12 Week Scan and Consultant Appointment

Ok so I will admit I was up most of last night convinced something would be wrong on the scan today. That’s not because during my last pregnancy there was, but so much has happened in the last few weeks something HAD to have gone wrong, right?
I woke up at 8 to take my tablets like normal, but instead of going back to sleep for another half an hour I sat there wondering what they would see on that screen today, on my baby who is only tiny but who they can see small details of. After collecting a pee sample (what is it with midwives and antenatal clinics wanting your wee everytime?!) we had left the house by 8.50 ready for the scan at 9.50. Luckily we sailed through the rush hour traffic and were there in 20minutes. Using all my luck early, or a sign of a good day? Sitting in the car park I was frantically trying to drink enough to have a full bladder for the scan and all too soon it was time to go in!

Arriving at reception there are two windows next to each other, Ultrasound and Antenatal. I wasn’t sure which one to go to as I had both a scan and a clinic booked! The lady at the antenatal window called me forward and I apologised if I was in the wrong place, but she had a look and told me that I was booked in and to go and have a seat, that I would have my scan first and then I would see a consultant. Little did the poor girl know I would keep coming back to her that morning!!!!

I was called in for my scan on time (what’s going on, that never happens, like ever!) and was told it was going to be conducted by a trainee. ‘Oh great’ I thought. My last scan on my little girl was conducted by a trainee and she died a few days later. I’m not saying there’s a link, but maybe they pressed too hard, or didn’t pick up on something they should have? I will never know. Anyway this lady asked me to sit on the bed while they looked through my notes, they openly discussed them until the senior sonographer called the trainee over to the corner and pointed at a bit of my notes and I heard her whisper late term and then something about sensitive. I can only assume they had got to the part of the notes that told them about my miscarriage early last year. This bugged me, why did she need to whisper as if to keep me out, I do know about it, it happened to me! The trainee came back, lay me down, put the jelly on and proceeded with the scan. Initially as the baby came in to view on the screen all I could see was the shape, I stared and stared trying to see some heart movement, which the trainee quickly told me ‘so there’s baby with a nice heartbeat’ relief washed over me from my moment of panic and a few seconds later Shrimp had thrown their hand above their head as if to wave hello! There was a lot of wiggling of arms and legs, and hiccuping, until they tried to get the length measurement at which point shrimp rolled on their side and fell asleep. Fantastic! They tried every which way to position the scanner so they could measure the length, but eventually asked me to roll on my side, and then back onto my back to see if this had shifted baby’s position! I did offer to stand up and jump around, they didn’t take me up on it, though I’m pretty sure it would have been easier if they had. After three more ‘just roll on your side’ they decided they had the best angle they were going to get and proceeded with the measurements. Shrimp was 66.3mm head to rump which they said put me at 13 weeks (5days more than they told me I was at the 8 week scan) and that this made my due date 8th August. After requesting a couple of pictures we went back to the waiting room to wait to see the consultant.

After a wait which made us think they’d forgotten our existence we were called into a room where they took my blood pressure (which she said was high and asked if this was normal) and asked for my wee sample, she told me the registrar would be in soon, and disappeared. I didn’t count how long we had to wait but I’d guess it was coming up to an hour, and a hassled looking registrar comes in, sits down and says something about my thyroid being over active and asking if my GP put me on treatment… Now having stayed in that hospital for four days only a couple of weeks ago, seeing consultants left right and centre and being treated for an over active thyroid I would have thought that somewhere in my notes there would be something about it!! I gave her my copy of my discharge letter and she went back to discuss again with the consultant. We waited probably another 15-20 minutes and she comes back, finally seeming to know what was going on. She told me that the plan I already had in place, ie seeing a consultant after my 20 week scan, and then four weekly scans after that to check growth and for any possible clots in the placenta, possibly having an early delivery (up to a week early) and definitely not letting me go overdue, was still the plan. She then asked about the Antiphospholipid syndrome. I explained the last person I talked to didn’t think it was high risk therefore just to keep on the Asprin, but she explained that with as little information as they had (apparently they’d normally have asked for another blood test while I was not pregnant… Why didn’t they?) they were going to treat is as if it caused what happened last time and give me heparin injections. I am going to have to self administer these every day until delivery and then for a few weeks after to prevent unwanted clotting. She also warned it may cause nose bleeds and excessive bruising. I asked how I administer them, being willing to do anything, but also not having a clue what to do, and being the type of person who, although fine with having my blood taken, cannot watch. She told me she would get a nurse to show me how to do it. I was told to go and book in my 20week scan and consultant clinic, go have my bloods taken as part of the Combined Screening and to go to the pharmacy to get my injections.

