False Alarm — The Day We Almost Had a Baby

For 9 months you wait, and wait, and wait for a baby to grow, develop, and eventually make its way out into the world. There are appointments on top of appointments. Some easy, some not so much. There are frustrations, excitement, anxiety — all experienced during all stages, and this only coming from my (Dad’s) perspective — from Shaina’s pregnant Mom experience, it’s a whole ‘nother story.

This has been our life for 9 months, and this past Friday, 3/11/16, the day after Khai’s due date, we went to yet another, hopefully to be one of the last appointments.

The Check Up

Since Shaina (Khai’s Mom) was technically “post date,” we came in with the expectation of a routine ultrasound, non-stress test (NST) and “check up.” What we got, however, was much more.

After passing the ultrasound (great fluid levels, size, etc) with flying colors, we made our way to the NST room, furnished with two recliners, where they monitor moms-to-be and check up on baby’s heart rate.

Normally, an NST takes maybe 30 minutes. After the normal amount of time being monitored, they decide to keep us longer and said Khai’s heart rate was a little high. An additional 20 minutes or so went by and the nurse returned. She said “The doctor still can’t seem to get a good baseline reading of baby’s heart rate since it is so high. We’re going to give you 20 more minutes to see if his heart rate will decrease, and if not, it may be time to get him out of there.”

20 More Minutes

With those words, “…It may be time to get him out of there.” a rush of different emotions come like a slap in the face. My feet started tapping, palms sweating, heart racing, the whole nine. I also started to think about how ready and prepared we were for this moment, and at that time, the answer was not very.

We had taken my car to the appointment (not the hospital-ready vehicle) so we had no hospital bag, no diaper bag, no car seat, nothing. So, not only were we getting increasingly nervous about the prospect of having a baby soon, but also that we weren’t prepared.

Moment of Truth

Well, needless to say, those 20 minutes came and went in what seemed to be a matter of seconds, and sure enough, the nurse gave us the news that it was time to transfer to the hospital. As you can imagine, the nerves got stronger as it was time to depart. We started making phone calls as we got to the car and took the short drive across the parking lot to the hospital.

Upon arrival, we followed the steps we were taught in the many pregnancy/birthing classes we took in the months leading up to this moment. We knew exactly where to park, what door to go in, where we needed to check in, and what we needed in order to check in. At least we had that part down.

We checked into the triage room, and after 10 minutes of wrestling with a snap-on gown, Shaina was getting monitored in the same way as before, except this time, no recliner.

Waiting Game

Hooked up to baby heart monitors, blood pressure machine for Mom, and laying on a poorly-padded hospital bed, Shaina and I waited patiently, sure that we would soon be escorted to a labor and delivery room to get the little dude out.

We waited, and waited, as they continued to monitor the baby’s heart rate, as well as the contractions that Shaina was experiencing. We talked to nurses and nurse practitioners as they continued to monitor her, and we continued to wait. Two hours has past at this point when we finally find out what’s happening.

False Alarm

Turns out that after looking at the nearly 4 hours of combined heart rate readings, the baby’s heart rate is perfectly fine. The doctor informed us that at this point we will continue to wait and hope that he comes along on his own. She says that at this time, there is no medical benefit to starting induction.

So, after hours of an emotional rollercoaster, the stress, the excitement, the anxiety, it all turned out to be a false alarm and we were heading home. There’s always a silver lining, however. We realized just how underprepared we were, and were able to outline steps to make the real-deal, go-time moment more efficient and less stressful.

If there’s one thing we know for sure after all of this is that no matter how scary or intimidating, we can’t wait to meet our little man.

Until next time,

-Dad.

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