26 weeks – feels like labour

26 weeks.

26 weeks. Wahoo. Celebration time. Except I’m down on delivery suite so maybe less of a celebration. It does now mean that they can monitor the baby’s heartbeat on the electronic fetal monitor now. Last night the bleeding got so bad they moved me down to delivery suite, I did bargain for 5 minutes for a shower though before I got dressed. Jon came in later & has been trying to distract me all day with Netflix. Mc Dreamy came & did another scan late afternoon & everything still looks good. Thankfully the bleeding has pretty much stopped so I don’t have to be nil by mouth anymore & if I stay the same for the next few hours I can go back upstairs. Gail (best midwife in the world & hilarious) brought me some toast – wahoo – & she even took me off the monitor for a while so I could walk (read pace) around the room! Then shift change over happened…. New midwife (perfectly nice), new doctors (couldn’t tell you if they were nice as I never saw them) & I’m told that there’s a new decision – I can’t go back upstairs as they want to keep me down here & put me on observation ward. Harrumph. Apparently I will get dinner when I go round to observation ward.

Things did not get better overnight. Despite my fetal medicine specialist saying I could go up to my own room again if the 2200 CGI Doppler was good (it was) I wasn’t allowed. The night shift came on & decided I was nil by mouth again – they quite literally took the cheese sandwich out of my mouth. No food so next best thing – paracetamol – as my back was a bit sore from lying down most of the day for monitoring. Apparently me being uncomfortable meant I had to go back on the monitor according to the night shift. All night. Every time I tried to go to sleep or moved and it couldn’t read the heartbeat, the midwife would come back in and tighten up the straps. Anyone that knows me, knows I’m grumpy without food but having had about 5 hours sleep since Monday night, 2 pieces of toast and half a cheese sandwich (well maybe 4 mouthfuls before she grabbed it) I was as grouchy as they come! At 0635 they finally let me come off the machine, well I say that, but I think the death stare of a hungry tired woman convinced the midwife!! So I’m now off for a shower to try and feel half human again.

What followed that day was both scary & painful, and in my head hilariously funny. My shower hadn’t done anything to ease my back, which I thought was a result of being laid down in one position most of the day and all night, but as I sat in my room it got worse and worse. Yep you know what’s coming!!! I think subconsciously I did too as by 0730 I was encouraging Jon to drive in early. When he arrived he found me pacing the room to ease my back. Soon the backache was coming in strong waves rather than constant so the midwife went to get a doctor. 2cm dilated! Round to delivery we went and thank god it was Gail again. That day was one of the most surreal I’ve ever had. Like an out of body experience kind of day. I won’t share all the details with you but I did learn a few things:

  • I am hilarious on gas and air. Seriously. A comedy genius. I’m sure Jon agrees deep down…
  • I have public peeing issues. Yes I know a delivery room isn’t public but I couldn’t bring myself to pee lying down on a bed into a cardboard bowl. I mean where’s the dignity in that?!?!
  • You can get sick really really quick. Seriously. Mega quick.

So there I was, telling some amazing jokes in between contractions, Mc Dreamy has been and done another scan and baby’s not quite in the right position. So plan is they’re going to give it a bit more time to see if baby moves round as labour progresses, but I need to prepare myself for a c-section. I think at this point I even called McDreamy, McDreamy to his face or maybe even upgraded him to McSteamy… Needless to say I’d be mortified if I saw him now. Anyway, I digress.. mmm.. McSteamy..

So we have a chat with the neonate registrar about what they’re going to do with baby post delivery/ c-section, the anaesthetist about sticking a giant needle in my back (yep still wasn’t keen on that one) and the obstetrician. Then it literally was a case of everything changed in a second. One second I was happy and laughing and joking and the next I was shivering uncontrollably and felt… well I can’t really describe how I felt. I imagine it’s a bit like how men think they feel with man flu – but way worse. Maybe a combination of having man-flu and how I imagine anthrax poisoning feels. So we’ll call it manthrax for giggles. It was grown up teeth chattering, shivering and shaking uncontrollably and then it all starts getting a bit hazy. I vaguely remember blankets being piled on me, the doctor holding some big yellow bit of paper for me to sign and then the next thing I knew I was being wheeled into the operating room. Jon would tell me the next day that it was as if I went into shut down mode (that manthrax is bad). He said that in the short time it took to wheel me across the corridor into theatre my temperature jumped up 5°C. I remember the pain of contractions fighting the uncontrollable shivering, vomiting on someone’s shoes (very sorry whichever doctor/nurse that was), lots of people talking around me, feeling pretty naked, and hearing someone saying something about not being able to get a line into me as I was shutting down. Last thing I remember is the senior anaesthetist telling me it was too late for an epidural, they had to put me under a general right now. I don’t think I even had the nous to crack a joke.

