Hi baby girl
So much has happened and I think its time I wrote it all down. But I sometimes don’t know what to say. Mostly I’m afraid that what I say here will make you think that my feelings about my pregnancy and my feelings about you are the same thing – but they are polar opposites. Here goes:
Two days before we were due to go to our appointment to find out if I had Cholestasis I got a call from the hospital. I did have it and they wanted me in there the next morning for tests. I went in with Grandma and and they told me that my liver function tests were so high – 600 – that someone should have called me the day I had the tests done (which was almost a week previously) to tell me to come in. They did blood tests and a CTG which is where they put straps on my belly and sensors to measure your heart. You didn’t like it much at all and kept wriggling away from the monitors. We had to wait hours for my blood tests and when they came back my liver was still so bad that they admitted me to the hospital and I spent that night getting poked and prodded, having blood taken and having CTG’s on you. You passed every test with flying colours. They let me out the next morning but told me I would have to come back to the hospital twice a week for bloods and CTG and back other times for appointments with Drs to check on you.
I made it a week and a half out of hospital. During that time I got lots of things ready – washing all your clothes and nappies because I knew now you could come anytime. We went to have a 3D scan of you and it was awesome – I’m sure you’ve seen the pictures. Me, Daddy, Grandma and Grandpa, Nan and Grandad, Uncle Daniel and Aunty Jess all went. You were so cute – yawning, sticking your tongue out, blowing bubbles and smiling – everyone had huge smiles plastered on their faces to see you and the ultrasound lady kept talking about what a happy baby you were.
A week after this – the Sunday just passed – Daddy and I went to the assessment place at the hospital to have blood tests and CTG as normal. But about lunch time my back started hurting really badly and by dinner time I was screaming and crying in pain. Daddy rushed me back to the assessment unit and I got even worse – screaming and making the craziest noises. It hurt so bad I can’t even explain it properly. The womens ward was full and where we were couldn’t give me strong enough medicine so they sent me to the labour ward where they gave me tablets and injections to help me. They checked to see if I was in labour too – I wasn’t. I was on a bed and Daddy wouldn’t leave my side so he ended up pushing some chairs together to try and find somewhere to lie down and finally lying on the floor with my jacket as a pillow to try and sleep. About 3.30 in the morning they finally gave him a blanket and a bean bag and he managed to get comfy enough to sleep.
In the morning they transferred me to the womens ward – where ladies go after they have their babies – and I got seen by the surgery Dr’s and the Obstetric (pregnancy/baby) Drs. They were all a bit puzzled about what was wrong with me but started me on IV antibiotics. I had an ultrasound and they thought my gallbladder was a bit inflamed but the next day they decided that couldn’t cause the pain I was in. They gave me a VQ scan – which involved me breathing in some weird gas then going into a machine- to check for blood clots in my lungs and an MRI – which was like being strapped down and pushed into a coffin. A little bit after that my specialist – Dr Jeffries – came in and told me that the ‘inflammatory markers’ in my blood were really bad (they are supposed to be 40 and were 120) meaning I had a really bad infection.
An hour after that however ANOTHER Dr came in and told me they thought that blood test result was a delayed reaction to an infection that they had already killed off with all the antibiotics they had pumped me full of, that my LFT’s looked really good and that I could probably go home on Friday morning (that’s this morning). We were so happy, Grandma was ringing to tell everyone the good news. Then Grandma and Daddy went home for dinner.
Soon after that Dr Jeffries came in and said that my bile acids (the other thing they test for with Cholostasis) were ‘sky high’, he was still worried and thought I needed a lot more monitoring before they could send me home and that I would have to stay till at least Tuesday!!! I was very sad because its not fun being in hospital and I missed my bed and getting to spend every night with Daddy. Daddy and I hadn’t spent more than two nights apart at a time since we’d moved in together (1 when I was in hospital for HG, 1 when I was in hospital the first time for Cholostasis and 2 when Daddy had a business trip in Melbourne) so the fact that we’d spent 4 nights apart and would have to spend at least 4 more was not good.
This morning the Dr’s came and told me that they do think it was my gallbladder that had the infection – even though they couldn’t make it show on the scan – and maybe sometime after you’re born I might need to have it out. They also told me I might be able to go out on ‘day leave’ this weekend which means I can go and spend the day at home as long as I come back and sleep here at night so that makes me a bit happier. Daddy has been here all the time – cheering me up, bringing me TV shows, giving me back and foot rubs and cuddles – he even left work early yesterday because I was feeling sad. Grandma has been here a lot too – leaving work early and taking the day off so I wouldn’t be alone and bringing me flowers, teddies, water and clean PJ’s. Grandpa took the day off to be with me one day too, Aunty Jess came to visit the other night and Aunty Kathy is visiting today. Nan and Grandad were planning to come and visit me in the hospital tomorrow but hopefully I will be on day leave and they will have to visit me at home.
