Friday, August 28, 2009

The Ordeal or Why Technology Sometimes Sucks

This morning I spent three hours in the doctor's office and hospital, where I had an unscheduled non-stress test. A non-stress test that was more than a little stress-inducing, to be honest. It's funny, really, because I've been doing a lot of reading lately, and I keep coming across a common theme. In a normal, uncomplicated pregnancy like mine, excessive testing and monitoring can often lead to unwanted interventions and unnecessary tests. Today I got to see just how true that can be.

After sitting in my doctor's waiting room for an hour and fifteen minutes, I got called back to be examined. The nurse immediately begins to ask about some specific problems I'm totally not having, and of course I'm confused. Turns out, they see another patient named Amy who's last name is only one letter off from mine, and they got our charts confused. More time spent waiting for them to find the correct chart, and then we're back to the exam. Everything is normal so far, urine weight, blood pressure, fetal heart rate. The doctor comes in (not the doctor I was scheduled to see, BTW) and all is well. Then she picks up my chart and does a weird face thing.

I hate the weird face thing.

Turns out, the baby's heart rate was high when the nurse was measuring it. I wasn't too surprised because the baby was being seriously active and jumpy in there. When I'm moving around a great deal my pulse gets elevated, too. The OB goes out to retrieve the doppler again. However, the baby really hasn't settled down, and now also has the hiccups, so the heart rate is still high. Now she's on the phone and using phrases like 'fetal tachycardia' so I have to go over to the hospital for a non-stress test, which is basically just some fetal monitoring.

Of course, in the ten minutes it takes me to get over there, the baby has calmed considerably. Which is not a good thing at this point, because they're looking for at least two periods of heart rate acceleration from the baby in a one hour period, and if that doesn't happen then I FAIL! I fail the non-stress test and have to stay longer and have some biophysical profile ultrasound done. Yay! For the first half and hour I was there, baby barely made a peep. Just a nice, steady resting heart rate of about 150, with no spikes or valleys. If only this had been forty minutes earlier when I was still in the office.

Speaking of the office, did I mention that in my seventy-five minute wait over there I had finished my book? And that the TV in my hospital room didn't work? Thank god for my iPhone.

Speaking of phones, during all of this, I am frantically trying to get in touch with my sister-in-law, who was with the kids at the mall. We swapped cars so that she could take Lulu to Build-A-Bear for her birthday present, and she wasn't answering her texts or calls. I knew she had to be at work at 2pm today, so I was trying to figure out what in the hell I was going to do with Sam and Lucy. I had been told that there was a possibility I was going to be stuck in the hospital all afternoon, and the last thing I wanted was to have them there with me in the hospital with a busted TV. So I start frantically texting SOB to start frantically calling his sister.

Luckily, all of that frantic dialing must have had some effect on my little fetus, because s/he started jumping all around again, demonstrating two or more periods of heart rate acceleration, so I passed the non-stress test. It also might have been all of the juice they gave me, but either way the little bugger performed like a pro on opening night. After completing some paperwork, and some more paperwork and then a little more paperwork I was free to go.

I'm betting my $7 parking fee will be the smallest of the bills I receive with today's date on it.

When I got home Allison and the kids were here safe and sound, and her phone was totally ker-fuffled. She hadn't received a single message or call from me.

Isn't modern technology grand?

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High Heeled Mama said...

Glad everything was okay. Seems when things are going well, they just want to find something wrong. With peanut, the appt on my due date ended up in a hurry-up ultrasound to measure fluid levels since I wasn't measuring any bigger than the week before. Words like, emergency C-section were being floated around and I totally panicked. End result: totally fine.

I keep wondering when I'm going to hit a bump in the road with this one since it's also been smooth sailing so far (knock on wood, spit/spit, etc...).

Hang in there!

Cara said...

So glad all okay in the end. I always wondered why it's called a non-stress test when it only stresses you out.

Adoralice said...

Happy to hear all worked out well for you in the long run.....

Arizaphale said...

I totally do NOT understand what they were looking for! I mean, first they didn't like the accelerated heart rate, then they did like it? What is THAT about???? Glad it was all ok. Technology is fine when it works :-(

Heather said...

ha, I bet my iphone gave her phone the fritz-iness. Glad all is well, but urgh, nothing like trying to wrangle kids and baby-to-be visits.