First of all, let me say that both mom (me) and Baby Boy Bean are fine! But before I get into the story of our ER visit, I want to start with the exciting, shocking (to me, anyway) announcement that our little Bean is a BOY!
Chad and I waffled (as a team) about whether to learn our baby’s sex before delivery day. I wanted to know ASAP but Chad wanted some element of surprise. We compromised with a fun idea: a mini-gender reveal (sociologist FYI: “sex” is anatomy, “gender” is a social construct; “sex” is the correct term for our baby’s “parts,” “gender” is the masculinity/femininity and maleness/femaleness that we and the world create for the baby. Because regular people use the words “sex” and “gender” interchangeably, I will too.). We asked Jennie to help us with our surprise. We thought it might be fun to have the suspense of waiting a bit to have the gender reveal, and more special and momentous to learn the sex together from a friend rather than from someone in the medical office. The idea was that once the sex was determined–either from our genetic testing or the anatomy scan (whichever came first)–we would get the result to Jennie who had a reveal surprise up her sleeve.
So here’s how it went down: The results of our genetic test came back earlier than expected. We got them on Monday during the day. The nurse called and said: “Good news, the results of your genetic tests are back and your baby tested with low risk of the genetic abnormalities that we were tested for.” Woohoo, great!! This is awesome news: baby is low risk of Downs, spina bifida and other chromosomal abnormalities… But then she said, “And I have the sex. Do you want to know?” DO I WANT TO KNOW?!?! YEEEEESSSS. But I said, very quickly, “I definitely want to know BUT please don’t tell me! Can you please tell our friend Jennie instead?” We must have been the only people in the world who have ever done this (in their office anyway) because there was a lot involved in getting this info to Jennie. They, very kindly, made it work for us, despite, I’m sure, it being hugely inconvenient for them. And similarly, Jennie, who was as blindsided as we were by the news that our results were in early, also went completely out of her way to very quickly put together our surprise, despite a very busy day at work, and meet us that very Monday evening with our wonderful reveal in hand.
A reminder: I was 1000000000000% sure that we were having a girl. I was at work at the Hofbrau when I got word that Jennie would be able to have our surprise together that day, so I rushed at work (and was let out early) to come home. The whole evening I was just sure that it would be a girl. I talked to anyone who would listen at great lengths about how sure I was and how excited I was to be officially confirming that we were expecting our little Gilly Bean as I had taken to calling HER over the last two months.
When I got home, Miss Jennie, Daniel and Chad were waiting. Chad and I sat on the sofa together and Jennie brought us a cute little wrapped up holiday present.
I was so nervous-excited, I asked Chad to open it. He opened it up and there was… a Christmas box. THE SUSPENSE. Chad took off the lid of the Christmas box and there was… pink AND blue tissue! I was almost bursting at this point! (And I thought: “Oh god, it’s not somehow twins, is it?!”… Of course it wasn’t; Jennie’s just a master of suspense.) AND THEN we pulled out this adorable onsie:
Chad and I just looked at each other: “Um…” We looked at Jennie. She’s said “Turn it around…” Duh. We did and on the back it said…:
BEAU! “OH MY GOD… It’s a boy?!?!?!?!” (*SHOCKED!!!*) Lydia: “I’ve never been so wrong about anything in my whole life.” Chad: “Of course it’s a boy, Lydia is always wrong.” Both: “OMG, we’re having a boy!!!” Happy tears, laughs, hugs, shock… Yup, we’re having a little boy! I’m going to be a Boy Mom (that’s a thing!). We are so excited, and can’t wait to meet Baby Boy Beau Bean, or more officially: Beau Edward Owens.
A note about Beau Bean’s name. I wish we had some interesting story about how we decide on our names. We don’t. Years ago, long before we were even thinking really about having a baby, we had a lot of road trips to a lot of weddings. On those trips we would talk about our future life together. On one of those trips, the conversation turned to baby names. We discussed what kind of names we liked, what kind we didn’t, what we might like to name our future little ones. I navigated to my favorite name website Nameberry, and read Chad a few names. From what I can remember, I said, “What about Beau for a boy?” and Chad said “I really like that.” And we kinda just agreed: alright, if we have a boy his name will be Beau. I love Beau because it is classic and familiar, but not so common that Beau is likely to have another Beau in his class at school. It can’t be made into nicknames by shortening. It’s simple and nice, I love it. It means “handsome” and of course our little is gonna be a looker, I mean look at his mom and dad 😉 Then the conversation turned to what middle name would be nice with Beau. We eventually arrived at Edward–Chad’s dad’s name, a family name! Beau Edward has such a classic, Southern ring to it. It just fits! So that’s it: two or three years ago, we decided on our names (we named four future children on that trip–I can’t even remember where we were going). When we got pregnant, I asked Chad, “Do you still like the names?” He said, “Yup,” so we stuck with them. [Side notes: B for a Boy! Also, his initials are B.O.–also Beau! AND if you turn the n in Bean upside down, you get Beau. How cool is that?)
