I know I could tell this story in a much shorter form if I wait a couple days. But oh well.
So I went for my 2nd-this-week NST today and, probably in a bit of passive-aggressiveness about not wanting to go, was running behind and had to rush to finish getting ready. I was only a couple minutes late though, but then since I’d never been treated at the hospital where I was getting the NST, I had to register and they had to collect all sorts of data from me. Then I headed back to the labor & delivery area which turned out to be way on the other side of the hospital down a very long corridor. The nurse strapped me in and cuffed me (heart rate monitor, contraction monitor, blood pressure cuff — really doesn’t feel too far different from a trip in a patrol car) and started monitoring the baby while she collected yet more data from me; my whole medical history, it seemed. By the time she’d finished we’d already gotten lots of good readings from the baby so she said that about 10 minutes more of monitoring would do the trick. She also told me that my blood pressure reading had been high and that they’d be taking a few more readings as I lay there. Then she left the room.
I laid back in the bed and rested and was actually feeling very relaxed — the inclined hospital bed was more comfortable than the recliner at the midwives’ and I was actually enjoying the repose. There was a muted TV angled away from me showing Judge Judy (or anyway one of those TV court shows) and I amused myself briefly by seeing whether I could use any of the wisdom I’ve gleaned from watching episodes of “Lie to Me” online to discern the meanings on the faces of the defendants. (Nope.) Ten minutes passed, twenty minutes passed, thirty minutes passed — and I started hunting around for a call button but couldn’t see one. I tried shouting, “Hello?” but no one answered. By the time 45 minutes had passed I was feeling really anxious and frustrated and wondering whether to just unhook myself from the medical equipment and leave. I knew the nurse also had another patient but I wished I could at least find out when to expect her back.
After about 50 minutes she did come back, and told me that my blood pressure readings had been so high (up in the 170s over 90s, which is higher than any of my readings so far) that she couldn’t’ send me home until we got a lower reading. THAT was tthe other reason why I’d been left waiting so long. She lowered the head of the bed and had me lie on my side while she left the room again. I closed my eyes and rested. She came back about 15 minutes later and said that my blood pressure had gone significantly down — 129/70, and she’d talked to the midwives who said that I could go home as long as I passed a urine screen, (which we did right away and I passed just fine.) I also told her that I thought part of my high readings were from not knowing how to call her, and she apologized and showed me where to find the call button next time. Since I was parked way on the other side of the building, she also found someone to take me in a wheelchair to the main entrance, and I was actually happy for the ride.
The one good outcome of this latest adventure is that it shows that my gestational blood pressure is clearly activity-linked, which answers some of my questions about whether I’ve been cutting out enough of my activities and lying down enough (probably not.)
Also, the administration were bringing Granny’s pink-frosted sugar cookies to the nurse’s station right as I arrived so I got one, too.
The one really worrisome thing? Henry, who’s so far been a pretty compliant kid, has just hit a stage where he wants to be very independent, and he threw his first real temper tantrum yesterday – throwing himself on the floor and screaming because he’d wanted to go to Grandma’s house rather than coming home. I do think of this stage as a natural, normal thing, but I do think the timing of his hitting this stage is, shall we say, infelicitous.