Rachel just happened to be at her doctor’s office for her regular check up when the crisis began.
“Your blood pressure is quite high. We’ll wait a little while and take it again,” the nurse told her.
But the second one was just as high. So instead of letting her go home, she had to stay to have some lab work done and for her unborn baby girl to be given a stress test, which she passed with no problem. Bored and hungry, but not really worried about her blood pressure because it had been high before, Rachel was left in the examination room to wait for the results of the lab work.
Finally the doctor came in to talk to her.
“So we’re still hoping to delay this birth but we need to get your blood pressure down so we’re going to hook you up to an IV in a labor and delivery room at the hospital to monitor you.” The hospital just happened to be across the parking lot from the doctor’s office.
The doctor motioned to a nearby wheelchair. “Sit down.”
“What about my car?”
“It’ll be fine in the parking lot”
Tired of the games her blood pressure continued to play, she sighed and sat down. For years her blood pressure had caused her problems, but now, with the pregnancy, it was getting increasingly hard to control. Her doctor, who just happened to be the one on call that afternoon, pushed her across the parking lot and into the ER entrance. She was taken to the third floor maternity ward and, once settled in her room, texted her husband.
“Don’t panic. They want to monitor me again.”
“Ugh,” Aaron texted back. “OK, fine. Are you OK?”
“Yeah, no hurry. Just bring me some food when you come.”
Two hours later, after receiving more medication in her IV, her blood pressure lowered a little but was still dangerously high. Her room was darkened to reduce stimulation and she was given a steroid shot to mature her baby’s lungs just in case their efforts to reduce her blood pressure didn’t work. Rachel lay in her bed, not allowed to do anything, and wondered why the drugs weren’t working. She spent a little time praying, knowing God was there with her, then zoned out to pass the time in between the vitals checks the nurses performed every thirty minutes.
She hadn’t eaten since early that morning and it was now well into evening and she was starving. She asked a nurse and was given permission to eat the food Aaron would be bringing with him after he got off work and took care of their pets. He arrived a couple hours later with a Big Mac and fries. “Are you sure you can have this?” Rachel nodded and managed to get four fries in her mouth before the nurse came rushing in the room.
“Stop! Don’t eat that!” she told Rachel. “I misread your chart. You can’t have any food!”
Rachel stared longingly at the Big Mac and fries, and then looked at Aaron. “Don’t throw these away. Put them in the freezer. I’ll eat them when I get home.” She saw the look on Aaron’s face, and added, “This is my version of a wedding cake. I don’t anticipate it tasting good. It’s the principle of the thing.”
“OK,” Aaron said, knowing she would do what she would do and there was no sense trying to dissuade her.
Not long after that her doctor came into the room with her lab results. “Soooo,” she began. “You aren’t responding to the medication in your IV which is bad. We’re going to have to start a magnesium IV drip. And we’re probably going to have to have this baby tonight. Vaginal delivery is better, but the magnesium is a smooth muscle relaxer and you can’t really have contractions when your muscles are being relaxed. So I’m thinking we’re going to do a c-section tonight.”
Rachel looked at Aaron with resigned exasperation while Aaron stared back with the beginning of panic in his eyes. Tonight? They had known their daughter would be delivered early, but six weeks early? Really?
to be continuted