I would know nothing until later that day when I woke up in a cloud of morphine. Poor Jon. He told me he found himself stood in a pair of scrubs alone in the delivery room having been told he couldn’t go in to watch as they thought I had sepsis. He told me afterwards that at that point he was now worried he was going to lose both of us.

Every Pregnant Woman’s Nightmare – 23+5 weeks

The past couple of weeks have been ridiculously busy with uni work, Jon coming home, organising a christening… OK. So I’ve been avoiding writing about the last 2 weeks of my pregnancy.  Overtime I’ve gone back to my diary to reread what I’d put I felt sick.  But enough of putting it off.. here goes..  (Any men reading beware of female ‘stuff’!)

Monday – 23+5.  Dawn outside.  I know because I’m in bed on level 7 again and have left the curtains open.  Yesterday morning I’d had a bit of pinkish discharge so we’d popped over to the JR to have it checked out.  After waiting around or a few hours it had stopped & everything seemed fine so they sent us home.  Jon was on standby so went to work (he’s not allowed off base when on standby), I felt a bit rubbish so went to bed early with a hot water bottle on my back & a bowl of homemade banana choice chip & McDreamy to watch on tv.  A few hours later I woke up feeling uncomfortable to every pregnant womans nightmare, lying in a pool of blood.  I called the Maternity Assessment Unit & told them I’d get a friend to bring me in right away & let Jon know what was happening.  Anna like a trooper got straight up & drove me in & didn’t leave my side all night.  I have no idea how I kept it together until that point but when I walked into MAU, Marie was on shift & I broke down into tears.  They wasted no time in examining me – there was still a heart beat!!  Although I was still bleeding my cervix was long & closed so things calmed down a bit.  I had the first steroid injection that they give mothers at risk of going into preterm labour at the point of viability.  I kept going on & on about how the baby couldn’t come now.  I had to get to 24 weeks. Jon was able to get in for about 0830 & the bleeding seemed to be stopping.  So now I’m lying on my bed, crossing my legs, with the silly thought in my head that it might stop the bleeding.

Tuesday – 23+6.  Productive day with specialists.  Fetal Medicine Consultant was lovely & he’s happy that the bleeding has pretty much stopped.  I asked whether the bleeding was due to my condition or something common & he was very honest & said they simply didn’t know, but as I was at higher risk of infection they were more concerned.  He doesn’t think that I’ll make it past 30 weeks & now that I’m at the point of viability they’re getting a neonatal doctor to come & speak to me.  The neonatal Reg & SHO were lovely & very honest which is what I wanted.  We talked about what could be done & what couldn’t.  I can honestly say its one of the frankest conversations I’ve ever had & it wasn’t pleasant but I was prepared.  I feel like I completely trust them & I know they will do what is best for our baby – even if it isn’t whats best for us emotionally.  All I want is for our baby to have a chance but not to suffer.  Evening midwife just came in.  Arghhh. I love all the midwives here but this one….  She’s just spent the past 10 minutes doing my obs giving me that feeling sorry for you look as if its all over… I know she means well but I’m trying to stay positive here!!!!!!

Wednesday – 24 weeks!!!! MADE IT!!!!!!!!! I wanted to do a little skip (not beneficial for fluid loss obviously).  Against the odds.  So time to set a new goal… hmmm.. may be 32 weeks…  I’m feeling a bit woozy today (probably from all the non moving celebrations) & turns out I’m a tad anaemic.  A scan with Mrs Black & not much water at all (boo) but baby’s head is down & he/she has grown since last scan.  They’re happy for me to go home with iron tablets as long as I keep coming in to DAU. Escape!

