Online whine

At my seasonal job, there were about three people that I got to know enough that I would call them friends. All three I have added to facebook.

But it’s sort of interesting.

One is the person that I got to know the best. She’s one of those people who is upbeat but in a real way, not the forced cheerleader type of feel, but one who seems to truly feel that way.

But her facebook statuses totally do not show it. They hint at things like a lost baby, a lost relationship… in a vague enough way that I honestly couldn’t guess whether the guy is dead or things are just over… whether the baby died or was aborted or adopted (She has no kids, and has never in person mentioned this one)

It just seems so polar opposite to the girl I know… the one who stayed sane and looking for the bright side even when the rest of us were pulling our hair out.

But, in a way, I get it. Both the way hurting thoughts go away when there are other things to be doing and things going on, only to come back at alone down times when given a chance…. and also the need to work through it in writing sometimes, and sometimes in a way that you might never get to openly talk about it with someone in person.

And, honestly, I think in a lot of ways this blog is more similar than I want to admit sometimes.

And I think she’d probably be as surprised at the content here as I was of her page.

In general, my posts here tend to have a negative balance.

Always have had, and probably always will be.

Not so much because I’m someone who never sees the positive… some of the friends that know me best would probably call me goofy and nutty and rarely serious.

But because the stuff that ends up here is the stuff that isn’t going to be talked about in person. It’s sort of the leftovers of life… that need to go somewhere and be processed and dealt with … and so they go here.

Positive things are easy to share most of the time, but nobody likes to be vented at much… or to hear about past hurts… or current woes and fears.

And especially when I tend to be a more guarded person with people in person, I’m generally not going to get into those sorts of conversations unless forced to.

So, if you ever wondered… why things seem so much more negative leaning here and different from what conversations tend to be in real life or even on other websites… that’s my reasoning on the difference.

Maybe not the most enjoyable for reading… but, well, it’s honest anyway, even when it’s focusing on the parts of life that live in the shadowy spots of the day and not the brightest spots of sunshine.

I should probably work on posting more about the sunny places too and balance things out more… but somehow, there’s rarely as much that feels like it just needs to be written out on those. 🙂

The story, pt 3, baby and aftermath.

So you would think, with having won and gotten me to agree to the c-section, that they would have relented and turned the pitocin off.

And on that count you would be wrong.

And you would think that with the baby’s signs looking bad, that it would have been an immediate thing to have things happen immediately by whatever surgeon they had there at the time.

Wrong again… they waited for my doc to drive from across town in lunchtime traffic.

And so, the constant contractions provoked by the pitocin continued until they needed to turn them off to wheel me out of the room some half hour or so later.

And then directly inside the room, they wanted me to sit up in a very certain position and sit very still to do the epidural in my back while I’m still having these massive contractions… in spite of both me and my mom protesting that I needed a few minutes for them to calm down.

Meanwhile, people are swarming everywhere. It seemed like 20 people running everywhere all at once, though I’m sure it wasn’t quite that many… but they all seemed to be needing something from me right as they are needing me to stay still for the epidural.

It was about this time that I ripped an annoying blood pressure cuff off and threw it in the floor… which according to my mom was right as my doctor walked into the room from scrubbing in.

And so.. between the poor circumstances and the fact that the person doing the epidural was apparently someone being trained to do them and not someone experienced, they missed the right area the first 4 times that they tried.

My mom informed them that if they didn’t get it the next time that they needed to just knock me out completely… which she was told would be risky… even though they couldn’t answer why it’s done in other situations without being declared too risky.

The 5th time missed again… but it didn’t just miss… it “went spinal”. From how it’s been explained to me, this means it basically went into the spinal fluid like a spinal tap instead of into the space around it.

The sudden pain in my head from this was so intense that I don’t actually remember another contraction. I was absolutely wailing.

Apparently, this wasn’t technically a huge problem at this point, as a spinal block is essentially a similar type of thing done intentionally… but with the added wailing of “my head, my head, my head”, this sort of put a rush order on things.

So they had me laying back… the first time I’d actually noticed that my doctor was there… and things got started.

Right off, she asked them to raise the knees of the table… which I guess was to put the baby in a better position… but which they were unable to do because that feature on that particular table was broken.

And so they tilted the entire table for the same effect.

Which would have been ok… had there not been the little issue of the spinal fluid instead of the empty space… which gravity was now bringing towards my head.

I told the nurse that I couldn’t breathe… and she told me that it was ok, I just couldn’t feel it happening. Which, apparently does happen fairly frequently.

I told her again, and she brushed it off again.. not even taking the time to look over and check my oxygen saturation.

And that was the last thing I remember.

Oxygen saturation is supposed to be 98-99. Anything under 90 is usually considered a big deal with my daughter’s asthma.

When my mother, who is a nurse, looked at the monitors at this point, mine was at 74 and dropping.

