Back in March this year, while I was waiting for a “confirmation” scan that my baby’s heart had indeed stopped beating, I wrote this in my journal:
If i ever get pregnant again, i’m not doing any of this. No scans, no nothing, no midwives. Sitting here waiting for scans is just stressful and time consuming. I end up shaking and that can’t be good for me or a pregnancy.
I was physically trembling at that point, even though I already knew the worst. I hate going to see any kind of doctor. I have always felt like that. Dentists? No problem. Doctors? Bah!
Maybe I’ve just had more than my fair share of bad doctors over the years, but even from childhood I remember them being disinterested and unhelpful, only wanting to prescribe something and get on with their day. One consultant I saw, long ago, actually gave me the once over as I walked out of his office to get changed for a smear test. Disgusting. Seriously.
And doctors have been so little help to me on this journey. My husband’s doctor said that there is nothing more they can do for us in “our situation”.
Anyway, the issue I have is that even thinking about making an appointment for anything just gets my adrenaline pumping around and I can feel my hands getting cold and shaky…
I’ve booked in with the midwife system six times in total, and four of those times I’ve had a miscarriage within a few days of first seeing them. Last time I waited until I was 10 weeks, thinking it would be ok, and they chastised me for not coming sooner, and then a few days later my baby was dead!!
And then, just as you’re feeling a little more human, you get the NHS maternity card in the post. Which you have to return. Because you don’t need it any more.
Four times I’ve done that. I’m starting to get a bit superstitious about it.
Wondering what I’m going to do this time.
The Early Pregnancy Unit said to contact them by phone as soon as I was pregnant and they wouldn’t need a referral, they’d just take me straight on as a patient. But what will they do? Scan me. Prescribe progesterone and aspirin without even bothering to take my progesterone levels. Send me away.
As for the midwife unit. They have been so unhelpful and bloody rude over the last couple of years. I’m not asking for special treatment, but the last time I miscarried I found out at a private scan, and when I went back to the NHS midwife team they just spent ages moaning about how private scans shouldn’t just “turf” patients out after bad news and expect them to fend for themselves. I was only phoning to tell them I wouldn’t be making my check-up appointment and they basically had a go at me on the phone about the state of the medical system, while I sat there with tears running down my face over my lost child. It’s not my bloody fault! I was only trying to make sure an overworked midwife knew I wouldn’t be attending.
I have a whole series of horrible stories from my midwife encounters over the years (including the one who told me with a cold stare, when I asked about a medicine I’d been given, that one mother who didn’t take it was found lying on the floor dead, next to her newborn baby – who SAYS that kind of thing to someone?), but this isn’t the time.
I still had a BFP this morning (yay!), so what am I gonna do?
I just feel like I never want to see a midwife, ever again.
And the Early Pregnancy Unit is just such a shit place to spend your time.
And all the stress that I feel in these appointments… I get so worked up before a scan I actually feel like I’m going to be sick.
It isn’t good for me (or the baby!).
And I feel particularly protective of this one already, my little gluten-free miracle.
Did you know that a gluten free diet in coeliacs reduces the risk of miscarriage by 9.18 times?
15% of coeliac pregnancies end in miscarriage. Terrifying.
I don’t know what I’m going to do. I don’t want to be prodded, talked down to, patronised, made to wait for hours on end, ignored, dismissed, pitied or freaked out by anything.
I want to be looked after, with kindness.
But it seems, that might just be too much to ask.