Archive for May, 2007

Stuck Inside

May 31, 2007

Not so good news is that Hannah is still in hospital this evening. The doctors weren’t too happy with some of Hannah’s symptoms this morning, and so they are still monitoring her. The increased dosage of blood pressure tablets seems to be bringing down her blood pressure, and I hope helping releave some strain on her poor old kidneys. This evening her sister, Miriam and Barbara were visiting. Unfortunately, Miriam has just lost her purchase of a flat in Glasgow just before contracts were signed. Sorry to hear that, Miriam and Mark. It ought to not happen in Scotland, but it does and it’s very sad when people change their minds so late in such a tortured process, as we found out not long ago.

Hannah is hopeful of getting out tomorrow.

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Second Thousand

May 31, 2007

My page count has just gone past 2000. It took four months to get to 1000, and a little over two months for the next thousand. Are my posts improving and so I’m getting more hits?

Thanks for reading. I hope it’s keeping you all up to date with developments with the baby. Here’s to the next thousand hits.

No Strangers

May 30, 2007

When we got back home after the parentcraft classes, Hannah started to have pains in her upper abdomen. She couldn’t decide whether this was heartburn or something else. She weathered it through the night, with some back rubs from me that apparently helped. Hannah is very good at dealing with pain, so when she says it isn’t too bad it is hard for one to say whether that is time to really, really worry. It certainly was quite concerning. By morning she said she was okay, so I went off to work, but left a message with Barbara to warn her that Hannah may call if things changed. Barbara called Hannah back and insisted on taking her into the hospital, so it was back to Hannah’s least favourite place. Barbara stayed with Hannah throughout the day. The hope was that after some blood tests they would let her out. This didn’t happen. The blood tests from yesterday showed raised levels of urates and creatinin, that can be indicators of pre-eclampsia, or kidney problems (not unusual in diabetes). So more bloods were ordered, which led to the usual faff of various medical people stabbing at Hannah to get samples. Once done they went off to the lab, but it wasn’t until after 6pm before the results were back. From those they concluded that the problem was more likely to be kidneys than pre-eclampsia. When I heard this I thought there was hope for Hannah getting out, but no, they wanted to up her blood pressure tablet dose, and monitor the effect of that overnight.

So once again Hannah is spending the night in a hospital bed. Thankfully she got promoted out of the 4 bed ward into a single room. Her companions in the ward were all rather chav-y and spent a lot of time discussing the state of affairs on their estate, with one future mum threatening to beat up her kid if he ever kicked a football. I am sure Hannah and her mum weren’t snobby at all during the day.

Hospital Tour

May 30, 2007

As if we didn’t know the maternity ward enough, we get to have a tour around it as part of the parentcraft classes. It was useful as we got to see the labour ward, which we haven’t before. Also, Hannah got to drool over Dr Pearson (the anaesthetist we saw earlier in the day) who popped past the assembled class.

The labour ward is really quite small. There are two birthing rooms, one with a large pool for water births (which we saw, the other was ‘in use’ [no screaming]). There is one operating theatre, which we couldn’t go in because it is kept sterile, but we’ll get to know it in the future; and there is a recovery room for ladies post-op. That’s about it. Good to see it and get to know the lay of the land.

The trip round the maternity ward itself was not so useful as we have seen enough of it already. Hannah was most unimpressed with the boyfriend of the youngest mum-to-be (I estimate around 16/17). He kept asking about things like where he could go for a fag, or where he could get dinner if the labour lasted 36 hours. So selfish, the youth of today.

Week 34 Scan

May 30, 2007

Yesterday we had our latest scan. It was all good. The baby is now 5lbs 9ozs, which is a good weight as the average gain in the last month is half a pound a week, so a total weight for the 4th July would be a shade over 8lbs. Other measurements were also good, with the growth in his abdomen being much less that at the previous scan, so that measure remains within the normal ranges.

We did get a picture of the baby, but he is now too big to fit nicely into the screen. The print we have has two pictures, one of his face in profile and the other of one of his feet. I still can’t scan it in because we still haven’t replaced the scanner with one that will work with Vista. That’s very low in the priority list.

The time with the consultant was not with Mr Ridley, but Mr Resk, the consultant that Hannah has encountered a couple of times on the ward. In general they haven’t been good. This time he seemed fairly amenable. He did take the opportunity to emphasise the low chance of getting to the 4th July. Apart from that he was happy, even ignoring Hannah’s BP of 150/90.

We also had our chat with one of the anaesthetists. Not the same one as last time, Dr Noble, but Dr Pearson. He was very pleasant and took us through all the risks etc of analgesia, what sort of pain relief options there were and sorted out Hannah’s eating plan for before the op. I get kicked out the theatre should Hannah need a general anaesthetic as I become an obstruction at that stage (not that Dr Pearson used those words).

School’s Out!

May 27, 2007

Friday was Hannah’s last day at school. It is amazing that she has stayed at work for so long. When she chose that day as her last, many people (including me) said it was too far into the pregnancy and she should stop work sooner. It is not before time, as she has been really tired over the last week or two because of the baby keeping her awake at night, partly through somersaults and partly because if she lies the wrong way she can’t breathe. She got some lovely presents from school, including some from a couple of pupils, which is nice. She did also have a run-in with one of the members of staff who rather lacks in people skills when requesting other teachers to do duties etc.