Wednesday – 25 weeks. Been a busy week with the ‘girls’ travelling down to see me & Laura, Sian & Anna keeping a close eye on me.  It feels as if everyones nervous now but they’re really good & try to distract me from thinking about whats happening.  Yesterday I’d come in for DAU & Jon with me as its a bit pinkish again.. Marie seemed content enough so I went home but one of the midwives called back later in the day & said my CRP (infection markers) were a bit higher so I needed to come back in today to get it checked again.  Please. Please someone.  Don’t let this be an infection.  Just a few more weeks. I need to get past 26 weeks.  I think I’ll take my bags in with me today just incase.. its less pink & more red now with a clot… Wriggles is moving a lot though!

So good news is I’m measuring 26 weeks even though I’m 25 so baby is definitely still growing.  Other news is that I’m a resident again. CRP was down a small amount but as things are definitely red now the registrar & consultant decided to keep me in for observation. Wriggles has been moving lots today but not so much now… Am distracting myself with McDreamy & McSteamy & giving the ‘first world problems’ texts I’m getting an ignoring. More relaxed I am the better for baby. Thats my plan.  Chillll.

Thursday – 25+1 weeks. How can I seriously still have blood in my body??  Asked the midwife to listen to baby this morning as things had been a bit quieter than normal.  Everything ok.  Perfect little heartbeat.  I’ve told Laura about the bleeding but played it down a bit to the other girls as I feel like I just need 24 hours of no visitors.  My positivity is in a bit of a lull & everytime I go to the bathroom I want to cry.  How very un-ice queen of me!  Must sort it out by tomorrow.

Friday – 25+2 weeks. Amazing how important that plus one or two becomes. Things have eased off a bit & we’re now more pink. Wriggles is back wriggling & Andy Murray won! Bloods everyday at the moment & so far infection markers haven’t gone up again.  Really hope theres something other than lamb mince on the menu tomorrow.

Saturday.  Another day on level 7.. Amy (midwife) popped in when she came on shift & said that I might be allowed to go home on Monday if I’ve no further blood loss. We were joking about having a sweepstake on when I’ll go into labour – she thinks I’ll go 32 weeks.  She admitted that when I first came in at 17 weeks they all thought I’d miscarry & have been talking about what an incredible little stubborn fighter this baby is turning out to be! Kat drove all the way over from Leicester just for a few hours, I think she sensed I was about to lose it.  Someone actually said to me today in a text “yeah but you’re 24 weeks now so you & baby must be ok”. Grrr.  Have maintained my inner dalai lama & channelled maltesers through Greys Anatomy (realising of course that everyone thinks I’m mad for watching a hospital drama in hospital).

Sunday. Lots of visitors today & was allowed to leave the maternity building for a cup of tea in the hospital cafe with Kel.  Freedom!!(ish).  Reg saw me & has said that I’ll probably be kept in now & that he doesn’t think they’ll let me go past 34 weeks because of the risk (in my head I can’t decided if I’m chuckling or crying because a doctor said I might get that far).  My CRP is up a little but no more than if I had a cold. Manicure from the girls in the evening.  Consultant day tomorrow..

Monday – 25 weeks +5.  A roller coaster of a day. Jon was flying so knew I was in for a long quiet day – definitely not prepared for hormone city though!  Not long after breakfast I started having stomach cramps & then an hour later I noticed I was bleeding again.  I called the midwife just to try & calmly tell her the bleeding was back on & ask for some paracetamol – but as soon as Jenny walked in I just burst into tears. She was so good.  Paracetamol & a lay down & the cramping eased. Wriggles was moving again which makes every feel achievable & copeable (feel like making my own words up) again.  Jon & Laura S brought flowers & chocolates & bad jokes to cheer me up in the evening.  Laura is looking very pregnant now in a very neat bump way.  Poor Paul.  His nan is in ICU on a ventilator & they’re talking about switching if off tonight.  Their poor family.  Puts things into perspective.

