Now afloat in the land of socialized medicine, this bump in the road is just one more notch in a belt that no longer fits. But since I tend to get questions as to how it works, here's the 411 on how it's all gone down.
First off, the hospital parking lot is like the long term one at the Des Moines International Airport - a hike even in the best of weather except here in Cordoba there's no shuttle service, at least none that I've ever seen. So, ever my knight in shining armor, Joe opted to run up over the curb and 'park' on the sidewalk that runs adjacent to the Emergency Maternity entrance. Upon waddling in I was immediately escorted to an exam room where two doctors were on-call and waiting. Although there were patients waiting to be seen, I was bumped ahead of them and given a free pass in. Once in the exam room, I
the docs the low down on my current situation while they looked up my history on the
computer and entered the data that I was butchering relaying. Meanwhile, Joe was 20 feet away presenting my health
card. There was no registration paperwork to complete and more
importantly no insurance headaches to deal with. I was in.
Next stop: pelvic exam & ultrasound. I'll spare you the gory details but let you know that baby was perfectly fine, swimming around in what measured to be normal amounts of amniotic fluid. No distress, strong heart rate, cervix (mine, not hers) closed, mucus plug still in, and cuello/neck (I had no idea I had a neck in my vagina but oh well, bonus I guess) long. Oops on the gory details, shoulda' just stuck with everything looked great minus the Mighty Mississippi that was trailing behind me in the wheelchair.
Upon confirmation that indeed my amniotic sac had ruptured, it was off to get a stress test over the river and through the woods down in the fetal monitoring room. The hospital here was built back in the
Roman times 60's and 70's and like some older American hospitals, it seems to have been designed by Hellen Keller with tons of dead end hallways and inefficient uses of space but whatever, I was in a wheelchair just along for the ride. In the stress test room, they hooked me up for about 30 minutes to track baby's heartrate and see if I was having any contractions . Joe
was made to wait outside with the other fathers-to-be. Somewhat
1950's in approach but I didn't mind since the room was small and he would've
been bored anyway. And more good news, no contractions.
It was after the fetal monitoring that things took a turn for the worse. I was shackled to the wheelchair and taken away to my cell for what is to be the duration of my sentence. A green and white wrist band would be my only identity and unfortunately one that no one here can figure out how to pronounce so why bother? Lesson learned, I shoulda' just stuck with PicklePits but being the newest fish in the pond, mispronunciation and total confusion would have to suffice. The shakedown from pueblo to cellblock took about two hours and that includes the travel time, not bad for socialized medicine. I'm on permanent lock down with strict instructions to stay in bed except for the occasional trip to the toilet. My cellmate is in for the same charges: premature rupture at 29 weeks.
So what's our gig while in the joint? Well, the protocol here for a premature rupture of waters is complete bedrest accompanied by an alternating two day regimen: fetal monitoring and labs. Since posting however, they've had me down daily for monitoring. I've been told repeatedly that the amniotic fluid is the least of their concerns. They're monitoring for contractions and infection, any of which can necessitate immediate delivery. I'll also be given periodic ultrasounds to monitor the goings on in my deflating swimming pool. The doctor told me that new amniotic fluid is regenerated throughout a 24 hour cycle so hopefully, with strict bedrest I can squeak out these next three weeks. That's the plan anyway.
Stay tuned for the Grande Tour. It makes Folsom look like the Ritz Carlton.
Trust me, you'll love it.