Needless to say, she called attention to this, and they promptly made her leave the room as I was put on life support.

My daughter was born at 12:18pm… with the doctor having done an emergency style vertical cut for the outside cut to get her out faster.

The “huge baby” who had weighed 11 pounds a week before weighed in at 8 pounds, 8 ounces, and only 18 inches long.

I’ve heard two different numbers… that I was on life support for 15 minutes, or for 45 minutes. The 45 number was given that day, the 15 the next, so I’d imagine the 45 is more likely.

In either case, the next thing that I remember at all was when my mom’s friend came into my room after she got off work that evening… which would have been roughly 5:30.. more than 5 hours later.

I was back in my room from earlier, and all the chaos had disappeared… the only other person in the room besides the new visitor was the jerk. Apparently my mom had left to “go tell the family what was going on.“

As soon as the nurse noticed I was awake now, I was moved to a new room.

The baby had been taken off to the ”special care“ nursery… not the NICU, but not the normal one either.

I was told this was because her lungs were having issues from being a premie, and she had been on oxygen since she was born.

I took this at face value… and listened to the excuses as to why I couldn’t go see her yet, which were related to that I needed to recover a bit first.

However.. as it happens, my mother had left a camera in the operating room in the chaos of being kicked out. And apparently someone decided to be nice, and had snapped some pics on it for us.

In none of them does oxygen appear at all…on her or even near her like it was removed for the pic… and she seems very pink without it.

She does however have a major cone-head in a lot of them for a baby who supposedly wasn’t low enough to be putting pressure to cause dilation.

Oh, but they actually weren’t done trying to kill me just yet.

Not too long after they moved me to a different room… before my mom was back… they brought a dinner tray, all liquids.

And a syringe to give me insulin. A much bigger one than should have been needed… which even still somewhat out of it, I managed to catch and question the dose, as well as if I should even need it at all now that the baby was out.

The nurse verified the doctor’s orders… for a dose that was much larger than the amount I’d been taking for the entire day combined before… and when I hadn’t had anything to eat all day, and only rice for dinner the day before. (Nobody else had said a word about insulin the entire visit.)

So I refused to let her give it… which she said meant she couldn’t give me the tray… and eventually she called the doc that she had just verified with, and they said they would be up shortly.

For some reason I was expecting this to be my new OB, but around 9pm the endocrinologist showed up, came into the room long enough to say ”oh, I had you confused with someone else“, and leave.

Gee, thanks for even checking your charts on that one.

The jerk decides to go away for a while. Which was very good.

Except that we’d found out that since mom had left and he had been the only one around, they’d given him the other bracelet to be able to get into the nursery. So when mom got back, she wasn’t able to see her either.

The next morning, someone from the nursery called me to give me an update. The new story I was given was that she was being kept there to monitor her blood sugar, and that for some reason that wasn’t able to be done on the regular floor. I mentioned that in the earlier paperwork it was specified that they weren’t supposed to be giving her a bottle, and they assured me that they weren’t, she was being fed by a feeding tube.

Eventually, late in the afternoon (more than a full day after she was born), they stopped making excuses and took me to go see her for about 15 minutes, the majority of which she slept. No feeding tube was anywhere to be seen. She’d also had parts of her hair shaved on both sides which we were told was for an iv, also not seen. but the only people around couldn’t or wouldn’t answer any questions about anything.

Just before dinner, the head of the anesthesia department came by.. ”to see how I was doing“… and tell me how lucky I was that I’d been here at this hospital instead of somewhere ”podunk“ where they might not have been able to treat me as quickly. I’m not quite sure how my mom and I kept from pointing out that if their staff hadn’t screwed up, maybe somewhere podunk wouldn’t have had to.

It was at this point I was told that I might have some headaches for a bit… and that it was all because of the faulty table not their staff’s mistake in going spinal… and essentially if I hadn’t been fat I wouldn’t have needed to have the table tilted.

So what I think was supposed to be a cover their butts visit ended up making us only more annoyed.

And these headaches that were made to sound like no big deal would later end up involving neurologist visits and being on medication for them for a couple of years.

Later that evening, I got another call from a doctor in the nursery… the newest story was that she was being kept because she wasn’t eating. I mentioned that she wasn’t supposed to be eating, she was supposed to be allowed to be breastfed, but that they wouldn’t let me go see her to do that, and weren’t picking up the jars of milk from the pump they’d finally brought.

Next morning came. More excuses.. from her sleeping, to being too close to mealtime, to needing to stay in the room in case doctor came by on rounds… always an excuse.

The thursday morning phone call comes… and the doc on the phone mentions how well she’s been eating from a bottle yesterday. When called on it, he goes back that she’s being observed for blood sugar… but he can’t tell me what those are or how they are doing.

