In another chapter for my book titled, Pregnancy: It's Not Like You Were Expecting... At All, I got to spend a day and a half in the hospital this week. My Tuesday was pretty much like any other "good day" of this pregnancy. I worked from home in the morning, taught yoga during the lunch hour, worked in the afternoon and then went to Pilates. We had Noah's Ark style never ending rain start in Dallas around lunch time and continued all day and night. After Pilates, I went to dinner with two friends and other than probably eating too much queso I felt fine until I got in my car to drive home. At least twice I seriously considered pulling over and throwing up in a parking lot but the pouring rain convinced me that it would just be better to try to make it all the way home. At that point, nothing was truly out of the ordinary, there have been many times where I've felt fine until about 30 minutes after eating and I've made the drive home while trying not to yack in the car enough to know what I could really handle. I got home and sure enough expelled my dinner. I wasn't feeling the usual relief afterward, I still felt pretty nauseated and gross.
Adam and I registered for the 3M Half Marathon in Austin sometime early last spring but now that the weekend had arrived, we'd been really lazy about making any concrete plans and setting up our hotel room. I was feeling so gross and the weather isn't supposed to be great on Sunday so as I was listening to the pouring rain outside I told him that night that I didn't think we should make the trip. Running (slash walking) the half was one of my biggest pregnancy goals but I also thought I'd feel a lot differently at this point and my disastrous training run from last weekend had really dampened my spirits. We kind of tabled our discussion on it and decided to go to bed early because I was still feeling pretty awful.
I woke up sometime between 11:30 and midnight for the first time and we think I was probably awake every 15 minutes after that all night. Around 1:00 I started to get worried about the possibility of dehydration and what it would do to the baby. I was also suffering from AWFUL heartburn and stomach pain from indigestion so I couldn't really lay down comfortably. If I hadn't been feeling so feverish and cold, I'd have just laid in the fetal position on the bathroom floor but the tile was ice cold. It also throws a wrench in your plans when you're sick and pregnant as there are so many more medication limitations to deal with. We called my OB's office and left a message for the doctor on call, who called us right back and said that I should try to sip on fluids and take something more powerful than Tums. Adam left to try to find me some better heartburn meds and I continued the cycle of being sick. I took some Zantac when Adam got home but I'd rather not remember how awful that was coming back up. Looking back, I am still thankful that I stayed at home rather than going to the ER especially with all of the flu everything that is going around. We called the OB in the morning and they had me come in right away and it only took them about 10 minutes to decide that I needed to be admitted and get on IV fluids ASAP. Luckily, Owen was just hanging loose and giving me lots of kicks so there was very little concern about him during my entire ordeal. I was still throwing up (so awesome, yeah baby!) during the hospital check in process that seemed to take forever. Here's where I started to really feel that I hadn't slept all night for the most part and the tears started flowing about EV-ER-Y-THING. We checked in at L&D so of course I started crying thinking about May and just making it until that time that we go to the hospital for a HAPPY reason! Then I realized just how much money that my stupid hospital visit was going to cost and more tears. Oy.
We finally got put in a room and I was hooked up to an IV bag that I drained in probably 30 minutes. They gave me anti-nausea medication, which was great physically but a total mental letdown since I'd made it 23.5 weeks on my own without any medications other than heartburn stuff. Frustrating! But totally necessary in this case. During all my vitals checks, I still kept having a temp of 97ish (which is kind of normal for me, I always have low temps and BP) but I felt so craptastic, just like having a fever (body aches, hot, chills, etc.). The initial plan was to see how I responded to the IV fluids and hang for a few hours and go from there. At some point, a guy came in to mess with our TV and he mentioned that we had a really bad set and he could have a flat screen sent right up. Adam told him not to worry about it because we'd be leaving soon and the maintenance guy seemed shocked and said that I was in the long-term wing. That's when it hit me that the OB observation wing is the place where people are that are on bed rest for much more severe problems and issues. Total reality check.
