Tuesday night we had our late pregnancy class and hospital tour in Roseville. The new birthing center is AMAZING! It is the most beautiful and least depressing hospital (hospitals always scare me) I have ever seen or been in. It is bright, new, clean and contemporary. They have state-of-the-art everything and it is so accommodating. The labor and delivery rooms (birthing suites) are nicer than any hotel room I have ever been in or seen. All private, huge windows, a “partner” bed, wood floors, flat screen tv and a private bathroom. They are HUGE and spacious too (there were 30 people on our tour, all of which fit very comfortably in the room!) It is comforting to know that Baby K is going to be born in style. What was less comforting (and bringing the whole thing home..) is the reality of her having to come out of me (in a very messy and painful way) is creeping closer and making me a more than a little nervous. Prior to the tour we had a very explicit late-pregnancy class, where we learned about how to recognize labor and what happens at the hospital but also the gory details of birth and recovery from birth. It’s nothing I hadn’t heard (I’ve been reading about it extensively) but something about the nurse talking about it and the visual aids (oh yes, there was a video) was making me slightly ill (along with most of the men in the class).
After we left the hospital Sol was grinning from ear to ear, “I’m so excited!” he exclaimed, and then looked over at me noticing that I was slightly less outwardly excited. “What’s wrong?” he asked. I was quiet for a minute as I thought about the hospital bed in the middle of that big pretty room, and all the monitors, and machines, and then big huge lights….”Well, I’m excited but I think I would be more excited if she didn’t have to come out of me!” She is going to be worth it though, I am anxious to meet her and she is worth all the pain she can bring. Bring it, baby, bring the pain!
We are also feeling so blessed that I have an awesome job with awesome health insurance that makes this posh birth free. (Well, free as in no out-of-pocket expense.) As Sol and I excitedly chatted and planned on the way home we discussed how it feels like getting to have our baby there is like getting away with robbery. We also timed how long it took us to get there, 28 minutes IN traffic…not great but better than we had estimated.
This week my starting back at work coincided with some weird symptoms. I’ve been monitoring my weight obsessively and have been right on track the last month. This week, in 4 days, I gained 5.5 pounds. FIVE AND A HALF POUNDS. IN 4 DAYS. Even if I had been sitting on my ass eating McDonalds and Donuts till I barfed, I don’t think it’s humanly possible to gain 5.5 pounds in 4 days. What made even less sense, is that since back at work, I’ve been constantly walking and moving, and eating super healthy. No refined sugar, no caffeine…only lean meats and veggies, it just didn’t make any sense! Paired with the startling random weight gain my feet and hands have been painfully swollen, my feet ache from the second I wake up in the morning because of how swollen they are, and my hands feel arthritic.
I emailed my doctor and explained what had been going on and asked her if I should be concerned. She emailed me back that she was worried that I might have the beginning signs of Preeclampsia and that she wanted me to come in ASAP for some tests to rule out Preeclampsia and make sure the baby was okay. This had me really freaked out, Preeclampsia is really scary and either means the baby needs to come out ASAP or I would need to go on super-death-hell bed rest, either of which was a bad scenario. On Thursday I went into Kaiser and had some tests done and they monitored the baby to make sure she was okay. The good news is that my blood pressure is perfectly normal and the baby is amazingly healthy. The nurses told me that the reason I’ve gained the weight so rapidly (and have been so swollen) is because of fluid retention, but they can’t figure out why I’ve been retaining fluid so much or so quickly. After running all of the tests there were literally 3 nurses standing around me perplexed, chattering to each other saying things like “she is the poster child for pregnancy” and “she is doing everything right,” “but why is she retaining fluid like this?” They ordered some more labs for me and I gave some more blood so they can test for liver function, etc. to try and get to the bottom of the fluid retention. The other strange piece (which might be related and might not) is that my white blood cell count is about 3 times higher than the normal range. I was relieved and have a lot of comfort knowing that the scariest possibilities are ruled out and that baby is okay, but I am still perplexed as to what is going on with my body and in the meantime I will be keeping my poor, swollen feet up as much as possible.
I was wearing the outfit in my Week 29 picture to school on Thursday, and 2 giggling 7th grade boys asked me what my belt was for. I laughed, “Um, to keep my pants up!?” which didn’t pacify them. So I shrugged, “I’m accessorizing, it’s a girl thing.”