It seems weird to look back on the time when I wasn’t even sure I was pregnant yet, but landed myself in hospital with OHSS.
In some ways this pregnancy has flown by, but taking all the hormones to prep my body for IVF almost feels like a lifetime ago.
You may well have heard on the news about an NHS trust that is going into administration. I don’t think this issue will affect me, but having said that, I’m not convinced I’ve had the best level of care during my pregnancy.
Ironically, as someone growing two babies inside me, I’ve had “consultant-led” antenatal care, rather than midwife-led. I have had access to a community midwife, but only through a once-a-week drop in and I wasn’t encouraged to use it until I was near the end of my pregnancy as, in theory, I wouldn’t need to see a midwife as I was having regular doctor appointments.
Despite my care being “consultant-led”, I have yet to meet the consultant. My mum pointed out that this is probably a good thing inasmuch as I probably would have only had to see the consultant in the event of my pregnancy having extra complications, which it hasn’t. However, instead of seeing the consultant each time, I have seen a DIFFERENT registrar at every single appointment.
Again, this needn’t necessarily be an issue, but despite the fact that they are handed my notes prior to me entering the room, none of them seem particularly to know very much about me. I have been asked on multiple occasions why I had IVF, who L is or a question about my “husband”. One pair of registrars expressed concerns about the sizes of the babies after the 20-week scan and I had to have an additional scan at 24 weeks in order to check the twins were growing as they should. At the follow-up appointment to the 24-week scan, the registrar I saw didn’t appear to have even realised that I had just had a scan and had no idea that the appointment had been made due to a specific concern. He was very blasé about the babies’ weights and since then there has never been another concern expressed. Indeed, I can’t believe how much the twins’ estimated weights were at the 36-week scan as I never thought they’d reach ‘normal’ singleton body weights.
After the 36-week scan I assumed I’d be booked in for induction fairly promptly – and actually, expected to go into labour naturally before 37 weeks as I had yet to encounter a twins story that didn’t involve the babies coming early. However, the registrar I saw explained that the consultant had expressed a desire for me to not carry beyond 38 weeks.
Well, duh, considering the NICE (National Institute for Clinical Excellence) guidelines for twin pregnancies state that women should not be allowed to go beyond 38 weeks.
I was disappointed, but equally was keen to go into labour naturally rather than be induced, so I didn’t argue the point and accepted the appointment they gave me for the following week.
At the next appointment, which was on Wednesday, the registrar we saw seemed concerned that an induction hadn’t been booked yet and immediately went off to discuss with the consultant and then ring the labour ward to book me in. The earliest she could get me in was Monday evening, by which point I’ll be (according to the due date created by the sonographer at the 12-week scan) 38 weeks +1 day. In actual fact, if you base it on when I had egg collection – and therefore when the babies were conceived – I’ll be 37+6, which I suppose is marginally more acceptable.
I have given up on the babies coming of their own accord as they seem well and truly settled in my belly and, although my bump has certainly dropped a great deal and the babies feel much lower than they were, all the twinges and Braxton Hicks I’ve had don’t seem to lead to anything.
Unfortunately, aside from being hugely uncomfortable because I have two rather large and wriggly babies in my belly, I am also now suffering a great deal of pain in my pelvis and am finding moving around increasingly difficult. Presumably this is due to the 12+lbs of baby I have weighing down on my pelvis, which I feel really should have been a consideration when deciding how long to leave me before inducing labour.
Not only, though, has the continuity of care been somewhat lacking, the timekeeping at the antenatal clinic has been atrocious. At times I have gone into my appointments over AN HOUR after they were scheduled. On Wednesday when we arrived at the clinic and I checked in, I asked the lady manning the desk if they were running behind at all. She told us that she didn’t think so – she’d had no complaints.
We went in over half an hour after the scheduled time.
Even once I was on maternity leave, I had far better things to do than sit around in a waiting room and when I was actually missing work to be there it was even worse!
Still, despite the multiple reasons that I have to not be surprised this particular NHS trust is going into administration, at least the end is in sight now. The hospital I am delivering in is actually not the same one where I’ve had my antenatal appointments and I have heard good things about the labour ward. My biggest concern now is that my pelvis will be so painful that it will actually affect my ability to push these babies out.
But one way or another these babies will come out and hopefully by Tuesday or Wednesday I will actually be able to report 20 tiny fingers and 20 tiny toes, not to mention whether we have little boy parts or little girl parts!
At this point I just really can’t wait to not be pregnant any more!