I'm writing this on Sunday, and it makes me cry to recall the sequence of events from just two days ago. In the car, I put my seat all the way down (would laying down be better for the babies??) and Emily called our moms to let them know what was going on and that we wouldn't be making the shower. They freaked out, expectedly, but in a rush of frustration and fear, we told them we couldn't talk more. We had to keep the line open for the doctor.
Emily and I were pretty quiet the whole way into Manhattan. What was there to say? We both knew what the other was thinking (the worst) and we were scared shitless. To have come so far...I couldn't really fathom losing one or both of the boys, but the thought was there, unspoken, for the entire ride. Emily's breath accelerated and deepened. I'd never heard her breathe like that before. I remember thinking, I've been with her for 6 years and I've never heard this particular breath cadence of hers. Had she she breathed this way before, ever? Hearing her little puffs, tight with worry, made my heart ache. I rubbed her arm as she cursed out other drivers and asked me every few seconds if I was okay. I was. I felt absolutely no pain, the babies kicked me reassuringly, and the bleeding seemed to have stopped. And I had Emily.
We went to the emergency room (we later learned we could have gone straight up to the labor and delivery floor), and went through their frustrating screening process before we were brought up to the labor and delivery triage area. The admitting receptionist there struck up a chat with the guy who had pushed my wheel chair. They complained about their long hours and gossiped about a co-worker who took long lunch breaks. We sat, dumbfounded that she wasn't attending to us immediately. What if my babies were dying??? What if a million things. They blithely gabbed on.
Finally, Emily said, "I hate to interrupt, but my partner is bleeding, do you think you could help her?"
"I'm getting to her, ma'am," she snapped back. When she finally did turn her attention to us, she asked me how to spell my last name at least 4 or 5 times. She then typed in the information from my insurance card on her computer and I could hear each individual key being punched, so maddeningly slow it seemed deliberate. Again, what if my babies were being deprived of precious oxygen? What if the kicks I was feeling were really twitches of distress?
The rest of the story, condensed: I was finally brought back to a stretcher, where I traded my cute red shower dress for a grey hospital gown, and three monitors were hooked up to my belly...one to measure each of the babies' heartbeats and another one that measured uterine activity (to see if I was having contractions). The babies were okay! As soon as the monitors were in place, the boys' healthy heartbeats were broadcast over my curtained-off bed, sounding like two thoroughbreds racing for the finish line. A nurse drew blood and put an IV in my wrist, a resident performed a rough, painful pelvic exam (and left me to lay on the sheets dirtied with my own blood), and one of the doctors from my OB's practice did an ultrasound. I was diagnosed with placenta abruption, which means that part of the placenta tears away from the uterine wall, and transferred to a labor and delivery room where they would monitor me overnight.
But the babies were okay. Thank God, the babies were okay.