Monday, July 11, 2011

Start With the Kicking!

Our story begins early on a December morning.  We'd had a non-stress test only the previous day and passed, although it did take a while.

NO!  START WITH THE KICKING!!!
And by the way, if any of you Wannabe Dads (or Moms!) do not know the term, non-stress test (NST), please allow me to explain.  Babies in the final trimester should be moving around and experiencing changes in oxygen intake and heart rate.  If they do not, the cord or placenta could be in some way compromised.

The usual action following a non-responsive result?  An emergency c-section.

Early in the morning, maybe 5:30am, JK told me that she wasn't feeling any kicks.  She'd been awake since 4am with the normal crap that keeps very pregnant women awake.  I didn't think too much of it.  The babies usually woke up slowly.

7am, she said so again.  I suggested she drink some orange juice.  That was likely to perk them up.

8:30am, still no kicks.  JK calmly but with a note of urgency told me that she thought we should call the doctor.  I don't know why I heard her and obeyed.  Usually, I would say that she should not worry.  Everything's fine, I would say.

But I did hear something in her voice.  It did convince me.  At 9:05am, I called Dr. B's office.  In moments I was speaking to one of the medical assistants.  Without hesitation, she recommended that we come back to Prentice (Northwestern Hospital) for - yes, you guessed it - another non-stress test.

By 9:30am we were in the car and making our way to Prentice on a snowy, ugly day.  A drive that usually takes 20-30 minutes took 45.  We got to triage without event however, and JK was back on the table.  We waited for a response.

Nothing.

Two hours elapsed slowly, with still no response.  The on-call attending ordered a closer look by way of a biophysical profile.  The nurses began to prepare her.  The time was 12:30pm.

Then JK felt a mule kick her in the gut and grunted in pain.  She was soaked.  Her water had broken with one nasty contraction.  I ducked out of the door and called to the nurse's station, "Her water just broke!"

Upon closer look, there was something else soaking her.  Blood.

In the nurses' flurry of action, one could be heard saying, "That's not normal."

No.  This definitely was not normal.

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