Saturday, August 25, 2012

Nothing worth doing is easy...

If you’re friends with me on Facebook ,you’ll probably know the saga already and therefore my telling you over again in this post isn’t really going to be telling you anything new. But feel free to read anyway, of course - I can’t stop you!

This will be a really intense, long post - just warning you.

Tuesday, 21st August 2012
Went to work as per normal, everything was the usual, I was getting shit done and feeling pretty positive about the amount I was doing. Had a phone call from a client, then got up to go and talk to one of my workmates about it (around 3:10pm). As I was standing by her desk, I felt a leak in my pants, and a small trickle down my leg. I tried to stop it by ‘clenching’, but it seemed to continue. I thought, “Fuck, I’ve peed myself,” and excused myself quickly from her office and headed out to the Ladies’ room.

I got out to the toilets, pulled my trousers down, and to my absolute horror, I had blood all the way down my right leg. I don’t really remember much else about that instant other than it scared. me. shitless. I looked in the loo and there was blood everywhere there too. I wiped myself, stuffed a little TP in my knickers, and tried to remain calm. Washed up my hands, walked (briskly) back into the main office, and immediately told the lady I’d been talking to that I need an ambulance. She thought I was joking to start with until she saw my face. She sat me down in her chair and calmly called for the paramedics. In the meantime, I called Michael and told him to remain calm, I’d experienced some bleeding and we had an ambulance on the way, but I feel fine (which I did, other than being a little panicked). I told him to get in touch with my Dad (who I’d tried calling a couple of times) for him to go pick him up from work.

The paramedics were amazing. They showed up within 2 minutes of being called, and kept me calm. I felt a little light-headed when they put a cannula into my arm to get some fluids into me, and was laid down on the floor to relax and recover. They stuffed a beautiful (ha!) large pad into my pants to collect anything else that might leak and took me straight out to the local hospital.

From here on in it’s a bit of a blur - I remember being wheeled straight up to the Maternity ward at the MCH, where I was immediately attended to by two nurses and a doctor. The first thing the doc did was check on bub, and he said (much to my relief) there appears to be plenty of fluid around her. They did a speculum inspection, took some swaps of the blood I had there, and it showed negative for amniotic fluid. Another relief. In this time, Michael and Dad arrived, and the doctor went out and told them what had happened. Michael filled out paperwork then they both came in and sat with me.

A little while later the doc and nurses did another speculum, to do a bit of cleanup and make sure that it wasn’t a rupture in my birth canal and that they could see the mucus plug, which seemed okay.

I was then sent down for an emergency scan just to check on everything on the more high-tech equipment, and bubby was fine - measuring up perfectly and didn’t appear to be in any distress. Placenta was also okay, no detachment and definitely not low-lying. They then did an internal scan, and the radiologist said that everything there appeared to be okay - my cervix wasn’t closed but wasn’t open either, but it didn’t appear to be changing at all.

I was sent back up to the ward where another doctor came in and did ANOTHER freaking internal exam on me - I don’t have any problem with internals but crikey four times in the space of a couple of hours seemed excessive even to me at that point. Anyway, they couldn’t see anything wrong, or nothing that they made apparent to me anyway. They talked about the possibility of sending me to Launceston or Hobart hospitals. Michael said he’d better get me a bag packed because, regardless, I’d be at the MCH for at least a night and would need some clothes, toiletries, etc.

It was at around 6:15pm, shortly before Michael and Dad got back, that one of the nurses told me it looked like I’d be sent to the Royal Hobart Hospital. I almost thought she was joking. Hobart (Tasmania’s capital) is approximately 3 hours from where I live. For some this might seem like nothing (hell, for some this is their daily commute to work!) but for me, being from a small city and used to having everything nearby, this was just horrific. I was pretty upset at the news, but tried to take it in my stride. I knew that the RHH is the best for neo-natal and premmie baby care, and if bub was born early, then we’d be in the best place for the best care available.

Around 6:30pm my mum arrived at the hospital. It seemed I only saw her for about 5 minutes before they told me that the paramedics were ready to go. They airlifted me to Hobart (Michael would come down in the morning - I told him that was the best option, get things organised at home and come down the next day because it’d just be me sitting in a hospital bed and having tests/swabs/etc. done, pretty boring for him). I arrived at the RHH around 9:00pm, was taken straight to the maternity ward.

At this point I have to say that EVERYONE I dealt with through this process - 8 paramedics in total, two doctors, countless nurses, a radiologist and a pilot! - was amazing. I was so fortunate to not run into any egos or bad bedside manners. Everyone was just great.

