This week hasn’t been much fun. I had blood tests Tuesday (standard 28 week appointment stuff) that were a nightmare beginning to end! I’ve never been great with needles at the best of times, not helped by the fact that I have very thin veins so it’s always a pain in the butt trying to get blood out of me. Long (and slightly gruesome) story short, the end result was me camped out on my sofa all afternoon feeling light headed and woozy instead of rushing back to work as I’d intended. I also have some rather fetching heroin chic needle marks and bruises on both arms. Lovely.
Then on Wednesday while I was in work it got to mid morning and I came over all faint again. I work with a team of men who are all freaked out enough by the prospect of me giving birth under my desk like the office cat or something (bless them) so they went in to panic mode as soon as I mentioned feeling a bit off. Fainting and feeling faint I’m told is perfectly normal during pregnancy so I didn’t worry too much about it until it didn’t pass after a good 20 minutes. I’d also been having cramps on and off since the Friday before. I didn’t really think anything of them, and just put it down to Braxton Hicks as they weren’t especially painful, more uncomfortable than anything. Sort of feeling like a very mild period pain. The midwife at my appointment the day before though had told me off for not getting them checked out when they were bad Friday night and had said if they stated again to head straight to the hospital for monitoring. With that in mind I thought it best I call the antenatal unit and just check with them. Initially they told me to take paracetamol and see if that helped and if not to call back. Honestly I didn’t think this was great advice. Paracetamol may have masked the feeling of the cramps (it didn’t actually) but I could still have been having them and been none the wiser. But hey, I’m not a doctor so what do I know?! So I wasn’t overly impressed with that response and I argued with them a little bit to try and get something more helpful out of them but they were having none of it. I took the paracetamol and drank plenty of water and just sat still for a while. I gave it 40 minutes before phoning back to say I still didn’t feel right and was still suffering with the cramps, at which point I was told to come in.
I was strapped to a couple of monitors, one for baby’s heartbeat and one for contractions, and just had to lie there for 30 minutes of monitoring. Baby’s heartbeat seemed strong and loud (although the little monkey wouldn’t stay still so Paul had to chase him around with the monitor to keep his heartbeat recording!) and I was feeling fine other than having the cramps. Eventually we saw a Very lovely Dr who asked lots of questions; had I had any fluid leaks? Any blood loss? Could I describe the cramps? Did I feel otherwise well? Had I suffered a miscarriage or premature labour before? Was baby still active? We answered the questions and waited for her diagnosis. She was concerned it could’ve been premature labour, so mentioned the possibility of steroids to help speed up development of baby’s lungs but wanted to go and check with a consultant. We waited a little longer and then she reappeared with this oh so clever test (I’m a bit of a nerd so was really excited about this!) it’s basically a swab that tests for a particular protein that your body only produces when you’re about to go in to labour. The theory being that if it came back positive then they’d pump me full of steroids, and if it came back negative then it wasn’t premature labour. I was fascinated! So we did the test and it came back negative, hurrah! They ran some other normal tests, urine samples, blood pressure etc and everything was peachy! We spent all afternoon at the hospital worried that something horrible was happening, but in the end it was all just a false alarm. I’m still having the cramps on and off and we still don’t know what they are but the Dr wasn’t worried and her best guess is that baby’s growing so much now that it could just be muscles stretching and causing discomfort. I’m keeping an eye on it though, and if I have any other symptoms or the cramps get worse I’m to go back.
I have to say, the boys in my team were great. Very sweet and very caring (all carefully hidden under a cloak of sarcasm and piss taking of course) and have been looking after me all week. Us pregnant ladies are sometimes very quick to say men don’t understand or that they’re a bit useless but honestly, I was very impressed and touched by their concern. And of course Paul was the calming and rational influence I always need in a stressful situation too. He is going to be such a great dad. 😊
So, that was my eventful week! I’m hoping for some calm and quiet now so I can look forward to my baby shower (now only 3 weeks away) and seeing all my lovely friends in one place. Plus there’s going to be cake and plenty of it which is never a bad thing!
Wednesday did give me a kick up the bum though, I hadn’t even really thought about my hospital bag until then but the prospect of giving birth earlier than planned has given me the nudge I needed so I’m now on top of all things hospital bag! The nursery is ready and waiting and we’ve got most of the big stuff we need sorted, so I’m starting to feel calmer and more ready now.
Anyway, here’s a video of the little man having a good old wriggle. This last few days he’s been non stop – something tells me he’s going to keep me on my toes!