Haven’t updated in a while due to lots of goings on in our neck of the woods. I’m over 39 weeks now, so this should be expected I guess. Still, as close as I am to actually having a baby in my hands, I have to say how freaky and unsettling it is for me to actually accept that in less than a week, I will be a mother.
To catch up, last Friday I went in for what should have been my standard last antenatal checkup at the hospital. Earlier in the day, my ex-husband had asked me to come by that afternoon to help him with a project for his business, so I struck him a deal that if he came and gave me a lift to the hospital, I’d spend the afternoon helping him out. (Mark, unfortunately couldn’t work from home that day, so I was set to go to the appt on my own.) So he picked me up and off we went. I’d warned him that these appointments often run late and that it might be an hour or two that we were stuck there, but he didn’t seem to mind. He waited in the waiting room whilst I went in to get my bi-weekly dose of urine sampling, explaining my medical history and having the doppler used on my bump (my favourite thing ever!).
But unfortunately things didn’t go very well. For a while now, the doctors have been referring me to the neurologist to try to ascertain why I’m constantly passing out and having small seizures. For some reason, nothing had ever been done, and the neurologist kept saying he hadn’t received the referrals. So being that I was less than two weeks away from giving birth, it was decided that it was imperative for me to see the neurologist RIGHT NOW, and I was told that they were going to admit me to the hospital right then.
So my poor ex wound up having to stay with me at the hospital until Mark could get out of work and make it to me. Luckily it was only about 4 hours that we were there before Mark came (McDonalds lunch in tow!) to take over. I have to say I was mightily unimpressed with being stuck at the hospital, as I really saw no reason for it. I was stuck in the labour induction ward, but I wasn’t there for a pregnancy related problem, so I was literally ignored for the entire time.
Eventually a doctor came around to ask me some preliminary questions for when the neurologist eventually saw me. I explained my long history of passing out and the associated seizures, and Mark and my ex-husband were on hand to describe the symptoms and explain the things I couldn’t.
I was told after a while that she didn’t think it was a neurological problem at all, but actually a heart-related issue. So I was told the cardiologist would be by to see me.
It was later in the evening when he came by, and an ECG was ordered. I was told a team would be by to see me in the morning and we’d go through the various tests that they thought should be performed.
At this point, I was in a right state. I’d wanted to be able to go home and had been told earlier in the day that the neurologist might see me in the evening and I’d be able to go home afterward. My mom was flying in from the USA first thing in the morning, and I wanted to be there to collect her from the airport. But now I was being told there was NO way I was going to do so… I was stuck.
Anyway, making a long story short(er), I had the ECG, spent the evening with Mark (and my friend Pat who came by during visiting hours) and once they left, I was up all night long, too hot to sleep, and worryingly checking the airports flight boards to make sure mom’s flights were safe and going to arrive on time. In the morning, I made sure Mark was awake on time to go to the airport and collect my mother.
I had had a very terrible night of worrying, but once I saw that her flight had arrived, I did get a little bit of sleep. When I woke, it was to my mom’s voice bellowing through the ward at me. :) I was so happy to see her (and Mark!) that I jumped straight out of bed to give her a big hug.
After that, we waited for the cardiologists again, and I was given another ECG.
Again, another long story shorter, they think I’m having a vasovagal response and that my blood pressure goes through serious drops when I’m under any sort of stress. So we’ve been booked in for a Tilt Test on the 10th of March (to give me time to recuperate from birth) to ascertain how serious it all is. In the meantime, during labour, I’ll be monitored closely and hopefully everything will still be okay.
Once my mom was here, Mark and I decided we could start trying in earnest to bring out the baby naturally. As I’m booked in for an induction on the 15th, I know that I have a certain amount of time before I’m going to be giving birth, one way or another. But as I hate the hopsital so much, I really would like to go naturally so that I can spend the early labour at home.
