labor. Apparently it can happen in pregnancy because the growing uterus puts pressure on the ureters that go from the kidney to the bladder, especially on the right side. (I learned a lot this weekend) At the time I wasn’t having any of the other symptoms of a kidney infection, fever, nausea, and chills, so she sent me home with a prescription for some oral antibiotics. I got the prescription filled right away, took the first dose and went home. By the time I got home, the pain in my kidney was so bad I was having a hard time getting out of the car.
A couple of hours later I was in so much pain that I couldn’t sit up or walk without help. By 8pm I had some chills and nausea and Bill thought I felt feverish. I tried to take my temperature, but the cheapo thermometer I picked up at the pharmacy didn’t work… it said my temp was 95. So, I called my doctor’s office and was connected to the on-call OB since the doctor’s office was closed for the weekend. I talked to her about my symptoms and she said it was time to make my way to the hospital. She thought that the infection moved too fast and the oral antibiotics just didn’t get there in time. She called ahead and let the labor & delivery department know we were coming while Bill and Kristen packed a few things for me. The car ride was really difficult for me but we got there in good time and we walked into the ER. I was very thankful that Bill and Kristen were there with me.
We had a few moments to laugh as the ER nurse mis-heard me when she asked how far along I was. She heard 38 weeks (instead of 28) and gave me a look that made all of us laugh. Bill said I was walking as though I was in labor, hence the questions about how far along I was. They brought me a wheelchair and wheeled me to our room in the post-pardum area of the L&D department. One nice thing about this hospital, all the rooms are private. Kristen stayed with me while Bill went back downstairs to fill out the admission paperwork, working some Reiki magic on my back to keep the pain at a bearable level. By the time Bill got back, they wheeled me to the labor & delivery triage room for a fetal non-stress test or NST. A couple of monitors were strapped to my tummy and we listened as the baby tried to kick the monitor out of the way a few times. (a good sign) They drew some blood and started an IV. I was very grateful that the awesome L&D nurses were happy to start my IV, they told me that most IVs started in the ER would be in the crook of my arm instead of in my hand. The IV in my hand was so much easier to deal with. After monitoring the baby for about thirty minutes, they determined that everything was fine on the baby’s end and sent me back to my room. IV antibiotics and fluids were started, I was given some Tylenol and was encouraged to get some sleep. Our awesome nurse Sue brought in a “sleeping chair” for Bill.
It was a long night, with lots of interruptions to check on temperature, blood pressure, heartrate and fetal heartrate. Plus, the Tylenol didn’t really do anything for my back pain, which was bad enough to keep me awake and vomiting every hour or so. Blech. Most of Saturday continued much like Friday night. Kristen came by so that Bill could go home for a little while, take a shower, get some lunch and say hi to James and Logan.
Late in the afternoon on Saturday I got up to use the bathroom and, much to my surprise, noticed that my back pain was significantly better. Not gone, but better. I talked to the nurse and she told me that it wasn’t the Tylenol anymore, the antibiotics were finally winning the battle. I was wheeled down the hall to have another NST feeling so much better.
This NST kind of put a damper on things though. I was sitting there chatting with Bill and joking about how much the baby was moving around when the nurse asked me how I was doing. Apparently I was having contractions every five minutes or so. At first I wasn’t feeling them at all. Then I figured out that what I thought was a certain baby movement was actually a contraction. They just felt like the baby was curling himself into a ball and kind of pushing on the front of my stomach. It was a strange sensation, but thankfully not painful. I could see that Bill was concerned and was watching the computer screen intently. The nurse cranked up the fluids on my IV from 100ml per hour to 1000ml and we watched as the contractions started to peeter out. After about ninety minutes, the contractions stopped completely and we breathed a sign of relief. Jackie came by for a little while to visit before heading to our house to watch Logan so James and Kristen to spend an evening out. Dinner was delivered to me during the NST and the fact that I finally had an appetite again was a sign that I was on the mend. A plate of fresh cantaloupe, watermelon, grapes and cottage cheese was a welcome sight. Plus, the fruit plate sounded much more appetizing than hospital meat loaf.
Sunday was a much better day. When they say they’re coming by to draw blood some time “in the morning” that can be ANY time after midnight. After they came by around 4am to draw blood to check my white blood cell count, we both slept better. We had an NST later than morning and everything was fine, thankfully. No more contractions.
Bill borrowed some tape and a glove to cover my IV so I could take a shower and feel somewhat human again. It was interesting showering with just one hand. I had plenty of dexterity in my IV hand, but one of the antibiotics they gave me made my arm pretty sore.
By Sunday evening I was feeling a lot better… better enough that I figured I should be taking photos of the nourishment the hospital was providing me. I actually wished I’d taken a photo of the pancakes and “eggs” I had for breakfast, they looked kind of funny.
Dinner was veal parmesean with noodles and zuchinni. Apple juice. Cheesecake and Jello for dessert. The noodles were an interesting texture. The veal tasted alright, but the texture was off as well. The cheesecake was perfectly fine for one of those no-bake recipes.
By dinner I was hoping the OB doc would let us go home. We had another NST after dinner that went perfectly fine. She came by and said that she’d be more comfortable if I had a continuious 48 hours of antibiotics (I was admitted very late Friday night) than to send me home and risk a relapse of my infection. I couldn’t argue with that since my white blood cell count was still elevated. Normal is between 2 and 10. On Friday evening, it was 28.7. Sunday morning it was only down to 19. The OB ordered another round of blood work for the following morning and if my white count was down again, I could go home. So, Bill and I were in for another night.
The night nurse knew I was feeling better and gave us a break Sunday night; over four hours of uninterrupted sleep!
Breakfast on Monday was a slightly rubbery-looking cheese omelet with a blueberry muffin and cereal. Rice Crunchins are a generic form of Rice Krispies. The muffin was tasty and the cereal was soggy after about 30 seconds. Bill said the coffee was watered down. With how much hospitals bill insurance companies, you’d think the food would be better. I’ve had seriously better food at Girl Scout camp.
We spent most of the day Monday waiting to hear when we could go home. After a morning NST (again perfectly fine) and hearing that my white count was down to 13, the nurse made numerous calls and pages to the doctor with no reply. Bill and I watched a movie, watch a few episodes of Entourage on his laptop and were running out of things to watch when lunch arrived.
I had chosen the Salisbury Steak over the vegetable lasagna because I thought it would make for a funnier photo. I honestly hoped we’d be going home before lunch arrived. Oh well.
The Salisbury steak was actually not that bad! It may have been a little on the gray side, but it tasted a lot like a TV dinner. I had about half of the “steak” and potatoes and I ate all of the vanilla pudding.
Finally around 4pm, the nurse came by with discharge papers. Yay! I got dressed and had my IV removed while Bill went downstairs to get the car. I was wheeled down to the car and was incredibly happy to feel the warm sunshine on my face after nearly four days of being stuck inside.
I’m happy to be home and feeling normal again. And am happy that the weekend didn’t put the little one at any scary, serious risk. Throughout the whole experience, I was actually never scared that something would go wrong. I knew the complications we were facing and knew what needed to be done to fix them despite the pain I was in. Even when I was starting to have contractions, I knew we’d be able to get them under control and that the little guy wouldn’t be born so soon. On Monday afternoon when we were waiting for discharge orders, the hospital priest stopped by to let me know he was praying for me. It is a Catholic hospital. Whatever he did must have worked!