Thursday afternoon comes… and a random doctor comes by to check on me. No clue who he was.. probably someone from my OB’s office I assume. He just randomly asked how the baby was doing, and I snapped at him something to the effect of ”how should I know? they won’t even let me see her and keep changing the story on why she’s not here. I’m starting to think I should be calling the police to report her as kidnapped“.

Now.. I was being sarcastic.. but apparently this was enough to get some wheels in motion… as he left pretty fast after that, and suddenly they decided she was free to leave the nursery, but that I’d have to wait a few hours to wait for a room in a different section to open up so she was allowed to be there. Why hadn’t I been over there before? No idea.

So around dinner, she does finally get to come stay in my room.

Unfortunately the jerk arrived back just before they were changing rooms 😦

The next two nights went really rough, as she was fussy and nothing seemed to help it, and I was exhausted and in pain, but not about to let them take her out of the room again.

Breastfeeding went really poorly as well. They did call up a lactation consultant at one point, but all she did was to give me a nipple shield to see if it would help her latch on easier.. without even watching an attempted feeding to see if that was the actual problem. We tried for several weeks with no luck before giving up… and I pumped for another month or so after that before it just wasn’t working out either.

Saturday morning we go home… thinking we’re finally done with the hospital experience from hell and all of the surprises.

But not quite yet.

When the first of the staples got removed two weeks later, the incision decided to break open. It turns out that there was an infection.. not on the surface level, but deeper inside. And so I ended up with a rather large gaping wound that had to be packed and cleaned twice a day by my mom and a home health nurse… which my doctor said probably happened ”because [I] was diabetic“. In spite of all questions as to how that would somehow introduce an infection below the surface, and my pointing out that I’m not diabetic, and the more time passed after the chaos, the more wasn’t even all that convinced that I had been gestational diabetic either.

Obviously I’ve never gone back to her for anything, nor to that particular endocrinologist.

The next surprise decided to wait a full 4 months to show up.

With the short time between move and birth, and all of the tons of doctors appointments that got crammed into it, I’d never gotten a chance to pick a pediatrician, so for the first few visits my daughter went to the clinic that was connected with the hospital, which we were also less than impressed by.

But, they had access to the hospital records.

When she was almost 4 months old, they weren’t going to be able to see her for an appointment for almost a week after we called, even knowing that she’d been born premature and was at higher risk for issues.

And so we switched to a different pediatrician who could see her that same day. (And is actually still her doctor 10 years later)

But he didn’t have any records at all yet obviously, so he had to go by what we told him.

Which got really interesting really fast when he went to listen to her lungs, and asked us about her heart murmur… which we were completely unaware existed!

I don’t remember the lungs turning out to be anything important that time, but as it was a ”complicated murmur“, we were scheduled the next week to see a pediatric cardiologist.. who usually has a several month long waiting list.

They had us go to the same hospital before the visit to have a chest xray done and an echocardiogram done, and then to bring the results with us.

You can imagine our surprise when she comes into the room and opens the folder, and pulls out two different sets of results… one taken that day, and one that had been taken the day after she was born!

The name matched… the same results essentially were in each… it hadn’t been just a mix up in charts… they’d obviously run the tests while she was in the nursery.

Without ever mentioning a word of heart issues to us, or asking to run the tests, or even mentioning the existence of the murmur at all!

(As it turned out, she actually had two… one from a hole that hadn’t closed and one from a valve leaking.. both fixed themselves eventually)

And I suppose the best way to end the story… is with the lawyer’s office.

Where the lawyer, who had successfully sued the hospital on several major cases before, agreed with us on everything I told him we saw as being places where they were negligent…

And then basically told me we’d be wasting our time to go against them. Because we had no obvious lasting harm, and because I had migraines previously it wouldn’t be possible to prove that these were completely different even though they felt entirely different to me.

Had either of us died or had a lasting injury, we’d have had an easy case with the clear mistakes made.

But because we didn’t… we would probably still technically win, however the courts would just give them a slap on the wrist that wouldn’t actually change anything or make the slightest dent in their business, and any payoff would be less than it would cost to make the case.

It just wasn’t worth the fight…

so we gave up one last time.

The story, pt 2, labor

On sunday, we arrived at the hospital at a bit after 6pm… but didn’t actually get up to a room until about 8.

We did the check in procedures, and made clear to the person we were talking with that this was to be a confidential admission due to abusive situations.. no information to be given out that I was there at all, no calls to be connected unless they knew the room number already and asked for it that way.

The first nurse was nice enough.. we did have some disagreements as to whether or not I had to have the IV yet, but she wasn’t mean about it. She let me sleep in the oversized t shirt I’d been using for a nightshirt for the past few months, and got cervadil started then pretty much left me alone to sleep except to adjust the monitor every now and then.

