If my hospital offered a frequent patient punch card, I’m guessing I would be one punch away from a free chocolate pudding by now. Because — good times! — I ended up mooning everyone in a hospital gown yet again on Monday, just hours after posting about my mostly drama-free life on bed rest.
Why you gotta keep playin’ me like that, Seacrest?
Last Friday started off with a bang, a debilitating bang that radiated throughout my lower back and made it impossible for me to even sit down. My freakishly strong instincts sensed, Huh. This is not good, so I laid down in tears and hoped against hope it was not the beginning of preterm labor. Mr. Candy took one look at me and said, DO NOT MOVE. CALL YOUR DOCTOR. Being the good patient I am, I waited until the pain went away and promptly walked over to Skye’s room and never called my doctor. Because I prefer to live my life in a cocoon of denial where Baby Freedom will not be born prematurely — period — and chocolate chip cookies do not have calories. Exclamation point.
The back pain did not return, no doubt because of my highly effective “pain, pain go away…” song and dance. However, “things” were feeling icky (fancy medical term, look it up) all weekend, capped off by — how do I put this delicately? — diarrhea on Sunday night and Monday morning.
You should have known that “how do I put this delicately?” was a trick question. Because women who have already experienced pregnancy and childbirth have NO remaining sense of delicacy.
One quick Google search of “signs of preterm labor” and a few horrifying forum stories about premature babies later (WHY do I do that to myself?), I finally decided to call the doctor.
“Yeah, I would be happy if you’d go into the hospital to be monitored,” she said.
“But I have this really effective song and dance –”
“GO. NOW. Please,” she begged.
Of course I want to do what’s best for Baby Freedom, which is why I immediately packed my bags for a visit to my new second home. (Man, I miss the days when Starbuck’s was my second home.) But the thought of possibly being away from Skye for another couple of days…? Put me on the brink.
Oh yeah. And being away from Mr. Candy, too. Yes! Of course. Oops.
What boggles my mind is that my doctors insist that I take it easy on bed rest, yet they have me come in for multiple doctor’s appointments every week and the hospital makes me stand around for an hour, filling out paperwork — even though I had just been there four weeks before. If anything‘s going to make me go into premature labor, it’s going to be the stress of all this “attentive health care.”
The good news is, I was discharged that same day. The monitoring and testing revealed that Baby Freedom and I are in good health, no contractions or preterm labor or further shortening of the cervix. PHEW. Too bad the same can’t be said of my mental health, thanks to Nurse Ratched disguised as Mary Poppins.
NURSE: [WAY TOO CHIPPER] Okay! I need to draw some blood!
ME: Just don’t let me see the needle. I’m a bit of a head case when it comes to needles.
NURSE: Like, you will faint? Or –
ME: Yes. I will faint.
NURSE: Gotcha. No problem. You won’t even know I was in there.
I CLOSE MY EYES, TRY TO GO TO MY “HAPPY PLACE.” [MAUI. LOTS OF MAI-TAIS.]
NURSE: So I’m putting the needle in now…
I MENTALLY FINISH MY THIRD MAI-TAI, ENJOY THE VIEW OF THE OCEAN.
NURSE: The blood is coming up slowly.
DEAR GOD. IS SHE GOING TO SHARE EVERY GORY DETAIL WITH ME? MAI-TAIS, MAI-TAIS, MAI-TAIS…
NURSE: Oh yeah. The blood is slow. Very slow blood. Dripping in there.
MY MAI-TAIS ARE GROWING BLURRY. MY HEAD IS FAINT. WHY IS SHE TORTURING ME LIKE THIS?
NURSE: And… I’m taking the needle out.
I open my eyes. The nurse is smiling. Evilly? Perhaps. All I know is, I hope I don’t earn my free pudding for at least another five weeks — and that I get another nurse.