Now onto the ER visit. (A warning, I am going to talk at length about GI sickness!) There has been a nasty bout of viral gastroenteritis going around. Chad had it… twice. The first time, which wasn’t as bad, I had heard from working in the bar that tons of people had it, so we figured it was the bug. The second time he had it, Saturday night thru most of the day Sunday, was worse and we actually thought that he had food poisoning. We had been out celebrating a friend’s graduation and we ate a lot, and Chad had many different kinds of celebratory drinks. We narrowed it down to the mussels or the homemade eggnog (I abstained from both for Bean reasons). I honestly feel bad because although I know Chad was sick with some many bathroom visits, I had been so sick with morning sickness that I thought he was being a bit of a whiner (I also thought maybe he was suffering a hangover)–I wasn’t very patient with him. (Well, like they say, karma’s a b*tch.)
So Monday, thankfully Chad was feeling much better. I had been having some morning sickness. I threw up breakfast and got sick again after lunch. While I was at work, I was starting to feel more nausea and had the beginnings of dehydration (I have sort of been mildly dehydrated from the beginning of this pregnancy), but I was also so excited about our gender surprise that I put it off. After our surprise, I was feeling even worse. I told the crew, that unfortunately I had to go to bed. Around 11:30, I threw up all of my dinner. I took two Zofran (my morning sickness pills). I fell asleep and woke up at 1 am. I ran to the bathroom to throw up–from here on out, I threw up only bile. At this point, I figured out that I had what Chad had, he didn’t have food poisoning but rather this virus, again. I continued to throw up every 45 minutes to hour until we went to Urgent Care at 2:30 pm. I was only eating/drinking ice chips and was unable to keep even that down.
At some point in the morning, I think around 10, I developed diarrhea that continued until after we arrived at Urgent Care. On the bright side, my four month streak of constipation ended! So at this point, I was getting seriously concerned about dehydration. I am a mega worrier (as I’m sure anyone reading this knows). I actually called our on-call doctor through our OB/GYN at about 3:30 am. The doctor I spoke with then told me that I had a virus and that I just needed to let it run it’s course. I called the nurse at our practice at about noon to ask if I should take Zofran or if I should try to get it out. At this point, she told me that the dehydration shouldn’t affect the baby, but that if I was having diarrhea too, I should consider going to the ER for IV fluids because it would make me much more comfortable.
At this point, I was feeling desperate and frustrated. I called our health insurance provider and they said that an ER visit would be $600 copay but that there was an Urgent Care that would be $100 copay. Because we were certain that we knew what was going on (dehydration from GI virus) and what the treatment would be (IV fluids), we opted to go to the Urgent Care. The experience at Urgent Care was frustrating and stressful. The physician confirmed our expected diagnosis and treatment, but (without actually refusing to treat us) essentially refused to treat us because he expressed concerned that although he was sure Beau Bean was fine, that they lacked the equipment and expertise to monitor the baby. He convinced us (by, in his words, saying that we were “holding the baby hostage”) that we should go to the ER. So without any treatment for my dehydration (and an hour spent waiting) we left for the ER.
Care at the ER was incredible. The PA checked me over and we had an ultrasound to check on Beau. He looked like a real baby! It was amazing. We looked first at his little heart. We could see that it was beating strong and at around 150, so all was well–he wasn’t being affected by my dehydration. We saw his little button nose. He had one foot crossed over a knee. He was sleeping when we first saw him, and he had a little fist balled up by his face. It almost looked like he was sucking his thumb. Right after the PA said, “Oh he’s asleep,” he punched me! Three times! Just straight upward jabs. He rocked back and forth a little bit, like he was trying to get comfy and went back to sleep.
Once we confirmed that Bean was okay, the awesome staff started treating my dehydration. The nurse told us that it was a good thing we came in because the ketones in my urine test indicated the highest level of dehydration they can test for. I received 2.5 bags of fluid while I was there. My vomiting subsided (thanks in part to more Zofran) and I stopped having diarrhea. We heard Bean’s heart rate which was strong and steady, and just in the right range. It was so much peace of mind to know that Beau was doing well, especially after being made so scared at the Urgent Care. Toward the end of our nearly 3 hour stay, I kept down some crackers and it was determined that I was ok to go home.
When we got home, I pretty much went straight to bed. I slept all through the night and until about 10:30 this morning. I have been working on fluids because I am still feeling very dehydrated. I haven’t had more than crackers but am going to try some bland foods and broth soon because my tummy is rumbling and I’m sure Beau is getting hungry too.
All in all, it was a scary, stressful long day, but we wrapped up the day by receiving incredible treatment and some peace of mind. I am so glad to know that our little one is doing well. I am going to keep in mind that because I am pregnant, my immune system is compromised already, and am going to try to keep up with good handwashing and away from germs (which between my job at the school and my job at the bar, is not easy) over this winter.
I am so lucky to have a wonderful partner in Chad. He was very supportive and caring over this ordeal. I would also like to publicly apologize for being impatient with his “whining” (his word, not mine) while he was sick. If he felt even 1/2 as bad as I did yesterday, I’m sure he was miserable.