Around the time I’d moved back home, the original plan to have one of my old high school friends with me had changed, and my mom (a nurse) was supposed to be up at the hospital with me. However, she decided to return home to get some things done, and come back in the morning before things got going. I wasn’t aware of her change of plans until she was leaving… and considered calling my friend, but decided it was late and not to bother her.

I didn’t sleep much, not so much from discomfort as just nervous and legs itching.

Morning came, and with it a new nurse. The first battle came over the hospital gown… which fit, but the trim on the edge of the sleeves was really tight and cutting into my chubby upper arms, and was really uncomfortable. I asked for a larger gown, and was told they didn’t have any.

Now, at the time, even pregnant the shirts I was wearing were xl and 2xl… the oversized jammie t-shirt that came halfway to my knees was a regular 3x shirt. So we aren’t talking some unreasonably huge size here, and I knew they had to have them at the hospital somewhere for football player sized guys.

So I took it back off anyway and told her that it didn’t fit. She got into a huff about unhooking the IV cable again to unloop it, and told me fine, that I could wear my shirt but that they were probably going to have to cut it off. Given that it was just a plain, random shirt I could replace for less than ten bucks, I considered that to be a price I was willing to pay.

So the pitocin got started sometime before 8am. Contractions started pretty quickly… not too heavy at first, but mostly like monthly cramps.

I asked if they had a ball to sit on, and was told no. Nor was I allowed to sit in the tub because of monitoring, though it was a shower-sized tub anyway, and not long enough that I even could have had my knees underwater.

Just after 8, I’d gotten sick of random morning talk stuff on TV, and flipped over to a channel that I knew started cartoons at 8.

A few minutes later, here came the abusive ex, plopping himself down on the chair across the room and telling me “you weren’t online last night” then mocking me for watching cartoons. Apparently he had made himself a new id on yahoo so that he wasn’t blocked, and had been watching my profile for the online indicator. (He’d actually found out I was pregnant in the first place by googling my email and finding where I’d joined a related yahoo group.)

I knew that he had come to town for a while to see the baby after she was born, but he’d been directly told multiple times before that he was not going to be welcome at the hospital after a previous hospital incident (another story entirely).

I hit the call light to get whoever to deal with him… but they didn’t come.. and didn’t come… and didn’t come.

Eventually when someone did come, it was the doctor on duty and several other people.. and with them a whirlwind of activity like blood pressure and questions and progress checks… and somehow it managed to slip my mind in the chaos to mention that he wasn’t supposed to be there and to please have security deal with him. (I know, it sounds odd, but in the moment, it just did.)

They decided to bump the pitocin up, and the contractions got stronger, and I ceased caring.

Mostly he just sat across the room with the chair turned around towards the tv and was a slight nuisance in ways that he could be… like changing the tv channels constantly to things like fishing shows, and eating things in the room in obnoxious ways when he knew I wasn’t allowed to… and later on whining about how much his reflux hurt from sitting in that chair.

I think the only time he really even came to the other half of the room was to use the patient bathroom.. which he’d been told not to use already… and of course used about once an hour after he was told that being sure to leave the seat up every time.

When mom arrived it was almost 11. She was less than thrilled with him being there, but was royally mad that I’d been told they didn’t have larger gowns. She informed the nurse that she used to work for the hospital and asked whether the nurse was going to find a bigger gown or whether she was going to just go asking higher ups and find one herself.

Amazingly, now the nurse found one, as well as a yellow ball I assume had been relocated from the other floor.

Lunchtime came, and with it the reminder that they hadn’t done anything for confidential admission. As my aunt who I’ve never got along with well and only even saw once a year or so decided to stop by because she worked nearby… and one of mom’s friends… and several of mom’s former coworkers that
I didn’t even know… and just in general half the planet.

When mom asked later when the jerk was out of the room, they said they must have just forgotten to make the note on the computer.

The rest of the day went fairly smoothly. Contractions were pretty strong, but not bitterly painful… and leaning forward while sitting on the ball seemed to be the most comfortable position, but they kept telling me to get up and walk more and more would happen, so I did a lot of walking the halls too when I’d have rather been left on the ball.

However, not as much progress was being made in the afternoon. Between 2 and 4, there was little change, and on dilation I was at 5 out of 10.

So about 430 they told me that my doctor wanted me to consider c-section. I’d had no problems at all thus far.. but basically we were back to the “the baby might be too big” issue as being a possible cause for the stalling.

A random mention was made at this point about the baby being a few days early.. the first time I realized that we were looking at completely different things, because they had gotten the wrong due date from the from page of my old doctors charts, that my new doc had apparently given the hospital as the due date.

Eventually, the nurse ended up handing me her phone to talk to the doctor… the first time I’d actually heard from her since the appointment friday… who blew off my mention of the date issue, and I’m honestly still not sure whether or not she had been looking at the 02/02 date as well instead of the corrected one…. though I know that I had mentioned it at the last visit in surprise that she wanted to induce already.

