All comical musings of excess hair growth aside, week 17 turned out to be quite harrowing and in no way helped my cause when it comes to eliminating grey hairs. As it turns out, I think I learned the direct correlation between blood pressure and stressful situations this week from personal experience.
With Monday came my midwife appointment at the clinic where I waited for half an hour after my appointment time to be seen by yet another new face and asked all of the exact same questions I was asked the previous week. Sigh! No I have not started smoking , changed my diet, gotten taller or become an alcoholic in the past seven days. Better ask me again next time though, in case I succumb to a life of vices in the next seven days.
Measurements were good, babies heart rate was strong and I managed to survive the entire appointment without turning into a feral four year old and having a tantrum on the floor of the consultation room. Barely.
The rest of the week went by without too much drama apart from business drama in regards to clients suddenly all forgetting to pay us…at the same time…and a particularly interesting smelling customer that had me revisiting my close bond with the porcelain bowl after she had left. I have said it before and I will say it again. Deodorant is not a luxury item, it is a god damn public service people. Get it on ya!
Thursday night came along and husband had a couple of big jobs to finish worth some big dollars when they were collected on Friday. I set him up for the night at his work bench with drinks and snacks and off I went home to cook dinner and look after our daughter. I was feeling fine, things were on track and silly me, I thought they were going to stay that way.
Midnight , right on the dot, I am sitting on my bed watching tv while my daughter slept next to me and I felt something odd down below. Off to the toilet I go, only to find when I stand up that my pyjama bottoms now look like they have been involved in a chainsaw massacre. I was sure they were blue when I put them on. Now they are red. Well actually, now they are in the bin. There was no saving them.
Freaking out is not a term that adequately describes what I felt at that moment, seeing so much blood at a time in pregnancy where you well and truly do not expect to see it. I bled a lot when I was pregnant with my daughter but never after 12 weeks. I remembered every time I rushed to the hospital feeling like I would bleed to death being told that there was nothing they could do , i was better off to go home and miscarry there.
Naturally, my first instinct was to go but not wanting to feel that sting of rejection for both myself and my baby I decided to call the maternity ward first. Seems 17 weeks deserves a little more attention and I was told to come straight up.
The rest of the night was a blur of blood tests, iv’s and the most excruciating pelvic exam in the history of the procedure. I kept a brave face. I had to. My daughter and husband were waiting just outside the curtain. The non sound proof curtain. The only evidence of my plight was the sky rocketing blood pressure and heart rate on the monitor and the cold sweat I was drenched in. Talk about stoic. I even managed to crack a few jokes during the ordeal so that my husband would think nothing serious was happening at that time. Whilst I was waxing lyrical about random subjects the nurse chuckled and the obstetrician used forceps to pull large blood clots from the surface of my cervix. Fun on a bun!
Another midwife arrived to listen for the babies heartbeat. We listened. And listened. And we got nothing. Looks were exchanged, brows were furrowed with worry and the midwife even tried to pass my own heart beat off as the babies to make me feel better but we all knew, myself included that this was not a good sign.
The obstetrician then had a conversation with me in a low voice, with a sympathetic hand on my shoulder that involved the word miscarriage more time than I care to count. He tip toed around the word, almost using only a whisper whenever he had to say it just in case I turned into a basket case at the mere mention of what we all knew could very well be the reality at this stage. My reality!
Then the worst part. I had to wait until 11:30 the next morning to have an ultrasound. That was nine hours away. That was cruel and unusual punishment. My husband and I barely spoke. The next morning we both went to work, as usual. Set up shop as usual. Just pretty much business…as usual until 11am when I quietly said goodbye and went off to the hospital.
My words to a friend , “it is what it is”. What could I do? I could not get caught up in a game of what if and if only. It helps nobody. I had to stay level headed. I could fall apart later.
My appointment time came and went and my bladder was full to bursting. Every woman in that waiting area did the same awkward little shuffle to her seat, the same little side to side shift and the cross / uncross of legs. Silently we suffered until I was the last one in the waiting room and I could suffer no more. There should be a law against keeping a pregnant woman waiting past the time of her ultrasound appointment. In fact when all is said and done i might make that my new crusade. Because you know, It is not like I don’t have enough on my plate right now.
There are no words to describe that rush of relief when that ultrasound shows a healthy baby, a healthy heartbeat and you realise you haven’t lost it. It is an experience I have now had twice in my life and it always takes your breath away. There was baby, kicking away. The sonographer said that my placenta was lying over the cervix which was more than likely the cause of the bleed but other than that the baby was normal and right on track.
So now, in order for me to successfully avoid another c-section, my disobedient placenta has until 32 weeks to move its ass upwards and out of the way. I had a feeling I was getting out of things too easily this time round. But all is well for now. I am taking it easy, no heavy lifting and I am going to have relax my standards about house tidiness but it will be worthwhile in the long run.
For now, here is the latest pic of the baby Sasquatch.