Tag Archives: nhs

O Hai!

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Sorry I’ve been a but quiet…I had a baby!

8 days early baby D arrived in a bit of a hurry! On the whole it has been a really positive experience for which I am massively grateful. We are of course very shell-shocked as it really is something quite all encompassing and intense.

A brief rundown of the birth story:

9 am Monday 9 th Sept my waters went! I called Mr Bumpy back from work and called the hospital who told me to come in. They said I’d likely be sent home so not to bring all our stuff in but we already had much of it in the car so chucked the rest in anyway. Contractions started at ten am and by the time we got to the hospital at about midday, they were coming every 3 to 4 minutes but weren’t too strong and lasting about thirty seconds. The midwife got us into maternity triage, checked my waters and discussed  going home for a bit. I mentioned that I wasn’t too keen as genetics suggest that once I got going things might be quite quick.

We headed off to the canteen to grab lunch (slow going and someone gave us a wheelchair! ). I couldn’t eat and the contractions got worse and longer. When we got back to see the midwife she was quite shocked at how quickly things had progressed and on examination found that I was 7cm dilated at 1 pm.

I was hurried straight to the pool room (Yes!!) whilst Mr Bumpy grabbed all our things from the car. At 3.35 our gorgeous boy was born in the pool. It was magical and horrific and wonderful and crazy. The gas and air was brilliant and got me through it and also got me a little bit high! There was a point at which the midwives had to suggest gently that I moved the mask away from my face when I wasn’t having a contraction….

We were opting for a natural third stage but had some issues. Eventually they got me out of the pool and had to go for managed third stage with the injection and some massage/ pulling to try to get the placenta to deliver. This didn’t work either and I was losing blood and starting to feel very faint.  The next bit is hazy but there was a crash team of 14 staff in the room in the blink of an eye and they needed to get me to theatre for a spinal block to remove my retained placenta. I’d just like to say how amazing the NHS is. I really got my money’s worth! Must have been very stressful for Mr Bumpy- in a small, hot room, left holding the baby watching his wife being rushed out to theatre after bleeding out all over the room. To his credit, he got himself removed from the room when he wasn’t feeling very good to ensure he wasn’t a further casualty, and the head midwife even made him tea and toast!

By seven I was back with my husband and baby and by about ten we were moved onto a ward with 5 other beds. Husband had to go home so I spent my first ever night in hospital.

There’s obviously much more to tell, but I’m a little tired(!) So will try to keep this updated when I can.

The birth was every contradiction you can imagine, every emotion and every physical sensation you could dream of. It’s been described a million different ways by millions of people so I can’t compete with that. However, it was ours and he is ours!

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Royal baby vs NHS baby

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I know, I know, I know…. sorry.

Firstly, this article about the chances of Kate Middleton having a natural birth made me feel very sad for her.

Secondly, many people have been saying how sorry they feel for her in this heat. Well- lets be honest, I doubt she’s going anywhere that isn’t air conditioned. And it’s not like she’s at work (like me). Or going to appointments in 28 degrees in cars with no air-con, or trains with no air-con.

I have a lot of sympathy for the poor girl who is under such scrutiny in her new life as a Royal. However, as she’s not working 40 hour weeks in non-air conditioned offices up to 37 weeks pregnant like most ladies I know, in the hottest summer for a few years…. I’m not sure we need to be caring too much about that!

(brought to you from a 30 degree office on the third floor with just a desk fan to keep me sane…..)

We had our NHS Antenatal class at the weekend which was really good. There were definitely some gaps- the course was relatively organic in as much as it was shaped by the objectives of the attendees. So we didn’t actually speak much about certain things including pain relief.

What I did enjoy was talking through the “perfect” labour, and then looking at the flipside- quite literally. We were given lots of laminated cards with different options on each side- i.e “casearian” and “no casearian”/ “hospital birth” and “home birth”. We had to choose our ideals from each option and lay the cards out.

We were then made to turn over the cards to look at the reality of what might happen, and talked through it to make it all sound and feel less scary. For me this was an interesting exercise as I feel like I am well prepared for things not going to my “plan”. I appreciate that getting the baby out safely is the primary concern, and although the route we take might not be my “ideal” route, it’s ok.

What I hadn’t considered was “birth partner not present”. Even seeing those words feels quite chilling even now. I hadn’t for one tiny moment considered that Mr Bumpy would not be present at the birth for any reason.

In reality it is pretty unlikely. Our hospital is not far from home or work, and there’s only two days I plan to be much further away from home without my husband, and he will be a 1hour train journey or 90 minute drive away. So unless baby comes in a serious hurry, there’s little chance he won’t be there.

Either way, I’m really glad that the possibility was brought to my attention now.

Frimley Park (where I hope to have my baby) is also a teaching hospital, so there’s lots of opportunity to have someone with you- often a student- on top of your midwife care. Having said that, it’s also a consultant-led ward (which I didn’t really know anything about) and so there’s more chance of intervention by a consultant rather than the more passive midwife care you’d get at a midwife led unit.

This means that one definitely stays at home until the “right time” to come into hospital.

I was also pretty astounded that the average rate for casearian sections is 25% of all births (and Frimley Park is pretty average). Looking around the 5 women at the class on Saturday that meant that statistically it could be any one of us (or more).

I really appreciated the breast feeding part of the session. I know some people find the NHS stance too anti-bottle feeding, but it fits in relatively well with my own personal feelings. I found the session to be very balanced- in as much as we were told that we would find out WHY breast feeding is so important, and then if we decided for any reason that we did not want to that was fine and we were to be vocal and firm about it.

