The speed at which things are happening right now is crazy.
After I was scanned on Monday (and told the baby had died), I decided then and there that I was going to get all my niggly health problems sorted out. Every single one of them.
On the Tuesday as well as booking in at the hospital for a confirmation scan that the baby’s heart had stopped (two opinions are required before they will perform surgery to remove the baby), I also booked an appointment with my GP to talk about the intermittent “skipped” heart beats I’ve been getting for the last year or so, which have been increasingly bothering me. They actually went away for a month completely after I gave up cheese (which I didn’t realise is linked to palpitations), but they have been back with a vengeance over the last two weeks and really bothering me at bedtime. I then assumed it was pregnancy related, as palpitations in pregnancy are quite common.
So, on Wednesday I had the confirmation scan, then on Thursday (yesterday) I went in for surgery, which never happened.
This morning I saw my GP (who was wonderful about everything that has happened), and he had a listen to my heart. Now, this is an intermittent problem, which tends to strike in the evening, so I wasn’t expecting him to hear anything irregular, but as luck would have it, I could feel the sinking in my chest as I sat there quietly and he listened with the stethoscope.
“It’s happening now!” he exclaimed, “I can hear it.”
I just felt relief that he wouldn’t think I was some stressed out woman going through yet another miscarriage and inventing health problems. But he sat down and told me that not only could he hear the irregularity in my heart beat, but that he could also hear a heart murmur. A murmur is a noise the heart makes in addition to the regular beat. Often they are benign, which I knew.
So, he’s referred me to the cadiology department for an echocardiogram so they can look at the structure of my heart (basically an ultrasound for the heart – if I’d known I’d have got them to take a look while they doing all those uterine scans, ha).
He says he suspects I have a mitral valve prolapse. The word prolapse is never good is it?
It sounds like something collapsing in an elderly person.
Anyway, these things can be benign and are often asymptomatic, but in my case the “skipped” beats are a worry as they may or may not be linked to the suspected valve problem.
Heart issues need to be managed when under general anaesthesia (but are usually not an issue). Now I’m thinking shit, maybe walking out of the hospital yesterday was the best thing I ever did. Maybe I had a lucky escape. What if they’d put me under and my heart had started playing up?
My cardiology appointment isn’t for 3 weeks, and I can’t do anything more until then, but assuming I don’t drop dead in the meantime, I still have the problem of a 10 week old baby I need to deliver.
Husband dug out his medical insurance from work, which we have barely ever even looked at (and in fact had totally forgotten we had). I called them this morning and it turns out that we are 100% covered for consult, surgery, anaesthetic and hospital stay for surgical management of miscarriage.
I now have a private appointment booked on Monday morning for initial consultation and am to be dropped off at 7:30am on Tuesday morning for day surgery.
Not only has every person on the phone been wonderful, but I actually know the name (and background) of the consultant who will perform the surgery.
I am still terrified of the surgical option (literally, I feel paralysed with fear even thinking about it), but in theory I should be in good hands, AND I can now mention that I am waiting for investigation on a heart issue that they can take that into consideration and should know what’s going on if my heart rhythm goes crazy while I am under.
The disadvantage is we are not covered for any genetic or gender tests on the baby, which would be free on the NHS because of my history.
Could a heart problem cause problems in early pregnancy?
I don’t know. There don’t seem to be any studies linking heart issues to recurrent miscarriage, but the body is such a complex organ.
Oh, only that I’ve had a bit of bleeding today, very light, and that I’ve had some faint low down aching, on and off. The type you get at the end of pregnancy when labour isn’t far away.
Half of me wants it to all start, so I can avoid surgery, and half of me wants it to all hold off so it can be taken out at the hospital.
I usually spot or bleed very lightly for 7-14 days before I miscarry, so I’ve probably got plenty of time.