I waited over an hour to be seen at the hospital.
I called my husband on the way to the hospital to ask what he was wanting for dinner. By this I meant ‘what are you going to cook me’. I don’t do much cooking. I am lucky to have married a Masterchef winner in the making though. He said he could finish early and come to the hospital with me. I said “nah; don’t bother, I am sure it is just routine and I will be home this evening to annoy you”.
Thankfully he ignored me – it isn’t the first time and won’t be the last!
I was eventually seen. Then poked and prodded, which I had come to expect. By this stage in pregnancy all dignity had well and truly left the building!
I had blood tests, which I found a little unusual. This was not the first time I had been to the hospital. I had taken myself there a few weeks prior as I was worried about my blood pressure. The other times, I had to do the obligatory peeing in a cup, let the nurse take my blood pressure and then I was sent on my merry, waddling way. Not this time. The nurses looked more serious.
Then, I was hooked up to monitors to check heartbeats. I wondered what was going on. Normally they just use the hand-held Doppler. Not this time, I had permanent bands (yes times two) on my tummy to take a proper reading of the heartbeats. This was very tricky with twins. Particularly my two who were very close together.
After waiting for hours, they eventually came in to tell me I had pre-eclampsia. I needed to be induced as a matter of urgency.
They also suspected I had Obstetric cholestasis (OC), a potentially serious liver disorder. The rash on my stomach, but in particular the severe itching, is a typical symptom of this disorder.
I would not be induced straight away though. There was a waiting list for ’emergency’ inducees. So, I was stuck in a ward with all the other emergency patients, waiting in line for what seemed like an eternity. It certainly didn’t feel like there was any urgency. There was a sense of irony about the situation.
As I had no idea that I would be staying in the hospital, I had not brought my bag with me. Actually bag isn’t quite right, it was a suitcase. It was filled with incredibly important things, which I had packed due to reading many articles on what I might need. I had the following essential items:
- Make Up – which is laughable but did come in useful at one point, which you will see in a future post.
- My ‘In Labour’ bag – full of things like lip balm and magazines (!), none of which were used because I was too tired and in too much pain! Apart from the hair band, that was the only thing I remember using.
- Going home outfits – essential!
- The wrong sized nappies – not my fault. The boys were not premature, but they were a lot smaller than we had been told in the scans. I didn’t expect them to need premature nappies.
- The wrong sized clothes (for the babies).
- Some lovely new PJs – far to uncomfortable to wear as it turned out. I ended up wearing my maternity night dress.
Suffice to say I made some terrible choices about what to pack. 24 hours after the birth I sent my hubby home to pick up the stuff we actually needed. Like clothes that fitted, which would have been a good start.
By the time I was told I was staying overnight, it was very late. I needed to get my bag quickly as ‘visiting hours’ were over on the ward and most of the ladies were asleep. So, the hubby made a call to our friend, Gus. We have known Gus since university and although we could go months without seeing him, he really came through for us in our hour of need. He picked the hubby up, took him home, collected the bag and brought him back to the hospital. All the while landing himself with a charge for going into the congestion zone.
Once he had dropped off my stuff, James was not allowed to stay. I am sure any mum to be can appreciate how that felt. I was scared, worried and felt very alone. I wanted to fast forward time. It was not a pleasant feeling.
I was in a room with ladies who were equally unwell, if not more so. This included Mum A – as I am going to call her as I can’t remember her name now – who looked dreadful. She constantly groaned and didn’t move out of her bed. I worried for her. When she was wheeled out to the delivery room and I said goodbye, I never thought I would be seeing her again in the High Dependancy Unit a few days later.
The next day came and went. I waited. I became more nervous. I was trying not to panic. The doctor came to see me; it’s not going to be today, they said. I had worked this out for myself seeing as they said I would be taken in before 5pm. This was now 6pm. My hubby had to leave, again. I was left alone with my thoughts once more, feeling very alone.
Then: I wake in the middle of the night. The hospital food was playing havoc with me, I had terrible cramps. I tossed and turned for hours.
Then, as I went to the toilets my waters broke, twice. This is going to sound strange but I was shocked. Of course I knew that the sacs would both have to break, but for some reason when the first one went, I assumed that was both of them. I wasn’t thinking logically at this point.
I was hooked up to a machine to monitor my contractions. Yes, that was what the stomach cramps were. I should have realised.
The real fun and games were beginning.
Follow my journey through HELLP Syndrome here.