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Am I In Labour?!?!

The last couple of weeks have been a little bit terrifying! I mean, I never expected to go for a routine scan at the hospital and then still be there 4 days later! I was only in my 34th week of pregnancy and I hadn’t even packed a bag or brought anything useful with me. Just my little shoulder bag with some makeup in and my bank card. But there I was in hospital 4 days later with what appeared to be contractions! I am not talking about the odd random braxton hicks that are a tad uncomfortable. I am talking about painful tightenings/period pains that started on Wednesday evening (night before my scan) that are still happening now! Am I in Labour?!

So on the Wednesday evening I started with some pains and a very intense tight feeling that would come and go roughly every 5 minutes. It started quite late on just before bed and I decided to go to sleep and see how I was in the morning as baby was still moving as normal. If they got more intense or closer together then yes obviously I would have been phoning the hospital and going straight in. The pain carried on through the night but never actually got worse or closer together. Eventually somehow I drifted off early hours in the morning and when I woke at 7am they seemed to have eased a bit.

My husband and I headed in for my scan at 10am and decided to bring Reid with us. It was our last scan before baby arrived (granted everything was ok) so we decided it would be OK to bring him this time. We never brought him to the other 4 weekly fetal medicine scans just in case there was ever any bad news. This time we felt it would be OK as this was more just a reassurance scan for me and to check placement of my placenta (it was originally blocking the exit). All was good on the scan and Reid loved seeing his little sister! My placenta had moved up which was great news and there was no need to be booked in for a C- Section.

Whilst having the scan I felt more of the pains I had been feeling the night before and I mentioned this to the guy doing my scan. He said it could well be my body going in to labour or could be nothing and he said the baby is measuring at roughly 6lb so he isn’t too concerned if this is it! I was a bit horrified at how calm and blase he was about it and I didn’t feel right just going home. I decided to pop my head in to the maternity assessment unit on my way out. For anyone who doesn’t know, its not the done thing to just ‘pop your head in’ to the MAU and you do get a look that says…what on earth are you doing here and why didn’t you call first! They did agree to get me on a monitor and see what was going on however but I did feel just a little bit of a nuisance.

Once on the monitor you could see my ‘tightenings’ and they were coming once or twice every 10 mins so a bit irregular. They could see that they were coming more frequently and were getting closer together however so they decided to do a fetal fibronectin test on me. I didn’t even know this test existed to be honest! It would tell them if there was a possibility of me going in to labour within the next 2 weeks. Negative meant no and Positive meant possibly. Apparently getting a negative result was more reliable than a positive. It seemed a bit pointless to me to be honest as they explained positive just meant I would possibly go in to labour within 2 weeks…but I might not. Of course it came back positive and since I was still having fairly frequent pains the next thing I know I am being wheeled off in to the delivery suite. What the eff! How did I end up here!

I felt so sorry for my little boy as this was meant to be a nice thing as a family, seeing his sister on the scan. Now his mummy has been whisked off and he wasn’t allowed on the delivery suite. It was very confusing for him and I had to tell my husband to take him home and leave me. It was quite upsetting to be honest and I began to feel very scared. I was already extra sensitive about this baby after losing my last one and I was convinced something was wrong. It made me feel upset and I started to panic! I was only 34 weeks and 3 days! She was too early, she can’t come now! So many thoughts going through my mind and I was just laid in this room on a bed with monitor on, all alone. Thank god for the midwives who were actually so so nice and tried to comfort me. They could see I was getting myself in to a bit of a state.

The consultant came to see me and told me that they had made the executive decision not to stop her from coming if she decided to arrive now. They felt that she would do OK if she came now and she was measuring a good size/weight on scans so they felt that not stopping the labour would be the least risky option. They gave me steroids to help mature her lungs and they told me that if she hadn’t arrived within 48 hours they would then give me another one. Ideally I would have the 2 lots of steroids before she arrived to fully mature her lungs. Those steroid injections really are awful! They hurt like hell and I was bleeding quite a bit after!

I called my husband to see what was going on with him. He had managed to sort his mum to come and look after our little man so he could come back to hospital to be with me and bring me a bag of clothes. It killed me trying to advise him on what to pack as it all felt so unorganised. When you are pregnant you kinda look forward to packing ‘the bag’. It’s all part of the excitement leading up and you want to choose their first outfit and your clothes. Trying to pack it over the phone via your husband whilst in a panicked state is definitely not what I wanted. It was the least of my worries however but trying to think what I needed was an impossible task under the circumstances. I just about managed to think of most things although as suspected he forgot to pack stuff and somehow a superhero baby vest found it’s way in to the bag…

After spending a few hours in the delivery suite and nothing seemed to be progressing they decided to move me on to the antenatal ward. This was a bit shit if I am honest. Don’t get me wrong, its pretty standard in hospital, ending up on a ward. But let’s face it, no one wants that! Especially when you are so stressed out and you now have to listen to other stressed out people. In my case most of the people in my room were all in for hyperemesis. Now I am super sympathetic to these ladies as I suffered bad with the sickness but I really am not good at listening to people throw up..who is, I guess? So this was just really unpleasant for me (yep their misery was an inconvenience) it wasn’t their fault however and I am sure they were feeling equally as shit. Especially since my bed was right beside the one bathroom so I really got a good earful of what went on in there. Lucky me! I did feel sorry for one lady in particular who seemed to be having an awful time bless! What us pregnant ladies have to go through eh! I then spent the rest of my time in hospital on this ward until I was finally allowed to leave.

