Tag Archives: fetal movement

Assume the Position

Kids like to make you look like a liar, it’s a fact. I’ve lost count of the number of times I have rushed a “desperately ill” child to the out of hours doctor’s service for them to sudden perk up and drop their body temperature back to the normal range. They do this on purpose to make you look neurotic.

Foetuses are no exception. The boy child sent me into a total panic while pregnant by refusing to move for roughly 24 hours. My community midwife sent me to the fetal assessment unit at the hospital where the midwife there had great difficulty in locating a heartbeat with a doppler. Eventually she got out the ultrasound machine and lo and behold we were treated to an image of the boy essentially mooning us. He had turned upside down, directing his kicks towards my back and his tiny little baby butt towards the ultrasound wand. He was absolutely fine.

Poppler decided to do much the same thing this week. On Sunday there were kicks a plenty, you know the kind where it looks like someone is trying to complete a Rubix cube inside your stomach, then on Monday it pretty much stopped, and stayed stopped aside from the very occasional wriggle. I was starting to fear the worst. I was beginning to think what if with all that movement on Sunday they managed to tie their umblical cord in a knot or loop it around their neck or something like that? So I was sent for another scan and I discovered I have another mooner.

Relief isn’t the word for it. The scan also seems to have had the effect of waking baby up, the bouncing lunatic has returned.

So Poppler is head down and raring to go, in fourteen weeks from now.

And finally…..

I’m a bit behind on the bump pics, but here it is at week 25. Wow I either need to really clean that camera lens or the mirror. Smudge city.

I’m sure you know better than me…

There’s a website called My OB said what???

It features real life tales of the insensitive, cruel, inaccurate and sometimes supportive or inspiring things that OBs, midwives, nurses, lactation consultants and sonographers have said to pregnant women/new mothers in all sorts of situations. In one way it was great to come across because I didn’t feel quite so alone in the all the various things that have been said to me over the course of six pregnancies, but it’s also a little depressing too to realise that these sorts of things and this kind of treatment is so common.

I’m beginning to wonder if before graduating the midwives around here have to take a module on “Contradicting the patient regardless of what they are actually saying” (I think they do that in final year, “Patronising the Patient” has to be covered in year one). Don’t get me wrong, I’ve come across some fabulous midwives and doctors in my time but I’ve also come across some awful ones

Like the one who shushed me angrily when I was vocalising during my first labour

Like the doctor that performed a stretch and sweep without my consent, actually without even looking at me or talking to me

Like the midwife who went through my birth plan laughing and shaking her head and muttering “where do they get these ideas?” when I asked to avoid an episiotomy and for delayed cord clapping

Like the midwife who told me that if I went overdue and refused to be induced my baby would die and I would have no idea, it would just be dead (due date is apparently an expiration date)

Like the doctor who told me I was never pregnant it was just my period while I was experiencing a miscarriage a full week after getting getting my first positive pregnancy test

Like the midwife I saw when I have having a lot of strong and quite painful Braxton Hicks contractions at around 24 weeks who told me it couldn’t possibly be Braxton Hicks because they don’t happen before 34 weeks.

And yesterday…..

Well yesterday I had to take the Squishy one to see the Health Visitor for her two year assessment. The health visitors hold their clinic in the same place as the midwives. I was sitting in the waiting room when a midwife asked me who I was there to see. I decided to ask her then about the lack of movement I’ve been feeling. I explained to her that it’s my fourth viable pregnancy, and she told me that it’s nothing to worry about because usually people only feel movement at around 19 to 20 weeks anyway.

Sometimes I honestly feel like it doesn’t matter what I say, they’ll say I’m wrong and I couldn’t possibly be experiencing what I think I am because that just doesn’t happen until the child is at least four years old, and it doesn’t matter what books I’ve read or even what the NHS guidelines are, I am wrong, everyone who I have ever known who has experienced the same thing is wrong too.