And basically, the discussion on the phone came down to the fact that she couldn’t give me any real guess as to how likely it was to be the problem.. she just kept repeating the sonogram results, that were a week past at this point. I even asked if we could just do another sonogram, since it was monday and regular appointment day, and the office was located in a building that was connected to this very floor by a hallway.. with the office being on the same floor where the hallway connected on the other side. The suggestion basically got taken as a joke.

The other option I was given was to have my water broken to see if that would make things pick up more, but then she told me if we did that, we’d have to do a c-section in the morning anyway.

I decided to take my chances with that option… only to then have the option change on me.. because she said it could be a long night “for me” if we did it then, so instead we would wait till morning to move forward with breaking the waters, and turn off the pitocin overnight to see if things progressed on their own, and if she wasn’t born by late the next afternoon, we’d do the c-section.

So that was the plan.. or at least the doctor’s rather transparent plan to get some sleep and not be delivering a baby in the middle of the night.

Pitocin was turned off, and contractions eased up a bit on frequency but were still pretty uncomfortable when they hit… though not exactly painful. Except for monitoring, they left me alone for the rest of the evening as far as progress checks and such.

Mom snuck in some fried rice for dinner that I wasn’t technically supposed to have, and they did even unhook IV cables for a bit for me to take a bath briefly, though with the tiny tub, it was very short lived.

I’m not sure what time shift change was… but this calm would be short lived.

The night nurse… was not at all nice.

The baby kept getting out of the monitor position, so she kept having to come in and change it. This had actually been going on all day, but nobody else had made a big deal about it, as nothing alarming had been going on in the monitoring anyway.

Well, she was not happy. Her solution was to keep putting it where she could get a reading, and then making the elastic straps as tight as she possibly could so that it wouldn’t move.

Which of course was painful… and left big red welts like too tight pants… and when I complained, I got sharply told that it had to be that way because I was too fat.

Mom jumped in, and that just seemed to make things worse, as after that she was rough on making me move position to get a better signal.

The woman really should consider a career change, as she definitely was an awful nurse… and I ended up being in more pain from the monitor and straps and uncomfortable positions than I was from the actual contractions.

And so I was pretty relieved when tuesday morning came around.

As the contractions had continued fairly steady on their own all night, I was fairly optimistic for the results of the first progress check of the morning.

Little did I know the morning that was about to follow.

First of all, the doc on duty for the day had apparently not been informed at all of the agreement of the night before, and wanted the pitocin back on before he even checked anything.

Next, on the progress check he came up with a 3. When he was then asked how it was possible to go backwards from a 5 to a 3, I was told that the nurse the day before had lied, and that I’d never been at 5, and that the baby’s head wasn’t even down far enough to be doing anything.

Because of that, he refused to follow through on breaking my waters, saying the baby was way too high, and upped the pitocin dose from what it had been the afternoon before.

He left, and within half an hour, my water broke on it’s own. Apparently it disagreed with his judgement.

And, as expected, that made things a lot stronger… and with that, a lot more painful.

And they also started coming more and more frequently.

So we started asking for the pitocin to be dropped back down. The nurse told us she was unable to do that without the doctor… so she was told to get him, and we were told he was busy.

This went on… for a while. How long? I really have no clue… as by this point, I was curled up in a ball on my side, the only position to get any relief from the majorly painful contractions that were only giving me about a 30 second break between them.

I asked for pain meds if they couldn’t turn down the pitocin, and was given the same answer. As time went on, the request changed from being pitocin turned down to having it turned completely off.

Eventually, the doc finally showed up, and seemed peeved to have even been called. He said we needed to do a progress check first before he would turn off the pitocin… but that required uncurling from my position, which I wouldn’t (or maybe even couldn’t) do.

So he was told, point blank, that he was only going to do a check if he could make the contractions stop long enough, and right now they weren’t.

So he proceeded to have the nurse get on the other side of me, and grabbed my leg to do it anyway.

My automatic response to this was to kick the leg, coming very close to kicking him upside the head.

I was told that if I didn’t cooperate, I was going to be restrained to the bed.

And so of course, he declared that nothing had changed at all, and that the pitocin was staying on… and that now that my water had broken, they needed to put a scalp lead on the baby so she would stop getting off of the monitor. Which of course had trouble staying on too, and meant that I couldn’t move over to the ball or elsewhere if I wanted to.

He did order some random pain med through the IV, but it did basically nothing.

The contractions had increased even more, to where mom was timing them to only be 10 to 15 second apart, and more than a minute long.

And so then they said that the monitors on the baby were looking bad during contractions. Of course, their solution to this wasn’t to kill the pitocin, it was to do a C-section.

And so.. somewhere around 11am, I gave up.

The story, pt 1, doctors

It’s been ten years… and probably at least 7 or 8 since I’ve told the story.

