Hold on, hold tight, hold your breath

Written 3rd November, 2014.

We spent several hours at Stoke Mandeville hospital on Thursday morning. We were seen and I was scanned by 9 am, and the sonographer and team were lovely. They really put me at ease, which was great because I had been really dreading going back to that hospital. Put it this way, I avoided it almost entirely (except for the night in A&E after the Massive Bleed) and went to UCLH for all of my scans and for my ERPC, too. I wonder what my notes say about me; I imagine I’m earmarked as a ‘difficult’ or ‘demanding’ patient, but that they need to be nice to me (I am sure they would be anyway). The clinic nurse recognises us from MC2, which is rather sad. For all of us.

I feel like a coiled spring; an injured animal. It would take much to set me off, to make me walk out the door and straight back to UCLH. I just trust them there. But Stoke Mandeville is what I’ve got, because the consultant here has agreed to follow the Coventry plan, which St Mary’s wouldn’t have done because they don’t think progesterone and heparin are right for me. With St Mary’s, we’d be letting nature take its course. They would have done a repeat TEG blood test to see whether my blood gets extra clotty during pregnancy, but that wouldn’t have happened until 6-7 weeks, but since my first two babies died at about that time, that seemed too little, too late.

I am very grateful to my GP and to the consultants at Stoke Mandeville hospital for agreeing to take me on on these terms. Nevertheless, this arrangement of following the Coventry care protocol is not without it’s challenges. I’m getting heparin injections and I say they’re to be given from an in-uterine scan but Stoke Mandeville say they usually give it after a heart beat has been seen; when the pregnancy is considered ‘viable’. This is resolved by me going into the car park to get some phone signal so that I can download the letter from Professor Quenby from Coventry and show it to the Clinic nurse. So I got my prescription, because everything on the scan looked good. I was a blubbering mess before I’d got my trousers off. But for the first time, we’re bang on for dates (previously we’ve had a bit of ‘Are you sure?’, ‘How regular are your cycles?, ‘Could you have your dates wrong?’). So that’s positive.

Having established that I could have the heparin, we then went to the pharmacy to collect it. Having collected it, we were asked who would be showing me how to inject? And where were we getting our sharps bin from? Errr, you? Or we could hope for the best? Apparently these were not the right answers. Back to the EPU. They think the pharmacy would have sorted the care pack out. Someone is despatched to get one. When we get it, I ask whether the nurse can do the first one. At first she refuses, but then, because I’m special (stubborn) and she is kind (and tired), she does it. Thank goodness for breakers of the little rules.

The worry is, I’m still spotting, which doesn’t help with the optimism. It’s very disconcerting, you know, trying to teach whilst wondering whether that feeling is the first sign that your baby has decided to make an early exit from your body. Can you imagine the playground gossip of I had another Massive Bleed in the classroom?

Next scan Thursday. Into the danger zone we go again.

On the plus side, I feel sick.