Thursday, August 12, 2010

36 Hour Hospital Stay

36 Hour Hospital Stay
(This is super long so I’ll break it up with pictures of our stay.)
(I'm also super late getting this up, it happened almost 3 weeks ago on 7/25.)

It started out as just another normal Sunday…we got up, went to church, went to Toys R’ Us to get a birthday present, came home, Alex left for work and I left for a birthday party said present was for.

I had a great time at the party; I talked with great people, ate great food, played with great kids, and watched everyone swim. At around 8pm I decided to leave because I had a 40 minute drive home, I had some laundry to do and I had to work in the morning.

As I’m walking out of the house and to my car Lisa (an awesome sister-in-law) mentions that it’s weird that I’m leaving alone and going home to be alone all night (Alex was working over night) and that it just had a weird feeling and it didn’t seem right. I assured her that I was used to it and that I would be fine. I proceed to leave and begin my drive home.

I am about 10-15 minutes from my house and I turn onto the last main road (we live in the middle of nowhere so a “main” road around here is usually pretty desolate with minimum traffic) that will take me to my neighborhood. There is a truck in front of me that stops to make a left hand turn and has to wait for some oncoming traffic to pass before making his turn so I’m stopped and waiting and talking to Alex on the phone. I look up into my rear view mirror and see a car barreling towards with no signs of stopping. At this point I know they are going to run right into the back of me but I had no where to go, there were cars driving on the left, a truck in front of me and a huge corn field on my right (told you we live in the middle of no where) leaving no where to go. Then BAM they ran into me! I was still on the phone with Alex at this point and I calmly said to him, “someone just ran into the back of me”. I pulled over to the side of the road and got out to check out my car, not too much damage, a scarred up bumper with some missing paint and some extra red paint on it (my car isn’t red). I looked back towards the other car (an older Volvo) and was painted with SPRAY PAINT, the entire car was spray painted (black, red, silver, you name it and it was probably there)!

There was a young guy, two girls and a little dog walking around picking up the pieces that had fallen off their car (well not the dog of course). Luckily my car was bigger than theirs so they had most of the damage, part of their bumper was on the ground, they had a broken and hanging out head light/blinker light, the front metal thing (official car part terminology) was also on the ground. The guy seemed nice enough and asked how I was and if there was any damage to my car. I wasn’t so happy about the whole situation so I said, “Yes, there’s scratches and red paint all over my bumper and obviously I don’t have a red car!” I was in no mood to make small talk; I was on my way home and had things to do, not to mention I was almost 33 weeks pregnant, not something you want to happen during pregnancy, or any other time for that matter!

I was still on the phone with Alex so I asked him what information I needed to gather and if I needed to call the police to file a report. He said I needed to check with my insurance company about the police report so I called them and they said I wouldn’t need a report. I began writing all the insurance and drivers license information down when Alex asked how my belly was doing and that’s when I noticed my belly was getting hard and staying hard for longer than it ever had before (longer than a normal Braxton Hicks contraction). So Alex promptly called his supervisor (who had just left his station) and she came back so he could leave and come to me. He got there and a police officer showed up also, maybe the other guy called or someone passing by, I’m not sure. I handed my information over to the police officer and I went back to sit in my car because of my hardening stomach. It was getting hard and staying hard for what seemed like a few minutes then it would soften back up only to get hard again. That’s when Alex thought it would be a good idea to go to the hospital to get checked out just to make sure everything was ok with the baby (also, if we didn’t we would think every little pain or strain was something wrong). So Alex went back to the police officer and collected the information I had given him and told him we were going to the hospital. I drove my car a few feet down the road and parked it in a gravel patch and got into Alex’s car.

Again, we live in the middle of nowhere so it was a 45 minute drive to the hospital. Once we got there I got checked in and we were taken back to a triage room where they asked a bunch of questions and assessed me and the baby. I had to give a urine sample, change into a lovely hospital gown and they hooked me up to the fetal heart/contraction monitor, which was cool because we got to listen to the baby’s heart beat the whole time! The first nurse I had came in and said I was dehydrated and needed IV fluids (uuuggghhhh) I hate IV’s, blood draws and anything that involves needles going into MY body!!!