The first nurse I dealt with at the maternity ward at the RHH was wonderful - she made me a cup of tea and offered me some sandwiches (which was awesome because I hadn’t eaten anything since around 12:00pm), and I was allowed to eat in peace despite being in a shared room. A little while later a doctor came in and checked my pad, still fresh blood at that point but the flow had gone down significantly already. He just had me change it over so they could see the amount that collected between then and the next time they checked.

This is where things start getting hazy because I was physically and emotionally exhausted. I remember another doctor coming in and removing the cannula the paramedics had originally given me because she couldn’t get any blood out of it, and giving me another in my wrist. She took blood, and I didn’t hear anything about that so I assumed that was all clear. After this one of the paediatricians came in to talk to me, about their facilities for premmie babies because there was a chance that bubby might be born early. I took most of what he said in and didn’t really have any questions for him, but it seemed to me like this was the best place for me to be if bub came early.

Wednesday 22nd August 2012
I tried getting some sleep but it was 12am before I managed to get anywhere, and I woke up every hour or so until 6:00am-ish. Doctors came in to see me a little later in the morning, after breakfast, and told me they wanted to continue to keep an eye on the bleeding. Once that stopped, they’d continue to monitor me for 24 hours, after which if no further bleeding occurred, I might be able to go home.

Michael and my mum arrived at around 12:00pm on Wednesday, bringing me some stuff from home including my laptop, clothes, toiletries, etc. so I was set for a stay if I had to. Mum left at around 2:30-3:00pm for the drive home, and Michael stayed behind and checked into a hotel nearby. He came back and sat with me until they moved me to a private room (which is ideal because I’m a light sleeper and easily distracted from my sleep). I had another scan at around 4:00pm and the radiologist, after consulting with his doctor, said it looked like a little bruise or scab or something had split open and that’s the cause of the bleeding. The way he described it sounded very positive and it put me in a better mood. Michael went and got some food, came back for a little while then went to his hotel for the night. We had been discussing the possibility of being home by the weekend because my bleeding had subsided, and from what the radiologist had said, it sounded less than threatening.

Thursday 23rd August 2012
Michael came in to my room around 8:00am and we continued discussing the possibility of getting home by the weekend, started to make plans, etc.

The doctors came in and we were feeling rather positive - until they mentioned that the scan showed the bleeding had actually come from the placenta, and they wanted to continue to monitor me till 32 weeks. I was only 28 weeks today - so that meant at least another 4 weeks in hospital, in Hobart, away from family. The other hospitals in the state - the ones closer to home - do not have the facilities to care for a baby before 32 weeks gestation so the RHH is the best place for me and bub right now. I was immediately upset, as anyone would be - my spirits were crushed. Michael was strong enough to keep it together and ask the questions and express how I was feeling to the doctors. I pretty much bawled my eyes out after the docs left and we had a moment of pure anger/sadness together. I knew what they were telling me - from a medical standpoint, this is the best place for me to be should baby arrive early, and I understood that. But emotionally, it hit me for six - I wanted to be near my support base, my family.

We discussed it a little further later on, letting it sink in a little bit more, and came to the conclusion that we just have to work with the cards we’re dealt, and just try to keep things as normal as possible. Michael went out and got me a few more things that I’d need - like bigger shampoo/conditioner bottles, some body wash, razors, DVDs to watch, etc. - to keep me occupied and keep things normal.

He went out for dinner after I ate mine, and back to his hotel room. I was emotionally drained so I tried to get an early night - I think I was asleep by 10:30pm.

Friday 24th August 2012
Woke up relatively early, still no bleeding other than old blood. Michael came in around 8:00am and the docs showed up around 10:00. Ran through essentially what we’d been through yesterday, which I was better prepared for and understood a lot better. I had my morning blood pressure taken and temperature, and got connected up to the CTG to check on bub and make sure I wasn’t having any contractions at all. All clear, all good.

And since then, I’ve just been sitting in my room. We were given clearance by the docs to go outside, so we went out in the fresh air for about 20 minutes this afternoon, which I enjoyed - it was nice to get out of the clinical environment, even if it was out into the city street rather than some serene location.

So at the moment, we’re just crossing fingers and toes that everything goes as it should, that bub stays where she should for the minute and just take every day as it comes.

All of your positive vibes, healing energies and thoughts are definitely helping - thank you ♥

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