…In your medical teams. Right now I’m having a repeat of when I was pregnant with Ra-Ra but this time they don’t seem to be wanting to help me. The first time around my obstetrics/midwifery team was fairly small as it was a relatively small hospital, since then departments have been closed down and everything has pretty much been shifted to the hospital up the road who is part of the local trust. Now most people in my local area or at least my hometown don’t have much faith in the bigger hospital and I’ve been witness to this both with colorectal and now obstetrics.
So for the last week I have been in absolute agony with painful contractions but since no Baby Button has arrived they were clearly bad Braxton Hicks. Now if you don’t know what they are then the easiest explanation is its the uterus preparing from birth, your bump tightens up and relaxes, although here is the NHS explanation. They are common throughout your whole pregnancy and are perfectly normal, although I was always told these weren’t supposed to hurt… My lower back has this really dull ache that then radiates around my hips, across my bump but also into my shoulder blades.
I have been walking around town or the beach and then BAM my stomach feels like it’s going to rip open and I’m desperately rummaging in my bag for my paracetamol, codeine and metroclopermide to ease the pain and nausea. The nausea and the dizziness are some of the worse symptoms I get with the pain especially since I am prone to very short lived blackouts, which can happen with the pain. I made a point of not ringing up because I hoped that I would be able to pinpoint what was causing it myself. I always get “scar tissue” as an answer which kicks in the faith I have in them slowly disappearing.
So fast forward to Friday morning I ring up Maternity Assessment Unit (MAU) and explain to them the pain and such. I get asked about my bowel movements, I guess from constipation (which was a major symptom of my UC I know how painful that can be) being common and painful at times during pregnancy it may often be an easier to rectify issue. I said I have an ileostomy and my movements for me have been normal. So they tell me to take painkillers and have a bath, but if it continues to come in. Now I went and told 00Steve what they said and he looked and went “that isn’t going to help you”, which no I knew it wouldn’t as I’ve been doing that all week. Faith knocked strike one. So I had a bath, painkillers, something to eat, something warm to drink and even tried to have a nap. But nope nothing helped, we decided to ring the next day because Ra-Ra was due to go to sleep.
Next morning I ring up and explained everything again (that gets tedious in itself) said what I had done and that I was concerned not for my baby but for myself. There was never anything wrong with Ra-Ra so why would there be with Button? So the midwife said “well I guess you should come in then” faith knocked strike two. We go in and explain again why we are there, my pulse, blood pressure and temperature are all fine which I expected them to be. I was even given a speculum test to see how my cervix was doing, nope not in labour. I got asked why I had a stoma and explained Ulcerative Colitis, the midwife said her daughter has it, I thought oh good someone who might not ask me silly questions. How wrong I was. She asked if I breastfed Ra-Ra which I didn’t due to a few different reasons which hindered me, she then said that breastfeeding your child can raise an immunity against auto immune diseases. I just looked at 00Steve and he just said “I’m pretty sure it’s genetic so if the baby will get it at some point they will get it”, I’m pretty sure it’s something like an 8% chance of the child getting it which the way I look at it is nothing. Faith knocked strike three.
I was put on a heart rate monitor even though I said Button doesn’t have a pattern they just move when they want too. It was supposed to be 20 mins, she came back and said oh you have a sleepy baby I just though no they don’t have a pattern, I wasn’t even there for reduced movements. She brought me some water and told me to drink to get baby moving, the cup was dirty (faith knocked strike four) and 00Steve ended up tipping out the marshmallows the nice person at Costa gave us for Ra-Ra and let me use that. An hour went past with nothing, so I got some food out of my bag and that’s when Button went into a dancing frenzy!
Eventually they came back and took me off the monitor and said the Doctors were in theatre, I said I was starting to get more pain, nothing was done. Bloods were taken and I mentioned the pain again as I was coming up to the end of the painkillers I had taken that morning. The midwife care assistant mentioned it to someone but again it went ignored faith knocked strike five. Yeah running out of faith at this point wouldn’t you say?
The Doctor finally was able to come and see me, listened to what I had to say then asked me about my bowel movements again. I explained the stoma and that right now it was fine, he then asked what colour my output was. I laughed as I was taken aback by that and just responded with, “it depends what I eat”. He paused for a second and laughed too with “yeah of course it would be!” But apparently nothing I was telling him was jumping out at him as anything to worry about, he asked why I was taking 60 mg of codeine and questioned who said I could take it. I explained an obstetrician told me I could. He then blamed everything on wait for it…. yep you guessed it scar tissue! Even though I explained the pain my scar tissue presents itself is very different to what I am experiencing it has done the same thing for the last 9 years so I am pretty sure I know what it is. Faith knocked strike six but guess what there’s more! He also looked at me straight in the eye and said “what would you like me to do about it“, now he was being sincere but I am NOT a medical professional I don’t know whats in his realms of capacity s faith knocked strike seven.
My bloods came back and said my iron levels were 97, my community midwife had only said a couple of weeks before just how impressed she was that my levels increased in pregnancy. I haven’t been anaemic in over 5 years so this came to me as a shock. I think I need to add sweet potato back in my meal plans as vitamin C helps absorb iron and sweet potatoes are full of it. The Doctor wrote a prescription for iron tablets…yep tablets, I said to the midwife I couldn’t absorb them with a j pouch so with an ileostomy it was probably less likely. So the script was changed and 00Steve had to go to the pharmacy to collect it. If she had told me it was the liquid I would have said there and then for him not to waste his time as I was given it before surgery to prevent my iron dropping and it made me sick. But anyway 00Steve returns empty handed as they couldn’t order it in due to the cyber attacks, fair enough the midwife writes in my notes that I have declined my prescription because of that and I said should I just go see my GP. For starters the prescription I was given could only be retrieved from the hospital nowhere else and secondly I would probably benefit more from an infusion. Faith knocked strike eight.
Don’t get me wrong part of me knew they would palm me off with scar tissue because it’s easier than actually finding out a problem. These are the people who are supposed to be performing major surgery on me to not only give birth to Baby Button but to sterilise me. I am actually now more scared than I was before, before was just your general ooh I have more surgery scared. But now I actually worry for the safety of my unborn child and myself, I shouldn’t feel like I have no faith in the people who are supposed to keep me safe.