I spent another long afternoon/evening at the hospital yesterday. Luckily, I was there for so long because I was the absolute lowest priority in the Labor & Delivery wing.
I had a late afternoon regular 38-week check up, and my doctor was running especially late (I overheard her calling over to Labor & Delivery at one point to let them know that a woman had lost her baby at 17 weeks and was headed over there--my heart go out to both of them). It was nearly two hours after my arrival that she saw me, but it gave me a chance to chat with my childhood friend as she drove to pick up her boys from daycare (and made me appreciate that my husband had picked up Ella on his way home from jury duty since I clearly wasn't going to make it there by 6:00 pm at this point). When my doctor listened to the baby's heartbeat, she expressed concern that it was a little bit lower than in previous weeks. She acknowledged that heartbeats do indeed drop closer to delivery, but she still wanted me to head next door to Labor & Delivery for 10 minutes of monitoring--once again, thinking it's better to be safe than sorry.
However, "10 minutes of monitoring" turned into half-an-hour of waiting to have an available bed, then closer to 90 minutes of monitoring the baby. When she cooperated, her heartrate was consistently in the 130s (until she wiggled around and out of range of the monitors). My initial blood pressure reading was a little higher, but then settled down with subsequent readings. Throughout my time in the L&D triage area, I could overhear the conversations with the other women, and it was clear that my very normal, very low-risk pregnancy was the least of the staff's concerns. As things slowed down, I was eventually taken off the monitors, and the nurse told me that the Resident would do an ultrasound to check the fluid levels.
Unfortunately, the resident got called into a delivery right around that time. So I waited for another hour or so until he returned. By this time, there was another woman who had come in while she was in labor, so I was certain that he would see her first, given that she was clearly a higher priority than me. But the nurse was amazing and suggested that he see me first, and I am very grateful that he did. The baby still has plenty of fluid in nice, big pockets. Again, a tiny bit of concern about some of the higher blood pressure readings, but they trust that was just related to emotions, since the other readings were okay and my 24-hour urine test from two weeks ago was clean (and was clean at my appointment five hours prior). They did mention that I had quite a few little contractions, but nothing consistent yet. I was eventually released at 9:30 pm...5-1/2 hours after I initially arrived at the hospital.
My very-dear friend's response was "you are officially too boring for your own good". She's got a point. I am more and more aware of just how blessed I am to have a such a boring, low-risk, normal pregnancy. I've definitely had my share of struggles in the past, but what a blessing to feel her wiggle and hear her heart beating loud and strong (albeit a tiny bit slower than a couple of weeks ago).
My only "bad news" from yesterday is that my doctor is out of the office next week! I'm still kind of hoping for a late-July baby, in which case, my doctor may not be here for the delivery; but if I got the full 40 weeks (or more!), then I have nothing to worry about. Either way, I trust the staff, and I trust we will be in good hands with whoever delivers our new baby. I'm hoping to get through work today and tomorrow (and squeeze in two more runs on Friday and Saturday morning to reach 200 miles), and then I'll truly feel ready for this baby to come.
Yesterday's blessing was the chance to text with my very-dear friend. As a mom and a doctor, it's great to have her perspective, even from the other side of the country. She's great about giving me layman explanations for medical interventions, and putting it all in perspective. It was a wonderful blessing to have her keeping me company, all the way from Florida.