It's Baby Day! Pregnancy number 2 equals baby number 2!
Today I will have a baby. Wow. Weird. And I'm writing about it lying in a hospital bed, in a hospital ward I've never stepped foot in, feeling completely healthy and normal.
Surreal.... That word pretty much sums up my past 24 hours. As I lie here and reflect on what has taken place the past few days and how polar opposite this is to the majority of women who have a baby, I'm filled with relief knowing that this is finally coming to an end, or should I say an exciting new beginning.
On Tuesday I had another scan with the doctor I didn't like but REALLY like now. I was 31 weeks exactly and within 3 minutes of the ultrasound beginning I knew we would be meeting P2 this week. Words like 'critical', 'massively decreased' and 'too small' were flowing out of his mouth as his head shook the wrong way. All measurements were much worse than last week (amniotic fluid now under 5) and he didn't see how or why they would try to keep P2 cooking any longer. He did say the blood flow was still pumping as it should, but just. It was only a matter of time before the amniotic fluid effectively dried up completely meaning the cord would stiffen and not pump the blood. We had a weigh in and our beautiful bubba now weighs around 1.34kg. 'Not bad' Hayd and I said (crazy when you think it's only the size of a small roast!). We'd just had a bet in the waiting room on how big we thought it would be and that wasn't far off. It also meant it had put on 300 grams (think your order of ham at the deli!) in two weeks which was a good sign.
The doctor said he needed to ring my NEW obstetrician - yes of course my one has gone on holidays this week!! - so asked us to wait outside whilst they worked out what to do. Normally he says he'd like to see us in a week or at least a few days. This time there was none of that, so that was a big sign for us.
We sat in the waiting area kind of staring at each other and again said 'Oh Sh*t'. After a couple of minutes he came out and said we were to go up to our new obstetricians room where they have a CTG to again monitor the baby's heart beat and to meet the obstetrician to talk about next steps.
We headed upstairs very dazed and kind of feeling those emotions you feel at the beginning of the pregnancy when you go to meet your obstetrician for the first time; I hope we like him/her, I hope everything is ok, try to remember everything you want to ask and act cool!! But of course this was not the time for those kind of feelings.
The girls behind the counter were lovely and 'Jane' ushered us in to the CTG room. She was like a caring mum and immediately made me feel better, not to mention she found P2's heart beat quickly and it happily blipped away. She gave me a couple of jelly beans and an ice cold glass of water to wake bub up - it did the trick! After 20 minutes she came in and said the CTG was great so I could hop off and come and meet the obstetrician. He was/is great! A very different bedside manner but we really like him (and he reminds me of a friend of mines husband who I love!) so that was a great relief. We talked through the scan and discussions he'd had with the doctor. They both agreed it would be a stretch to get to next Tuesday (32 weeks so I could have it at Freemasons) but he said we would take it day by day and see how we go. He told me to come back each morning for a CTG and he would book me in for another scan Thursday afternoon. Lastly he took my blood pressure which was higher than usual (surprised?!) so told me to increase the blood pressure medication and head for more blood tests to see how I was coping.
We left him and I headed off for more bloods where I was greeted by the pathology lady like an old friend - not necessarily a good sign! Hayd and I parted ways both still dazed and not quite sure what to be feeling.
I'd caught the train in early with Lizzie, my sister, so headed off on the tram to get to the train. I had to go via Flinders Street and was starving, so shouted myself 'Lord of the Fries' fries & a burger. For those that know me well, that is something I would absolutely never normally choose & as I sat on the train staring down at this mass of fries smothered in aioli wishing it would turn in to a fresh salad roll, I realized I wasn't quite thinking straight!
Mum and dad had been looking after Poppy for me and when I got home she was asleep. Mum (who was ironing Hayds shirts - AMAZING woman!) took one look at me and said 'off you go to bed - you look exhausted'. I literally walked in to my room, crawled in to bed and slept solidly for an hour. Pop, Mum and Dad had lunch for me (and yes it was the fresh salad roll I'd wished for!) and were eager to hear the news. After explaining everything to them, Dads first comment was 'well I will come up tomorrow and drive you to the hospital - I don't want you catching the train'. Am I not the luckiest daughter in the world?! They headed home after another half an hour and Pop and I went outside in to the sun for a 'treat' and play time. I sat there watching her play with her princess castle, happily chatting to Ariel and Snow White and realized this could be the last time it's just the two of us having time together. That triggered the water works and I cried and cried until Pop noticed and began asking 'Mumma why are you crying'. A tricky question for me to answer, but she knew how to fix it and ran off to find 'Teddy' - her pink Flatout Bear that goes everywhere with her, and placed it on my cheek (where she holds it) and said 'there Mumma, you happy now??!' How can you not be happy with that little ray of sunshine by your side.
