We went in around 9 a.m. and filled out the necessary paperwork and met with the on-call midwife. She, honestly, was a little confused as to why we were even there. I explained the baby size issue, the ketones issue, the dehydration issue, blah, blah, blah. She then asked me why I hadn't been re-tested for gestational diabetes. From looking at my chart, it was clear I had been "spilling" glucose and had protein in my urine at every visit for the last while. I had no idea. No one even bothered to mention it to me. Considering gestational diabetes can be a pretty bad thing for mom and baby, I was shocked. She said she would have tested me again. And, if I were to ever be pregnant again, she would test me 3 different times over the course of the pregnancy. She wanted to draw blood to run a more in-depth test to see if I did have gestational diabetes. She explained that the pitocin would take 6-8 hours to work and that I should see some results by evening time. She checked me and I was dilated to 1.5 cm but the baby was still pretty high.
At noon, they got me on the IV and started the drip. Shortly after, the nurse comes in and asks me if I've ever been out of the country. Um, yeah, but it was 15 years ago. Had I recently gone to Florida? I wish. Turns out, the lab was seeing a marker for some kind of parasite in my blood. Um, whaaa? Para what? I told her if I had a worm or something I was going to come un-done and that I wanted to shower right then and there. She assured me all would be fine and left. About an hour later, the other midwife on-call came back. They need more blood. The marker they see is malaria and then need to run a complete pathology report. Again, whaaaa? Malaria? She explained that it was causing quite the stir on the floor and it had become somewhat of an emergent situation, but not to worry since the baby wouldn't contract the disease from me during the birthing process. Besides, she adds, people in Africa have malaria and they have tons of babies. Um, isn't their mortality rate, like, 50% or something, too? Please. Let's not make that comparison. Just take my blood and let's move on.
So, these two lab rats come in and start drawing my blood. They are like fiends yelling out, "Thick! Thin! We need another thick! Get more, we need 5 more thin!" I was told they would do about 5 slides.
I think that was a gross under-estimation of what was going to actually take place.
At no point did I ever think I really had malaria. Let me just make that totally clear. Allen and I were far more concerned about the diabetes results. We kept asking, but everyone was so worked up about this malaria thing that they kept saying they didn't know. The contractions had started and were about 5 minutes apart, but not too strong. At around 7 p.m., the midwife came back in and checked me. No change. They decided to stop the pit, encouraged me to eat a very light dinner, to shower or walk around and then we would start up again at 9 p.m. Apparently, my receptors might have been saturated at this point and a little break sometimes helped them get on board and get something done. Allen left to get dinner. While Allen was gone and I had some freedom, I called home to see how things were going and to give an update. The news was grim. The kids had just gotten out of the tub - an hour later than usual. Uh oh. What happened? Well, Lexi had been horrible, had a major meltdown, freaked out, refused the special dinner Nana had made so was going hungry (this did not aid in the attitude department, either), spent a good chunk of time in her room screaming, had finally agreed to take a bath and then Addie pooped in the tub. That's the kind of day that could put a veteran mother over the edge, let alone the poor Nana who is trying to help out.
The midwife then re-appeared while Allen was gone. "Um, turns out the blood was mixed up and you really don't have malaria. Someone else does, but it isn't you. I'm so sorry." I chuckled to myself. I mean, really, what else could I do? I'd been in an uncomfortable bed all day, on an IV, having annoying contractions, worried about the medical care I had received only to find out the people downstairs were also a bunch of idiots, and had news that things at home were not good. I could have either jerked the IV right out of my arm and walked out or let it go. I chose to let it go. I then asked about the diabetes. No, that was fine, too. Well, good. I didn't have an African disease that will kill me nor did I have an issue with my blood sugar.
They put me back on the pitocin at 9 (and a whole new crew of nurses, doctors, and midwives were on at this point) and I started having contractions right away. They were about 3-4 minutes apart, but again, not very strong. I continued reading my Percy Jackson series (which, by the way, is a fun little read if you are looking for something new to pick up) and tried to stay comfortable while the pitocin did it's job.
Around midnight, the midwife came back in to check me. No change. But, they did have an option that sometimes worked for people "like me". They would insert a balloon catheter into my cervix (yeah, it's going to be a gross story. What did you expect? We were trying to birth a kid after all.) Then, they would use 160 cc of water to blow it up. This would force my cervix to open to 4 cm. At that point, they can then break my water and we can try to move things along. She told me to think it over for a few hours and they would check me again in the morning (right before shift change, no less) and we could decide what we wanted to do.
Allen was passed out on the couch totally unaware of the whole situation. I decided to try and get some sleep and tackle issue when the team arrived later in the morning.
Our next installment: "You can't make me! Ne ner ne ner nee ner!" says the cervix.