Sometime in the afternoon I fell asleep for a bit and when I woke up the nurse brought me some saltines and cranberry juice to see how that all went down. Other than the night before, I have never had more painful heartburn in my life as I did after drinking the cranberry juice. I was SO uncomfortable and still feeling feverish and overall awful. My OB was the doctor on call that night so she came up to check on me in the late afternoon and since I was still feeling so wretched and I hadn't responded to the IV fluids they way they had hoped, she made the call that I'd be spending the night. And oh, the tears really came then. Especially because they told me more of what I already knew, because I'm pregnant, there was nothing they could really do for me other than to keep giving me fluids and anti-nausea meds until my body cleared the bug out. I ordered dinner (SO GROSS) that I did not eat, especially since my request for chocolate ice cream was denied by the food staff (vanilla is not an acceptable substitute). At 7:00, I got new nurses and of course, I was running a fever at that point (WTF, body!) so I got to do a really fun up-the-nose flu test. And my nausea returned, YAY barf bags! But at least I finally got Tylenol to bring the fever down since a temp can be dangerous for Owen. Like I said before, he was just being his active little baby self the entire time, which was really nice and reassuring. Since my mom is here to watch Higgins, Adam was able to stay the night with me on the extra rollaway bed in the room (the Presbyterian hospital here is really nice, despite it being you know, an icky hospital). We both fell asleep hard before the flu test results came in and I was dead to the world until around 5:00 a.m. At one point, I do remember waking up in a pool of sweat so I was really hoping that my fever had broken. At 5:00, it's not a totally uncommon thing for me to be awake so I ate some of my leftover saltines from the day before and had a 7up before falling back asleep. I woke up around 7:00 again for the nurse changeover and found out I was still running a slight fever (damn it) and ordered some breakfast. One of the other doctors from my practice came up to check on me (he must have been the on call yesterday) and he told me that my flu test was negative (thankfully, or else I'd have been looking for a refund on the dang flu shot) and that we'd see how breakfast went before we made any decisions for the day. I managed to eat a totally disgusting biscuit and some raisin bran without feeling sick or actually getting sick and just hung out and napped for most of the morning since Adam went to work. My mom came and sat with me in the late morning and after looking over the nasty lunch menu, she went downstairs to get me a Veggie Delite from Subway. I had just finished my sandwich when the doctor came back. Since I'd now eaten two meals (overachiever) and kept them down and my temperature was lower, I got to GO HOME!
Y'all I took one of the best baths of my life when I got home, it felt so good to put on fresh clothes and wash off the sick and stank. I took another fat nap and have been convalescing (with chocolate Ben and Jerry's- thankyouverymuch!) since then. Today I feel much better but still kind of icky and weak and my chest is still really sore from so much vomiting and coughing on Tuesday night and Wednesday. I go back to see the doctor on Tuesday and hopefully all checks out well.
Overall, being in that wing of the hospital definitely reminded me that although nothing has been easy like I expected, that I am still in the very lucky group of people. Tomorrow is 24 weeks, which in the high risk world, is considered baby's viability day where they will attempt to save his life if God forbid he were to come super early. I kept mulling over that while I was in the hospital that I've made it to an important milestone and each day he stays in there is just better for the both of us at this point. We have excellent caretakers, both on the regular and high risk sides, and luckily they are all in one building of a very nice hospital where I feel very well taken care of (aside from the food but that is a problem that can be easily solved by runs downstairs to Subway). When my nurse came in yesterday morning, she asked me what my goal for the day was. Of course, mine was to go home but I realized that most of the other people that she sees aren't that fortunate and might have goals to just make it to viability day or to keep baby on the inside just one day longer or maybe to be able to get up and walk around the hall.
(Obviously, we won't be going to Austin this weekend. I'm bummed but I know it's the right thing to do. There's always next year when I'll hopefully be a few pounds lighter and in good running shape again. 3M- I'm comin' for ya.)