Posted by admin at April 20th, 2007

So it’s been a while I know - life, in all its different permutations, got busy! So last weekend James and I went for a long walk - nothing fancy, just a tour of bathroom shops of Brixton and Clapham. Such are the things you do when overtaken by alien hormones who want to paint your kitchen red. Anyway, we got home on this sunny Saturday evening with plans to hit the terrace of a nearby restaurant for a cheeky lime and soda, or two. Life had other plans. I discovered I was bleeding. Not bleeding a lot but enough to have me on the phone to my midwife within seconds and on our way to the hospital within half an hour. Yes, I went to hospital. The NHS hospital where I will be giving birth. On excellent tip for those in a similar situation. DO NOT GO TO A&E. Instead, call the labour ward, explain what’s happening to you and a kindly voice on the other end of the phone will tell you to get yourself, your worried husband and a good book into the hospital asap.

So we arrived at the labour ward to be met by the midwives. Now remember, my last experience at King’s had not been altogether positive and now here I was, crying and definitely ‘in a state’ and at the mercy of these people. And they rose to the occasion. After an initial 10 minutes of confusion - when they weren’t sure if I was one or two people - it’s a long story - we were whisked into a room by Midwife Gemma.  I barely had time to get on the bed before Gemma had my top up, jelly on my tummy and my little girl’s heartbeat echoing round the room c/o the doppler. This was exactly what I needed to hear - my baby was fine, her heartbeat was fine and, probably, I was going to be fine. Throughout Gemma was kind, reassuring and told me what was going on, what was going to happen and what might happen. I couldn’t have asked for better care.

Then the doctor came in. Apart from being young and rather too good looking for either myself or James to be entirely comfortable with the fact that he was about to perform an internal exam to check my cervix, he was, again, incredibly kind and reassuring. End result - everything seemed to be fine, they couldn’t find a reason for the bleed and I was sent home with orders to come back if things didn’t resolve.

Next day. Things hadn’t resolved. We went back to the hospital. Once again Gemma and Dr Riris were kind and reassuring - never once was I made to feel stupid or hysterical. This time I had a scan and there was the little girl - her fists clenched and legs kicking heartily. Placenta seems to be fine and cervic was fine. But just to be sure they booked me for a more superior scan during the week.

So Wednesday found me back at the hospital - this time at the Harris Birthright Centre for Fetal Health. This is the dpeartment run by Prof Nikolaides who also runs the Fetal Medicine Centre on Harley street, where I had my first 2 scans. Same guy, whole different experience. For a start the waiting room was the 5th pit of hell. Someone had forgotten to turn the heating off so there were about 50 pregnant women, plus partners and small children, sweating and panting in this nuclear heat. There was also 1 bathroom. For a room full of pregnant women. Oh and there was, on average, a 2 hour wait for the scan. But I had been warned and I had bought a big book. I could tell you about the nice couple I met who were there for their 12 week scan or the larger lady who seemed not to notice that her child had pooed its nappy, sending a wave of stink through the room, but I’ll spare you.

I was finally seen for my scan and it was a thoroughly professional job. This time I had two sonographers - man and woman. They checked me very carefully. Once again, there was the little girl doing high kicks - this time she thought it would be fun to kick the ultrasound everytime it came within reach of her long legs. Everything was great with her.

And then they found the answer. There on the leading edge of my placenta was a small haematoma - a bleed. There’s nothing they can do about it and at this stage bed rest isn’t necessary. I just have to slow down a bit. Of course if there’s more blood or any severe pain in my abdomen I have to go straight back to hospital. 

And it’s OK. I’m in good hands.

Yes, I’m in good hands. As someone who hasn’t been the biggest fan of the NHS so far I was impressed, touched and amazed by the excellent treatment I received when it really counted. Which goes to show - the people are there, the expertise is there. Unfortunately, it’s being hog-tied, papered and crushed under a mountain of Labourite bullshit and incompetence.