So let's just say you had 5 or 6 weeks left of pregnancy, God willing, and you start feeling contractions. Not just sissy ones. Some that you can't sleep through. So you wake up at 2:00AM, hang out, listen to the screaming baby raccoons outside, surf the web for the very best baby bouncer that does not look like a 5 year old designed it, and count contractions. Then at 4:30AM you think that it's probably nothing, so you lay in bed with a constant cramping sensation around little kicking baby. Then you never sleep. Get out of bed in 15 minutes, tell your husband casually that you have been having contractions. Also, you were just diagnosed with a chronic health condition that puts you at a higher risk for premature delivery... Your doctor told you to call when they are 10 minutes apart for more than an hour and they are getting closer and stronger. Sooo just to be sure, you wait a few hours with the contractions closer than 10 minutes apart. Then they are 3-4 minutes apart and getting stronger. So you call Dr. Alarming (not his real name). He doesn't call back. 30 min. pass. 1 hour passes. hmmm maybe you should just go to the hospital? 90 minutes pass and you pull in, register, go to a strange place called triage and feel like a loser.
Then they ask 1,000,000 questions, check baby, check cervix, supposedly check contractions, incorrectly insert an IV (ouch), then re- do it in the other arm, have you use the restroom with a clear plastic cup in hand, and a few other things like strip down and keep trying to call your doctor.
Then after 4 hours, they say you can go, that your health condition probably is causing the contractions, your cervix isn't too open, and you might be dehydrated. Awesome.
Oh and your husband posted on Facebook to his close 1,000+ friends that it "looks like we are going to have the baby today, send me some names." ummmm. word of advice to the wise husband. DO NOT DO THAT. It sends people that hardly know you into a tizzy, and then it makes you look both like losers even more. G R E A T.
On a positive note, the baby's heart beat sounded good from what I could tell and I got to spend a lot of quality bonding time with my husband. Albeit I was a little uncomfortable and hooked up to an IV, contraction monitor and fetal heartbeat monitor with a band around my stomach, but it was still good.
Also, they tell you that they (your friends at the hospital) can measure how "bad or strong" your contractions are by their little device. I say that is a load of recalled lemon girl scout cookies. When I had my daughter, it seemed like my very worst contractions looked like tiny hills and when they weren't that bad they sometimes looked like mountains. This leads the nurses to believe that they can watch a monitor that looks like a seismograph and decipher when they can touch you. DO NOT DO THAT NURSE PEOPLE. Ask the woman first. I can't talk when I am in pain, which may make this difficult. But I could probably whisper.
Basically they use the same band for every size woman and depending on how big or not big you are will affect how much it registers pressure on the button thingy.
This is according to Dr. Spock--via http://www.drspock.com/article/0,1510,10602,00.html
The monitor's tocodynamometer, or toco for short, is a pressure-sensing device that can detect the changes in your abdomen as your uterus tightens during a contraction. It marks how often contractions occur and the length of each, producing a graph that looks like a series of hills rolling across the bottom of the printout. The external contraction monitor can't tell how strong a contraction is, since the size of the "hill" is affected by the tightness of the belt and if you are thin or heavy. If a precise measurement of the strength of the contraction is needed, an internal-pressure monitor can be placed inside the uterus.
I guess it is better to be safe than sorry with the whole going to the hospital at the wrong time thing, but it makes you feel like a FAIL. :(
I am very glad I have more time for this little muffin to stay in the oven.
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