Wednesday, 23 July 2014

The scary day

by Bex

I've had what felt like my most hormonal day today, bursting into tears at least 3 times!  I know everyone is probably watching the Commonwealth Games opening ceremony in Glasgow right now, (as am I, from the sofa) but if I don't write it now I'll forget things.  Even though I've been writing about all the good, exciting, fun things happening lately doesn't mean there isn't still that layer of worry, especially given the trials we had to get here.  I'm sure it's the same for all parents and I expect it will never end.

Basically I haven't felt baby girl kick since the night before last.  I usually only feel her in the evening, when I'm settled and quiet in bed whereas I often also feel baby boy throughout the day.  Initially I thought maybe she was just sleeping at different times and I wasn't feeling her during the day as I was busy but when I still wasn't feeling her by this afternoon I was getting a bit more worried.  Nik was up at lunchtime (he's currently on nights) and we tried jiggling and prodding her and he shouted and sang at her through my belly.  Still nothing and during my afternoon at work it was on my mind more and more so I rang maternity assessment just to see if they thought I should come and get checked or if I was just being ridiculous.  I know it's early but since I had been feeling so much more movement from them both lately I was increasingly concerned at the lack of movement on my left side.

I spoke to the midwife who was surprised I could differentiate between each twin's movements this early on but I explained that one is very clearly left and one on the right and the left had stopped.  She asked if I'd had any pain or bleeding and reassured me that this early on it is quite normal not to feel anything or for the baby to move position and be less noticeable.  She said I could come in and they could check for the heartbeat if I wanted to be sure.  I asked if I could go in tomorrow morning as I was at work and had patients booked in and she said that if I was worried I really should go in now and get it checked.  This instantly made me more concerned but I explained that I had my own emergency patients and no-one to cover today.  She said that I should think of my own health and that of my wee babies.  Cue tears.  I felt terrible!

She said they would leave it up to me but they are open 24 hours so I could go in after work this evening if I wanted but she seemed to think I should be heading straight there.  Up until then I hadn't been overly worried as I assumed I was being over-cautious and it was probably normal.  The more I thought about her words I became utterly upset so called Nik and woke him despite not being able to speak very well through sobs.  He said it's been a day and a half and another hour won't change anything so not to worry and he would come with me when I finished work.

Luckily I had 15 minutes to calm down before my next patient but I suspect a red-eyed pregnant lady doesn't instill much confidence and the girls thought perhaps I should just see my emergencies and cancel the rest.  They managed to get hold of them and get the more urgent cases to come in asap.  Half an hour later I was home and waking Nik again.  Off we went to Maternity assessment (basically maternity A&E) and we didn't have to wait long to be taken through to a bed.  We were then left waiting a wee while as the midwife explained at 21 weeks they wouldn't be able to differentiate between each twin's heartbeats and be able to definitely confirm there were 2 separate ones with the usual monitor so they were waiting for the doctor to come down and do a scan to check the heartbeats.  She said again that at this stage it is most likely nothing to worry about but that it was absolutely not a problem to it get checked out.

The doctor didn't take too long but apologised for our wait.  He was absolutely lovely and ultra reassuring.  They both commented that with all the information, warnings and risks that have been explained to us regarding carrying twins it is absolutely normal to be worried and he said I wasn't being paranoid at all.  He said it is normal for the babies not to be moving at the same time as they might be on different routines and I said that I usually feel our girl much lower down and at different times to our boy anyway but nothing since the night before last, hence my concern.  The midwife had already fired up the ultrasound so he got on with checking and instantly found her heartbeating.  THANK GOODNESS!  Huge relief!  He then briefly checked baby boy who was happily kicking about over on his side.

He then let us watch baby girl for a while, she wasn't moving much but then got the hiccups, stretched her head backwards and started squirming a bit more.  He said he could see her making breathing movements which he commented is very advanced for this stage and she seemed to be very mature for 21 weeks.  He then focussed on her face as he could see her making swallowing movements and showed us her wee mouth from the front, opening and closing.  By this point I was in tears again and the midwife was asking if I was feeling better.  I was just so relieved that everything was OK and I could see them both happily moving away.  She started wriggling around a lot more and we saw her arm waving frantically along her belly at one point.  The reason I can no longer feel her is that  her legs have moved up so she's now lying horizontal and completely tucked into a wee pocket behind her placenta.  (Which may also explain why my belly button has now completely turned into an outie now that her wee feet are tucked in behind it!)  We could see she was all squished in compared to baby boy who was swimming about in lots of fluid in the middle as his placenta is in a different place.  As a result, she is all cushioned and I can't feel her behind the placenta, hence the lack of movement lately.  Cheeky wee girl hiding from us!!  She obviously likes being all tucked up and cosy just like Mummy does!

He said they will always be on either side as the membrane separating them in their sacs is pretty much down the middle so that is why I find it so easy to tell which is which as they are clearly left and right.  Both the doctor and midwife were lovely and happy to reassure us.  The doctor commented that I will likely feel baby girl much less than baby boy until about 24 weeks onwards when they're bigger and stronger.  Both he and the midwife made me feel completely reasonable about being concerned and assured me that even if I wasn't sure and if something didn't feel right I could go right back in, they are there 24 hours and totally aware that just because everything's fine today, it could all change tomorrow and they would rather check than have me ignore any worries.  It may seem like a lot of fuss for nothing but when that fear strikes, it's just a horrendous feeling.  I'd be so devastated if anything happened to our babies and with them being at higher risk of complications it's a very real fear.

We were only in the hospital for around an hour in total so not long at all to wait and obviously completely worth it regardless of how long we might have been there.  I'm so glad we went and everything was well, I feel so much better now.  Thank you so much to the staff at the Southern General Hospital for being amazing and putting our minds at rest!

After such an emotional day (I was already having a particularly difficult and painful day at work anyway!) I am now utterly knackered and off to bed after devouring a curry (yay for being back on curries too) as I was so hungry after just having 3 peaches (still obsessed with them, I've just had 2 more!) at lunchtime and then being too upset to eat.  Definitely time to get me and these babies into bed methinks!  Also, they've just started showing premature babies on TV and I really don't think I can cope with any more tears today!!!


Gwen - TheFoodieHistorian said...

I am so glad that the staff were so lovely and that everything is ok! xx

Elaine said...

Big hugs to you. I hope you were able to get a good sleep. Pregnancy can be a scary time. It can sometimes be difficult to relax and enjoy the pregnancy without worries and fears getting the better of you. At the very least you know that you were well looked after at the hospital. Hope you feel better today xx

Rebecca said...

Awe bex, you did completely the right thing. I dragged (it wasn't that hard) James into the maternity ward about 2 weeks before I was due at about 3am because I couldn't feel Anna at all and she was usually most awake at night! Needless to say she was fine, it's such a horrible feeling! I hope you're better now, and good that the doctors explained how they're lying so you have a clearer picture of them too :) x

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