You may remember that I wasn’t particularly well during my last pregnancy.
Well, I continued being sick again after the first trimester but not as badly as last time, I can live with up to four times a day…
The biggest difference for me in this pregnancy is the difference in the level of care that I am receiving from the health professionals.
Last time, in the South:
I walk into my GP surgery and explain to the receptionist that I have done a pregnancy test and it was positive. She gives me a form to fill in and tells me that’s it, I obviously look confused so she says that the Doctor isn’t interested now and won’t see you until after the baby is born, the Midwives will deal with you until then.
Now, back at home in the North-West:
I go to the surgery and say that I think I’m pregnant and th receptionist looks for the next available doctor’s appointment.
I was stunned.
The Midwife that looked after me last time was great, don’t get me wrong on that score, it’s the rest of the care that is the biggest shock.
Pregnant women have to provide a little urine sample at every appointment that is tested for blood, protein, sugar (maybe other things that shouldn’t be there, I’ve never asked).
Before 24 weeks gestation and beyond, pluses of protein were identified in the dip tests, the samples were sent to the lab to test for infection, none was found. No further action.
Before 24 weeks, pluses of protein were found, samples sent to check for infection, more frequent tests and scans have been booked and I was sent for a kidney scan. That has shown some anomalies so I am being referred to the renal experts at a different hospital.
I see one obstetrician very late in the pregnancy, he doesn’t listen to me, tells me to diet, sends me for a gestational diabetes test that I don’t need and insists that I will have to be induced. I argue with him and leave feeling like I might as well have not bothered because he was following a script based on my age.
At the 13 week scan, my first obstetrician appointment was being booked (for a couple of weeks later) and the midwife made sure that I was referred to the one who specialises in renal issues because I’d had HELLP last time.
Towards the end of the last pregnancy, despite not having high blood pressure, my high PCR (proteinuria) gets me a diagnosis of pre-eclampsia without any further investigation.
During my second obstetrician appointment following the 20 week scan, I was told that there is no way it can be pre-eclampsia before 24 weeks so the kidney scan is booked as the blood tests didn’t show any possible causes for my already high PCR result. As previously mentioned, there were anomalies so I’ve been referred to the renal department at another hospital because “they are the best”.
When I went on for a sweep on the Wednesday in an attempt to prevent the need to be induced, the midwife (mine was on holiday) phoned the main hospital and discovered that my PCR was over 460 (I believe that normal is under 70) and insists that I get up to that hospital URGENTLY. I go and having waited for 3 hours, spend an hour with an ECG strapped to my belly to check that baby is okay. I’m told: “The good news is, baby is okay. The bad news is that your kidneys are failing but we are too busy to take you today so you’ll have to come back on Friday to be induced.” I was, it didn’t work, I was told that it had failed so they would have to give me 24 hours rest and try again on the Sunday.
Three times over those last few weeks when I was constantly strapped up to the ECG to monitor her, I asked them to take her out so that she would be safe. They refused and told me that would be an elective C-Section that they didn’t have time for.
Of course, the kidney failure wasn’t the end of it, I had liver failure too when she was born and you know the rest, basically, I was too ill to feed her and she lost a tremendous amount of weight, I was fobbed off when I asked for follow-up to check my liver and kidney function and my body was really wasted.
“Your PCR is already 173, if it gets to 300, we are going to just take the baby out to keep you both safe.”
I won’t lie, this pregnancy made my anxiety levels go through the roof but I am gobsmacked by the level of care that I am receiving this time. I come home from every appointment shocked by how GOOD it is.
Could that be any more wrong?