At least 9 since the one time I can remember writing it out completely, on an “open diary” blog that has long since ceased to exist.

Usually I try to deflect it when it comes up… “There were complications… things got messy.. ” is usually enough.

And I especially try to avoid saying anything about it at all to anyone who is pregnant. Because I think it would have been scary had someone told it to me, and not helpful.

But for some reason this year, I’m feeling like rehashing it again.

I really really do not recommending reading past this point while pregnant or planning to be soon.

I suppose the best place to start the story is explaining the background.

Far from ideal situation… left drug-using ex that was abusive in many ways only to find out I was pregnant… second chance relationship attempt failed.

I’d had some symptoms, but written them off due to the stressful situation I was in, so I was 10 weeks along before I’d found out.

College health clinic did an automatic referral to a particular doctor… who was an older guy who looked like he could have retired if he wanted to… very laid back, and didn’t seem to be easily flustered.

However, the first visit started out on a rough note with the nurse, who insisted we worked from the date on my last period on the due date, in spite of my having documented hormonal issues that make my cycles unpredictable, and my knowing that there wasn’t any activity to cause pregnancy until weeks later.

So, initially she had the due date listed as 02/02 (of 02 actually.. lol).
I knew by activity that it couldn’t actually be any earlier than 02/17… a big difference.

Doctor was unfazed… told me “ok, we’ll check”, and proceeded to run an ultrasound on the machine I hadn’t even noticed sitting behind the exam table.

Based on the measurements, he decided to assign 02/11.. still a bit early, but a lot closer, so we went with it from here on… and I didn’t think too much about the issue.

For most of the pregnancy, things went smoothly. One brief evening of bleeding that was never really explained, one night of issues related to ligaments being loose from hormones, but not much else.

I hadn’t had morning sickness at all until about the start of the last trimester, and then suddenly it seemed like I couldn’t keep much of anything down. For a while, my diet was consisting mostly of carnation breakfasts.

When they ran the first glucose tolerance test, the results came back a bit high, so he had me go into the lab and do the more extensive test… blood being pulled every 15 minutes for several hours after drinking the glucose solution.

I was told that the results had come back borderline… a touch high, but not enough to be really concerned over… especially when the hormonal issues were taken into account… and so just to watch the sugar intake and fasting blood sugar levels.

The fasting levels ended up about the same… a touch higher than ideal range, but not high enough to cause panic. The highest one I had listed was 125, most were a lot lower.

I graduated the week before Christmas, and because my job was classified as part time, it didn’t allow time off, and so I ended up moving home, 2 states away, literally the day I was done with classes.. less than a month and a half from when I was due.

Unfortunately, to transfer to the state’s medical program because the insurance would no longer cover me as a non-student, I had to be there in person, so this couldn’t be done before the move… and so it would be a couple of weeks before it would be in effect.

Armed only with a phone book from home, I’d already called literally every OB that was listed in it, and there was only one single practice that would accept a patient that was a transfer at that late stage, and also accept the state medical card as payment. So, my new doctor had basically been selected for me based on those two factors alone.

At the last visit with my original doctor earlier in the week, they had copied my chart, placed it into a manilla envelope, and had me take it to the new office by hand. So it had already been dropped off, we were just waiting for the paperwork to hurry up and go through to start appointments with the new doctor.

About a week before the move, my legs started itching at night.

It wasn’t real bad at first, so I didn’t really worry about it with having so much else to worry about.

But shortly after the move, it got bad. Nothing seemed to help… but it only happened after about 8pm or so.

I called the new doc. Same answer about waiting until paperwork went through.

Called the old doc. The nurse gave me suggestions like oatmeal baths etc… most of which I’d already tried, none of which worked.

I finally found one solution… which was to take a bath that was so hot it basically scalded my legs until they were red and sunburnt looking when I got out… and that would buy me about an hour to fall asleep before they started itching again.

After a few more days, I called the old doc’s office again to see if they had any new ideas, and was told to go to the ER and ask them to run tests for liver function… because apparently there was an off chance that it could be something liver related that could turn serious.

So off to the ER I went, for what was pretty much the worst ER visit that I’ve ever had.

I was told that if my liver were having issues, my eyes would be yellow. Gee, why do they even have the option to run blood tests on it then?

The whole visit had a condescending tone… and I was lectured at for not having proper pre-natal care… even though I had been seeing the doc regularly up until two weeks before, and wouldn’t have even been due for my next regular appointment yet.

The only test they ran at all was for blood glucose… a decision that I’m pretty sure was probably made only because I’m overweight, as the topic hadn’t been mentioned to them at all.. and lectured me that it was too high and how awful it was how I was treating this baby by not having proper prenatal care for it.