Tuesday – 25 weeks +6.  So today was good & bad.  Good in that I had a scan with Kristoff (might have to rename him McDreamy) & baby’s growth looks good.  Plan is that I’ll deliver by 34 weeks at the latest.  Baby has turned & is now transverse so if labour starts & baby hasn’t been able to move again it would be a c-section.  Everything crossed for there being enough room & waters for baby to move.  No one is sticking a needle in my back!  Bad news is the bleedings getting worse again.  I’m surprised I don’t look translucent by now! Jon’s on standby again tonight so can’t come in but at least he managed to pop in for the scan.  Today’s chat about how things change again at 26 weeks as they can now use measure the babies heart rate constantly was a bit of an awakener. I had in my head that snowflake & I would make it all the way but its becoming clear now we won’t.  I want so much for snowflake to survive & through some sort of magic for there to have been enough fluid for the lungs to have developed.  I want snowflake to be able to breathe & I hate that I can’t fix it or do something about it.  So instead I’ll just lay on my bed, not even able to flush the loo clean because theres just too much blood now.

21-22 weeks

Before the 20 week scan I hadn’t really been ‘leaking’ much water so if it hadn’t been for having to take it easy, twice weekly visits to DAU & weekly blood tests I could have almost pretended that I was a normal pregnant lady!  I must have known things were about to start changing, as on the exact same day I’d picked up a diary to keep a journal of thoughts (rather than just the one containing temperature & pulse for the midwives), was the exact same day I started to bleed, a after month after my waters went.

“Friday, 30th May, 21 weeks.  A rubbish start to the day.  Woke up this morning & felt what i thought was a leak but turned out to be a bleed.  Called Jon back from work.  A day full of waiting & although admitted, I don’t seem to know anymore.  On the plus side baby is still moving & thank god for Emily on the observation ward as she realised that a high risk pregnant woman probably wouldn’t want to be on the same ward as the lucky women with beautiful crying babies.’

Saturday, 31st May.  Rubbish nights sleep.  Obs all normal & I’m sure I can feel baby moving again.  Tiny amount of blood today. Hopefully they’ll take the drip out soon as it keeps catching on clothes. Doctors finally came round at 6pm – I can go home but if I bleed again I have to come back in.  Baby is moving again & once I even felt as if I was going to wet myself when a sharp kick felt like it hit my bladder! Got home around 8 – shattered. Desperate to make it through the next few weeks.  Bed rest it is.

Wednesday, 4th June. Jonny’s Birthday! Jon flying today so spent the day baking a birthday cake for him.  No amniotic fluid loss today.  Back at hospital tomorrow – only 2 weeks to go until the next goal!

Monday, 9th June.  Consultant Day.  Different consultant this time but he was nice.  The wait took forever.  What is it about waiting rooms that gives you the heebie jeebies? So, kidneys, head etc look normal.  He said the lungs look about the right size but there wasn’t any fluid in the stomach.  Bad news. He talked about the high chance of handicap because the baby is going to be premature.  How premature we just have to wait & see.  I am scared too but how can you not have hope when you can feel the baby moving?? He talked about the caesarean thing & I assured him that there was no way anyone was sticking a needle in my back again.  Struggling with other people today.  Why do some people not think before they speak? Thank god for the girls. ”

 

Making it to 20 week scan

Well not only did I make it out of the hospital a week after my waters went but I made it to the 20 week scan.  After I left the hospital everything felt very normal – except that my husband insisted on doing all the chores..   He had even gone out & bought a steamer & steam cleaned the whole house to help avoid infection (shame he’s not always that keen to steam clean for me).  I don’t think I’ve ever stayed so still & watched as much tv in my life.  Twice a week we drove over to the Day Assessment Unit in Fetal Medicine for a check of baby’s heartbeat & blood tests for me to check for infection.  The midwives there are absolutely amazing.  Every time I went in they were positive & supportive & more than happy for me to talk through any things I’d found out elsewhere about waters breaking early.  By this point I could have told any full term mum a million ways to start labour off as I’d looked up all of them so I could try & avoid them myself!

The 20 week scan was booked for the day I turned 20+1 & our appointment with a fetal medicine consultant planned for the next day.  The hardest thing about the 20 week scan was actually the waiting room.  It was the normality.  Up on DAU & Fetal Medicine, there were lots of women with various pregnancy complications so everyone always looked a bit worried.  Down here everything was normal,  proud dads queuing to buy the token so they could have a photo of the scan & happy mums reading the various leaflets about what happens next.  I would never ever begrudge anyone a second of happiness in celebrating their baby, as if I could stop this happening to any other mum I would, but it doesn’t mean that normal isn’t hard.