I’m sure doctors and nurses and whatever hate google because patients must be constantly diagnosing themselves, but I think a lot of them seem to have a general dislike of anyone with a bit of knowledge, it’s like how dare you read something in a book and have an understanding of it? I’m no expert but I have been studying biology for a very long time, I have taken multiple modules at undergraduate and postgraduate level in biochemistry, clinical chemistry, genetics etc. I’m working on becoming a qualified Biomedical Scientist, in short I ain’t dumb where matters of the body are concerned, and I don’t presume to think that I know better or more than specifically trained professionals but sometimes I feel like their default position is that no lay person can know ANYTHING. It makes interactions very frustrating, because I don’t feel like I can have a dialogue with these people, all they want me to do is shut up and not ask questions and be a good little patient.

I remember having hours and hours of contractions with Squishy when I was 37+4. My cover for home birth didn’t start until 38 weeks. After contracting through the night I called the midwives (because I had no intention of heading to the hospital). I got their answer machine, so I left a message and asked them to call me back. This was at about 9 o’clock, no one called me until 1 o’clock at least (possibly later), by this stage the contractions had died off and had become erratic. I was worried they’d start up again. The midwife I spoke to told me I would have to go to hospital because I was early. I pointed out that the world health organisation considered women full term at 37 weeks and that lots of other health trusts are happy to support home birth from 37 weeks. She told me I’d have to go hospital. I said I’m not going to hospital for the sake of a few days, was there anyway to move forward the delivery of equipment and the rota? I was told I would have to go hospital. I asked for the number for the supervisor of midwives. I was told this particular midwife had already spoken to her. I said that’s fine, may I have her number so that I may speak to her? I was told she had already spoken to her. Third time I repeated the request and at that point I was told to ring the labour ward at the hospital and they should be able to put me through to her. At this stage I had to turn around to her and say “You know I’m not doing this to make your life difficult or your working day more awkward for you.” Sometimes I think they forget that.

Normally I take the “smile, nod, agree and then do whatever the f*ck you were going to do anyway” approach to maternity services (unless you know there’s a proper medical need to do something differently) and that’s fine, most of the time. But when I have a concern it’d be nice to have the tiniest bit of credence given to it, unless I of course missed the memo where they announced all doctors and midwives within the Trust have been furnished with a new psychic ability to actually feel what is going on with you.

I shouldn’t be surprised really. When I’ve been discussing my concerns about the lack of movement with people and they’ve suggested “why don’t you go and see the midwives if you are worried?” I’ve always replied “what’s the point? they’ll just tell me it’s impossible to feel movement at this stage anyway”

And I was right.

So glad I didn’t waste an entire appointment on that.

14 Weeks (More or Less)

So today I am 14 weeks by my count (14+6 by crazy scan date). As I said before I have decided to stick by my Fertility Friend chart dates as I trust them.

I’m fairly certain that I am feeling movements not that AREN’T gas related. I was walking around Tesco last night doing a little shopping and I could feel kicks. You might think it’s a bit early for actual kicks but I felt them very early with the boy and by 17 weeks it was possible to feel him kicking from the outside, which was no mean feat considering I was at least 80lbs heavier back then. It’s good to get the movement, since the nausea has faded away I tend to spend a lot of time not feeling pregnant and doubting myself as to whether or not I’ve made the whole thing up. One thing that I can’t avoid though is the broken nights as I need to get up at least once to go use the bathroom. I know this is common in the early weeks and I KNOW it’s par for the course in the last few months but in the second trimester? In the second trimester it is just plain unfair, especially as it is winter and freezing and the cat uses any opportunity to steal my spot.

I’m also experiencing quite a heavy sensation in my uterus and what I’m fairly certain are the odd round of Braxton Hicks. I once had a midwife tell me that it was impossible to get Braxton Hicks before 36 weeks, I call bullshit on that one. They aren’t painful or anything, I’m just very aware of the tightening sensation, in fact I’m having one right now as I type this.

I discovered this week that Babybond have opened a clinic not too far from where I live and now I’m very tempted to book in for a 4D scan. I had a 4D with the boy and it was fantastic. The husband is against it though because we didn’t have one with Squishy (we were planning our wedding while I pregnant with her and that ate up all our spare funds) and he thinks it would be unfair. He’s also worried about it accidentally relieving the pertinent parts since we are determined to stay Team Yellow. I guess we have some time yet to make up our minds.

So that’s how things stand at 14 weeks. Until next time….