Notes on a hospitalized pregnant woman

I go in for my appointment at Gros Ventre OB-GYN on August 11th at 2:30 pm. I leave the dogs in the car because I expect to be in there for half an hour. 

Dr. Roberts notes my high blood pressure and sends me to the main hospital OB at St. John’s. I call mom to get the dogs.

I end up staying one night then two nights. My parents visit and Charley stays, sleeping on a couch next to my bed, taking one of my edible candies. We watch the Olympics: Simone Biles. Michael Phelps. 

The next morning, August 13th, around 7:30 am Dr. LeFaro comes in and sits by my bed. I have gestational hypertension and the lebetalol they gave me wasn’t working for my high blood pressure, which was off the charts, (200 over 109 in one case, enough to have a stroke). She says my urine samples (they had been collecting my urine for 24 hours in a bucket) came back okay but just under the level of protein that indicates preeclampsia. So Dr. LeFaro calls in  an aircraft to take me to Salt Lake City.

Everyone is relieved it’s a girl. “Girls are tougher,” they say. 

A helicopter arrives at 9am. I cry. My parents and Charley are there. Charley holds my hand until he can’t anymore. I try to make plans: Charley would still move to New Mexico. Leave two dogs with mom. Take Duke the puppy and the three cats. No Charley wants the dogs. Mom doesn’t want the dogs. Okay. Dad would drive the Uhaul. 

Dr. Roberts stops in to say goodbye. She was off work, dressed for a run in braids and pink shorts. 

“It’s a good thing we have all this great technology, I don’t know what I’d have done 50 years ago,” I say.

“Neither of you would have survived 50 years ago,” she says. 

“Oh shit.”

The helicopter is bumpy as fuck. My hip hurts and I twist around in my strapped yellow jacket. We stop for gas and an hour and a half later we are in Salt Lake City.

At St. Marks they wheel me into a room overlooking a parking garage. Nurses hook me up to everything: Magnesium IV, a pill of lebetalol, some other IV, a clamp on my toe to check my pulse, monitors on my stomach to check the baby, leg bands that squeeze my legs to ward off blood clots, a catheter to take my urine, an arm band for my blood pressure. 

The night nurse brings me two puddings and two jellos, then a basket of junk food. They don’t have yogurt.

A 24-yr old Ethiopian lady wins the 5000-m. I think about when this will be over and we’d be on the Taos Mesa with our three dogs and three cats and new born baby girl Dakota and I will be able to run again. I expect I’ll be here a couple more days. I really don’t know what to expect. 

I try to shit twice. The second time, with the night nurse, I sat there twenty minutes, staring at my IV and bag full of pee. The nurse keeps checking on me. 

“Five more minutes.” She understands. 

Please, bring me some water. No more ice chips. I squeeze out a little piece of shit after 20 minutes.

I hear myself saying “oh god” with a big sigh like my 96-year old nana. I feel 96 years old.

  *To read “Notes On a Hospitalized Pregnant Woman”:


3 thoughts on “Notes on a hospitalized pregnant woman

  1. I know you’re terrified, but stay strong. And you are fortunate she is a she. I had premature twin “wimpy white boys” in the NICU after a pregnancy that included nearly every possible complication.

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