The lack of waters made it difficult for the sonographer to do the scan but she told me she could see baby moving.  Face, spine, heart & brain all looked normal & she could see some small pockets of water around baby & some in baby’s tummy!  By this point that meant the whole world to me as I knew for there to be fluid in baby’s tummy she must be swallowing some fluid!  Another fantastic sonographer, who insisted we had a scan picture to take home even though it wasn’t a pretty or even easy to read one!

The next day we went in to see the consultant. She did her own scan when we got there but didn’t give anything away at all.  You always know it’s going to be a difficult conversation when they take you into a nice room with comfy chairs & a box of tissues on the coffee table! She was calm, factual but sympathetic. She agreed with the scan from the day before, in that baby had continued to grow, appeared structurally normal & that there were some pockets of water. We were told the major challenges that we were facing were trying to keep fluid levels up for the baby’s lungs, avoiding infection & preterm labour. There was only a 2% chance that we would deliver a healthy baby & they couldn’t speculate on how far I’d progress with my pregnancy before developing an infection.  She talked through all our options again including termination.

I can remember telling her calmly & clearly that I completely understood all the risks & what a small chance of a baby we had. But I was sat there, with a tiny baby kicking me & I’d just seen a baby that appeared healthy on a scan.  I kept coming back to ‘how could I give up on the baby when she hadn’t given up on us’.  We knew the chances of me reaching even 24 weeks were tiny & that the baby would need to ‘cook’ for much longer to have a good chance but at 20 weeks I didn’t see any other choice.  The best thing that the consultant said to me? She didn’t argue or try to dissuade me, she simply said “Its not hopeless, you could be that 2%, but it’s risky for both of you”.  To someone who’s already been told a couple of times that there was no hope or that baby was dying – it was like handing me a ticket to the lottery.

Decision made, the plan was to continue with twice weekly checks on DAU & then in 2 weeks have another scan & see the consultant again.  It was emphasised again that at this stage of the pregnancy if I did develop an infection, my life would be prioritised over baby’s because of the gestation.

What a 20 week scan with hardly any waters looks like!

20 Week Scan

PPROM Decision Day 1

I was now sat on my bed on level 7 waiting to find out what was going to happen next.  Despite being told I was expected to be going into labour within 48 hours of my waters breaking I still felt completely normal & not any different physically.  My blood tests were back & there was no sign of infection & my temperature & pulse were normal.  The hardest bit about the regular observations were when they listened to babies heartbeat.  Every time they looked for it I was expecting them to not find it as I’d been told to expect the worst, so I’d have a surge of relief when they found it.  On the Tuesday an obstetrician  told me they wouldn’t be doing a scan for another few days as they were still expecting me to go into labour.  When they did scan they would be looking to see if the baby had grown & if there were any waters left.  I spent every minute online looking for any experiences or research on waters going early & whether there was any hope. There were lots of stories from the USA about people being given antibiotics to prevent infection but I’d already been told by the doctor that it was a hospital policy not to give antibiotics at this stage & there was hardly any information on successful outcomes or pprom experiences in the UK.

It was the Thursday morning that stuck in my mind as being one of the worst moments of the whole pregnancy.  Jon was now in the habit of coming in not long after 9am so he could miss the traffic and so far the doctors never seemed to visit until much later in the day so we assumed he’d be here in plenty of time for rounds. I had an ultrasound with the sonographer booked for later that morning so I wasn’t expecting any doctors to come & see me before then.  Before I’d even had a chance to have my morning shower one of the obstetricians came round to my room.  I’m sure she never meant to be harsh but looking back I wish I’d asked to have one of the midwives in there with me or had the presence of mind to say I didn’t want to talk to her or have a scan without Jon there, as then I may not have described her as the witch to friends on the phone later!  When she talked to me it felt as if she was almost disappointed that I hadn’t gone into labour & I felt like an inconvenience, getting in the way of her busy day by wanting a scan.  She performed the scan on a portable machine & at the end she turned to me & said that there were no waters around the baby & there was no prospect of baby surviving.  I was told that now was the time to consider terminating the pregnancy if I didn’t go into labour soon.  She started talking about the termination options, said she’d be back later, after I’d had the other scan to confirm her findings & we’d discuss my final decision then.  I know that doctors can’t get emotionally involved & I always want my doctors to be factual with me but she left me feeling as if she’d just punched me in the stomach.  I’m sure she never meant to be unsympathetic or abrupt, & during my pregnancy I met many wonderful obsetricians in that hospital who were factual whilst being sympathetic,  but she wasn’t one of them. I’d spent the last 48 hours listening to my babies heartbeat stay steady, calm & healthy whenever the midwives listened to baby & here I was, being told again that there was no hope and to consider termination options, sat alone in my room. I hate people seeing me cry.  I always have.  I’m a brave face person that likes to just get on with things. So I hid. I hid in the shower for 45 minutes & bawled my eyes out like a big girl. Very hollywood!

