"Hey, can I call you back? I'm in the middle of something."
I almost didn't call him right away. I really didn't think it was that serious.
"I just wanted to let you know that my blood pressure was a little high, so I'm headed to the hospital to have it monitored."
"Oh. Do I need to come down there?"
"I don't think so. It's probably no big deal, just be in the hospital for a minute and get it checked out."
"I'll come down."
"Well don't rush. It's really not a big deal."
I found a fairly good parking spot and went on into the hospital. A blessed rush of cool air. It was the last day of summer, but apparently Virginia hadn't gotten the memo. It was as hot as ever.
I made my way to admissions, and was directed to Labor and Delivery. I tried to explain that I wasn't actually having the baby. Just a minor blood pressure issue. Just a little monitoring. No big deal.
"Are you dizzy? We can get you a wheelchair."
"No, not at all! I feel great! I'll walk up to Labor and Delivery! It will be good for my blood pressure!"
After getting lost with a dear little old volunteer (bless her heart) we finally found our way up to L & D. I asked for some water because I was parched. They took my blood pressure. It was rising. I got hooked up to a machine that took my blood pressure every so often. They strapped on an abdomen monitor. Baby was looking good, but I was starting to get nervous. I don't like hospitals, and with all this equipment, shit was starting to get real.
I texted my friend Andrea, but didn't call anyone. I didn't want to scare anyone or make things seem more dramatic than they were.
Then the dreaded words: "We need to get an IV started."
Well if my blood pressure was up before, it was definitely rising now. I don't mind shots but needles going into my veins gives me the heeby jeebies.
I made it through that but then they needed another dreaded thing: blood. They were unable to get it through my IV, the bastards, so they had to draw it from my elbow. I wasn't feeling too great after all these procedures, and my blood pressure was still rising. By then I was really getting worked up.
It took a couple of hours, but everything was a blur: the monitor kept going off, the doctor coming in and telling me I had gestational hypertension and that my baby would be delivered no later than the next morning, blood pressure rising, rising, rising, nurse telling me I could have a stroke or a seizure, doctor telling me I needed an emergency c-section tonight, where is your husband, we can't wait on him, we need a new consent form, this is the anesthesiologist, the medicine to bring down your blood pressure isn't working, calling my husband, telling him to hurry, please, (I had previously called and told him that the baby was coming in the morning and to get a haircut), making sure I was getting my c-section, we need to do this now, your blood pressure is 221/112, telling them I needed a shower, feeling like I was going to faint or throw up or both, my husband finally getting there, seeing him in blue scrubs, them walking me to the bathroom because I couldn't go alone with my condition, walking me to the operating room.
The operating room.
I remember feeling so incredibly relieved I was there because I had this huge fear that the c-section wouldn't work out and that I would be forced to give birth naturally.
I hopped up on the table and got my epidural. Probably the worst part of the whole procedure. I kept jumping and they kept moving the needle in my back, making my right leg jump around. Weirdest feeling ever. I was scared but feeling in good hands. My doctor was sitting in a corner of the operating room, mask over her face, cool as a cucumber.
Then I laid back and got ready for my baby to be born.