I also learnt a lot, especially about a 1-14 days old baby’s tummy size and how amazing colostrum is and how little of it they actually need per feed. In addition we talked a lot about positioning and how to get baby to latch on well. It was quite reassuring and made me feel more confident about breastfeeding.

No pictures to entertain you with, but here’s a mental picture….. they demonstrated for us with a knitted breast and an elmo puppet! 🙂

23 weeks

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So far past half way now- how scary!

I feel like my previous second trimester energy is starting to wane! Dammit! I was enjoying being able to do normal things and get on with life, so I’m worried I’ll have to slow down again now.

After weddings and hen parties and visitors, life does quieten down a little over the next few weeks and I can concentrate on getting baby things ready, staying fit and actually getting my head around antenatal classes and things like that.

I have been a bit annoyed that when I’ve tried to look at NHS info here on my local hospitals website the info is very sketchy. We MUST book onto courses… but there’s no information about how to book!

That’s something to ask the midwife about at my 24 week appointment. There’s some other things too, but I must write them down as I keep forgetting!

I’m getting worried- not about the birth but about not being pregnant! I’m now enjoying it. I love being kicked (even when it hurts and keeps me awake), I love my silly round football-under-the-tshirt bump and the new focus in my life it’s given me. I know the baby will hold the focus though!

This week I got to help a friend with a ridiculously large poohsplosion. Her 4 week old baby Grace, whilst feeding, did three massive huge farts in a row, the third of which turned into what I can only describe as stinky liquid gold which was running out of her nappy and down her white tights! Ooops. I was happy to dive in and help, so I think I earnt my stripes. Poor Grace had to be bathed it was so messy! Poor love, but I hope she slept better having got it all out!

Don’t blame it on sunshine!

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I would like to link to an utterly ridiculous article from July 2010 stating “Pregnant women ‘must take vitamin D supplements'”.

Here’s a thought- how about going outside into the gorgeous sunshine when it does come out? Like today?

Foxglove
(not from today)

/me goes out in the sun again!

Shades of Grey. No, not 50!

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This week I have come to further appreciate the many different levels of sickness experienced during pregnancy and how hard it is to try to put yourself into a category.

Some women experience no nausea or sickness at all. Ironically, they often wish for it during early stages of pregnancy, especially prior to first scan dates as it helps validate the pregnancy. This may sound odd, but the strange thing about being pregnant is that you’re unlikely to have it verified by an independent adjudicator until weeks 10-12 when you have your “booking in” appointment, blood tests and first ultrasound. I am embarrassed to admit that when I first went to the doctors to tell her I was pregnant, I’d brought along my two positive tests in case she didn’t believe me!

There’s then a huge swathe of women who suffer with intermittent or mild nausea and/or vomiting between weeks 7-12ish (when hCG is surging through their bodies) who usually get on with it with a brilliant British stiff upper lip, determined not to let the baby-shaped cat out of the figurative amniotic sack until the end of the first trimester (which annoyingly tends to be when the sickness dies down-and any potential sympathy with it!).

The other group we sometimes hear about (thankyouprincessmiddleton)  is those suffering with severe NVP (technical term that, and the real name for “morning sickness”- Nausea and Vomiting in Pregnancy), called Hypermesis Gravitas. These are women who have become severely dehydrated as a result of their NVP and have been hospitalised to replace fluids, to try antiemetic medication and to generally get them well again. This can last for a whole pregnancy and is a very serious physical condition.

Inbetween are infinite shades of grey- which is what I’ve been learning about this week. I am a shade. Let’s call it “accountant grey”- darkish, possibly with a dull pinstripe.

I’ve lost over 2.5kg whilst trying to nourish my tiny pea-foetus over the last two weeks. I am very nauseous 24/7 and unable to concentrate,  travel or even sit or stand for too long. I am sick 2-3 times a day (and hold it back many more times), I’ve also had a slightly elevated temperature of 99.8 for 4 days. I am however able to keep enough fluids down to still be ‘well’- my urine is dark and I measured my ketosis at 0.5 (which is ok). I am keeping some food down.

I can’t really leave the house or tell anyone why. I can’t go to work (I will have to tell them why soon).

This is sadly why I am going to need some medication. It seems it can be (understandably) hard to convince GPs to prescribe medicines (especially in the first trimester), and I’ve had two
GP appointments since finding out I was pregnant and neither doctor was keen to prescribe. I will need to be a little more forceful (and maybe cry less) to get hold of some of the drugs that can be prescribed for NVP during the first trimester as they do exist! Please keep your fingers crossed for Monday’s gp visit for a miracle cure (or cyclazine).

Looks like we might be pressured into telling people sooner than we are comfy with, but it is very hard to hide a normally busy outgoing person behind a “sickness bug” without genuinely worrying friends and family. We also hate lying (and are pretty bad at it) so I think we’re going to make plans to tell the family this coming week.

On the upside…. I’ve accidentally convinced my lovely wonderful husband that we should go for an early scan! Unless you have some specific health reasons, you don’t get pre-12 week ultrasound scans on the NHS, but can pay to have them privately. I originally saw these as a pointless waste of money and emotion, as you’re still not out of the sensitive 1st trimester until 12 weeks. However, my increasing irrational fear of twins (strong early morning sickness being one of many possible signs) and general impatience to see the little pea-foetus thats causing all this ill has got the better of me…. Roll on Tuesday for my 7+1 scan!

That’ll do for now. I wish I could enjoy a cup of tea.

Oh and briefly, if you meet a womn with severe morning sickness, for the love of anything please do not ask her if she has tried ginger. Do you not think, thy if she were feeling that awful, thant she has probably tried everything in her power to feel well again? That includes sodding biscuits!