Arriving back at reception with my note about which clinic I needed to see, the poor girl sat tapping away at the computer for ages saying she wished it was all a lot simpler! (Don’t we all!!) Eventually she managed to book me in on 20th March, for what I hope is the right clinic! At this point we popped to the ultrasound window to pick up our two scans we had ordered (one for each family) to only be handed one. Having already paid money for the tokens to get two scans the receptionist said to go and get my bloods done and come back and she would see what she could do.

Having my blood taken was the most relaxing part of my morning, and that’s saying something! I had a lovely conversation with the lady and, following normal routine, I looked solidly at everything else but the needle stuck in my arm. After this we headed back to the ultrasound reception hopeful, if nothing else they’d have been able to photocopy the one they had, however the lady who had done my scan had only just come out and they went to see what they could do. I was sent off to wait, yet again and about 5 minutes later was called back and given a second picture which I was told unfortunately the only one they had saved was the one with the measuring line on, though she assured me you could hardly see it… (I disagree) Thankfully the receptionist was lovely and gave us one of the tokens back to use next time, hopefully we don’t lose it before then!!

Having got all this sorted I returned to the poor antenatal receptionist and asked if it would be possible to have a nurse show me how to inject myself, as the registrar had promised. She assured me she would talk to someone and to take a seat. A seat I remained sat in for over an hour while the whole waiting room slowly cleared with people going to lunch. My mum and dad had offered to go and cash my prescription at the pharmacy while we waited so they popped down and when by the time they returned we still hadn’t moved we went to ask what was going on. The receptionist looked shocked and asked if we could possibly come back at half 1 as everyone had gone to lunch. I think it was about 1 by this point and having been within the hospital since 9.30 we politely said no! She went to see what she could do and eventually told us a midwife would see us and to please take a seat. I swear my bum was numb by this point!

The midwife came out and asked who wanted to know about injections as she didn’t have my notes so didn’t know my name, and took me and my mum to a back room where my fiancĂ© politely refused to come. She got out a needle and told me where to inject, either side of my bump was recommended but could also do my arm, and then told me that I should do it. (Pinch an inch and stab the bit you’ve pinched, slowly release it and pull the needle out.) I stood with the needle at my tummy panicking and completely unable to do it. She eventually said she would do it for me and then I’d know how to do it… She stabbed it straight in, which I didn’t feel at all, then when she pushed the liquid into me it burnt. It hurt so much!! She took the needle out and told me not to rub it as it makes it worse. The pain lasted all the way to the car and out of the car park!

The midwife had told me I would need to go to my doctors surgery to get a sharps bin, so we decided to pop in on the way home, and I could also book my 15 week midwife appointment at the same time. I was told a sharps bin was a prescription item and that I would get a prescription by Tuesday. By which point I will have at least 4 used needles lying around with nowhere to go! I managed to book my midwife appointment for 18th February, so hopefully I will have a chance to have a little moan about the first few weeks of this pregnancy! My midwife is lovely so hopefully she will let me hear my little ones heart and tell me everything will be ok!

This has to be the longest blog post about a morning ever! It was a mammoth of a morning and I’ve not done much this afternoon! I shall be glad to crash out in bed!

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