Once when I was pregnant with Raph I remember hearing the term "frequent flyer". It wasn't in the context of a business traveler but of the women who frequently fly to their OB's office for every little thing. I never wanted to be one of those women. I would be respectful of the practice, their free time and abuse of my insurance. I would only call my OB if there was a real problem. Yes I would call and ask the nurse a question now and then, but that's why they are there. I think that's different than flying to Labor and Delivery or exaggerating symptoms to get a pity appointment.
Now, that said, I'm a frequent flyer but not in the attention whore sort of way. I am a frequent flyer out of necessity. I have never once had a boring pregnancy and I have all sorts of *issues* that come up of the course of the pregnancy. With Raph's pregnancy things were fairly calm, aside from that one day I had vertigo so badly I fell down, threw up and passed out. Or that unexplainable full body itch without a rash that may or may not be some serious liver disease. It was not, I was just itchy. Then of course the day I went into labor came and I was unsure if I should call. I didn't want to be that person. I waited and then I felt I just had to call and go in. Sure enough I was having contractions every 5 minutes and I was whisked away to Labor and Delivery to stop them. After you have preterm labor you get put on bedrest but you constantly have to get up to make all those appointments and have all those tests run. Those are doctor's orders, not by choice. Believe me I'd rather not have thrice weekly appointments.
When I was pregnant with Colin I was a train wreck. I was always having some sort of problem. Random bleeding? Yep, that was the most common reason for my trips to Labor and Delivery. Of course this never happens during regular office hours so you have to go to L&D. We had a pattern, every other Wednesday night I was off to L&D. I got to the point where I'd tell Mike, "Oh let's just wait its almost shift change. We'll go after shift change so we don't have to start over with a new nurse." We'd walk up to the desk and they knew my name. I felt like Norm on "Cheers".
When I went into labor with Colin I was about to take Raph to his 3 year old check up. I knew I'd be put on bedrest and rescheduling that appointment would take time and so I just took him to his appointment. I sat uncomfortably contracting as my pediatrician talked about his development and we were out of there. As we left the pediatrician's office I called my OB to tell them I was on my way. Who doesn't want to go to L&D for preterm labor with a 3 yr old in tow? He was entertained by the TV, some cars and the fact that Mommy was getting shots! Then he spilled his juice all over the floor and I couldn't get out of bed so the nurses had to clean it up. Not only was I frequent flyer but I brought small children that made messes.
With this pregnancy I've had my moments of random bleeding (again) and other things that require emergency double mileage point doctor visits. I should be able to fly first class for free at this point. I've earned enough points to get the red carpet at Labor and Delivery right? Platinum elite status thank-you-very-much.
Yesterday morning I woke up with cramps and contraction. Contractions are nothing new. I have a cranky uterus after all, but the cramps? That's something else entirely. I did the usual things: drinking water, peeing, resting, moving around etc. I finally gave in and called the doctor's exchange. Naturally my OB is out of town and the other partner had surgery all day. Know what that means? You guessed it, a quick flight to L&D.
I waited for my mother-in-law to come sit with the boys then I drove over to the hospital and walked up to the desk. "Can I help you?" See, its been a couple years and they've forgotten me! I told them my name, 26 weeks, contractions and cramps. They take me to my room, hook me to monitors and get my history. There is a glimmer of recollection in the nurse's eyes and she says, "Did you have your boys here? Was I your nurse before?" Awww, they DO remember me! I go through my history and explain all my previous visits and they watch me.
No contractions. Are you #@%$@ kidding me?! They said something about my belly being too small (that's a first) to hold both monitors the right way so maybe they just aren't being picked up by the monitor. So I wait. I watch tv, make phone calls, field jokes about how I really just wanted a day off to myself and look at the stupid flat line on the monitor. I get a visit from the staff OB who does the FFN test (you know, the test to see if you will go into labor in the next 2 weeks? What? Never had that test done before? Tisk, tisk, you must fly coach.) and a pelvic. YEAH! Everyone loves a pelvic! Good news is that all my tests came back negative, no contractions picked up on the monitor and I'm not dilated. I felt the need to repeatedly tell the nurse that I've NEVER come in and not had a problem before. She was kind and smiled but probably rolled her eyes when she turned around. My cervix was soft so they recommended pelvic rest and suggested I have words with my baby girl and tell her to stop it.
In all my trips to L&D and my numerous calls and extra appointments at my OB I have never felt like a true frequent flyer...until yesterday. My OB's partner came in between surgeries to see me and said that it was good that I called and came in, especially given my history, but part of me feels like they just but a little red star next to my name in my chart. Be careful of this one...she'll be back.