Late yesterday afternoon I was in my office having a meeting with our HR manager when my mobile rang. The caller was Gary’s assistant telling me that something was wrong with my wife and that I had to come over immediately. My office is just 10 minutes from Tudou, so I rushed over. Upon arrival I found my wife laying on a camping bed on the ground, surrounded by colleagues. Turns out that she had bad stomach pains, suddenly got dizzy and then sort of passed out. When I was there she was conscious but still had pain. She told me that she was quite sure that the stomach cramps were contractions. Because she is only in her 4th month of pregnancy that was not a good thing at all.
The Tudou colleagues had already talked to a doctor and an ambulance was on its way. We could hear the siren already in the distance and a few minutes later the ambulance staff were there. They did an immediate check and found that my wife’s blood pressure was extremely low, so she had to go to hospital right away. I went with her in the ambulance, which was an interesting experience in itself. Never realized how high-tech these vehicles are. Also the ride itself during rush hour on a Friday was quite an experience: going through red lights, over bike lanes and against traffic at certain stretches. We made it from Tudou to Xintiandi in less than 10 minutes, quite an achievement.
During the ride over I called the hospital, but at the OB department all doctors had already left for the weekend (it was after 6 PM), but they would send someone over right away. Upon arrival my wife was put into a nice hospital room and she was checked up completely. The first thing they checked was the fetal heart rate, which was luckily there and beating fast enough. But my wife was not doing very well. Her blood pressure was way too low and she was so dehydrated that her blood had become too thick to take a sample (I did not even know that was possible). She was put on an IV and soon started feeling a bit better. Also the contractions started to get less while she was laying down.
We ordered some food (ceasar salad and sandwiches) while watching TV in her room and around 10 PM after several tests the hospital staff told my wife it would be OK for her to go home. They just wanted to measure the fetal heartbeat once more before we left. And that was when the trouble really started: they could not find a heartbeat anymore… It can always take a few minutes to find the fetus, so at first I did not worry too much. But after 10 minutes I realized something may be wrong. The staff changed to a new heart rate monitor but also that did not help, we heard all sorts of sounds but not a fast fetal heart beat. You can imagine we were very scared at that point, and after 30 minutes of fruitless listening I demanded that the OB doctor should come right away (she had not shown up so far, but left the tests to a mid-wife). When the staff was unwilling to call her I went outside to put a bit of pressure on the nurses, and they finally called the doctor.
She was there about 25 minutes later and she immediately took us to the ultrasound room. The machine had to be started first and because it runs on Windows (I closely followed the start-up procedure because I was so anxious for the ultrasound result) that took quite some time. Finally the machine was ready and the doctor could start doing the ultrasound. Within a few seconds we saw the fetus and it seemed to be moving, and a few seconds later we saw the heartbeat on the monitor. We were so relieved! Then I realized that the doctor was using the ultrasound device at a different position than the mid-wife had done. Because the fetus is only around the beginning of the 15th week, he or she is still much lower than fetuses that are older. The mid-wife did not realize this…. (it was another mid-wife than the one who had measured the heartbeat when we just arrived at the hospital). We were too happy to be angry, but thinking back about this it was a HUGE mistake from the hospital.
While looking at the ultrasound the doctor noticed that my wife still had contractions, even though the staff had not realized this earlier (they said there were no contractions anymore because my wife’s tummy was not hard. Mistake number 2!). When looking at the ultrasound the doctor noticed some shades around the placenta, which could mean that there was bleeding or that the placenta was not attached well anymore. This was a reason for concern and she told my wife that she would have to stay in the hospital overnight for observation. Hmm, so first they almost sent us home and now it turns out that would have been dangerous. I decided not to say anything, but I did not feel very happy with the care we had gotten so far.
Anyway, I decided to stay with my wife overnight in the hospital and made a quick trip home around midnight to pick up some clothes. We had a nice room in the hospital (with jacuzzi, plasma TV, DVD player etc.), but the bed I got was pretty crappy (too small and very hard), so I did not get much sleep. During the night my wife luckily got a good sleep and in the morning the ultrasound revealed that things looked a lot better than the night before. Around 10:30 we were allowed to leave after paying almost USD 1800 for the room and tests. In comparison, the ambulance that belonged to a local hospital was only about USD 20!
My wife slept most of the day today and is feeling OK. She will need to rest a lot over the next days and make sure she drinks lots of fluids. We had a scary experience, but I am glad both my wife and the fetus seem to be OK so far.