After all that drama I want to talk to you about two things: My pregnancy and you. How my feelings about them are so different and so separate. I will start with the bad stuff:
My pregnancy…..has felt like a nightmare. It’s been like there’s always been something waiting around the corner to attack me. I always wanted to be pregnant, to be a mother. When I knew I was pregnant the first intention I had was to eat healthy and to not take any medications at all. Then the HG reared its ugly head and I was having to take strong anti vomiting medicine and eat unhealthy things if I could eat at all plus I had dehydration headaches so bad I had to take panadol. My body started failing me so badly that Daddy had to do EVERYTHING plus work full time and we ended up having to pack up and go and live with Grandma and Grandpa. Around 21/22 weeks the HG started getting a lot better (although its never totally left) and although I was left weak and with wasted muscles I thought that just maybe I would get to experience a real pregnancy for the last part of it – the kind where you are glowing and happy and love being pregnant. I pinned all my hopes on redeeming myself as a woman and a mother through the process of or your birth – I would have the most natural, wonderful birth anyone had ever seen – no inductions, no drugs, no nothing. Just me showing that although pregnancy had me beat, my body could at least do that part of things right. Then the Cholostasis came along and not only did it mean more drugs in my system but my dreams of a birth that was not induced and was totally drug free were dashed – I knew they would have to use drugs to induce me for you to be born safely. Then this infection came along and I had to consent to strong antibiotics, painkillers and scary tests with radiation, just to keep my body going.
Every step of the way, all I’ve been able to think is ‘I failed, I failed, I failed’. I failed to eat healthy, I failed to keep medications out of my system, I failed to keep us from having to have potentially risky tests, I failed to provide a safe environment for you where you could grow till you were good and ready to come out on your own – I failed. I won’t have that exciting moment where I realise you have decided its your time to come and see the world – it will be a scheduled date in hospital where we are forcing you out before you are ready. I failed. My pregnancy has been a horrific, stressful, traumatizing time full of sickness, pain and tears of disappointment.
Now let me tell you about you:
No matter what was going on with me you’ve been happy, your little heart beating away strongly. I used to worry about you so much before I could feel you move. But then there you were and you were STRONG and full of personality! You would kick at my bladder and cervix when I did something you didn’t like and freeze like a statue when anyone else tried to feel you kicking in my tummy. You gave me a few close shaves, kicking wildly at my bladder when I was on the way to the toilet. You finally let Daddy feel you and it became our nightly ritual, to lie in bed together before he went to sleep, Daddy’s hands on my tummy, both giggling as we felt you busy in there. Daddy still talks to you all the time and I really believe you know his voice now. The other night he was feeling you kicking and moving and exclaimed “I cant WAIT to play with my little girl!” he is so excited to meet you! You don’t like the Doppler, ultrasound or CTG – you kick it away all the time. The other day the CTG monitor was on and I was trying to push it in to hear your heart better and you were actually pushing back with your elbow! In the early hours of this morning a student midwife was having trouble finding your heart and after a while you got fed up and kicked her Doppler 5 times as if to say “Wrong end silly! Stop worrying my Mummy!”. You get quite cross if I rest my hand on my tummy while looking at my phone and kick it away. You get the hiccups sometimes now and its funny to feel the little bumps they make. You have so much fire and spirit and attitude and I’m sure that’s whats kept you so healthy and strong in there. I don’t blame you at all for the way this pregnancy has gone – Its my body that’s been crappy, you have been amazing. I love you so much and whether I’m letting you read this at 16 or 26 I want you to know that although I wish I’d had a lovely, healthy, happy, pregnancy theres still not one thing I have gone through that I wouldn’t go through again to have you here. I’ve had to be brave, I’ve had to endure, I’ve had to lose a lot but my reward for that is going to be the best thing I’ve ever done, the person I love the most, the most amazing little girl in the world – my reward will be you…and how could I not be happy with that?
Everytime I go to sleep, through every set back, every failure I’ve had one thing to say:
“Alright Universe. You got me again. But as long as I get a healthy baby at the end of it all, we’ll call it even”
Love you little punkin.