We were both quite miserable on Friday evening because I had also had some hefty work related stress, which I shan’t mention in a public place.

The weather is pretty miserable too.

We did get another offer on the house, though. Full asking price, cash offer. We have responded saying that what is important is whoever can complete the quickest. After having been gazundered I don’t really want to engage in gazumping. Both sets of offers are from investors, I think, so there is much less emotion involved, more business sense.

Check-Up

May 22, 2007

We had a check-up at the antenatal clinic at the hospital today. This one had been set up by the maternity ward in order for Mr Ridley to provide a care plan for Hannah and the baby between now and the birth. The purpose of this is to help us and members of staff other than Mr Ridley understand how he wants Hannah cared for, otherwise they have to make their own decisions and judgements when they see Hannah. He has dictated that checkups only need to be once a week, and in the antenatal clinic and not the maternity ward. This is good because the ward has a greater predilection to admit Hannah rather than let her go, and are always very bad for her blood pressure.

I was a bit worried about this trip because Hannah’s swelling has got quite bad over the last few days. Mr Ridley didn’t seem too worried by it and said there was nothing that could be done about it. We got a good description of the things to watch for from the midwife, Jean, who has dealt with Hannah a great deal and has been an enormous help. Mr Ridley didn’t feel a need for any CTG traces that the maternity ward had been doing so long as Hannah feels plenty of movement from the baby, and of late there has been plenty of that! She says when the foetal kick count reaches 8 by lunchtime, she doesn’t bother counting anymore (anything less than 10 is a trip to the hospital).

Overall, the outcome is good because Hannah only has to go the hospital once a week and we have some symptoms to keep a watch for.

Parentcraft Classes

May 22, 2007

We finally managed to get along to some government run classes this week, after having missed the last two because Hannah was in hospital. We’ll be less crafty than other parents now.

The class covered the post-natal time so we were introduced to the health visitors, watched a video about breast feeding (‘latching on’, ‘let down’, it has its own technical jingo), and a couple of new parents popped in with their new babies to tell us how great it was and how the memories of labour would disappear from the mothers’ minds. The poor people (the parents, rather than the midwife who was instructing us) got very little audience feedback on their fairly useful tales. Hannah felt moved to ask a question at the end just so they knew we were all alive.

It was a first for us. We haven’t had any instruction yet on what to do when the babe pops out. We’ll have many years to learn, though!

The Week in Review

May 20, 2007

On the baby-growing front, last week was another busy one. Hannah had a planned trip to hospital on Monday with an expected overnight stay to have these steroid injections to speed the development of the baby’s lungs. Due to her diabetes, the hospital wanted to admit and monitor her because the steroid can throw her blood sugars off. This proved to be the complicating factor of the trip. To cut a long story short, the course of treatment the maternity ward decided to use was rather too proactive, and rather than stabilising Hannah’s sugars, it continually pushed it up. After 24 hours in hospital Hannah managed to persuade them to stop it, which is good. They were following a protocol and so didn’t want to deviate from it (presumably if they do there are liability issues if things go wrong). Unfortunately it was a protocol for treating someone who was nil by mouth, which Hannah wasn’t. Hannah said she had a good chat with the doctors about it and they said they would change the protocol as a result of her feedback.

She was in hospital for longer than expected. First for an extra overnight stay because the second steroid injection wasn’t until Tuesday morning, and they wanted to monitor her for 24 hours after that; and then after a ruckus with the other consultant (not ours, but Mr Resk), which always seems to happen whenever he sees Hannah. Basically he likes/feels the need to highlight the potential complications of Hannah’s pregnancy and possibly disagrees with Mr Ridley’s softly-softly approach (this is pure conjecture). Regardless, he has now gone off like a bull in a china shop twice. This time it led to more blood tests and a delay to Hannah leaving hospital while the results came back, all okay.

While she was in hospital she had a routine scan for Week 32 (the sixth). As previously mentioned in a prior posting, Barbara went along for this one. Most of the measurements were good, with the fluid level dropping down from its previous high, but the baby’s abdominal circumference is growing faster than the predicted rate, which could indicate that he is growing too fast, a problem common in babies of diabetic mothers.

A result of this stay is that Hannah now has to attend hospital twice a week for blood tests and a CTG trace of the baby (which measures the heart rate over a period of several minutes). The first of these visits was yesterday. Apart from needing five different doctors to successfully extract the blood for the blood tests, and again the possibility of being admitted, it went fine. The chance of being admitted was because her BP was a bit high, around 90.

Also, one of the community midwives popped in at home today to check Hannah’s BP. I’m not sure if this is going to be a regular thing, and they’ll miss her quite a lot this week because this is her last week at school (not before time). We don’t have the planned house move at the end of the week, which is a bit of a blessing because Hannah doesn’t have to worry about that during her evenings. One thing Hannah is not good at is putting her feet up, for example she had a BBQ for her A-level students and French assistants today, though Barbara was over helping out a lot. I hope that she does relax a bit during her mat leave.

Apart from the last week of school, the hospital appointments this week are one of the Mr Ridley on Tuesday (follow-up to last week’s hospital stay) and the now regular blood test and CTG on Thursday. Let’s hope that is all.

Success No2

May 17, 2007

Hats off to our estate agents (Bob Lancaster) who have sold our house again in a day, for the same price as last time! Let’s hope it holds together to the end this time.

Hannah is out of hospital after a short stay for steroid injections. I’ll update more on that later.