Monday 4 January 2016

Winter / Spring 2014 - Bringing it all up to date!

So I’ll admit it. I’ve been very slack on the blogging front. Posting little snippets here and there and not bringing you up to date. Over the next few days I will bring you up to date. So, here it goes, from 2014 to now. Hold on to your knickers it’s going to be a bumpy ride!!

I last blogged about January 2014. I had a kidney infection and my midwife had told me to ask the GP to check for a heartbeat with a Doppler. When she does the GP can’t find a heartbeat. I am obviously upset. Close to distraught. She tells me to relax. If the midwife didn’t hear it last time she wouldn’t be able to find it. I tell her the midwife did find the heartbeat. She looks uneasy and tells me again not to worry.

By the time my husband gets home I have turned the house upside down looking for the open letter the hospital gave me. I can’t find it. I admit defeat and call one of the numbers on my notes. I explain the situation to the midwife on the phone. She is truly lovely and agrees that telling me not to worry is not the best advice. The midwife tries the best to reassure me and tells me to make my way in to one of the wards. One of the staff will then call them when I’m there, as they work out of an office on the ward in the evening.

We arrive notes in hand and very worried. A midwife takes us to a bed and we wait and wait and wait. After nearly an hour and half the midwife that showed us in sees us and gasps, disappearing at speed down the corridor. She rushes back in and apologises. She’d forgot to tell the other team we’re there! The midwife I spoke to comes in and greets me warmly. She asks me if I’ve felt baby move yet and I tell her I haven’t but lots of people say that I should off. The midwife quickly stops me.

‘Don’t listen to what other people say. Every person, every pregnancy is different. If you have any problems at all or queries speak to your midwife. That’s what she’s there for.’

Looking back this is quite possibly the best advice I was given during my pregnancy and quite possibly saved our little bean from a horrible fate.

As the midwife presses the Doppler around my tummy it screeches and beeps. She can’t find anything. She tells me the Doppler is as much use as a chocolate teapot and pushes it back into the corridor, telling me she’ll be back in five minutes. The midwife comes back and explains she has been to her car to get her own from her bag. I think of her having old fashioned bag and bicycle like Call the Midwife. My mind stops wandering when she puts it on my belly. It is ice cold, just like the January weather outside! But it doesn’t matter because there is my little bean. Beating like a drum. My eyes fill with happy tears and the husband sighs with relief.

‘There you go. Happy baby. Strong heartbeat.’

The midwife hugs me as we leave and tells me again not to listen to people. I hope to see her again at some point but I am never fortunate enough to.

Our twenty week scan is the week after and as we are waiting to be seen we debate whether to find out the sex of the baby. Yes. No. No. Yes. Boy. Girl. In the end we agree we are so happy to be pregnant we wouldn’t care if it was a boy or a girl. Pink or blue. We don’t mind. Then we see our little bean again. Here is our bump, much less a bean and much more baby. Growing and growing. Long like Daddy and sitting with crossed feet. Even if we had decided to find out if it was a boy or girl the decision had been made for us. Due to the baby’s position we can’t find out anyway!

Over the next few months we prepare for our little ones arrival. The room is decorated, the shelves are up and nappies are bought. We are happy. So very, very happy and excited. But the excitement and the happiness starts to become overshadowed as a dark cloud of worry and dread comes over us.  It’s caused by the lack of bumps movements.

I am repeatedly admitted for monitoring and spend hours hooked up to machines. Everytime is a long process. A half hour monitoring leads to three hours at least. Bump has a habit of moving away and although the monitor picks up the movement, I don’t feel it or see it and nor does the midwife. I start to lose count how many times I have to go be monitored. After a few occasions I am told I have an anterior placenta and that this could be the reason I don’t feel a lot of movements. I’m not given a lot of information as to what these means and I start to feel I am making a nuisance of myself. It’s around this time I come across a charity called Count The Kicks, via a friend liking a Facebook post. They encourage mums to be to monitor their bumps movements and ignore the old wives tales.

A baby’s movements slow down towards the end.
Ten movements a day is enough.
Baby’s run out of room.

A few days later there’s a post about anterior placenta, which helps me understand things better.  They also encourage expectant mums to raise any concerns with your midwife or maternity unit.

The next time the movement’s slowdown is after a very active period. So active in fact that when we are out for dinner the people at the next tables can see bump rolling around. It puts one fellow diner of his steak! My husband comments that it proves baby’s don’t run out of space!

A few days later I am sat at work and bumps usual start time of 10.30am has been and gone. We are so busy at work that I start to wonder if I’ve just not noticed. Then my feet start to swell, so much so that I snap a flip-flop on the walk over to the car. I am like a poor man’s pregnant Cinderella as I hobble to the car. When I get home my husband is very concerned and when I ring the unit they ask me about the baby’s movements. I am quickly on my way to the hospital again and as the ward is now closed I am told to make my way to Labour Suite. The worried look on my face says it all when we arrive and the midwives that greet me explain it is just due to the time of day.

I am on the monitor for a couple of hours and the trainee midwife that sits with us is amazing. She reassures me and takes my mind off things. A senior midwife drifts in and out and she is also lovely. I start to feel at ease being in such goods hands but then they break the news. The monitor is picking up the baby’s heartbeat and movements but its picking up something else too. I am having contractions in my lower back. They double check my due date again and when I had my round of Clomid. There can be no doubt on my dates. I’m 34 weeks pregnant and possibly in early labour. They need to check my cervix is closed. If it’s not they will have to speak to one of the consultants about giving the necessary medication to slow the labour down and speed the baby’s lung growth.

Shit. I haven’t even packed my bag.


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