Labour without delivery ward
Having visitors to the hospital was amazing. The phone calls from family and friends, the messages too. They kept me sane!
My mum and dad and Day’s mum visited a couple of times. It was so exciting when you got a visitor or two! Especially when there you knew there was almost nobody that would be able to ‘drop by’ on their way in from work. It made the trips by boat or plane that people made even more special!
On a couple of occasions I was able to venture out with them for lunch, but to be honest I usually put them off because I was so scared. Too scared to leave the safety of the hospital for fear of what may happen to the baby. Usually the hospital cafe was as far as I felt comfortable going. This was after my first venture out with Day. We went to the cinema and to Nando’s for lunch. They weren’t far and I was sitting for the most part. While I was out I knew I was leaking/bleeding and it terrified me. I just wanted to click my fingers and be back at the hospital! So, the hospital cafe it was.
My incredible friends and family came to visit me. Day came over every single weekend. As awful as it was for me being stuck in hospital, Day had to keep everything running at home and as normal as possible for Alfie. I honestly don’t know how he did it! I’d have been a nightmare. So Stressed and worried I don’t know how I would have coped! He never showed it to me and kept me calm when I would ring him in floods of tears telling him I wanted to come home. My absolute rock.
The thing was, I felt completely fine, it was the little person inside of the that wasn’t and that was worse, because if you feel ill yourself you know when to stop or slow down. So instead, I was just terrified of everything. I was aware that the situation of Pprom could make me sick at any point too, as the risk of developing infection was high. My bloods were done every Monday and Thursday to check my crp levels and were repeated if doctors had any concerns.
I had received the first dose of steroids on Monday night and the second in the Tuesday morning. This meant I was awake throughout the night testing my blood sugar!
On Tuesday I was allowed out for a couple of hours with Day’s mum. We went for lunch in Liverpool and the day passed pretty quickly. It always did when spent with a friendly face. Overnight on Tuesday, they weren’t happy with the short term variability of the baby’s heart rate. This meant I had been up at midnight, 3am and 6am for repeat monitoring. The midwives weren’t overly concerned but the doctors had asked for them to be repeated. It meant for a long, long night of ‘criteria not met.’ By the time one monitoring session was finished, another one was due to start. You know it’s not the case, but sometimes you can’t help but wonder if the midwives who are in overnight forget that it is nightime! It’s a question that furiously shot across my mind many times. They were keeping an eye on baby which was amazing, I’m just THE grumpiest person (aside from Day) if I don’t get enough sleep.
The tracings improved slightly by the morning.
But by Wednesday I was absolutely exhausted. Even though I spent my day in a room with a bed, and I did rest throughout the day, I couldn’t wait for night to come so I could settle down properly.
On their rounds the doctors said they weren’t sure but they thought the steroids may have made baby ‘sluggish’ so I would be monitored at intervals throughout the day. I was hopeful that things would pick up so I was able to stay quite calm. Things had improved and would continue to, wouldn’t they?
A short sharp NO would be the answer to that. Baby was not happy. I was monitored continuously from 10pm to 2am on the maternity base. Nothing was getting any worse, but there wasn’t any signs of improvement either. It was decided at 2.15 am that I was off to labour and delivery. We were to be monitored there, if things started to deteriorate, baby would be delivered. Here they have the screens with all the monitoring on at the main desk and in the doctors office, so there is always someone there keeping an eye on the tracings.
Now I was scared. I was 26 weeks pregnant and they were talking about deliveries and emergency c sections. In a hospital, alone, and having to put full faith in the medical staff.
There was some discussion about at what point they would deliver, because baby was so young still and because of this, what level was acceptable. And no decision was made really. Unless things deteriorated baby would stay inside.
Hooked up to monitors in labour and delivery was strange. This was the room I’d been staying in, my room. It was too big, too clinical, too prepared. Sounds stupid as it’s a hospital room, but I didn’t feel I should be sleeping in there, waiting. It felt like trying to sleep on an operating table. Agoraphobic is how I felt, far too much space surrounding me to feel cosy and comfortable, I felt completely exposed.
I don’t think I slept for more than 5 minutes at a time, constantly drifting in and out of sleep. So uncomfortable, trying to sleep on your back with monitors strapped to your stomach, listening in for anything that sounded abnormal, any change to the rhythmical, ‘whomp, whomp, whomp’ of the heartbeat. Cannulas sticking out of each hand in preparation for being swept down to theatre at a moments notice for an emergency c section. I’d phoned Day, so I guess he was probably doing exactly the same thing at home waiting for those helpless seconds to tick by until he could get on the plane. He wouldn’t be in discomfort, but I wouldn’t want to swap places with him either, lying there so far away feeling helpless.
Different doctors dipped in and out, the midwifery staff were lovely and so thorough.
One doctor came in to talk to me, who was also diabetic. She told me her story of diagnosis; she accidentally diagnosed herself while herself and her friends played with blood glucose testing machines while training. Her friends were between 5 and 7. Hers was above 20! She told me of her getting her pump as I showed her my wireless one, she was jealous of it because it would have saved her the embarrassment when things got a little heated with a guy she had met, as he took her bra off her pump fell from her bra and dangled in the most unflattering fashion in between her legs!!
I remember thinking how I would love to speak more to thins doctor if only my eyes would stay open. After our conversation I did manage to get some sleep, whether it was because it was a conversation about something else, baby’s heartbeat had remained stable because I’d spoken to Day and he would be with me as soon as he could, pure exhaustion or a combination of everything, but I slept.
By this time it was morning. At 10am it was decided that it didn’t look like I would be going for an emergency c section, and even if I was they decided it was better to feed me. Probably, officially because it was better I ate to keep my sugar stable, but also because they’d deprived me of sleep AND food and I was probably a horrible, emotional wreck of a person who had cried at them many, many times. After I ate the took me off the monitor for a couple of hours to let me get some sleep.
I’d been disturbed by two hushed voices entering the room, no one came to poke and prod me and to be honest my eyes were to heavy to open. As I dragged my eyes open and took off my eye mask, I knew I wasn’t alone in the room. It was different this time. Not a doctor, nor a midwife, a lot more familiar, a feeling that felt like home. It was strange how the feeling was in the air before I had even awoken fully. Looking to my left, and there on the floor, snoring softly was Day.
The room no longer felt so clinical and cold, it felt warmer and more inviting because I wasn’t alone anymore. Day was right by my side. Happy tears rolled down my cheeks, that feeling of familiarity is what I’d been missing. A midwife entered and asked if she should get a camp-bed for Day. I told her to leave him while he was asleep as that boy could sleep on a clothes line if he was tired enough!!
Don’t ask me about timescales, I haven’t much of a clue. But sometime during the course of that day a doctors posse entered and the decision was made that baby was, at the point, better inside for as long as possible. But that I should be monitored even closer and a definitive decision needed to be made by foetal medicine about the baseline for delivery.
For now though, we were given the all-clear to fight another day. We were back ‘home’ in the safe comfort of our hospital room. If begged and pleaded for my monitoring to be done earlier, so that if they were unhappy a repeat could be done earlier in the night as I don’t think I’d cope with another night of no sleep. They had brief guidance from foetal medicine as to what was acceptable but a confirmation of this would happen the next day at my scan.
The doctor had written in my notes, ‘monitoring before 7pm’ and sure enough this was done and before 7.30pm, I was asleep.
This was a hard day, hard, hard work. Some might call it ‘labour,’ thankfully this time without the delivery!!
Labour without delivery ward