A Stitch in Time: 28 weeks
It’s been very emotional watching my friend Jane go through this journey to motherhood. This update actually covers what happened two weeks ago and she is currently sending me updates from her hospital bed. I hope you will join me in wishing her all the best. I know your comments and support help her.
28 weeks was supposed to be the big turning point; I was allowed out of the house, and up for 6 hours a day. I was also allowed to start some work. I was very excited about reaching this milestone, but things didn’t quite go to plan.
On the eve of being 28 weeks, I started to get menstrual-like pains that I put down to growing pains or constipation. My husband told me to call the hospital, but to be honest I’ve been in more pain this pregnancy, and thought little of it, plus I was seeing the midwife the next day so said I’d mention it to her.
The next day however, the midwife had other ideas and told me to get to the hospital just to get things checked out. At the hospital they hooked me up to a CTG machine, and lo and behold I was actually having contractions. The midwife looked quite concerned, bleeped the on-call doctor, and told me to call my husband ‘just in case’. This was not what I expected and by this point I was worried as despite all of the statistics I’ve been spouting, I knew it was much too soon for baby to arrive.
At this stage the most important thing was to slow the labour down enough to get steroids into me. Steroids mature the baby’s lungs giving it a much higher chance if it were born at that stage. The steroid jabs are given 12 hours apart, so the primary aim is to slow the labour to buy that time, but of course ideally stopping the labour would be best. To do this I was givens nitrous oxide patch to wear. This works as a muscle relaxant to try and calm the uterine muscle.
They put my husband and I into a delivery room (!) and hooked me up to another CTG machine to monitor the contractions. For the next 2 hours they continued in a similar pattern, and then, thank goodness the contractions started to weaken and slow. The patch seemed to be working. They moved me into a room for the night, and I told my better half to go home and get some rest.
I managed about an hour’s sleep that night (why do they make hospital beds so uncomfortable?!). The next morning the pain had stopped and I was discharged under instruction to go back if it came back again.
I was also told that I could resume the initial plan, back to work and more mobility. Although this is great news, I am going to be so cautious. That was a scare I don’t want to experience again, and I want to keep this little baby in as long as possible. So the plan from here on in is to do some work from my lap, whilst keeping my feet up and continuing to relax as much as possible. I have got this far, the end is in sight, and so I am not pushing it now. Wish me luck!