Tuesday, June 30, 2015

The Great Waiting Game

Yesterday morning I woke to some "spotting", pregnancy term for light bleeding. It was light brown and I hadn't seen this kind of bleed before. It worried me slightly but I assumed the Doctors would tell me to come back to them if something of relevance happened. So I got ready for work.
Rowan was worried and suggested I call the Doctors, I told him they wouldn't be interested. By the time I got to my temping job, I decided that I may as well call them, what did I have to lose?!

Ring ring, ring ring...
Receptionist answers "Doctors surgery"
Me "Can I please see the Doctor as soon as possible?"
Receptionist "You won't be able to see him today, unless it is an emergency"
Me "I am in my first trimester and I have bleeding, however I'm unsure if this is classified as an emergency"
Receptionist "Well I'm not a Doctor and wouldn't be able to make that judgement. Bear with me"
... "Did you say you're pregnant?"
Me "yes, in my first trimester"
Receptionist "Would you like to speak to the midwife?"
Me "yes please"
Midwife (in a very thick Jamaican accent, I won't write phonically, it will just insult everyone) "Hello"
Me "Hi, I'm in my first trimester and I am experiencing some light bleeding, do you think I should worry?"
Midwife "I think you should go to the EPAGU at St Thomas' and get checked out"
Me "Oh, I was going to go to work and see what happened"
Midwife "You're crazy. You can do that but you can also see if it is something to worry about"
Me "Do I need to make an appointment?"
Midwife "If you want but I would just go down there, Floor 8"
Me "oh"


I let my agent know that I wouldn't be going to work. Apologised profusely, as I'm British and it's the done thing "I'm sorry old chap but my womb is failing on me you see and I've got to go to the hospital and get invaded in my lady area with an inanimate object covered in a jonny and lube".

I finally arrive at St Thomas' in a total state, by the time I reach the EPAGU, I've had a total breakdown and lived through a miscarriage , been rushed to surgery with an ectopic pregnancy, etc. (I can be a little dramatic at times).

They are lovely. I come out of weeing in to a cup for some unfortunate nurse to test to have the kindest woman hand me a cup of water, check on me and have a little chat. She was an angel. I'm not even sure if she was actually there or if I was just seeing a heavenly figure for comfort. She told me about her first visit to the clinic and that she went on to miscarry. However she has a 4 year old daughter and a 9 month old son (he is half of a set of twins, however his brother passed on on day 8, totally devastating).

In light of this news, all of a sudden the worse didn't seem that dreadful, don't get me wrong, it's sad and causes endless upset but it isn't comparable to carrying to full term, giving birth and then losing them. I'm not sure what is.

Eventually my scan came up. The Gynaecologist was very nice. She took forever up there and I thought I was going to be presented with a full "holiday pictures slideshow" when she was done.

However I was met with a confused, puzzled look.

Gynaecologist "Firstly, I thought this might be your sack"
I stare at a screen of grey fuzz and see a distant circular thing...
Me "ok"
Gynaecologist "Then after much searching (she didn't say this but I felt that she should have), I found this which I'm sure is your sack. I'm terribly sorry but it looks like a miscarriage to me. I can see blood next to (she may have said 'in', but I can not remember) the sack. I'm not 100% sure and would like a second opinion, do you mind waiting while I speak with a colleague".

4 days pass by (more like 3 minutes but you know how slowly time goes when you're eating every finger nail and seeing your foetus slip from your grasp).

Gynaecologist reenters room

Gynaecologist "I'm sorry but my second opinion agrees with me, it looks as though you are at the start of a miscarriage. I would like to order some blood tests to make sure and have you come back next week, so I can check on you"

I start to feel like Frankenstein's monster.

Me "ok"

Off I walk back to the waiting room to await my blood tests. Eventually I get called. I am chatting / half crying to the nurse and she's lovely with her thick Eastern European accent. I ask if I will be classified as a 'high risk' pregnancy next time, "oh no, not until you've had three". THREE??? Say 'le fuck' what?!

Post the blood tests I walk out of St Thomas's half in a daze, semi crying, semi crazed, unsure of what or how to feel. I call Rowan and confirm everything to him. I feel shit, I insisted he didn't come along (as I didn't want to bother him) and all I've caused is for him to have no idea what is going on and to not be involved. Not fair Pipsywoo, not fair.

My blood tests came back and they confirmed that I still had pregnancy hormones in my blood. Which means they have no idea what is going on and I've now got to go back next Monday for a follow up scan. Should I miscarry in the mean time, I need to notify them and potentially return sooner.

So here I am. 36 hours later...no heavy bleeds, no particularly bad aches from "that" area and my boobs still ache. I have no idea what on earth is / will go on over the next 6 days. It is just another day / week in the life of a pregnant woman - the great waiting game!

Pregnancy Irritation

I'm annoyed. I got home from temping today and found an ominous thick envelope for me, I knew it had to be from the NHS. Let me back track a little...about 20 seconds after telling my GP that I was pregnant, before asking the date of my last period, he asks "do you want to be tested for Downs Syndrome?", "What?" is all I could think...what on earth? I guess yes as I would be good to be prepared, however it wouldn't change anything.

The last time I told a Doctor I was pregnant, he congratulated me and asked me lots of nice Doctor questions, patted me on the arm and saw me on my way (ok no arm was patted but that's how it should be, sugar coated and fuzzy). Not being constantly reminded that "you're an old mother and your baby may suffer from various illnesses / disorders". Yes, obviously it is possible, I'm not dumb, blind or stupid but I wasn't expecting that question so early.

