The nurse practitioner wheeled me over to triage and dropped me off. It's really awkward to be wheeled in a wheelchair in case you were wondering. It makes me feel really self-conscious and just....creepy. Apparently the hospital is also a labyrinth. We had to encounter many strange and frightening creatures as well as take several back alley paths in order to reach our destination. I kindof wondered if NP, let's call her Ms Social, would be crowned queen or at least win the snitch if/when we finally made it. It reminded me of an unfortunate period of time in my life when I had to live at Pace University for Teach For America (This is WAY off topic so bear with me). Every time we wanted to go to our rooms we had to go through a side exterior door that was labeled as the theater. Go to a desk. Show our ID cards. Choose the correct of two elevators. Take that elevator to a certain floor. Get out. Show IDs again. Go to another elevator. Take that to our living floor. Get out. Use a key to enter the main floor doors. Find our room and use another key to enter the room. Heaven forbid you needed to run out for a snack. Back to the story. Getting to triage we had to take certain elevators down to a floor. Get off. Go through a million hallways and through a sort-of tunnel. Get on some other elevators, take them up to the floor triage was on, get out, go through some construction before we finally reached our destination. Whew. But, we did finally make it and it gave me enough time to end the public displays of emotion that had been humiliating me.
Upon arrival, the first thing they do is make you go to the bathroom, take off your clothes and put on a small gown. Sweet. Next they put you on 1 monitor for each baby (so, that's 3) and 1 or 2 Toco monitors (measure contractions) and see what happens. The babies heartbeats were fine and they were showing no signs of distress. I don't know what these babies have to stress about. I feed them and give them blood and carry them everywhere I go and talk to them (but only when I am alone because I look a little nutso otherwise). There were some contractions but they eventually simmered down. Then you wait around for a really long time being denied food and water. It's like prison that way. In this instance a doctor eventually came in and did a cervical check which is pretty great and really comfortable. She found no dilation or effacement. Then we waited around for a long time again but I was at least allowed water this time. Finally, they had a bed ready in the antepartum ward and we got moved down there. This was like 9:30. I hadn't eaten since 1 and let me tell you, this beast needs to be fed regularly. Since I had a shared room the first night Eric wasn't allowed to stay past 10. We asked the nurse about food and she just said dinner was over but she would look around. She definitely gave me the impression that that was a sillly thing to ask and what could I possibly need food for at this hour? Eventually though she found me a turkey sandwich so I ate and Eric left. The first night I shared my room with a nice lady who didn't speak much English. I stayed up late watching Netflix on my phone and fiddling around. In the morning I introduced myself to her and we actually had a conversation between her few English words and my few Spanish words. She was very nice but was moved in the afternoon. Before nightfall I had another roommate come in, this time a lady who was an orthodox jew and her husband. They were trying to have shabbat but of course that is difficult with millions of people coming in and out.
The first night I was hooked to an IV for fluids to stop the contractions I was having. Being that this was the first time I had been on an IV awake I learned that it is really quite annoying. It's not all glamorous like it is in the movies. The regulator thingymabob (that is the technical term for it) has to be plugged into the wall so every time you want to get up to go pee (which for me is about every 15-45 minutes) you have to unplug it, drag it around with you, and then plug it back in. It's amazing the cognitive ability required to unplug something in the middle of the night! Oh, and if you fall asleep and the bag runs out...yeah, that happened. I finally fall into a medium sleep and this screaming BEEP BEEP BEEP BEEP starts going off. I bolt up to a sitting position. I am completely disoriented about being in a foreign place. The thing is going off for about 15 minutes and nobody comes to do anything. I swear on my hamster Hammy's grave you could hear this baby on the other side of the building. Finally I hit the call button and tell them it won't stop going off. Wait another 15 minutes. NOBODY COMES. I don't know about you but I am SOSOSOSO irritible when I am woken up in the middle of the night and this was just pissing me off. Finally I turn the thing off myself only to have it come back on every 3 minutes or so. After about an hour the nurse comes in and is so surprised that it had been going off. Really? So, the incessant beeping as well as me hitting the call button did nothing? Really? Your that surprised? Oooookkkkaayyy.
When I was in the clink this first time, everybody told me the same thing. Enjoy the sleep. Well, after having actually experienced a hospital stay, I can now safely say that you are all ridiculous creatures who have clearly never actually hung out in a hospital. Sleep? When do I do that? When someone's monitor isn't going off? When the nurse isn't coming in during the night to give medicine? When vital checks aren't happening every 5 minutes because certainly my blood pressure must have dropped in the last 11 seconds so we should check AGAIN? Also, I don't know if anyone has chained you to a bed (and I don't think I want to know about it, now that I think through that...) but it's less than comfortable. I had to wear these leg-squeezer machines. They are cloth pieces that wrap around your calves and every couple minutes inflate with air squeezing your legs. Apparently blood clots are frowned upon here. Well, those have to be hooked up to a machine at the bottom of your bed. Good luck rolling over with your legs tied to the end of your bed. So, Yeah, I'll go ahead and enjoy that sleep. All 38 seconds of it. Thanks for the swell advice.
I only got in trouble a few times and it was always for not wearing socks. Maybe all the nurses out there (Anita, Lacey, Aubreigh, etc) can tell me what this strange fascination is with socks that you people seem to have. I don't wear socks because it's approximately 112 degrees in this hospital. The nurses did ask them to try and make the room cooler so it was then about 111 degrees. Back to the point. It's too hot for socks! Yet, every time a nurse came in and noticed I had no socks on she (I had no murses, sadly) would tell me to wear socks and give me more hospital socks. Eric was in heaven because he loves hospital socks and I collected at least 5 pair for him. All ladies sized. I would usually say thank you and assure the sock pusher that I would put them on when I cooled down. Is this why you become nurses? Your sick sock fetishes?
The stay was pretty uneventful. They did NSTs (Non-stress tests) every day where they listen to the babies and monitor contractions for 20 continuous minutes. The babies, at this time anyway, were pretty good about staying on. Honestly, I'm only introducing the NST here because during my next hospital stay they got a loooot (Hahaha, this word looks like loot but its actually lot with superflous o's) more interesting. I watched a lot of television and since the stay was over the weekend Eric was there to entertain and delight me with the snap of my fingers. I snapped for him often.
When Monday rolled around they did an ultrasound to check my cervix and it was 1.9. Since it obviously wasn't shortening too quickly I was deemed stable enough (physically, not mentally, duh) to go home. So...I did. However I had to restrict myself to the house except to take Fenway out front. I made sure I asked the doc about that and she cleared it. Aye Aye Captain.
You want to know the best/most pathetic thing about being in the hospital? It was CHEAPER than not being in the hospital. Hilarious right. Yeah, I'm rolling in laughter.