This week has marked the beginning of my planned antenatal appointments, honestly, im finding it tough.
This is mostly due to people saying the wrong thing.
1st appointment was meant to be with my consultant Dr V. We (Mum and I) were called in by a very, shall we say efficient, support worker. It all went wrong from there.
She asked why i was here. ‘Due to my losses’ Youll get extra scans this time ‘i dont like scans’ Thats ONLY because of your history
1st fuck up.
As i dont cry i got annoyed. I explained they were late losses. Nothing but a blank stare. She said something stupid again. Anxiety is through the roof now, wringing my hands and everything.
I use the word Stillborn to try impress on her how serious this is. Nothing, nada, zip. No sorry for your losses. Instead? A lecture on how important it is to give a urine sample. Really????
In comes a registrar….not Dr V. Sadly she gets it in the neck about the Support Worker but i remind myself its not her fault and try and calm down.
Until i realise they have no idea why i am there. She admits as much. Says she will book a fetal echo (heart scan on baby) in fetal medicine and gets ready to finish up.
I ask about a care plan, clearly pleading for reassurance and shes not sure. I mention the Rainbow Clinic and she says she will refer me and to the Pre Term clinic too. OK we are getting somewhere. I mention EPU and suddenly a switch goes off. I need to be swabbed, my urine sample has been flushed so the next one MUST go to lab. No mention of the NT scan until i ask. They werent going to do another following the 1 at 10 weeks. Good job i asked.
So it ended ok-ish. Not what i was expecting.
Tuesday…my booking in appointment. This was with my bereavement midwife V. Such a different experience. Much more aware of how scary this pregnancy is. She gets annoyed about the SW’s comments and promises to have a word. She also cant believe i didnt see Dr V, no one mentioned she didnt do the Monday clinic to her when she booked my appointment.
We get on with the actual booking in. Lots of form filling really. V is so sensitive about my losses. Asking if its OK to use the word Stillborm on my notes etc. She’s truly wonderful.
She explains what each of the clinics do. Rainbow monitor baby and placenta, Pre Term monitors cervix. Rainbow starts around 18 weeks and Pre Term at 15, unless they request to see me earlier. V is happy to do all my midwife appointments but suggests that after 24 weeks i get to know my community midwives as they will be the ones visting me. Seems sensible.
Ive also been referred to the mental health team. This is to ensure i get the correct support with my anti depressants (V confirmed again im fine to be on them) and to help me reduce them when the time is right.
Im weighed, measured, and have bloods taken. Urine sent to lab even though its clear but thats standard at booking in anyway. V also books my NT scan. She’s got it for next Monday as im at counselling anyway, what a star.
Even though i’ve had PGD i still want the NT measurement as it can indicate other issues, with the heart for example. I just need all the reassurance i can get. Ive also discovered they look at risk factors for Edwards and Patau now too. Fair play, NHS. V says Nifty testing is coming too. Thats the blood test to provide a much more accurate risk factor, I had it with Millie.
Awesome news that’ll be available on the NHS soon. Well done them.
So….lots of appointments with lots of scans. Not my idea of fun but needs must. Im going to concentrate on the science surrounding blood flow and placenta development as much as i can i hope. Dont get me wrong, im so so grateful, its just scans are only reassuring at the time they are being performed for me. Just another symptom of baby loss. It does mean ill have lots of pictures to show though!
Im also acutely aware now of how scary this is going to be. Hopefully i wont be subject to any more insensitive comments as ill mostly be seen by people in the know. I now have a rainbow sticker on my notes for those not in the know. Itll make anyone who see’s them aware we have experienced losses.
Im eternally grateful for my counsellor, L. I have a feeling im really going to be leaning on her as the pregnancy (hopefully) progresses.
Love, Little Miss PMA xxx