As a nurse, we celebrate making it to 24 weeks as it is considered the point in pregnancy to where if the baby were to be born from this point forward, they have a higher rate of survival outside of the womb. Of course, we all want to make it to that magic number of 40 but not all uteruses are created equal and when nature calls or if there’s a health issue, you have to evaluate risk vs benefit. Now let me tell you how I ended up bringing in this gestational age in the hospital.
For most of the pregnancy, I’ve had some abd tenderness on my lower left side. The dr waved it off in thinking since I did heavy lifting and packing that it was either nerve pain or a strained muscle. Fast forward to Monday, I felt pain and tenderness in my right upper quadrant. I wasn’t too alarmed as I sometimes have phantom pain where my gallbladder used to be. I also had the quickest drs appt ever lol (1 hr commute, 1 hr wait time, 5 min appt). Tuesday after dinner, I had increased pain and noticed swelling like a lump in that area and very tender to touch. I immediately went into nurse mode in assessing myself, looking at my eyeballs in the mirror like “am I jaundiced?” Wednesday morning, i checked my own blood pressure manually, heart rate, and fasting blood sugar, all within normal limits. I contacted my drs office to report the symptoms. The dr returned my call encouraging me to go to the hospital to get evaluated. I left the house about 4:30 and with horrible traffic, got to the hospital around 6. The nurses were amazing. The fear was that I might be developing preeclampsia so they put me on the baby monitor (EFM for the medical folks), checked my BP, and drew some labs. Around 8pm, they took me down for abdominal ultrasound. The dr later returned to reassess my pain as they let me know preeclampsia was ruled out...however...my white blood cell count is elevated and I’ll be staying overnight for them to determine the cause. Ugh...I was so planning to drive back home tonight and get something to eat as my last meal was at noon. Around midnight, they moved me to a regular L&D room, thank goodness. The stretcher I was on felt like sleeping on a balance beam lol. The transporter came to get me around 2am for an MRI as the dr wanted to rule out appendicitis. I know, my pain is in the right upper quadrant, not lower but the dr was concerned especially with the other tender side of my abdomen. So the MRI machine is not my friend. The technician gave me this bulb to squeeze if I can’t take being in there any longer. He slides me in and as soon as I get in there, I freak out and squeeze the bulb. I felt like Dre from the movie Boyz In the Hood, like “Dough, let me out”. He was shocked I pushed so quickly but I told him that I needed to take a breather before I go in. He gave me earplugs, told me it would be 30 min, and pat me on the shoulders saying “hang in there and keep your eyes closed”. So I went back in praying continuously to God to give me the strength and ability to complete this. They asked me to hold my breath for 20 seconds about 40 times and the worst was having a contraction during one of them. My butt was going numb, my belly hurt, my nose itched and I started getting anxious again. I then prayed “Lord, let it be done in 30 more seconds” and sure enough, it was over. Ask, and it shall be given. When I returned to my room, the nurse provided me with a turkey sandwich, juice, and fresh water. You would’ve thought it was a steak dinner how fast I inhaled it. By this time, it is 3:45am. So now, we wait.
P.S. Don’t forget about the back to school drive. Visit Target.com for registry under Kimesha Malone & Kelli Casper