The first nurse sent another nurse in to draw blood for some tests and start the IV. We were discussing my extreme dislike of this process so the nurse said she would only stick me once and draw the blood off the same stick. No one can guarantee they will only have to stick you ONCE and no one should ever make that promise! She goes for my right hand (first) and ends up getting it in and is able to draw the blood but then something went terribly wrong and she had to take it out and my hand began blowing up with a HUGE, painful hematoma! Ugh, she would have to do it AGAIN for the IV! She looked further up my arm for her next attempt but didn’t see anything she “liked” so she moved on to my left hand/arm. She ended up getting the IV in the wrist area of my left arm, which in the end that spot didn’t even bruise. They started the fluids and brought me some water to drink. All of this fluid going into me had me using the bathroom every hour, which wasn’t easy in a hospital gown, with an IV stand and two monitor cords to keep track of and not trip over (luckily Alex helped me each time)!

Shift change came shortly after we arrived so I only had the first nurse for a short time then I got a new nurse and she was nice too, they were all nice actually (only one was overbearing but she was the last one I had right before going home). So nurse number two comes in and catches up on everything. She tells us that I’m having 5-7 contractions every 10 minutes and asks if any of them are noticeable or painful. I was noticing some of them but not 5-7 every 10 minutes and they weren’t painful. An ultrasound lady came in too. Everything looked good on the ultrasound and we got another picture of the little monkey!

Finally, after shift change, I saw an actual doctor, he asked me if another doctor came in to see me (before shift change) and I told him no and that they kept saying she was coming in to check me but never did. He was nice though, we liked him. He said the blood work came back normal but he didn’t like the volume of contractions I was having and wanted them stopped completely before sending me home so they were going to give me an injection to try to stop them. Before the injection they had to pull more blood for more blood work, I guess they didn’t order enough tests or the right test the first time.

This time I had a different lady drawing the blood and let me just say I liked the first lady much better, even with her mishap!! This lady must have been digging for gold in my arm; it was SOOO painful and of course she didn’t get it on the first try either, she was in and out in and out in and out. She finally gave up on that spot and had to go in again in a different spot and again PAIN!!! I had tears streaming down my face from this lady! Alex had a tissue and was wiping my tears but couldn’t keep up with the streams. lol Finally she got what she needed, she felt really bad about the whole thing but really there was nothing anyone could do, the damage was done. I got up to go to the bathroom again and came back to her fixing my bed and bringing me another pillow, I guess that was her way of making up for the trauma she caused. lol

Then nurse number two came in to give me the injection. She said it would make my heart race and I would feel like I was running a marathon, and it did. The affects of this injection only lasted for 15 minutes; once it wore off I was freezing - teeth chattering, body shivering FREEZING! Alex began covering me up with blankets and nurse number two brought warmed blankets. Nurse number two checked the monitors and apparently the injection didn’t do what they wanted it to do because she said I was back to having a lot of contraction again and would talk to the doctor and see what he wanted to do next.

By this time the contractions were starting to get worse, I was noticing all of them and they began to get painful. They started feeling like mild period cramps then they progressed to moderate period cramps. In the grand scheme of labor I know that isn’t “painful” but since I wasn’t supposed to be in labor and didn’t want to have a baby at 33 weeks it was more than I wanted to be experiencing at that time.

Next they decided to start me on a medication called Procardia. They had me take one pill every hour for a few hours then they increased the dose to two pills every six hours then they increased it again to every four hours. Apparently that is the maximum dose given as close together as it can be given. The medication makes me feel weird. I get super dizzy, I get the sudden feeling of “I’m going to vomit” without warning then the feeling goes away just as quickly as it came on, it makes my skin get really red and feel like it’s radiating heat, almost like I have a sunburn but I don’t. And because I was on it every four hours my body would cycle through all the crazy side affects then it was time for the next dose already.