Jon arrived after an hour & we talked about what had been said in the morning. When we went downstairs for the scan with the sonographer we were both expecting the worst. The worst didn’t happen.  Whilst we were told that there was very little water around the baby, there was some in what seemed like pockets in areas around baby & some in baby’s stomach.  It was very difficult for her to measure baby because of the lack of water but she seemed to be a good size & was still moving.  My Amniotic Fluid Index (AFI) was worked out at around 4 which was more than in a lot of the stories I’d read about in the US.  I think what gave me the most hope at that scan was the sonographer herself.  She insisted we had a picture of baby, was positive & encouraging & even wished me luck with my future scans!

Later that afternoon the same consultant came back with a registrar & informed us that although the sonographer had seen some water there wasn’t enough. The talk turned to termination options again.  I mentioned the limited information I’d found online but she was dismissive & insistent that the risk to me of infection was far too high & that when I developed an infection they would have to intervene anyway.  We were told to talk about it & that the registrar would come back later to find out what we had decided to do. As soon as they left I was clear in my head that was no choice here.  I could hear a healthy heartbeat every time the midwives listened & despite being told 4 days prior that I would be in preterm labour within 48 hours, here I was, still pregnant, no infection & not in labour.  For me, termination just didn’t feel like an option. The registrar that came back to see us was lovely & empathetic.  Jon & I had decided that we would keep going until the 20 week scan where it would be clear if the baby was still growing, if anymore water had accumulated or if I’d lost all of my waters.  She was sympathetic & understanding. It was decided that they would continue to monitor me for now & if I was still ‘infection free’ on Saturday I would be allowed to go home & just come back to the hospital twice a week for blood tests & observation. Fingers & legs crossed!!

No Hope

When we arrived at the Maternity Assessment Unit at the JR we were quickly taken into one of the delivery rooms for a once over.  At that point I wasn’t that worried. Bangor hospital had said there was still water around the baby & my infection markers were barely up in my blood test. The midwife came into the room & confirmed that my obs were all normal & she got a perfectly normal heartbeat reading from the baby.  Then the doctor came in & examined me. She waited until I was dressed & the midwife was back in the room before she turned to face Jon & I.  The look on her face said it all.  From what she could see my cervix was open.  My waters had definitely gone.  I would start going into labour in the next 24-48 hours.  I was losing my baby. There was nothing they could do. She was really, really sorry.

If anyone can be lovely when they give you news like that, she was. I just started crying quietly.  I didn’t know what to say.  All the hope I’d had 30 minutes ago that everything wasn’t as bad as we’d thought the day before was gone.  They went to go & sort out a room for me to be admitted into, leaving Jon & I alone together.  We couldn’t do anything but stand there crying.

For future note – the worst possible room you can be in when you’re told you’re going to lose your baby is a delivery room.  With a ‘how to put baby to sleep’ poster on the wall, birthing balls & couch.  Seriously the worst place to be.

One of the senior midwives came back to take us upstairs.  She was so gentle & kind in her manner  & took us up to level 7 in the service elevator so we didn’t have to face all the people with babies outside.  Jon had to leave as the dogs were still in the car & I needed overnight clothes.  I had my own room so just sat on the bed, not knowing what to do.  I couldn’t even bring myself to phone the my closest friends in the world as I knew talking about it out loud would push me over the edge.  Looking back I felt so guilty as all I could bring myself to do was send this:

“I’m sorry chick. I can’t really talk on the phone at the moment. It’s not good news. My waters have definitely gone. There isnt really any hope left now as there’s nothing to protect me & baby from infection. I’ve been admitted to level 7 & Jon’s on his way back with the dogs. Xx”

That night on my own was horrible.  The midwives were amazing & as positive as they could be with every check they did.  My observations were always normal & baby’s heartbeat was always perfect.  I’m normally completely against ‘googling’ medical conditions but no one seemed to have much information on EPPROM or PPROM which is what they were saying had happened. By 5am the next morning I just wanted someone to come in & give me a solution.  A plan. Anything.

