17 July, 2009

St Thomas' Hospital - Antenatal Unit

Sorry for not posting the last couple of days...things have been rather...interesting, shall we say...
St Thomas' Hospital
Looking back, everything actually sort of started on Monday (which seems an awfully long way away now), Flyingpops was complaining that she was in quite a bit of pain, which she was putting down to indigestion, so we self-medicated her with a glug or two of Gaviscon, some deflatine tablets and a warm bath, still managing to get to work on Tuesday (thinking all was well)...the next thing I know, having got almost to home time, I have Flyingpops on the 'phone clearly very upset telling me the pain has got a lot worse and that she had just seen a little blood - she had already rung East Surrey and they had told her not to muck about trying to get home, just get to the nearest hospital as quickly as possible...minutes later (after Flyingpops has managed to get to Guy's hospital and been told that they don't have an antenatal unit (Grrr!), she is referred to St Thomas') we have managed to find each another at a buzzing London Bridge station (just starting to get into rush-hour mode) and score a taxi (which then proceeds to get caught at every single traffic light on the route) and shortly after that we are hurrying towards the Antenatal Triage department on the 7th floor of the North building of St Thomas' hospital (with all sorts of dreadful thoughts running through our heads)...
St Thomas' Hospital
When we *finally* get past the Midwives confusion over the fact that the pregnancy notes are totally different for this health authority (even down to different coloured paper), we have to fill out a bunch more forms (something about blood tests not being possible at this hospital otherwise) and they start running (what will turn out to be) the first of a *lot* of tests...urine comes back normal (that one takes seconds), and then the baby monitor is on, after an agonising few seconds a familiar "whoosh, woosh, woosh" noise emerges from the speaker, Flyingpops looks up at the midwife and says "Is that the baby?", and putting her hand on Flyingpops shoulder, the midwife smiles and nods...

Thank *God* for that...

But the fun isn't over yet, next stop is the antenatal day unit to get the pain/bleeding checked out...again the monitor goes on, and this time some extra blood gets taken (three vials) from Flyingpops left arm at the elbow joint -
St Thomas' Hospital
- during which I point out interesting things happening on the Thames out the window while Flyingpops tries to smile and ignore the needle...a doctor comes and pokes and prods the bump, and pronounces that this pain is extremely unusual...examining the output from the machine, he starts to point out spikes clearly (to him) showing the start of (fairly irregular) contractions...things got a little bit gynaecological at this point, but the net result is that the baby appeared to be trying to be born and was in completely the wrong position to do so (not to mention extremely early)...a hurried conversation overheard between two doctors through the flimsy curtain informs us that a delivery suite was being prepared for us, and that an urgent c-section was definitely on the cards...

Flyingpops is told not to eat or drink anything (part of being prepped for surgery), and before too long we are whipped along to the delivery room, where we meet our midwife for the night shift (and her boss), who between them manage to make a bit of a mess of poor Flyingpops hands -
St Thomas' Hospital
- and then put her on a drip to keep her hydrated, and then we are left to our own devices, knowing that at any minute we could be parents of a very tiny baby, in an incubator...later on that evening Flyingpops is given a steroid injection to super-charge the little one's lung development (that it may very soon be relying on for oxygen)...and then, despite the promise of a mattress which never materialised, I snatch a tiny amount of disturbed sleep curled up on the delivery room floor, a tiny baby towel folded up under my ear to keep my head off the cold ground, and a single sheet which all night long I change my mind about whether draping it over my body or trying to bunch it onto lumps under my body in an attempt to protect my joints is the better approach...neither were much good, and the next day I'm aching all over, feeling very much like I've just taken a red eye flight from the US...bleugh...and Flyingpops hasn't slept a wink...

Anyway, finally we then get a bit of good news, brought to us in the hand of an elderly orderly - a breakfast menu - the doctor has announced that the fast is over, Flyingpops can eat(!) - and with it is removed any risk of being suddenly rushed into theatre...*phew*...from here on in, we crept slowly back down the risk scale, moving later that day to one of the regular antenatal wards where Flyingpops was observed regularly, but not quite as often, and there are also a few people to talk to (as a bonus), one lady who was 2 days from delivering twins, and one poor girl who had been stuck in the hospital for 4 *weeks* with high blood pressure...and these are our (sometimes noisy) companions until the last test results come back (yesterday) and Flyingpops is finally allowed to come home...

So we very, very nearly had a picture of a premature baby to show to you this week...and now, if you will excuse me (to quote John Travolta) I'm going to go and have a heart attack... ;)

7 comments:

Flyingpops said...

you forgot to mention we had a scan... absolutely amazing as we've not had one since 20 weeks. MJ is measuring up big for size, top 95% of chart and they predict current weight is 5lb 8 and with 8 weeks to go, it could be a very big baby (lets hope not though). As soon I we knew his weight, I was happy...

Want to thank all of the staff at St.Thomas's as they couldn't have been more professional, helpful, reassuring and lovely. Yes, a worrying time... BUT we are all healthy/MJ still baking and these things are sent to try us! IN fact, I think we'll all be laughing about this when I'm overdue and trying to bring on labour in September!!!!

-MR X- said...

Bloody hell - scary stuff! Glad to hear everything is ok.

Absolute Beginner said...

Heck! So glad you are ok, you had be v worried for a little while there!

Tom Hopwood said...

Phew, what a relief, I'm glad everythings running smoothly again. Baby seems to have his own agenda lol. I know what you mean about the hands too, after my stay in Royal Surrey my hands hurt for two weeks.

Ys said...

Wow! That was a scary post! Do they think it could happen again? I'm wishing all three of you the best.

Flyingpops said...

the doctors have said it's just one of those things that happens.. no reason, nothing I've done and best cure was to carry on as normal (apparently a healthy mind = a healthy mum and baby). Yes, it was scary, but we got through it and we were able to see MJ on the scan and find out his current size, something we wouldn't have done if it hadn't happened. ;o)

bigbluemeanie said...

Wow, lots of excitement but pleased to hear that all is well!