The afternoon was SO long and I really did feel like crying every few minutes. I was exhausted from so many ups and downs and thinking through the prospect of driving up to an hour each way for a 20 minute CTG for the next week, trying to work out how to keep things as normal for Pop as possible and realizing that this was all happening at a gestation where P2 is so tiny and most likely will have to spend time in a NICU of which we don't even know where it will be! I tried to focus on playing with Pop and getting both my bag and P2's bag packed and ready to go. I'd been getting lovely messages from all my friends touching base to see how everything was progressing and got one from Amie, my next door neighbour. I wrote back saying things weren't looking great and 2 minutes later there was a knock on the front door. She figured I could do with a hug. How lucky am I! She came in for a cup of tea whilst Harrison and Pop happily played between houses together (we have a secret back gate between houses - best idea ever!) It was just what I needed to get me through the afternoon.
Once Hayd was home we began the night time 'routine' and I just had the feeling that this was the last time we'd be doing this before P2 arrived. I was still pretty emotional and we talked through how we were ready for some action to be taken and just wanted P2 out and safe now. The maybe/maybe not waiting game was starting to take its toll both mentally and physically on both of us.
We decided to drop Pop at daycare and drive in to the hospital together. Not sure what we were thinking, but we dropped Pop at 8am and sat in gridlock for an hour and a half. Let's just say the conversation very quickly stopped flowing and quite a few expletives were thrown around just as we met the rest of Melbourne trying to cross Punt Rd at the river!!
Once at Freemasons I was back on the CTG with Jane kindly asking how I was. Verging on tears I told her I wasn't sure I could keep doing this every day and that I wanted to get the process moving. She patted my leg and said 'don't worry! You're exactly where you need to be and everything will be fine.' As we waited for the new obstetrician, one of his staff walked out from his office, picked up the phone and said 'hello is this Frances Perry? I'd like to request a patient transfer today'. Hayd and I took one look at each other and knew that was us! The obstetrician sat us down and immediately explained that my blood tests had come back showing the start of preeclampsia and he couldn't see how we could or should prolong this any longer. This sounds odd to say, but Hayd and I were really happy to hear this! We agreed and headed downstairs to kill some time whilst he tried to get us a bed - something he said is not that easy so I may have to stay at Freemasons for monitoring and then head to whichever hospital he can get me in to. He was really hoping for Frances Perry as he can then deliver me there himself.
The call came through quite quickly - they had a bed for us at Frances Perry and there was a NICU bed available at The Womens (the main hospital), so that was perfect. We were standing in 7-Eleven when he rang grabbing every gossip magazine we could find, so we quickly headed back over, collected the paperwork and drove over to Frances Perry.
I've now been here for a little over 12 hours (it's currently 3am and I'm having a cup of tea and eating a Kit Kat as I write this!). The staff are wonderful and were ready for us when we arrived. My obstetrician tried to book me in to have P2 on Friday but the schedule was already full, so I am instead booked in for 4pm today as he didn't want to wait any longer. What a relief!
I am being monitored every 4 hours for my blood pressure so suffice to say I'm not getting a huge amount of sleep. Hayd has gone home and will return in the morning.
My amazing parents picked Poppy up and took her back to Mornington yesterday, her 'other home' as she refers to it. She will spend the next few days with them which is SUCH a relief for us knowing how happy she is down there.
And so we come to today!
I'm feeling very ready now and so relieved to be exactly where I am. I'm also finally allowing myself to get excited about meeting this perfect little bubba. It's been such a full on few weeks and the focus has very much been on just getting as far as we can and praying that my placenta will hold out and that P2 keeps growing.
At 4pm today I will be so ready to meet P2 and finally give him or her a name!
Stay tuned - I can't wait to introduce you! Xx