April 4th, Iwamizawa Hospital to Sapporo

That morning, Shelby and I headed to the Iwamizawa hospital. The place seemed like a zoo and I was just an other animal that they had no time to care for. In hind sight, I just didn’t know how things operated. Things were very different from back home, very different from my little clinic even. I wanted nothing more than to just go back to my old doctor and the friendly nurses. Everything seemed to methodical and cold.

After filling in some forms and waiting and talking to more people I was finally sent up to the maternity area to be checked out. They just sent me up, I had no idea if I had to hand some papers in up there or what. I asked the nurse that was at the window at the maternity ward, she was super busy and didn’t want to talk to me but finally she took my little “baby and mothers book” (a book issued to you which has all your information about your pregnancy and subsequent birth) and told me to wait.

It was honestly so cold that I had to hold back the tears of frustration and loneliness. Not only was I dealing with god knows what but I was also being treated like I was not important at all. I realize that there were many other women who where waiting, but honestly a smile wouldn’t kill you.

Finally a friendly nurse came to talk to me and eventually took me in to get my blood pressure, blood and urine samples taken. Blood pressure was high. After working with me for a bit she confessed that she was very nervous working with me because she didn’t speak English, but that she was happy that I was friendly and kind to her. I almost started crying and told her that I was equally glad that she was friendly and that it was a huge relief to have her attending me.

I was given a blood pressure machine to take home so that I could check my BP regularly. It looked like I would get to go home that night. But before that, I needed to see the doctor for my ultra sound.

After some waiting I was called in for the ultra sound. I was pretty excited to see my little bean but as the ultra sound the doctor started making faces at the screen. I waited patiently as the doctors face contorted into various grimaces and frowns while my husband reassuringly patted my feet.

“Your amniotic fluid is very low”

This was the first time I had heard anything about this, I was shocked and a little bit angry, how was it that the other doctor never noticed something as crucial as my amniotic being low! Very low no less! It wasn’t like this happened overnight!

The doctor also confirmed that I had pre enclampsia, this news was no longer a shock to me. He informed me that I would need to stay in the Iwamizawa hospital for the weekend and then be transferred by ambulance to the Sapporo University Hospital on Monday where they could take care of me and Bean if Bean is born prematurely. (why ambulance, I don’t know but I didn’t fight it either.)

I was placed on a wheelchair (no more moving allowed in order to keep my blood pressure down) and taken to the maternity ward. My husband left to collect some of my personal belongings and to get some lunch.

I felt a sense of relief because I was finally being taken seriously in regards to my concerns and it also looked like I was going to be on bed rest for a while, something which I personally felt should has been prescribed to me a few weeks back. I felt ok, but I knew that bed rest would help the situation for Bean.

A new doctor came to me armed with a white board and an assistant. Using the white board and some broken English he communicated that I was going to be put on a strict diet to help with my weight and blood pressure. He also told me that they were going to monitor Bean’s heart beat.

They strapped me up to the fetal heart monitor for 40 minutes. The doctor came back to look at the report and told me I needed to be monitored for a bit longer. So another 20 minutes passed before a nurse came back and removed the monitor.

The doctor returned and informed me that Bean’s heart rate was not doing well, it would be steady and then faint or not heard at all. Honestly I didn’t think it was that bad, for the most part the heart beat sounded pretty strong and steady, but the doctor explained that when the baby’s heart is lost or goes up and down as much as Bean’s did it meant that the baby was in distress and if the heart rate dropped too much I would have to deliver through emergency c-section in order to save my little one’s life.  I needed to be transferred to the Sapporo University Hospital as soon as possible.  In preparation for my transfer the nurse put in a needle in anticipation for an IV I would get at the hospital. I was also informed that I could not eat or drink for now on. (turns out it was in anticipation for surgery)

The doctor informed me that he would contact my husband as well as my supervisor to tell them of the development and to get my husband to return to the hospital so we could go together to Sapporo.

It seemed that my husband missed the call and had no idea what was going on when he showed up. Shortly after he arrived my supervisors both arrived with extreme worry on their faces. I really wonder what the hell the doctor told them because I was no where near as worried as they where.

We barely got a few words exchanged when the ambulance showed up to pick me up. As they where strapping me on to a stretcher our friend who works as a Coordinator for International Relations at city hall arrived. Apparently my supervisor called him in to help with translations. I saw him for the whole of 5 minutes. No translations occurred.

I was loaded up into the ambulance along with my husband, a nurse and my doctor from the ultrasound. I had no idea my condition needed to have a doctor accompany me on the ambulance.

I was hooked up for monitoring and my blood pressure was taken regularly. I over heard the Doctor respond to the ambulance driver to drive “quickly”. With that the sirens were turned on and off we went. I honestly had no idea I was an emergency case.

Through out the ride the doctor kept asking me if I saw “kirakira” which basically means “are you seeing stars or bright lights”. Looking back I now know that he was checking to see if my condition was worsening.    …I did finally see the stars he was talking about…. I didn’t tell him. I probably should have.

It was a bit surreal riding in the ambulance and I had to control myself from laughing from nervousness and excitement… or was it anxiety?

We arrived at the Sapporo Hospital and I was unloaded, aside from my entourage all I could see was the ceiling. I was taken to the 6th floor and wheeled into an examination room filled with medical people. It was quite the welcome.

I was transferred onto the bed and immediately people starting working on me.


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