It's probably nothing – The next generation

July 7, 2009

in Pregnancy Woes

Home safe and sound from my last trip to the OB-Gyn, I was preparing myself for 3 or 4 weeks of nice, boring routine. After all, the Doc gave me a clear bill of health, and my follow up was not due before next month. Come the morning of my regular pregnancy check up, only a week later, I didn’t even break a sweat. I was to get out of work, do the whole “pee-on-a-stick-prey-to-the-gods-of-the scale-ignore-the-results-hear-the-heart-beat-and go home” routine. A no-brainer.

Then the nurse measuring the height of my baby bump said “your belly measures 25 weeks. It should measure 30 (to fit the age of the pregnancy), I don’t like this”. Oh oh, I thought. Here comes trouble. Trouble arrived in the form of a nice young Doctor I never met before. Let’s call him Dr. Trouble.  Dr. Trouble measured the belly in question and confirmed the nurse’s concerns. 2 Hours and 1 internal exam later, I found myself on the plane, again, on my way to civilization with a copy of my medical file and a painful shot meant to mature my baby’s lungs in tow. “Just in case you go in labour prematurely” they said. Apparently I tested positive for an amniotic fluid leak. How reassuring. All I remember from these 2 hours is my husband rushing home to pack my suitcase and being hugged by several other well meaning nurses.

Our clinic made sure that I would be seated in the plane next to a doctor. My seat mate turned out to be a very nice girl, only 10 weeks less pregnant then I am. “I am afraid of flying”, she said. In pregnant sisterhood I offered to hold her hand. She returned the favor by reassuring me that if I go into labor, she can always offer me Tylenol and some biscuits. We must have made quite a pair showing up at the hospital, because the staff kept trying to examine the wrong pregnant lady.

So I spent the night, trying to get comfy on the squeaky hospital bed, pretending not to be periodically disturbed  by the nurse’s rounds every 3 hours. I was actually grateful when the morning  arrived, bringing in its wings a (surprise, surprise ) nurse check up and a very depressed looking breakfast tray. Since my airborne biscuits were all I got for supper, I basically inhaled the contents of the tray, to the surprised looks of my better equipped room mates ( they stocked up on granola bars).

Medically speaking I must say that I was left rather confused. The doctor mentioned on my reference letter never showed up, and thoughtfully neglected to inform the remaining staff of my arrival. Even once they were finally convinced that my medical file was for real and that I was not going anywhere, I never got to meet his replacement. Large hospitals, it appears, like to give their senior staff a prestigious air of mystery. You only get to imagine how they really look like judging from their signature on your papers. In my short stay at the hospital, I got to meet 2 residents, 1 med student and an ultrasound technician. All reassured me that the real doctor will surely look at their notes before deciding what was wrong with me. I hope the resident did not forget to mention in her notes how she needed the nurse’s help to operate the bedside ultrasound machine, or to decide which tests will be the best ones to dab off my cervix.

My invisible specialist finally decided that there was in fact no emergency. He lightheartedly signed the papers sending me home ( which is, mind you, 2000 km  away, with no advanced medical care available). So I packed my bags, again, and called my very concerned father in law to pick me up. The sweet man must have really been worried, since he kept glancing at me the whole ride, as if expecting me to go into labor at any given moment. Needless to say, I am still (VERY) pregnant, due to pop at the first week of August. In a week I will be taking the plane again, this time for the reasonable intention of being close to a hospital for the big day. I must admit that I am almost tempted to stay home. Small, rural clinic or not, at least the doctors here will be looking at me straight in the eye before going to get their laté.

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