PREGNANCY UPDATE: GOOD NEWS AND JUMPING JELLY BEANS

First of all, I’d just like to say a massive thank you to all the people who have sent me messages over these past few weeks. It might not have seemed much but having people to talk and share experiences with really helped me through this emotional and very worrying time. You are all amazing, thank you. Now onto the blog. 

This is just a quick update with what happened on Monday when I had a viability scan to see if our pregnancy was progressing normally.

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I drank lots and lots of water and was a bag of nerves sitting in the waiting room waiting to be called in for the scan BUT…

…Great news! We had a heartbeat and we saw on the screen our very own little jumping jelly bean with their heart beating away. It was such a beautiful moment and all the stress and worry over the past couple of weeks felt worth it.

The sonographer conducted some measurements and with that we had an adjusted due date given. Our baby’s official due date is 1st January 2017. New Year’s Day. Cripes!

Adjacent to the gestational sac, the sonographer did find a large haematoma which would explain the root of the bleeding. The midwife I spoke to after the scan explained that this could rectify itself on its own but whether it will and what will happen in the meantime can’t be guaranteed.

On Tuesday I had my routine midwife ‘booking’ appointment and was told the best route for us is to be referred to a consultant at the hospital and will be under consultant care for the foreseeable of this pregnancy.

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If you’re curious about what happens in a ‘normal’ pregnancy, this booking appointment (usually at your GP’s surgery) is the first pregnancy appointment you will have. You get to meet the midwife who should remain your midwife for the entire pregnancy. You have to help your midwife fill out a huge pregnancy booklet that will be your ‘pregnancy notes’. This booklet is SO important, it needs to go with you to all appointments and stay with you when you go into labour. I remember mine from our previous pregnancy and after 9 months it does end up looking at bit dog eared and worn, but it does the job.

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Inside it has detailed medical history questions including about your own health and that of close family. They are keen to know if there’s any known illnesses in your immediate family or any operations, medications or therapies you may have had, or are currently undertaking.

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The midwife also takes some blood. This is the first time of many times during your pregnancy where you will be having tests of various types. Blood, urine, maybe even gestational diabetes tests or vaccinations. If you have a phobia of needles now is the time to face it head on. I promise you by the end of the nine months you will just shrug and give your arm when your midwife says “I need to take some bloods”.

The next time I see my midwife will be when I’m 16 weeks pregnant. Before that will be the 12 week routine ultrasound scan. I really can’t wait for it and the chance to see our little jumping bean again (although they will be so, so much bigger by then).

So, finally some good news and I can feel relieved that an experienced consultant will now look after us.  I still feel fragile and have some concerns but I’m doing my best to stay positive and looking forward to the future being a Mum of two.  

 

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They drugged me and stuck things down my throat…

Hey… relax. It’s not as bad as that but if you’re squeamish about medical things, then this blog isn’t for you. Click back and I’ll see you next time.

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Let’s start at the beginning. I’ve been suffering for a very long time with heartburn type feelings and lots and lots of sore throats and regular antibiotics. It’s been unpleasant and although I hate anything to do with hospitals, I knew I had to get myself checked out. So I was referred to Oxford Churchill hospital, under the care of a very lovely consultant and very caring nurse to make sure nothing untoward was occurring.

Back in September I had what is called a barium meal or barium swallow or sometimes known as an upper GI. It’s not a nice test. You are taken into an X-ray room and you stand in front of the X-ray machine whilst the radiologist hands you a cup of frothy foaming white ‘stuff’. Barium. It’s supposedly fruit flavoured, but it’s not in the least bit appetising. It’s supposed to be a drink but it’s bloody hard to swallow, it’s like drinking froth. But they make you hold a massive mouthful in your mouth and then start taking a series of X-ray images and then instruct you to swallow so they can see the barium as it travels down from your mouth to your stomach. Then repeat and repeat again. Yuk.

After the distractions of our family holiday abroad, Christmas and New Year, I knew I couldn’t ignore the problems, they were still there and not getting any better. Another course of antibiotics down, feeling better for a week and then back to square one.

The team in Oxford agreed that an upper endoscopy or a gastroscopy was the next port of call. A procedure where a camera is placed inside your mouth, swallowed and then is manoeuvred down your oesophagus and into your stomach. An upper endoscopy gives the consultant a clear inside view and ability to check out the health of everything from the throat down.

So the day came. I knew from the information booklet that I had to be nil by mouth for six hours before my admission. That being set for 3pm meant that I had to go most of the day as usual and travelling to Oxford without any food or water. It sure wasn’t easy but I got there!

Arrived in the waiting room and was met by a nurse who wanted to check all my paperwork, my understanding of the procedure and a general check on my blood pressure and oxygen levels. My blood pressure was reassuringly steady, considering how much I was bricking it.

I then met the consultant and junior doctor who explained I had a choice of doing the test under an anaesthetic throat spray, being completely conscious throughout or I could be sedated so I would be peaceful and barely aware of what was happening. I’m sorry to say I am a complete wuss and the thought of gagging over something down my throat, no matter how numb they make it was out of the question. I opted for sedation and was aware that it meant a few more risks and longer recovery time on the ward.

When I was led into the endoscopy suite, it looked a little bit like a theatre. Bed in the middle. Heart monitors, oxygen tanks, nurses looking busy. But what wasn’t usual was the big massive computer looking box next to the bed with big black cables sticking out of it. That was the machine that was going down my throat?! Eek!

I was extremely nervous as they got me to lay down on my side on the bed. I had a cannula placed in my arm and oxygen tubes resting on my nose. They placed a big waterproof sheet under my head. The nurse giggled and said “this is to stop you dribbling all over yourself”. A plastic mouth guard was fastened around my head and between my teeth, it felt very strange. And then I was told that the sedative was being administered. I was waiting, waiting for the warm feeling of sedation coming over my brain – but it didn’t come. I must admit I started to panic as they were already introducing the camera down my throat and I didn’t like it one bit. I flinched, unable to talk but thankfully I heard the consultant say to someone “administer more sedative” or something along those lines and that’s the last I remember.

I came to in the recovery ward, didn’t feel too bad at all. A little groggy but definitely more alert than I anticipated. A nurse kept check on my blood pressure and seeing if I felt ok. Also a big thank you to her as she saw me shivering and brought me another blanket. It’s the little things that make you feel safe and looked after. It’s crazy that after all day without food or water – I now had zero appetite. I struggled down a few mouthfuls of tea and a biscuit that the nurse had brought me but it wasn’t pleasurable. Not from pain, just a strange feeling inside.

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When I felt more myself I was allowed to get up and get ready to discharge with the departments contact details in case I developed any post procedure complications. I got myself home and wrapped up in my big fleecy blanket. My husband ordered us a Domino’s Pizza. I’m still not hungry but I knew as I’ve not eaten all day that I should try something and managed a few bites.

Hopefully tomorrow I’ll be back, appetite and all.

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