Wednesday, September 22, 2010

The Longest Weekend of My Life: Decisions

This is the seventh and final post in a special bi-weekly series.  Please check back next Saturday for the continuation of the story in the sequel:  The Roller Coaster.

Part 7: Decisions

I talked with my husband about the situation. Although I was feeling fine and no longer worried about possible complications by that time, he wasn't so sure. He was worried about my well-being and concerned that I might make a decision based on fear (not wanting to face my OB's office, for example) and possibly put myself at further risk. He asked me to follow up with the OB to ensure that I wasn't being negligible about my care. I felt his love and concern for me, and I decided to take his advice.

I called my obstetrician's office and told them about the weekend events at Instacare and the hospital. I informed them of everything, including the fact that my pain had disappeared by Saturday night and hadn't returned. The receptionist put me on hold for several minutes while she consulted with the doctor. When she came back she told me that it was so early in the pregnancy that an ultrasound would be useless. I wished the resident at Instacare had known that before ordering a "pointless" ultrasound!  The OB was recommending a “wait and see” approach. Because I never had any bleeding and my pain was gone, they suggested scheduling an ultrasound at 10 weeks gestation, and in the meantime if I were to have any additional symptoms I should call and schedule an earlier appointment.

The receptionist also said that if I intended to see their office for the duration of the pregnancy I would need to come in for paperwork and an “OB Complete” checkup by 10 weeks, which included a pelvic exam, pap smear and blood work. She asked me if I wanted to do this. I told her that I would most likely plan a home birth and didn't feel a need to see the physician for the routine prenatal schedule, as my midwife would be doing that for me. She informed me that if I wanted to see the obstetrician at all I would still need to complete the paperwork and have the first complete checkup, and I hesitantly agreed. I felt I could satisfy my husband's concerns and “cover my bases” so to speak by seeing the obstetrician once or twice, and continue the duration of my prenatal care with my wonderful midwife.

It felt really good to be fully honest about my intentions with the obstetrician's office. In my last pregnancy I was worried about any opposition I might face if I were to be completely open about my plans. This time I wasn't worried. I was sure about what I wanted, and I wasn't afraid to be up-front about it.

Going through this, I initially felt like closing up. I wanted to close in on myself, curl up in a ball and forget about the outside world. I felt it would be too painful to share with anyone else what I was going through. As my mind and spirit have processed things I've realized that closing up won't help me. I've gone through my life bottling up my feelings, only to find that eventually I had to deal with those feelings one way or another. Rather than help me, keeping myself closed off has proven to be more painful in the long run. I've also learned that I process things and deal with my problems much better by talking things through and sharing them with others. I find comfort in connecting with people, especially when they are supportive and compassionate. The hard part is knowing when it's safe to expose myself to someone and put my heart in their hands.

I'm writing as a form of processing and healing, even as I go through this ordeal. I know I'll share this with everyone I know, because I feel that's what I need to do. I only hope that by sharing my experience I can somehow help provide support, peace, and healing to someone else.

This ends the Longest Weekend of My Life, but the story is not yet over. Check back next week for the next series: The Roller Coaster

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