I went to my 38 week midwife appointment with a touch of nervousness and a whole load of excitement. I’d had braxton hicks on and off for the past few weeks and had been slowly losing my plug. Baby had been engaged for at least a week and had been head down for a few weeks. So in theory, I was thinking something should be happening around now. My midwife carried out all of the usual checks, hearing baby’s heartbeat, measuring my bump, BP etc. However, my blood pressure was a little raised and she wanted me to see the community midwives again in the morning. I was fairly accustomed to this as I’d done it twice over the past few weeks.
I went along to the community midwives at around half 9 on the Saturday morning to have my checks carried out again. Again my BP was a little high and she was a little concerned about a bit of pain I’d been getting on and off under my ribs, so she demanded I go to the Antenatal Day Unit at the hospital I was being seen at. I rang my mum and asked if she would come with me before we went to visit my grandparents. Whilst there, they hooked me up to the CCG to monitor baby’s heart rate and to the blood pressure machine which took 5 readings 20 minutes apart. They also took some bloods and a urine sample to be checked for any signs of infection or leukocytes. After a couple of hours of being seen, I was told I could go home as everything seemed okay and they would ring me at the beginning of the week if there was anything wrong with my samples.
Fast forward to Monday 29th February. I’d been stuck at the car dealership for hours whilst my car had its MOT and I was feeling pretty tired. Once I was home at about 3.30pm, I received a phone call from the ANDU at the hospital asking if I could go in and have my blood pressure checked and go on the monitor for baby as the doctors just wanted to make sure everything was okay. Again, I rang my mum asking if she could take me as I was too tired to drive myself and wanted someone with me. So she picked me up and off we went to the hospital where they carried out more blood and urine tests, put the baby monitors on my tummy and hooked me up to the blood pressure monitor. This time, my blood pressure appeared to be much higher though I didn’t feel unwell or have any other signs of anything going on. They carried on checking it for an hour or so to see if it was just a one off but my blood pressure had absolutely no signs of coming down. That was it. There and then I was admitted to the antenatal ward and prescribed medication to try and help lower my blood pressure.
I was still having regular hourly monitoring for a few hours whilst on the ward and even with the medication, my blood pressure would not come down. I couldn’t sleep due to the regular checks and hearing other women on the ward crying out with pains from their contractions every now and again but I was so tired. I think I had about 4 hours sleep altogether until I woke up, had a little cereal and waited for ward round. The doctor gave me the news I had expected, I was being induced starting from that day (Tuesday). My assigned nurse and student gave me leaflets, went through the process of induction with me and answered any questions I might have. All that was going through my mind was: “how long will the induction last?”, “will I still be able to have a water birth like I wanted” and “when will I get to meet my baby?”. I honestly couldn’t have thanked my student midwife more as she sat down with me and explained every little part of it. Unfortunately, because I was being treated for mild pre-eclampsia and was being induced, a water birth was off the cards. I’d wanted one so much since I found out I was expecting baby bear. It was explained that I would have one pessary inserted into my vagina to try and help soften the cervix. It would be removed after 24 hours and a midwife would check how well things were moving along in there and whether I would require a second pessary for 24 hours.
I’ll tell you now, I needed both. After the first one was inserted I tried so hard to keep moving and encouraging things along. I had a pregnancy ball I could use, I was allowed free roam of the hospital and did a heck of a lot of walking, particularly when my mum or my partner came to visit. I had a nice warm bath that evening too. I felt really positive about the process and I was so excited about the thought of meeting my baby that again, I couldn’t sleep.
This was the last photo of bump I took before baby bear was born. 37+2 weeks pregnant.