It’s been an busy and emotional week (pregnancy week 30). I prepared loads of meals for our post-baby period where I anticipate having no time or energy for cooking. So I made chilli, stew, lasagne and curry, and froze portions in our new little chest freezer. My inner control freak, ever a hungry food snob, is relieved! I went for CTG at Rigshospital on Tuesday and again on Friday to check how the babies were doing. My appointment was at 2pm and as usual I waited 2 hours before I was called by a midwife. This is not unusual, since the hospital had cutbacks and recently got rid of loads of midwives, so they are understaffed. Luckily, I am on maternity leave, so I have made peace with the idea of spending hours in the poorly lit, rather depressing waiting room. I manage by reading a good book and munching on a stash of nuts & raisins in my bag.
However, upon engaging with this midwife (it’s never the same one), I could tell she wasn’t up for the challenge. I have seen how tricky it can be to find both the babies’ heartbeats, and I have huge respect for the midwives who face this battle every day, countless times a day. But this midwife didn’t seem to realize that she should palpate my abdomen to locate the babies’ backs, and thereby the hearts. She quickly gave up and after she left I waited another 30 minutes for a doctor to come and scan me to find the babies so they could do the CTG.
While I was waiting I thought I would speak to the secretary because I was sure I was supposed to have a scan but hadn’t been given an appointment yet. This is also not unusual. There is some communication difficulty and I don’t get always the necessary appointments, unless I ask for them. I have to have a scan every 4 days, and 2 CTGs per week. This is a risky time, and I would hate to miss signs of distress and lose the babies so close to the finish line.
Also, it could be that I am going to have a C-section in 10 days, and we haven’t even booked a time yet!
As I was explaining the situation to the secretary I was suddenly totally overwhelmed by the fear of something bad happening to the babies, and the frustration that only some people at the hospital seemed to understand that this is a high risk case and needs careful attention. Not to mention the prospect of not knowing when the doctors are going to start slicing me open. And so the blubbing began. Geez these pregnancy hormones are powerful man. One minute I was calmly explaining the need for monitoring, the next I was sobbing and had to run to the bathroom before drowning in mucous and tears. Once the floodgates opened though, it was really tough to get things under control again. For the next 20 minutes every time I tried to talk I would just burst into tears. There was a really sweet Chilean lady in the waiting room who kindly patted me on the back and said it was all going to be ok….Thankfully, I was soon called in and the doctor and midwife doing the scan and setting up the CTG have seen a million overly emotional pregnant ladies, and just let me work through it.
So after the drama, the doctor realized that yes, I really do need a scan to check blood flow and she sent me to the ultrasound department, which was already closed for the weekend. The fetal medicine specialist there kindly did the scan after hours on a Friday evening, and measured the blood flow and the size of the twins. She couldn’t tell me the estimated weights because the computer system was already shut down, but she could see they were both bigger than last time. She also assured me that the blood flow was all normal.
After 5 hours at the hospital, all my fears have been temporarily put aside, and the doc promised me an appointment for a scan and Tuesday and that we will soon decide the date of the C-section. It seems that I really, really like having a plan.
I feel better now, except for the mild discomfort of having baby feet squeezing my diaphragm, and a slightly achy pelvis – I am really feeling super pregnant right now, but more calm. I can’t believe we could be meeting our baby girls in a week!