Braxton-Hicks


Hannah got let out for the day yesterday, and spent a lot of it out and about (maybe we shouldn’t have done that). First we did a bit of shopping, and picked up some extra babygros. Then we went to the Bargeman’s in Newport, which we often do. There we met Barbara and Hannah’s sister, Rachel for lunch. Rachel doesn’t get to see Hannah very frequently so there was much feeling of the bump and excitement during baby movements. While we were there, Lee and Irene, who we stayed with at Easter (Hannah’s teachers from her school days, and friends while she was in France) popped by to say hello. After that we went to the cinema to see Shrek 3. It was quite amusing, but we did both nod off during it, so not totally rivetting. I did have to dissuade Hannah from seeing Pirates of the Caribbean, as I thought there would be too many tense moments and surprises, and not do her BP any good. Finally we got home, and Hannah had a play on the internet and a bit of a sleep.

When we got back to the hospital at about 9:30pm they took Hannah’s BP and put her on the CTG to take a trace. It didn’t start well. For the first 20 minutes it was quite flat, with deccelerations in the baby’s heart rate, plus it was quite a bit higher than it has usually been, 160 beats rather than 140 as a baseline. The midwife got Hannah to change her position, and the trace started to show more variation, ie the heart rate went up and down over a wider range. They still weren’t very happy though, because Hannah wasn’t feeling any kicks. After a while the trace became flatter again, as the baby went back to sleep. During this the midwife was in quite a lot, and kept asking if I was going to hang around a bit longer. A leading question, if ever there was one. This carried on for quite a while, with both the midwife and the on-duty doctor (Dr Biswas) coming in to check the trace. During this time, Hannah’s Braxton-Hicks contractions got a bit worse, and I discovered what the second trace on the chart measured – the womb. Primarily it is for monitoring contractions, and they were showing on Hannah’s trace, 7 minutes apart. During some of them she was getting flushes too. This did alert the midwife a bit, but in the end she wasn’t too worried because they weren’t strong enough to quite be real contractions, but I got the impression it was a close-run thing. After a couple of hours on the CTG the doctor decided Hannah could come off the monitor, after the trace showing periods of activity and sleep from the baby.

Eventually I left at 2:30am when it looked like the contractions were settling down. It was a long night, and quite tense at times, not really helping Hannah’s BP. The midwife did take the time to go through more detail of what happens before and after the c-section, which was useful. On the reflection, I think she may have been doing it in case it was decided to do the section last night.

This morning the situation is that the contractions did get closer together after I left, but they haven’t increased in intensity. Hannah has had a low BP measurement, 133/79, which is very good. If that stays down, it will be very positive. A text message I just got from her says that the doctor doesn’t want to let her out today, because they want to do hourly blood sugar checks and traces. The weather is pretty miserable, so there isn’t much to miss.

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