This week has been full of pandemic panic and false alarms for the Hartsfield Family. As many of you may be keeping track, COVID-19 is growing more and more prevalent in the US and it’s hitting Colorado fairly hard. My hospital has stepped up a lot of their screening and responses to the virus. We are now training people to be direct line staff in the event that all the line staff are unable to make it to their shifts. This has taken a lot of meetings and discussion to figure out what that needs to look like.

Rainbow in her carseat - Rachel's 38-week bump day blog: False Alarms and Pandemics

Rainbow is all of us during the COVID-19 Pandemic

My hospital went from having essential and non-essential employees, meaning that to run a 24/7 business there are people who HAVE to show up for work, like nurses and mental health clinicians and safety officers.

Then there were the people who are needed but not in the middle of the night (like training folks). We went from having two categories to having one. We all became essential overnight. Which is fine. Our patients need people to help them day-to-day. They need nurses to give medicines, mental health clinicians to ensure they are safe and taken care of, safety officers to ensure that our staff and patients are safe from themselves and others. Working with psych patients I feel that they need a helping hand and a compassionate level of care day and night. They are already scared, depressed, anxious, and not thinking straight when it comes to reality. Throw in that there is one of the scariest viruses we have seen since 1918 spreading like wildfire, they need people who can help them get through the day-to-day.

In the middle of the week, I had a moment of panic when I thought my water broke and I was contracting regularly. So I went into the doctor, they did all the tests to see if there was amniotic fluid in the vagina and I failed all four tests. So we monitored me to see how my contractions were doing. For the first ten minutes, there was nothing. Caboose was sleeping and I had no contracting. When he woke up, it was on like donkey kong, but nothing cervical or painful so they sent me home and told me I was not in labor.

I had also emailed MFM to check in with the warnings about pregnancy and COVID-19.

With work making me essential, that meant that I needed to report for duty, no matter what. Turns out, with the ever-evolving information, they are now recommending that pregnant women stay at home, if they can. So, I told my supervisor who immediately came up with a plan to help me work from home. On the same afternoon, Husband and I decided it was best to keep Rainbow home from daycare. As we will be welcoming Caboose into the world and I need to avoid contact with people, sending her to daycare to possibly contract this virus seems, well… illogical. Let me tell you, working from home with a 3-year-old running around, wanting to touch your computer, and asking a million questions, is not easy. I am not sure how moms have balanced this for years. I had one day of it and was losing my marbles.

Friday I was able to go to my 38-week doctor appointment. The doctor’s office was a ghost town. My NST was normal and full of contractions again. The doctor just came in and talked to me about what to expect with the induction scheduled next week.  We went over the hospital’s new visitor policy for now. Labor and Delivery is allowed ONE visitor. That is it. So I know some moms are concerned that their support person will not be allowed in the delivery room with them. I am lucky that I get to have Husband with me. I do not have an official doula, but one of my best friends is a doula and has been giving me advice from a distance for weeks. So I assume that we will continue to be connected via text for the foreseeable future. For those who do not have a friend on call for you, talk to your doulas, and family about video conferencing. Maybe not the whole time, but when needed. I do not have an iPhone, but there are other apps out there to help with video calling or chatting. Do some research to see what is out there that you might be interested in.

Saturday morning, I thought it might be GO time again.

I was leaking a fair amount of fluid, so I called and went into L&D. We met my mother in law and traded Rainbow and all her stuff so Husband and I could go to the hospital. It felt like a weird drug deal in an empty parking lot that was officially chaperoned by a police officer on the other end, which made me giggle a bit. The hospital was as expected, also a ghost town, lots of face masks on staff. Before we got far, our temperature was taken and we were given stickers to say that we had been screened. Up in L&D their triage was full so I was put in a room for triage before getting admitted. Our nurse was fun and jovial. She explained the water breaking test procedures and what possible treatment plans would be from there. Once again turns out I did NOT break my water. (I must leak a lot of discharge ya’all). I was having regular contractions on the monitor though so they kept me for monitoring to see if my cervix changes at all. I became more effaced, and cervix opened .5cm… that isn’t much for the span of four hours of contractions. So I was sent home.

I am still in a state of sometimes having contractions, nothing terrible. No water breaking. And ready to be DONE. I have two more days until induction…  Stay tuned…

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