“This is horrible. I feel like my heart is breaking & I can’t do anything to help baby except lie here in a hospital bed & hope for a miracle. I don’t know what to do. Xx”

17 weeks & 4 days….. and the waters break

Jon had spent a lot of time away so far that year and I’d been having a hard time at work so the first weekend in May we decided to head up to Beddgelert in North Wales for a bit of a camping break. Two days before we were due to leave we found out that I was no longer going to be employed by the RAF & was being medically discharged, so a break away to work out what we were going to do next was perfect.

We’d spent two days walking in the woods, pub lunches and generally relaxing in the outdoors & both felt so much better for it. On the Sunday morning we got up with the intention of having a relaxed breakfast at the café in the village before catching the mountain railway train into Caernarfon for the day with the dogs. We were walking through the campsite when I thought I felt some warm discharge. I thought nothing of it until about a minute later there was a small gush. I told Jon I needed to pop to the loo to check something and I started to walk towards the toilet. Within yards my jeans were soaked & I could feel my heart starting to race as I walked faster towards the toilet. That was the first time I thought I was losing my baby, at 17 weeks and 4 days. Jon ran to get the car and we headed to Bangor Hospital, calling them on the way explaining that I thought my waters had gone.

I was absolutely terrified. Over the next hour the nurses came and checked the heartbeat and a doctor came to do a scan. We were told before the scan that if my waters had gone then I would likely go into premature labour soon. Hearts in mouths, the doctor started the scan. Our little one’s heartbeat was loud, clear and completely normal & best of all – he could still see a reasonable amount of water in there and baby was still moving around. As my vitals were completely normal, they popped me into a side room for observation while they ran blood tests to check for sepsis.

In between tests Jon had been running out to the car every now & then as the poor dogs were stuck there & we still had a tent with all our stuff in it pitched in the middle of a field! I felt so bad for Jon, he had no choice but to leave me there not knowing what would happen & travel the 30mins back to the campsite to take everything down.

My room in the hospital had a beautiful view out of the window of the Snowdonia mountains & I just sat there staring for I don’t know how long not able to cry or anything. It’s a running joke that I’m the Ice Queen amongst my close friends as I’m rarely sentimental or emotional & keep my feelings in check unlike my wonderful husband who cries at a good sob story on X-factor. I had limited battery on my phone & no charger (got to love camping) so knew I couldn’t start telling my friends what had happened as I didn’t know how to explain what my waters going would mean & why I was scared but couldn’t afford to be. I started writing a text to one of our closest friends, Laura, who was also pregnant knowing she’d know what it meant. Writing the text was like admitting what was happening to me so after sending it I started to cry.

“Don’t panic because I’m trying not to. I’m in Bangor hospital. It looks like my waters broke this morning. They’re not sure what’s happened. I’ve had a quick scan & there’s still a heartbeat & water round the baby so we just have to wait & see what happens in the next 24 hours xx”

Pregnancy – 12 week Scan

I don’t know how many mums to be out there feel this way, but I was so so paranoid about telling anyone I was pregnant before the 12 week scan as I was terrified something was going to go wrong.  Not a premonition, just rather absurdly slightly superstitious I think!  The only people I told were my absolute closest friends – they never would have believed I’d pass on a large glass of wine because I didn’t feel like it!!!

Being a bit paranoid and as it was our first, we decided to have a private scan so that we could make sure we got the scan right on 12 weeks (I was also struggling not to tell everyone!).  We booked a scan with a local private clinic for the day after we thought I’d turn 12 weeks. I popped in for the blood test a few days prior to make sure we got the results of the nuchal scan on the day of the scan.  Nothing could ever have prepared me for seeing a baby in there!  It just hadn’t felt real until that point & I’d kept thinking that I was going to wake up & be told I was all wrong and obviously didn’t know how to read a basic pregnancy test.  We had no idea what sex the baby was but she appeared healthy in every way on the scan & it looked like we were bang on with our dates and she was due 08 October 2014!!  Definitely time to celebrate and let everyone know.

12 week scan