My Trip To A&E

This morning after dropping off my oldest at school, I decided to head down to A&E to see if they could scan me and tell me if this pregnancy has a chance.

I waited 90 minutes for the “meet and greet” (that’s the first bit, before you get to see the doctor). I explained everything to the nurse. She called the Early Pregnancy Unit (eye roll – should have gone straight there), who said they couldn’t fit me in today and that I really needed to be 7 weeks before they would scan me. There must have been a change of dates because they saw me at 6+3 last time.

Anyway, the nurse did a pregnancy test. I think it crossed her mind that I was making the whole thing up. She asked me, “Exactly who has confirmed this pregnancy?”

Sigh.

Long story short, she told me to take another pregnancy test next week and if it was still positive and I was still bleeding to come back and they would refer me to Early Pregnancy.

I explained I already had a scan booked there at 8 weeks.

She offered to book me an appointment with my GP.

That was beyond pointless, so I thanked her and left.

Sigh.

Bleeding has picked up enough that I’m now wearing a pad, just in case. Oldest son has a playdate after school today and I’m heading off to get him in a minute.

I called Mum and told her it’s probably all over. She’s holding out for a miracle, as am I.

I’m feeling pre-menstrual and my lower back is starting to ache. I just cannot believe the timing – it’s almost comical.

Ha ha.

If I ever have a third baby, I am going to write a book about all this.

They Called

The Early Pregnancy Unit called me. In fact, they picked up both of my messages yesterday afternoon because no one had checked the phones for two days because staff are off sick.

What if you’d had a miscarriage, or started bleeding two days ago? Just crazy.

Anyway, they have booked me in for a scan on 29th December, the earliest they can do. I’ll be 8 weeks by then, all being well.

I’m kind of Meh, about that. I guess it’s a good thing.

Husband asked if I wanted to book a private scan next week, but I don’t think we’ll bother. Next week, on Tuesday, I turn 40 (40!), and I want to focus on having a great birthday and appreciating my family.

I’m really excited about my birthday this year!

Updated: Forgot to say, the spotting was a bit worse before bed yesterday, but none so far this morning. For me, it doesn’t signify anything bad unless it’s happening every day (which is how all my miscarriages have started), so as long as it tails off then it’s okay. We’ll see where we are in a few days.

Dealing With The Medical System

It’s a total headfuck. Seriously – there is nothing more guaranteed to make you want to tear your hair out and bash your head against the wall than dealing with the NHS.

To their credit, the NHS do an excellent job in emergency care. They have saved my life on two occasions (although on the first of those, I wouldn’t have been so close to checking out if they hadn’t left me on a trolley in A&E bleeding out for 5 hours before a consultant was finally available to look at me).

But as for the rest of the time. They are so overworked and understaffed, that everyone gets the same quality of care – shit.

I called the Early Pregnancy Unit on Tuesday morning and left a message. After my last mc they told me to call them directly and not go through my GP.

Two days later and I’ve heard nothing.

For comparison, this exact thing happened after I called them and left a message saying my baby’s heart had stopped. They didn’t call me back. How is that effective management of women going through this kind of thing? To not call back when someone leaves a message like that? And why the fuck do you have to leave a message about a miscarriage in the first place? Because there is no budget for a person to man the phones, so it’s all done via an answer machine.

Of course, what doesn’t help is that every woman in early pregnancy worries about her pregnancy, and that spotting is very, very common. So in addition to all the high risk cases and unexplained cases like mine, you also have every healthy woman in the area requesting an early scan too (some even lying about spotting to get a scan). And you can tell who they are – they are the ones smiling and joking with their partner in the waiting area, sitting next to those of us carrying non-viable embryos, and those of us waiting for surgical management of miscarriage (yep, all in the same cosy waiting area together). They are the ones that come out smiling and elated with their early ultrasound picture, ready to go home and post it on Facebook, ignorant to the fact they were sat with other women who will go home and cry for the loss of yet another dream.

Bitter? Yes, I probably am.

Because that unit is my only support. It’s the only thing out there that can give me the information I need. A scan, maybe even an hcg doubling rate or a progesterone test if I cry hard enough while I am there. And to have your only support be so utterly crap at looking after you puts you in a helpless position, which I hate.

This is the kind of care we face in the UK, where “healthcare” is free.

And what about a private option?

I called the closest private hospital this morning. I can have a consultation for £230. That’s £230 for a chat.

It doesn’t include any tests or a scan.

Is it even worth asking what I would have to pay to get a beta, progesterone test and an ultrasound at 6 weeks?

I doubt it, given we can’t even afford the consultation fee (especially with Christmas almost upon us, and me having been a stay at home mum for almost two years).

It’s times like this, when we’re at the mercy of others, that I wonder what I’m doing. I wonder whether I should be back out there contracting £300+ a day and barely seeing my children.

Or, as a third alternative, I can request a private scan at an ultrasound clinic. They won’t offer anything other than a check on the baby – size, heartbeat. Been there – it didn’t make any difference last time. I had a heartbeat right up until a few days before I miscarried at 11.5 weeks.

There’s no winning, is there?

I called and left another message today, and explained to them that I’d lost five pregnancies in a row and that they were my only support. I asked them to please call me back.

I hate being dependent on someone else. Hate it!

And to top it all, I’ve had some very light brown spotting the last two days. This in itself means nothing, because I’ve spotted in every pregnancy I’ve ever had, term and non-term. But it doesn’t help my state of mind. The two losses I had at 6.5 weeks started with brown spotting at this point that never went away. I’ll just have to wait and see.

I’m not ringing the EPAU again though. I’ve decided today I’m just not getting into this headfuck of dealing with the NHS system, because it is so bad for my stress levels.

And as we know, stress causes your body to make cortisol instead of progesterone. Very bad for pregnancies.

So if they don’t call, fuck them 🙂

Seriously – I believe in this pregnancy and I won’t have their stupid system fucking with my head and making me all agitated and angry. I should have gone with my gut feeling and not called them in the first place.

Phew.

I feel so much better for ranting about it all. Thanks for listening 🙂 I’m going to go and do some cleaning in the kitchen now, cause that will put a smile on my face!

5 Weeks 1 Day

Just a short update. No news, but didn’t want to disappear off the face of the earth.

Well, so far I’ve had zero spotting/bleeding. In fact, in addition to not really having had any symptoms at all, my sore boobs have all but disappeared too. That is, the soreness is gone – my boobs are still there, thankfully.

I am symptom-less.

I’m mildly alarmed by the boob-thing, but if it’s a sign it’s all about to end, so be it.

I’m still eating a ton of fruit and veg, and going to the classes I love at the gym. In fact, I feel really well for it.

On the medical front, after 12 days of um-ing and ah-ing, I finally called the Early Pregnancy Assessment Unit. I’m waiting for them to call me back – they said I wouldn’t need a referral this time, I can just go straight to them. So I might get an appointment next week if they aren’t inundated with patients at the moment.

We’ve told my parents and I’ve told a couple of understanding friends, but we haven’t said anything to my husband’s family (and probably won’t unless we are lucky enough to get to the 12 week scan).

So, all in all, things are pretty quiet. And I’m feeling good.

Gut feeling?

Is that it’s all okay.

I don’t know why (with my history, you could say I was deluded).

But that’s how I feel. The good thing is that I’m not thinking about it all the time (or much of the time at all really), and the days are passing in their usual haze of busy-ness and parenting and Christmas prep and housework, and that’s all good.

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