They never would tell me exactly how high it was, but given that this hadn’t been a fasting reading… I’m not sure that it would have been very reliable even if they had. (Of course, my luck, I hadn’t checked it that morning on my own to know an exact number to throw at them either)

They write me an appointment card for the clinic that’s run by the hospital, in spite of my explanations, and essentially make threats of reports that can be made if I don’t have proper care.

Another week or so goes by, and finally the first appointment with the new doctor happens.

I tell her about the ER visit, and she seems more freaked out by their concern about the glucose level than she cares about the liver test they didn’t run… and she never did do anything to address the itching that had started that whole mess.

And so, without having seen their paperwork or either of us even knowing what the number was that they were lecturing about… and looking at the exact same test results that my old doctor had been looking out… and without running any tests of current condition… she suddenly decides that I’m gestational diabetic and high risk.

She has her nurse schedule an appointment with an endocrinologist for that afternoon….

and appointments for non-stress tests to check movement three times a week from that point on, in spite of the baby’s kicks being frequent and strong enough to be easily felt with someone else’s hand…

and appointments with a high risk maternal fetal medicine doctor…

and appointments to have higher definition sonograms done at various points…

and appointments with her twice a week.

I literally had 21 appointments in one particular 7 day period…. and only 3 or 4 week days that didn’t have at least 1.

And so I went to the endocrinologist.

Which was another less than stellar appointment that left me shaking my head and wondering whether I was crazy or the whole medical world was.

She ran a glucose test using a standard home meter in the office, which again was not while I was fasting… it was right after lunch.

And though the number seemed a bit high but moderate for after a meal to me, she decided based on that one number alone to put me on insulin.

In the discussion, it came out that she didn’t even have the information in front of her from the earlier glucose tolerance tests… let alone the ER paperwork… all that my new doctor had called over was that I was gestational diabetic and the ER was upset over the numbers.

She did have lab tests run… but only after the appointment… and I never did hear what the results of those were.

Now, insulin after each meal is enough of a pain as it is. Try it when you have no clue whether or not that meal is actually going to stay down long enough to be digested as a meal.

My fasting blood sugars went to being a bit high but stable within about a 10 point range, to being absolutely all over the place! There were a few mornings that it would be over 300. There were mornings that would be just a day or two later that would be 54, or be in the 70’s.

As the few weeks went on, she never seemed to be able to explain exactly why they seemed to generally be a lot worse than they had been before insulin was added… and every concern I had was basically brushed off.

The high risk doctor really didn’t have much to say at all. Just basically that things seemed to be going ok at that point.

The repeated non-stress tests were equally as boring. Only once was there any question on whether or not she was moving enough, and that one seemed to just be a sleeping spell, as after a bit, the movement picked right back up with no problems.

The higher definition sonograms were interesting at least, as they were fancy 3d style pictures..
but were sort of weird, as all of the other sonograms the technicians had been talkative, telling me what part was where, that sort of random thing… where these were treated like top secret, and anything I asked, even just to verify earlier gender, I was told needed to be asked to my doctor.

And my new doctor continued freaking out.

I started getting told horror stories about big babies being too big to be born normally and getting stuck and having injured arms for life and even dying.

So all of this chaos lasted for about 3 weeks.

On friday afternoon, the 25th of January, she comes into the room and starts the appointment with the statement “If you are still insisting on actually wanting to try laboring, I have you scheduled to be induced Sunday night at 6pm… otherwise, we’ll just do the C-section on Monday morning.”

Sunday was the 27th of January. I wasn’t due for another 3 weeks by the guess made back on the first appointment… 4 weeks by the date that I knew was the earliest it could actually be.

My protests were met with informing me that the sonogram that monday had said that the baby was already 11 and a half pounds, which meant she was probably over 12 by now, and needed to be born now before she got any bigger.

She told me where to check in…. at which point I realized she had me scheduled at the hospital where the ER visit had taken place, not the other hospital in town where I had wanted to be and where she had earlier agreed on using. She informed me that I was too high risk to go there (even though their NICU is rated just as highly), and that we would be up on the hospital floor near the operating rooms, not down in the connected birthing center where women in labor usually were, for the same reason.

School questions

For some reason this seems to be the week of people asking me whats going on with whether or not I’m going back to school.

In a nutshell, I’m really not all that sure yet.

At this point, if I can find a job that pays enough and gives enough hours to make things work reasonably comfortably, and that I don’t see as likely to be ending in the next few years… I will probably just give up on the school thing at this point.

But… I expect to have the financial aid end up about the same as the projections they had given me had I gotten in this year. Namely, covering tuition itself, but not much else.

Which means, unless I can find something part time to be able to pay bills, and which will work with my school hours… it’s likely that I may not be returning if there isn’t a job on the horizon either.

Plus there’s books and a total of about $400 in deposits between the program and the university that I’d have to come up with the ability to cover.

But there’s also a second issue… childcare.

