Sunday, March 14, 2010


I was now all alone in my hospital bed, trying to be brave when I really wasn’t feeling brave at all. I focused on the sound of my baby’s heartbeat. The fast rhythm brought me comfort but it also unleased a flood of tears. It was just the two of us now and I felt I had let her down. What was next for us? What was she going to do? What was I going to do? I knew bed rest for the remainder of my pregnancy was a given but how would I do that? I had a child and a husband at home, I had a job, I had commitments. How could I do all that from a bed. Given the risks that faced me, I couldn’t imagine stepping foot out of this bed until a team of doctors had reassured me everything would be alright. Night came but I could not sleep. The hospital seemed eerily quiet after all the day’s chaos. I was coming down from my adrenaline rush, trying to process the day, and was happy I made it this far.

My best friend Dee Dee, and her husband appeared at my door and we shared a laugh about how my daughter’s personality was already beginning to reveal itself. Dee Dee always sees the positive side in crises. I didn’t want to admit how terrified I was (I don’t easily share my feelings with others) but Dee Dee knew how scared I was, which is why she drove down. I love that about her. She has amazing intuition and thank goodness she followed it even after I repeatedly tried to tell her I was ok. She knows me well enough to know we need no words when we are together, just the presence of being. She and my father are my first choice for companionship in an emergency. They are calm, level headed and make you laugh.

The shift change came at the hospital and we were notified an on call obstetrician would make his rounds in a little while. The three of us were becoming increasingly uncomfortable as we began to realize there were no obstetricians, pediatricians, anesthesiologists or surgery nurses in the hospital. They were all on call and it would take a minimum of half an hour to assemble a team if we went into distress. This reminder of our vulnerability began to gnaw at me. Whatever nerves I had left, frayed even further as the night doctor ran through the possible options of what the course of action would be if something happened. None of them sounded too promising to me. My husband was still not at my side and I was overwhelmed at the idea of making any decisions without him. Just when I thought my sailboat was coasting a little bit from the breeze off the shore, our plans changed again, for the better. I was able to speak to the doctor on call at Swedish Hospital and she agreed I needed a hospital that had the right staff and resources if I needed to deliver. I knew once I got there, then everything would be ok.

It still didn’t occur to me I could deliver early, but my instinct said I needed to be in a place that could handle my needs. I was a bit of a dreamer. I thought they would observe me and send me home to bed rest. That would be a piece of cake after this day!

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