Week 29 was a bit of a rough week. We had our second birthing class on Thursday night and about ten minutes into it I fainted. I’m fine and the baby’s fine, thank goodness, but it was a bit of a scare.
By now most of you know that needles make me nauseous. Well, at this week’s class the anesthesiologist came to talk to us about epidurals. I first read about the details of an epidural in one of my pregnancy books during my first trimester, and I have to admit I got a little nauseous. (The only time during my pregnancy that I ever felt nauseated.) I immediately closed up the book and tried to put it out of my mind. Well these last few weeks I’ve decided I needed to suck it up and get more used to the idea of possibly needing an epidural, so I’ve been back to reading about them, and honestly I’ve been doing so much better. I think the initial shock wore off and the added exposure has helped. I knew the anesthesiologist was coming to this week’s class to talk about epidurals and I was really looking forward to it because G and I had a lot of questions for him.
Well, ten minutes into his presentation he pulled out an example of the tub/catheter they insert in your back and I got a little queasy. I needed to go to the bathroom and decided that was the perfect time for me to take a quick break. As soon as I walked out of the classroom my mild queasiness quickly turned to more significant lightheadedness. The exit was nearby so I decided to head outside for some fresh air. I was only a few steps down the hallway as my lightheadedness quickly got worse and I remember the outer parts of my vision getting grey and fuzzy. I remember reaching for a wall or something to hold onto as the grey parts took over my entire sight in a matter of seconds, and that’s the last thing I remember. I ended up fainting in the hallway outside of class, hitting my head during my fall.
I’m not sure how long I was out but I don’t think it was long; just a few seconds. I came to with some people standing around me and I was still pretty fuzzy. I remember asking someone to get Greg (who was still in class). I’m not sure what position I fell in, and although I hit my forehead (mid-fall) and had a sore knee, they said they found me laying on my back, so I have to believe I landed on my back and not my belly. I can’t handle thinking otherwise.
Our birthing class is at the hospital so I was lucky (albeit embarrassed) to have immediate medical attention. I kept trying to tell them I was fine, just a little shaken up, but they insisted on admitting me to the ER to check things out. They did an ultrasound to check the baby and she looked good–nice strong heartbeat and moving around like her usual self. Up to that point I’d been trying hard not to cry, but of course the tears came pretty easily once I knew our little girl was okay.
They did an EKG to check out my heart and everything looked fine. They kept me there a bit for observation and then let us go. I felt lightheaded and dizzy (and shaken up and embarrassed) for the rest of the night, but got a good night’s sleep and the next morning I felt better. I have a bump and a scrape on my forehead, but my bangs cover it so it’s no big deal. I sure I’ll laugh about it soon, but the worry that something could have happened to our baby is still pretty fresh. Not to mention seeing poor G turn white as a ghost when he turned the corner to see his pregnant wife on the ground. I wish I could take that moment back.
I really don’t know how or why this happened! I know I get queasy with needles, but I’ve been reading about epidurals for the past couple of weeks and have been fine with it. It had been about 3 hours since I’d last ate, but I’d had a big meal at that time and wasn’t hungry at all. I have low blood pressure normally, and it’s gotten lower with this pregnancy (it was 90/50 at my last appointment) but I haven’t come anywhere NEAR this close to fainting since I’ve been pregnant. My best guess is it was just a perfect storm of all three things coming into play.
The good news is we’re fine, and I hope this never happens again.
On a much brighter note, my close girlfriends hosted a small baby shower for me on Saturday, which was so much fun and just the thing to get my mind off recent worries. More on that to come!