For the last year of classes, mom helped out when I needed her to on a few mornings or on days when kiddo was out of school but I wasn’t… because she was home following an injury and resulting back surgery.

However, she’s been released to go back to work… but it’s looking more and more like that’s going to require either a long term (13 week) travel assignment in Florida, or a total relocation there.

The state’s childcare subsidy program will only help you if the school or training is less than a year long, or allows you to still be available to get a job first shift.

Mine is neither. And, after the first semester, will require clinicals.. which may mean both early hours and late hours.

As much as I wish otherwise, there’s no way kiddo is responsible enough to watch herself yet… even though I do know of others her age that do. I can barely even get her to get ready for school with repeated reminders and help, let alone on her own.

So from what I’m seeing right now, it’s looking pretty bleak on the chances.. even with the certain acceptance for starting in June.

But then, things can change fast. So I’m trying to keep an optimistic hope that maybe everything will fall into place.

So, as with most of my life right now… things are really iffy.

Raised Right by Alisa Harris

Raised Right by Alisa Harris is the latest book that I’ve received from Waterbrook Multnomah for reviewing.

The book is essentially the memoirs of a girl who was raised in one of the segments of Christian culture that is activist oriented.

She tells a lot of stories about her life, as she was involved even as a young child with abortion protests and all sorts of political activities for the Republican party… because that’s what God would have them do.

She then details her transition to adult life in college, and the issues that came up when she became disillusioned with the choices of politicians, and had to discover for herself where politics ended and where Christianity really stood.

Was it even possible to be both a Christian and a democrat? Or even to go as far as to be both a Christian and pro-life, to believe both that abortion is a sin and to still believe that women should be allowed to choose that sin?

She also discusses some of the darker encounters with the church… including her home church staging an intervention because they believed she should drop out of college and focus on forming a family rather than feminist things like career… and an encounter with a pastor who disagree with something that she’d written on her personal page online, who decided to then recruit people to put pressure on her employer about it.

The book is a really interesting read… and I regret to say, I totally know some Christians like those she deals with at various stages.

I guess in a way, I’m a little surprised that she wrote the book. Partially because I expect she’ll be seeing more encounters with jerks in the name of Christ over it’s contents. Because I imagine they’d be offended, as that sort tends to be fairly easily.

But also a bit because I wonder how much it will be more of a tool of those who oppose Christianity than a tool to help those who’ve grown to confuse God with politics and issues. There are some examples of sane and reasonable Christians in the book… but to a non-believer reading it, the impression would probably be more along the lines of “See, Christians are jerks and really it’s just politics using the guise of religion.”

While that’s probably fair for some… I guess I just wish that she’d made the distinction more that the vast majority of Christians are not these jerks.

Waterbrook Multnomah page for the book


Bug birthdays

I almost wrote a post on Saturday.

It would have been my regular yearly complaining about the challenges of planning a kids birthday party, in winter when you have limited outdoor options, when you are too broke to pay the party place fees for a cool party, and have too tiny of a house to be able to pull anything off at home easily.

I spent a good chunk of the afternoon on google… trying to come up with something around here cheap but interesting. But ended up with little luck… even the YMCA charges more that $100 for having a party in their facilities, and that’s just for 10 kids.

My best idea for this year was taking about 5 or 6 girls to a build your own frozen yogurt place… but they don’t really have room for a real party there. So it would have been rather lame.

Then, out of the blue, yesterday’s groupon for our area was for a birthday party. Seriously!

The party actually wasn’t even in the subject line, it was another option that was mentioned after you’d already opened the email about “bug lady science classes” for schools, which I’m not even sure why I opened!

I’ve never seen a party listed before… and honestly, the vast majority of the time the emails they send get deleted unread, let alone read within the first few hours after they are sent.

But there it was… a normally $250, 2 hour long, for 25 kids, cake and drinks and party favor included, birthday party being sold for $80 after the credit I had from a previous deal that hadn’t worked out right.

And grandma decided that it was low enough that she was willing to buy it as her present to Boo.

It’s at a local place that does insect and animal and birds hands-on educational demonstrations for local schools and preschools… that I’d never even realized we had in town.

Miss animal lover is thrilled.

Even better, when I spoke with them on the phone to book it, the 25 person count only actually counts people eating cupcakes… parents of kids, and other relatives that won’t be doing cupcakes don’t get counted against the total.

And so she’s being allowed to invite the entire class, including the teacher, as well as the cousins.

And the family of the cousins who are always unpredictable as to whether or not there will be a sudden excuse about how it’s too far to drive, or someone else needs the car during that time, and assorted other variations? This place happens to be a mile and a half from their door.

I can’t say a bug party would have ever crossed my mind… but gotta be thrilled about a perfect sounding party “just happening” to be in my email.

Someday I’m gonna learn to stop worrying about things that seem like big issues to sort out but are really but tiny blips.