Neonatal Journey

Part 1 – The Bump

I found out I was pregnant on 2nd March 2012. I did 2 tests just to double check, as I was convinced the first one had to be wrong. But no, there it was, the blue line appeared! Whoo! I was over the moon. It was all planned and we had even moved into a larger house just 2 weeks before, so the timing couldn’t be more perfect.

The first trimester went pretty smoothly. I had a bit of nausea but nothing major. No extreme sickness, crazy food cravings or any other complications (very lucky!)

The second semester was a little different. I wasn’t exactly the ‘glowing’ pregnant woman. I was the one with aches and pains, the hourly night time trips to the bathroom as well as complete and total exhaustion. Unfortunately it also came at a time in my life when I lost someone very dear to me. Towards the end of my first trimester my grandmother was taken into hospital where she became quite unwell. I’d always (and will always) refer to my grandparents as my guardian angels. At just over 11 weeks pregnant, she passed away. My heart still breaks with the memory. The day before her funeral I had my first scan. I held onto that picture so tightly throughout the whole service. I wish she could have seen him, just once.

I’m normally quite an active person, someone who likes to fill their day with lots of things to do. Don’t get me wrong, I love a good film or a Netflix series marathon but I will often be doing something else at the same time; drawing, planning our next family holiday, writing this blog. I knew that I couldn’t be as active and as super busy as I usually was so I had to find some alternative hobbies to my usual ‘on the go’ style. I knitted some little booties for Bruce and even bought some jewellery making kits, which were great fun to do! I spent a lot of time chatting to Bruce (as I’m sure a lot of expectant mums do) and couldn’t wait to meet him and introduce him to all the exciting things in the world.

In July 2012, I visited the doctor. He wasn’t happy that my blood pressure had crept up a bit as I was usually at the very low end. After a good chat with him, he decided to sign me off work for 3 weeks. I won’t lie, I was super bored during that time. My husband and friends were all at work so I spent most days just pottering around the house. Over those 3 weeks I felt that I’d really put on a lot of weight. Not just the standard baby weight, no, it felt like more than that. My feet were huge too and I couldn’t wear anything other than sandals that wrapped around my ankles with soft cotton straps. I had a midwife appointment during this time and although I felt like I had footballs for feet, she checked my blood pressure and assured me that all was fine. I could feel Bruce moving around every day too so I knew he was happy, which obviously kept me happy (and awake at night).

On 11th August my husband and I went to a friend’s wedding. This was when I thought something was slightly odd. During the afternoon, I noticed that I wasn’t doing my usual half hourly (at best) dash to the bathroom. I didn’t look at it as a bad thing, I was in no pain and didn’t feel unwell at all. I remember feeding the cats that evening and I dropped a fork on my huge feet. I watched as the imprint from the fork stayed in my foot for quite some time and the rate at which it came out so slow. It’d been like that when I’d last seen the doctor though so I’d almost gotten used to these big squishy feet. The day following this was no different, no drastic change. I was quite looking forward to going back to work the next day.

On the morning of 13th August, I was all dressed and set for work. My husband had asked me to make sure I rang the doctor first thing, just to check that I was ok to go back to work. So I did. I rang my manager at 8.30am to let her know that I was coming in to work but just needed to get myself checked out by the doctor at 10am.

The doctor I saw had been my doctor since I was born. He had been my mum’s doctor and it been planned that he would deliver me. I was an early baby too though so mum’s delivery plans had to change.

At the appointment we had a general patient / doctor conversation. How I felt? Fine. Just fed up, bored and wanted to get back to work. How have things been? Ok, but I wasn’t impressed with how much weight I’d put on (as lovely as the sandals were, they didn’t exactly go with my wedding outfit on the Saturday). Any physical symptoms? I felt a little bit like I had sun stroke, which I did say was odd as I hadn’t really been in the sun. It had started that morning. My feet and hands also felt quite tight from the moment I’d woke up.

The doctor didn’t seem overly concerned as I was quite happy and chatty. But then he took my blood pressure. I didn’t see the reading at that time but I knew something wasn’t quite right. He asked me to wait for a minute as he picked up his phone and dialled some numbers. I listened to his conversation as best I could. I must say that I’m not a medical professional so half of what I heard made sense and the rest, well I’m pretty sure that was medical jargon.

He wasn’t long on the phone. As soon as he put it down he told me that my blood pressure had gone up further, a little more than he was comfortable with and that I needed to go to the hospital for a few more tests. I asked why and if I would be home later that day. He obviously couldn’t give me a definite answer but did say that they may be able to give me some medication to bring my blood pressure down until I gave birth.

That sounded good to me. I rang my manager to let her know, she’d always been very supportive so it wasn’t a problem, and off I went to the Royal Bolton Hospital.

That was the last time that I would be out and about with my bump.

My follow up post, ‘The Day Everything Changed’, talks about what happened later that morning.

Big hugs xxx

One Comment

  • Kathryn Wood

    I remember my squashy feet, in fact everything was squashy. I too went to a wedding after promising the same doctor I would go home and rest!
    We then moved house too.
    So much of the circumstances are similar except what happened next. I am Emily’s Mum. I was in hospital and on quite strong medication to keep my blood pressure down. I still remember telling the nurse I could see a pretty river. What I could actually see was my own blood flowing through the veins in my eyes. My blood pressure had spiked I was taken for an emergecy section and my beautiful daughter was born she was 4 -6 weeks early but a good weight. I will say more later.

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