I was incapacitated all day Saturday and hardly moved from the bed. My cold symptoms had worsened, but at least the bleeding had stopped. I could withstand a nose gushing mucous as long as the baby was ok. Hopefully the baby was still happily swimming around, since no one at Kaiser seemed to care about me coming in and getting checked out.
Notwithstanding a full day of rest, I woke up in a sweat at 5:30pm. Dean was at church because I’d asked him to go and pray for the baby.
I could tell I was hot and ran to the bathroom to take my temperature. 103. SHIT, my poor baby is cooking! I texted Dean to pickup Tylenol before coming home since we had aspirin and ibuprofen…essentially every fever-reducing med that you aren’t allowed to take when pregnant.
But not only was I a hot mess, I was dripping blood. I called Kaiser and they told me to come to the Emergency Room as soon as I was able.
When Dean got home, I took the Tylenol, then we drove to the ER.
There were only three people in the waiting area when we got there, and it didn’t even look like they needed attention. They looked like bored family members, waiting for word. I turned to Dean, “Well this should be quick.” It was 7:05pm.
A nurse called me almost immediately and brought me into the ER to take my vitals. My temperature was only 99.5. I told her the Tylenol must be working because I was 103 at home. She agreed that was probably the case. She said she needed to find a room where they could do a pelvic exam so it might take a while, but she found one right away and ushered me and Dean into a small room.
The doctor didn’t take long to come by. He introduced himself and shook our hands. “I’m sorry for the losses that you’ve experienced. It looks like it’s been a hard year.” I really appreciated that he had taken the time to read my chart before meeting us. He proceeded to examine me, then noted, “You feel very warm.” I told him that my temperature wasn’t that bad, but he said the thermometer wasn’t necessarily gauging my internal temperature. He asked how much I weighed and did a quick calculation on his iPhone. “To be exact, you’re to take 661 mg of Tylenol every six hours.”
The doctor then did an ultrasound. “I see the fetus.”
My hands were bunched close together against my chest. I asked, “Do you see the heartbeat?”
He hesitated, “I’m still looking for it.”
I clutched at my heart. Dean was standing next to the doctor so we weren’t holding hands like usual.
Dean flashed me a thumbs up. Apparently he saw the heartbeat before the doctor.
“And there’s the heartbeat,” the doctor confirmed.
Nothing spells relief like the sound of your baby’s heartbeat. The baby gave us a wave, then brought his arm back in. The doctor said it looked like the baby was sucking his thumb. Oh! We cooed. Look at our little thumb sucker.
I went on to get a pelvic exam and had to wait for the lab results after submitting two urine samples since the first was inconclusive. Everything looked fine, but the doctor cautioned that blood during pregnancy is never a good sign and is an indicator of an impending miscarriage. He reiterated the ‘cautious optimism’ mantra that all doctors must be required to say.
We walked out the ER door at 10:10pm. I know I give Kaiser a lot of crap, but I have to say their ER department is first-rate. The doctor even emailed the following day to check on me.
Our path to growing our family has been filled with heartache, and as such, I can’t emphasize enough how a single ultrasound, every confirmation that this baby is still present brings us so much happiness and gratitude. Every single day…every single moment with this baby is a blessing.