It is the second week of March, and we are celebrating Mama Alicia’s birthday at her house. All the family is there or due to arrive. For the last hour my bottom was firmly on top of the couch, cosy, watching TV. We are called to the table to a feast of food to celebrate. Oh, how delicious it looks. I head upstairs to use the toilet facilities and the next thing I know I am panicking, urging Monica to come towards me. Like the initial part of my pregnancy, my knickers were drenched in blood. If it is fresh blood and a significant amount then you need to be seen urgently if after 12 weeks of pregnancy. I was 33 committed weeks into my pregnancy. What on earth was happening? Is Bump Lentil O.K? Monica calmed me down to the point I somehow forced a little giggle (no clue what we ended up talking about) but on the other hand Mama Alicia was now panicking, in replacement.
Martin and I rushed to hospital, the closest being St Georges Hospital. We had opted for Epsom Hospital but that was at least 30 minutes away. Martin escorted me to the A & E – a strange system where you do not report to reception but wait until a nurse sees you. As there is no ticketing schedule or any type of organisation in place, anyone could have been seen first, no matter how severe or non-severe an injury could be. Our impatience propagated and so did other patients. After calling Gary’s partner, Heather, a midwife in Cumbria she advised to head to the maternity unit. She also mentioned that the bleeding could be an indication of the placenta separating from the wall of the uterus before the baby is born. At this point, I am sure a surge of hormones are being produced, increasing my blood pressure.
“Can I have your pregnancy notes?” is the first question the midwife says when we arrive at the maternity ward. My heart must have skipped a beat. Idiotic me did not have them. Stupid, I know – this was the first time I did not carry them! Of all the times, why did I not have them with me!!!!!! I give them all I know as they ask all the questions. “How many weeks are you? When is your due date? Position of placenta? Blood type? Have you had bleeding previously? Explained what happened today.” I answer all of these with ease eagerly waiting for them to tell me what is happening to Bump or myself. Bleeding within the third trimester can be caused by sex, exercise, internal exams, infections, but these were all ruled out. My blood pressure was taken which was slightly raised than normal. My pads/knickers were checked of which they agreed it was a lot. An internal check was carried out. An electronic fetal monitor was used to record my bumps heartbeat and any contractions for continuous monitoring. Two transducers are placed on belly with a belt. Whilst the results were being recorded, the midwife would check them every spare moment they had. Strangely they would also ask if I was experiencing any pain. In response to this, which I found weird was no. It turns out an hour or two later, the EFM was picking up contractions. The results were inconclusive. The midwives and doctors could not determine why I was bleeding, let alone having contractions that I could not feel. Due to this, I was immediately sent to the delivery ward. This started to feel surreal. Martin was sent home to pick up the pregnancy notes and pack the hospital bag.
The dreaded hospital gown and the green compression stockings appeared to my disgust. After putting these on it was explained that I could be having Lentil prematurely and that I needed to be observed further. They needed to do all the precautions in case he wanted to see Martin and I early. Two steroid injections were required – not by the arm but on the bum cheek. They are painful, worse than blood tests! My bum cheeks were uncomfortable! As I was not full term in the pregnancy, the steroids were to help his lungs mature. (He’s going to be a superhero). A intravenous was placed on my left hand ready if bump wanted to make his way through to our world. That just became uncomfortable – the amount of times I accidentally rubbed it against something! My sanitary pads were constantly checked as well. Waiting to see what would occur next, I rested. When at night, hearing a lady use her tonsils to the best of her ability was scary but yet thrilling. I was treated very well – midwives and specialists explained everything. Anesthetist and pediatrics visited to explain procedures and answer any questions I had. After a day, the bleeding reduced but the contractions were still detectable. They decided to move me to the maternity ward as the lack of bleeding reduced the probability of labour. We were in the hospital for 4 days but unfortunately no-one could advise why the bleeding occurred. Bump was healthy – however I was slightly disappointed as was looking forward to seeing him early.