My Mother has told me that she was considered at the grand age of 30 in 1976 an "old mother" and every time she would go to the Doctors the nurses would always loudly declare "she's the old mother", as though she was deaf! BUT, that was the 70's, times have moved on. The average woman falls pregnant at 30 in the UK, findings found in 2012. I was pregnant at age 32, however it didn't work out and at 32 I was not considered at risk or old, however the cut off point has obviously been reached and it is 33, accordingly to my GP.

Let the good times roll, what's next declaring the music in the shops on the high street is too loud and that the youth don't know how good they've got it?, both things I have thought in the last seven days...funnily enough.

Thursday, June 18, 2015

St. Leonards on Sea, Hastings

Back in April Rowan and I fancied a trip to the seaside. We originally wanted to visit Westcliff on Sea, Kent, as my Grandma went there on holidays as a child, as the photo shows below. That is my Grandma back in 1925-26. She's so cute!

However, after much deliberation about gawdy bed and breakfasts, which Westcliff is lacking in. We found this incredible location: St Benedict Bed and Breakfast, in St Leonard's on Sea.
I had heard many things about Hastings, most of them were negative, but Rowan and I fell in love with St Benedicts, so thought it was worth a visit.

Hastings is bloody beautiful! It's Victoriana, misty and mysterious, we came through a large mist cloud that circled the cliff tops, you couldn't see the castle ruins from the beach. There were the usual arcades and sea side shops but also beautiful random architecture like this.

A church, right in the middle of some beautiful Georgian homes, how random and quaint! PS It looks like this still even now. Further down the promenade you have buildings like this. It sticks out like a sore thumb as it's so tall compared to the rest of the street, we couldn't help but photograph it.

courtesy of instagram.com/rowanfoto

Additionally, Hastings is filled with the usual shops you find in a town, as well as lots of craft start ups, vintage and bric-a-brac stores and reclaim yards. We LOVED it! It ended up buying a coffee table, which I have my feet on now, and a butter dish. We also saw 1001 things we wanted to buy but restrained from doing so, it was so so hard!!!

St Benedict Bed and Breakfast is A-mazing! The couple who own it are warm and friendly. They purchased the building back when it had been broken up into flats and set about restoring it to the original form. It has been hard work but they've done an incredible job. 

Each bedroom is different, we opted for Mr Parry's room, which is a bedroom, dressing room and en-suite, with views of the garden and a four poster bed. I had to hop on to it, as I'm a short arse, it was incredibly comfy.

The rest of the building was just as elaborate and incredibly decorated, there were points of interest at every corner. Upon arrival, we were checked in and then offer tea in the lounge with yummy cake!

courtesy of instagram.com/rowanfoto

Additionally to bed and breakfast, you can have the option of a Victorian dinner being cooked for you, we didn't opt for this but highly regretted not doing so shortly after arriving. I also regretted not packing a large hopped skirt and corset.

As I'm nosy, I had a potter around the house and came across the below decoration inspiration...

The entire place is remarkable, definitely worth a visit. Full of Christian paraphernalia and quirky talking points. Apparently the owners have been known to host wakes, wouldn't that be incredible: a traditional Victorian wake in a Victorian house, OMG!

Rowan and I enjoyed our time there that we are tempted to move to St Leonards on Sea, it is so beautiful, full of gorgeous Victorian houses and Georgian builds. It is definitely in our list of Top 5 places to move to.

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Pregnancy, Take Two

Rowan and I have been trying since we lost our first pregnancy in November. We gave it a break during December, to allow my body to readjust and then started up again, in a casual fashion, focusing on my ovulation period.

I started to get a little frustrated in May, as the first time around it only took 3-4 months, at the start of our 5th month a good friend announced her surprise pregnancy, I was so excited for her but also a little sad for myself, which is stupid and selfish but apparently kind of normal...?! I didn't feel normal, I felt terrible and miserable for being so self centred.

This month Rowan kept on telling me to be positive and that it will have worked this time, for sure. I pushed back saying that all symptoms were negative, I had started to get all of the normal signs that it hadn't worked. I felt completely normal, other than a week of my womb feeling a little hard and some tenderness in my boobs, nothing.

Come my due date and nothing, I am never late, it's unheard of. I head off to a family event on Saturday and start to think about how my boobs really, really hurt, similar to the last time I was pregnant, which is odd. I did a test and discovered that I was 1-2 weeks pregnant. I was so excited, full of love and giddiness and so was Rowan.

Two days later my boobs hurt less and I freak, this is how it happened last time, my boobs didn't hurt, then all of my other symptoms stopped and then my miscarriage took place. I am out of my mind and Rowan has no idea what to do, other than telling me to calm down, I head off to my temp job and put it out of my mind, or at least try too.

I speak to a friend and she confirms that every pregnancy is different and the joys of bodies, therefore it constantly changes each time, and that boobs do stop hurting for days or weeks at times and that other symptoms do fluctuate.

This morning we went to the doctors to confirm my pregnancy. The Doctors doesn't initially put my mind to rest about my boobs hurting less, the cramping being normal or my other symptoms being perfectly fine, but post the visit I do feel calmer. I read lots of posts online and lots of women have pregnancies with minimal to no symptoms, and knowing this makes me feel better. My boobs do ache but not hurt, this is enough for me and if this is all I suffer with for the next nine months, bring it on, I'll be one lucky individual.

I am keeping positive and taking it as it comes. The Doctor did put my mind at rest in regards to one thing: traditionally if you lose your pregnancy 0-12 weeks  it is due to the foetus not being right, however if it happens after 12 weeks, it is more to do with your body. This isn't the case with all but it has finally made me feel rest assured about my miscarriage, finally.