The days that followed were just literally me spending hours and hours on the monitor. I swear my thumb was permanently in a bent position and sore by the end of my stay. If you have ever been on one of those monitors you will know what I mean! You have to press this button each time you feel the baby move. Of course when you get the monitors on your belly this makes baby move loads so you are just pressing this button over and over and have to press quite hard as often it doesn’t work unless you do. Being stuck on the machine drove me crazy and I was sick to death! The itchy straps you wear around your belly were getting unbearable. I kept frantically scanning the paper being printed with my eyes to see if it was showing just how bad each pain was. If I had a bad pain and it wasn’t showing a great big mountain on the paper it wound me right up. I would sit there shouting…LIAR at the machine if I felt it didn’t reflect the pain I experienced. The midwife told me to take the markings with a pinch of salt and the point is it reflects that there is something going on…..It still pissed me off if the line didn’t go up enough though! The little thing wind you up when pregnant and in pain!

I was given my second lot of steroids 48 hours after the last one. I was quite relieved that she had stayed put to at least have the second one, although I was still very much on edge and so fed up of things. Because my pains were still going on and her heart rate was extremely fast and so was my pulse they literally just wanted to keep me in to monitor us. This went on for the 4 days I was there. I just wanted so bad to go home and I found it all very upsetting. On the 4th day they decided they were happy with baby’s movements and decided they no longer needed to monitor us. They said I could finally go home and just to keep an eye on the pains to see if they developed or if my waters broke. It made sense to take the next week off work as I was really exhausted. I also wanted to see what happened that week as obviously I didn’t know how soon I could be having the baby.

I’m now at the end of my week off and so far there is no sign of baby! She obviously just wanted to frighten the crap out of her mum. I am still, however, enjoying these lovely contractions on a daily basis which is super fun! It does also feel like I’ve been kicked in the vaj and like the baby is going to drop out so maybe that means labour isn’t far away. I have made the (stupid) decision to go back to work tomorrow. I will be 36 weeks exactly tomorrow and if I don’t go back to work they will start my maternity leave automatically with me being in the last 4 weeks. So I am going to go back and just see how it goes. I had planned to be at work until 38 weeks so who knows if I will make it that far at work. Just 2 more weeks to go, if she holds on that long! I do feel more relaxed now though that I will be 36 weeks tomorrow. If she decides to come any time from then on at least she is almost full term!

My time in the hospital wasn’t all bad! The staff over all were amazing at the RVI. I couldn’t really fault them as they were really on the ball and also so good with me when I was having a full on panic. Although I didn’t enjoy being there for 4 days I did like that they really thoroughly kept an eye on us. I did feel well looked after and the ward itself was one of the better ones I had stayed in. The hospital food was actually half decent and right up my street! I even got a Sunday dinner on my last day before leaving the hospital..it was not bad at all, I swear it tasted better than it looked! The desserts were lovely too and everything was piping hot! The most bizarre but brilliant thing was on the Saturday night when someone came round the ward asking if any of us wanted to go see the new Dumbo movie in the on site cinema. I hadn’t seen this movie yet as I had never had chance so I was like, hell yes! They said my family could join me too! It was a bit late for my son by the time it started so it was just me and the hubby. The cinema was half decent although it was a bit strange seeing people on beds with drips up in there. It was quite modern with comfy seats and apart from all the ill people it looked like any other cinema. One guy unfortunately was unwell and was sick during the movie, but apart from that it was great! I mean, it’s still a hospital at the end of the day but it’s the little things that you appreciate!

I feel like I have had a very stressful time and I am really drained to be honest. The pains keep me awake so I don’t sleep well and I am constantly on edge. Every little thing and I am panicking, thinking she is coming. I feel like i can’t relax and it really does drive you a bit mental. There has been lots of tears this last week and feeling utterly fed up. I just want to know my little princess is safe! What if something is wrong or something goes wrong? I am now wishing her here so bad so that I know she is OK. I am also thinking if I get to 37 weeks and she doesn’t immediately make an appearance I will be furious! If I get to my due date then its a bit cruel after going through this since 34 weeks. Imagine I go over my due date! That would send me loopy! I am so glad she has held on but I really am at the point that if she decides to stay in extra long I will be grounding her until she is 18 from the moment she is born!

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