So out came the birthing ball, lots of walking was done, Clary Sage Oil was bathed in and rubbed into my belly, hot curry was eaten and we even tried a bit of bedroom hanky panky. And SOMETHING seems to have worked because on Monday afternoon, I started having contractions…
The first one took me totally by surprise, it was so SO painful! I felt like my left side was being ripped out! The pain was radiating from the bottom of my bump upwards, and each one lasted about 90 seconds before I could think straight. They started at around 13 minutes apart, but within an hour they had gotten to about 11 minutes. Around 6:30, Mark still hadn’t called me to let me know he was on his way (he gets off work at 5:30), so I decided to call him, as I was starting to think something might really be happening. Unfortunately his phone doesn’t get a great singal at work, and I couldn’t get ahold of him!! I was panicking!
Eventually I got him on the phone, and he quickly dropped what he was doing and started home. By the time he arrived, I was about 9 minutes apart. Mom had me walking in circuits around the house, and during the contractions, I would be on my hands and knees moaning a lot. Mom was working through my breathing with me, and I finally started to get the hang of it… somewhat.
I had already started a nice dinner before the contractions started, so once Mark arrived, we sat down for some nice pork roast with vegetables. I thought it best to have some food in case this really was it. I would need strength! Unfortunately, directly after I finished, I had another big contraction and vomited my dinner. *sigh*
All evening long, I had people around (my friend Pat had by this point arrived) encouraging me and trying to help me through the pain. Early in the evening I’d had a pretty big bloody show, so I knew SOMETHING was happening. I called the labour ward around 10:30 PM, and after questioning me about what i was going through, I was told to have some paracetemol and a warm bath and call back in an hour if I was still having regular contractions.
Mark had gone to bed about an hour previously, as I’d told him it was the best thing for him to get some sleep so that if we had to go to the hospital, he’d be able to drive and be awake enough to support me. So we let him sleep another hour or so, and then mom and Pat told me I really SHOULD go to the hospital, if for no other reason than to get checked.
I was worried, as I didn’t think I was far enough into the labour to really go to the hospital, but their insistence made me give in. So we got Mark up, got my bags in the car and off we went.
When we got there, I can’t even describe the humilliation. It’s not something I particularly want to relive other than to say that I was given a bollocking first because we hadn’t called in advance to say we were definitely coming. Then, I was told I had too many people with me, and that once I was in the labour room, only Mark would be able to stay. I threw a fit, as I’ve been told since day one I could have TWO people in with me, and my mom had flown over specially for the occasion. I knew that if I was sectioned, I’d only be allowed one, but I was assured two people were allowed in the room. She said she’d “check”.
Anyway, the nasty midwife was difficult to understand as she was quite foreign, and she didn’t seem interested in anything we had to say. She would ask me a condescending question (such as: “So, how far do you THINK your contractions are apart?”), and before I could answer, she’d cut me off with something else. She asked if I had any issues during the pregnancy, and I was trying to explain the diabetes, epilepsy and suspected heart problems, and again, she just wasn’t interested. After taking a urine sample, she hooked me up to the CTG, though by this point, I was so stressed out that I was not feeling them as often.
Luckily the CTG showed several big contractions, although since the machine kept breaking (the printout wasn’t working properly), it was hard to measure how far apart they were.
Eventually, the woman did an internal examination, where she informed us that my cervix was completely closed and I should go home and come back when the contractions were 5 minutes apart.
I explained again that my contractions had BEEN five minutes apart when we came, which is WHY we’d come, and how was I supposed to tell whether it was real or not? This is my first baby, FFS!
She again was not at all helpful, just told me to call if I think I’m close and they’d advise me.
She gave us back our notes and sent us off. Once home, I looked at the notes, and found that my cervix wasn’t “completely closed” as she’d said. She wrote that I was 2cm dilated and at -1 station. That’s hardly closed. It’s obviously not labour-ready, but she’d made me feel completely stupid when she’d said nothing at all was happening.
Anyway, we went back home, and I was still in pain, but I really was totally stressed and tense by then, and after going to bed, the contractions pretty much died down.
So now we are back to waiting. It sucks. I’m not as keen to try to make anything happen, as part of me is so afraid of being made to feel like an idiot again. I have said to everyone that if I DO go on my own, I’m not heading to the hospital until I feel the baby crowning!
I’m only partly joking…
Anyway, we’re taking one day at a time now. I’m still showing blood in my knickers every time I use the bathroom, so I’m just hopeful that something will be happening soon. Until then, I just bide my time and appreciate the last few days as a woman rather than as a mommy. :)