September 21, 2010

September 27, 2010

I have never been one to watch my steps. My entire life I have counted on pretty strong leg and thigh muscles to quickly regain my balance when I occasionally tripped or stumbled. And when I do fall, a few years of judo classes in my teens have taught me to “fall right.” Add to that my high tolerance for pain and it amounts to my never ever having to be careful, movement-wise.

Last week I learned my lesson. Y has told me repeatedly in the last few months to not walk/bend/get up so fast because I am pregnant. I should have listened. When it comes to what my body can handle I have never listened. To anyone. Not my dad, not Y, and apparently not even to triage nurses. Talk about stubborn.

And here is what happened. I was heading out of the apartment and did my usual rummaging through my bag while walking down steps. My left foot missed the second to the last step entirely (because as most expectant women know, your eyesight gets a little bit bad at some point during the pregnancy). Split second of sheer panic and I remember to push my right foot against the step to twist clockwise so that I land on my side instead of my belly. Fortunately, I manage to not hit my belly or butt at all, with my left ankle and right wrist taking the brunt of impact and I slide against the wall on my left to a sitting position. I had never been as frightened as I was in that moment. I sit for a little while, feeling my left ankle, right wrist and knee start to get numb, knowing sharp pain would follow shortly. All I could think about was that I was not bleeding. And that if it turned out that our little baby would need to be delivered, he was already 28 weeks, and at 26 weeks there is an 80% survival rate. And my little boy was surely a fighter. A few moments more I try to get up. And once up, start wondering if I should go back to the apartment, or head out to the hospital or the office. I decide that I am calling my doctor, and that if she said I should go to the hospital, then the office would be closer to Cornell. So I walk to the bus stop benches and call Y. I tell him not panic, but that we fell. I told him I was worried about germs at the ER, so I would call the doctor first. I eventually arrive at the office before the nurse calls back to say that the Labor and Delivery Center at Weill Cornell would be expecting me, so I should go as early as I can to get checked out. I call Y and say that I am going immediately and he should not bother leaving the office to go with me, since it will take him an hour and a half to get there and I will probably be done.

When I walk into Labor and Delivery, the nurse gets my information and then tags me with a hospital bracelet. I start wondering if I should have let Y hurry to get to us, in case they do decided that the baby should not wait. The nurse attached a few cords to apparently check for contractions and monitor the baby’s heartbeat. After 20 minutes of supposedly healthy heartbeat, they did a sonogram to check the fluid in the amniotic sac and my little guy’s head. At this point I was already about to cry with worry. A doctor walked in to see if I am in pain anywhere else other than my belly, and I mentioned the ankle, wrist, and knee, but that I was fine and I was used to such injuries. She then asks the nurse to keep me on the baby monitor for two hours. I started to hate myself for being so bloody self-sufficient. I really needed Y to be there. But there was no signal in the triage rooms. It took me 15 minutes to send out a text message, so no use trying to ask him to come. I felt bad knowing he was probably worried to death, since his calls would not have gone through.
At the end of the two hours I spent on the baby monitor, baby was given a clean bill of health (thank you guardian angels!) and I was told to stay off my feet for a little while. The following day, Y worked from home to stay with me and help put cold compress on my kneecap and ankle. You would think it was sweet but he lectured me the whole day.
I could have told him it was not necessary. I was mad enough at myself. No more rushing around acting like superwoman for me.


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