Nurse number two left us alone to try and get some sleep because by this time it was late night/early morning (however you want to look at the wee o’clock hours when no one is supposed to be awake). Needless to say we didn’t sleep; my bed cushions kept sliding apart and weren’t very cushiony (if that’s even a word) so we watched TV, played cards and cracked ourselves up as only we can do in the most random of situations.

At around 5am Monday morning nurse number two came in and said I was finally being admitted for 24 hour observation. What had they been doing the previous 7 hours I was there?? I guess after finally regulating the medication they wanted to monitor me for 24 hours.

Another nurse (number three) came to move us from triage to labor and delivery. OMG this bed was sooo much more comfortable than the triage bed!! She also gave me the next dose of medicine and said shift change was in two hours and I would be getting another nurse but to call her if we needed anything. Since the sun was already up we still didn’t sleep.

We spent the day listening to the baby’s heart beat, watching the contraction monitor, watching TV, playing cards, eating and making the most of the unexpected day off together in the hospital. Each time a nurse would come in they would seem all concerned about the frequency of contractions and each time a doctor would come in they would downplay the contractions so we didn’t really know what to make of it. I was only feeling them every once in a while and they weren’t painful or uncomfortable but the monitor was picking up more than I was feeling and I guess the nurse was concerned about the amount. Monday evening Alex’s Mom and two of his sisters came to visit as well as my aunt and uncle.

Around midnight the overnight nurse (number 5) came in to give me the next dose of medication and offer something to help me sleep since I hadn’t slept since Saturday night and it was now the middle of the night on Monday. By this time I was overly tired, having a hard time with everything that had happened and didn’t know what to do with myself so I reluctantly took what she had to offer (Ambien), they said it was safe to take but I still didn’t like the idea. I was able to get to sleep though and didn’t even wake up each time someone came into my room to check the monitors, I didn’t wake up until it was time for my next medication dose then I promptly went right back to sleep after taking it.

The Tuesday day nurse (number 6) woke me up to get acquainted with my situation, give me more medication and re-position the monitors. She was a little over bearing and I don’t think she liked the fact that Alex was helping me get to and from the bathroom. She seemed to have the attitude that she was the nurse and she should be helping her patient.

By this point we had completed our required 24 hour observation period and we wanted to know what the plan was. We kept requesting to see the doctor and the nurse kept saying she was very busy and would be in sometime between now (8am) and 7pm that evening. We were expecting to be discharged that morning and if everything was ok we didn’t want to end up staying until sometime that evening!

The doctor finally came in to see us and basically said they were sending me home on the Procardia “for my comfort”. Um, what? I never said I was uncomfortable even when the contractions were noticeable and period cramp like. She also said that medication to stop labor didn’t always work that well and that if it worked for me fine and if it didn’t that was fine too. She also implied that she was comfortable delivering a baby at 34 weeks (which I turned that day) and that babies born that early can do just fine and would just have to stay in the hospital for a little while. Excuse me!?! My baby is NOT staying in the hospital because YOU decided it wasn’t a big deal! After that encouraging conversation the doctor left and the nurse said she would be in with my discharge papers. A short time later the nurse returned with the papers, went over the side affects of the medication (which I had already been experiencing) and things to watch for once returning home. I signed all the papers, got my IV out (painfully!), got unhooked from the monitors, got changed, packed up our things and we were out of there!



  1. Yikes! I'm glad you're okay and your little monkey is still baking away inside.

  2. I was just wondering- can I have yur permission to use your pics and story? You can tell me what you want to say- I am writing a training and workbook for nurses to help them better understand and undertake IV therapy... I think your feedback would be helpful. Then, they can not make the same mistakes someone else might have made. If you post here, I will use whatever you say, or abide by your decision. I would like to put your pic with the skull and cross bones, and the "war wounds" and explain what you experienced. I work in the NHS in England.


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