One in, all in!
I was awoken by my friendly alarm clock/tea lady at 8am on a Monday morning. The start of my second week in hospital. I was in a new, bigger room, with my very own tele that had pride of place on the wall. It didn’t work, but it looked pretty. Day had fought for a bigger room for me. He was staying at the hospital when he came over to stay and we both had black and blue shins from crashing into beds and chairs. I, myself, wasn’t cheeky enough to ask, not wanting to make a fuss, but I was so glad he did. He was right, we were hopefully in for the long haul a bit of space was needed. It was so much more comfortable.
During ‘This Morning,’ I heard mumblings outside the wooden door. There was a sharp rapping at the door and in entered the doctor and his entourage. This doctor was younger, fresher faced, but had a furrowed brow. I instantly tensed. Someone else that was going to tell me all the bad things that could possibly happen to me and my baby. I was waiting for it. My body tense with that primal instinct; fight or flight. I was ready to fight all over again. Ready to be the advocate for my baby. Come on then. I was armed with my pad and pen, even though all the questions I needed has been rehearsed over and over in my head.
I’m ready for this battle. At that moment, without Day, it was just me. Me vs the faces in front of me.
“Sorry Miss Ward, I’m just trying to understand why you weren’t given steroids on admission to the hospital…”
No, I’m sorry… what?
I was winded and stunned. I felt for a brief moment I could cry with relief!
“…my plan is for you to be given steroids right away to help mature your baby’s lungs and give them the best chance of survival. They’re given 12 hours apart. I know you are diabetic, it can make your sugars hard to control…”
“I’ll do anything, I’ve already spoken to my diabetes nurse about what to do. I can phone her and get advice.”
He explained about their diabetes team at The Royal and that I could get their generic advice.
I explained in a very nice way that his offer was nice, but I’d be contacting my own incredible diabetes nurse from the Isle of Man. I’d trusted her with my life for many years. She supported me through my first pregnancy and through the planning of this one right up until I came to Liverpool. (As well as the rest of the time!) She knows me and my diabetes. I’d be contacting her and taking her tailored advice.
He smiled and agreed. And told me I would get my first dose of steroids at 7pm!
I couldn’t believe it! A fresh face and some fresh hope! All I had wanted, begged and pleaded for. Excited, bouncing and giddy, I phoned Day. Ecstatic about the plan moving forward. Who’d have thought you could get so excited about having a needle jabbed in each butt cheek, hey?
I had had a big leak and bleed a few days before, he wanted to give me an internal examination. One of the midwives thought the baby may have been showing signs of distress through possible meconium in my leaked waters. I’d read my information and internals weren’t advised unless necessary. If baby was in distress they needed to know. The doctor didn’t think it was the baby showing distress, but he wanted to be sure.
Was it ok of the student doctors had a look too? They’d never seen a lady with no waters before. At least they’d buttered me up with the offer of steroids first! Dinner and a movie would have been preferable, under usual circumstances to be honest.
I did laugh inwardly whilst thinking,”sure! Why not?” Dignity was a long, distant memory anyway! One in, all in!
“Could you just shine the torch a little to the left…. if you look there…”
It’s strange where you can put yourself when you’re in the most undignified of situations! I glanced over at my pencils and crayons strewn creatively over the little table. Amongst the creative chaos, I caught sight of a pencil my mum’s friend had brought me. I had asked for a rubber because I had started drawing (badly) as well as colouring. Mum’s friend had given the pencil with a rubber on the end to my mum to give to me, with the tagline, “bit bloody late for rubbers now!”
I joke, but I had a serious message. I did want to raise awareness of Pprom. If I could make this journey smoother for any parents in the future, to have two passionate, proactive doctors like the one who walked into my room that morning, that believed in Pprom babies having a chance, then my job was done.
All was ok, the doctor was happy it was from the earlier bleed.
One doctor. One doctor was all it took to change my treatment and give us the chance of being parents to two living children. I often think of this doctor and his proactive care. He didn’t know if my child was going to survive or not, but he chose to give him/her the best chance possible. What he didn’t wouldn’t harm either of us, it would help our baby’s lungs to mature.
There were six trainees. Six. If they went to work in six different hospitals, imagine how the treatment for Pprom would improve
This should be standard practice in the treatment of Pprom.
The steroids were given. They did play havoc with my sugars, but the plan we had in place worked. The only other side effect was severe beetrootitus and a smoking hot body to the touch all over! But they did their job on the inside, working where they needed to, strengthening and maturing baby’s lungs should they be born early.
That second stinging injection to the butt brought tears to my eyes for more than one reason.
Photo of beetrootirus!