I made an unscheduled visit to the OB on Tuesday after calling the nurse with something ‘suspicious’. She said I lost my mucus plug and actually I needed to come in for another non-stress test anyway so come on up around three.
My husband guessed it spot on, that I would be three centimeters dilated, and I was. I had to head next door to the hospital, get on the monitors and she would check me again in an hour to look for change. To determine if this was labor or not. It wasn’t, thankfully, but I was having some contractions so doc ordered IV fluids and a night of observation in the hospital.
I warned the nurse before she started that it wouldn’t work, that it almost always took several tries and eventually she would call for someone else to try. When she found a decent vein I asked her if she thought it was going to work and her answer was, “I’m going to try.” I rolled my eyes and shook my head.
Note: I don’t mind needles, not anymore at least. With as many pokes and prods as I’ve gone through and weekly injections they don’t bother me. Blood draws, shots, I can handle it. Even an IV done well doesn’t bother me.
She inserts the needle and I take a deep breathe, holding husband’s fingers with one hand and the other in a tight fist. This would be my eighth IV in two months. She pulls back, tries again, pulls back, tries again. Deep inhale, long and loud exhale. “I’m not going to keep going.” she says. “Look at your poor arms.”
And I started to cry. Not from pain, that part was over by then, but because I was feeling so close to the end of my rope and so frustrated that I wasn’t being listened to. So incredibly and overwhelmingly sick of it. I knew it wouldn’t work, she knew it wouldn’t work, yet on with the puncture we went.
My doctor let me get away with oral fluids instead, since in the meantime while I was waiting for anesthesia to come take a turn, drinking water seemed to be working.
I’ve been “put through the ringer” as they say over these last few months and I know my body, my veins, my cervix, my gut. I know when you are wasting my time and I have no need to be spending the night on a stiff hospital bed. I know when the cramps I feel could be labor and when they’re not. I know when you will get an IV and when you won’t.
But it doesn’t matter. I’m not the doctor, I’m just a silly patient who knows far less than the person that is considered an expert on the subject but not on me. Not on Liz Nieman. Not on the one who has actually been witness to each and every moment of this pregnancy.
I don’t want to be the doctor and I do want to run to mine for guidance on every issue that comes up. But that doesn’t mean that I don’t want a chance to participate in the discussion, to push back when I don’t agree and to expect to be treated uniquely. Because we are all very different even if the diagnosis is exactly the same.
Listen to me.
Sher Bailey is a writer in the Midwest who believes the power of humor, Mod Podge, and grandkids can fix most problems in life. You can find her at SherBailey.com.