Shelby Hope Schreiner was due on August 18th, 2012.
We were planning to move into our house in a new town about an hour away on July 28th, 2012. Tim and I had been talking about if we should make a brisket on the grill/smoker for those that were coming to help us. I was looking forward to having a few weeks to unpack and get the house ready before Shelby arrived – and assuming that, like most first babies, she’d be later than her due date. Six days late is the average, in fact.
On Wednesday, July 25th I went to work like any normal weekday. I had a few protein bars and my phone’s charger in my lunch box but nothing else, because Tim and I were planning to eat lunch together after my now weekly appointment with the obstetrician. Around 11am I locked my computer, with an email I had been working on open so that I could finish it when I got back. I obviously had no idea what was about to transpire.
My blood pressure had been up for the last few appointments … not dangerously, but borderline. So we had been keeping an eye on it. Tim had started to frown a little when he checked it at home, but I felt fine so I didn’t think anything of it. Sure, my feet and ankles were swollen – but that’s just part of pregnancy, right?
Our appointment that day was with my Dr’s nurse practitioner as my Dr typically schedules surgeries for Wednesdays. We should have been in on Monday, but he had ordered a biophysical profile for Shelby to make sure my elevated blood pressure wasn’t affecting her growth and one of the sonographers was on vacation.
At the sonogram, Shelby looked great – estimated to be 6 pounds 12 ounces and her heart was ticking away steadily. We watched her almost stick her toe in her nose (how did she have room to do that?) and with new pictures in hand went on to my part of the appointment.
The rest of the appointment is a bit of a blur now. Upon taking my blood pressure and being alarmed, the nurse practitioner had me lie down and took it again. Then she tried my left arm instead. My blood pressure had climbed to a more concerning level. She wanted to admit me into the hospital (which my OB/GYN’s office is housed in) for observation.
I remember following her down hallways, up the elevator, and into labor and delivery triage with tunnel vision. I had my purse, and that was it. My stomach was growling as I dreamed of the Chic-fil-a lunch Tim and I had decided we’d have afterwards. I changed into a hospital gown, scoffing as I bundled up my clothes and rolling my eyes at Tim. We’d had a friend go through this observation recently – I was sure we’d be home in time for dinner. Besides, I had a baby shower at work on Thursday! I had to be there!
Blood was drawn, and the nurse continued to monitor my blood pressure. Meanwhile … people kept coming in the room. Someone came in to ask about my insurance (and they somehow still had me as working for Pflugerville ISD? I’m not even sure how they got that information – that was years ago!). The nurse continued to ask questions about my symptoms (like headaches, etc – which I hadn’t had the entire pregnancy!) and talking about how they need to start an IV. Oh no … here we go. I asked instead for a saline-lock and refused the admission bloodwork – I wasn’t going to need to be admitted so it’d be a waste of time – right? We were moving this weekend! I may not be able to lift much, but I didn’t need to be in the hospital!
We were awaiting the arrival of the “hospitalist” whom she was sure would want to start magnesium sulfate to prevent me from having a seizure. Seizure? I remember yet again rolling my eyes at Tim, and when we were alone we even discussed leaving the hospital “AMA” (against medical advice)...
to be continued