Monday, February 26, 2007

Pregnancy week 29: A severe turn for the worse

A lovely time spent in Ditchling with Erica (but give me back the city please), although she was in full flow working on jumble sale, followed by a beautiful day in a sun drenched Greenwich, looking over London, enjoying the marvellous views, the maritime museum, the walk along the Embankment. But I started to get pretty bad cramps and my legs had completely swollen up so my feet felt like they were crucifying me in my boots and I ended up just sitting on the pavement in an effort to get back to Jason. I felt the need to go to the loo the whole time and having gone, it didn't take the discomfort away. I realised it was the onset of a bladder infection or cystitis.

I met up with Jason at Mamas and Papas in the evening to pick up the crib, but was a sorry mess by then, stopping to sit on the pavements. We ate at Ask, but by nighttime, the cramps were worse, I had terrible diarrhea and was writhing around for hours on the bed. Jason rubbed my back and I started being sick repeatedly, mostly over him and the bed. Boo was moving frantically inside. By morning I was a right sorry mess. We called Anne-Marie who's a nurse and then I was admitted to the labour ward at St Mary's in Paddington, having first crawled into a private hospital. It felt like Jason didn't really know what to do and I was saying to him I'm sure I need to be in a proper maternity facility. We're so used to having to pay for care here that he automatically thought Medicentre rather than NHS. The consultant there was talking to me as I was lying on the floor of the reception so she transferred me to a bed and I was very distressed.

And there in the labour ward, lying with a woman woman next to me on gas and air and another rolling around on a giant balloon. It was incredibly surreal.

I had a bit of a fever. Boo was monitored for a long time on a tracer and was doing fine. They assessed if the pains were partly caused by contractions as I wasn't able to ascertain if it was intestinal or uterine since there was just overwhelming pain from my breast down to my feet, like a big blur.

The diagnosis at the time was that I was 'very ill'. I haven't spoken to my folks in months, but they called and spoke to Jason on hearing of my illness.

There was a strong presence of ketones in my blood and urine so they ran further tests for diabetes. Apparently they have something to do with breaking down fat or protein to create energy in the presence of dehydration. I was given a rather sore injection in my thigh to stop the nausea and it really worked. I'm used to getting anaesthetic before a drip goes in as per my nice IVF man in LA, so that was a bit ouch too. Jason just said it would divert the pains from elsewhere. He was probably right.

I spent 2 days in the hospital on IV to rehydrate me and was transferred to the ante-natal ward where a hugely pregnant Middle Eastern lady insisted on blabbering on her phone all night despite the signs. The IV kept me awake needing to go to the loo the whole time.

I was having strange Exorcist moments of pooing green, some of which ended up coming out on the hospital bed before I realised what was happening.

Anne-Marie and my godchild Aurora made a truly generous 2nd trip up that weekend to look after me. I was so incredibly touched. They'd brought me flowers which I knew I wouldn't be able to take back on the flight so I've pressed one of the gerberas. Things like that in my emotional state seemed really sad. I didn't want to let go of Aurora and she's smitten with feeling Boo kick, which Boo's been doing an abundance of through the sickness. She'd only taken the train down from London on the Friday back to Bournemouth and she was up in London again by Saturday. A true railway child.

After a complicated period of having to prove we'd lived in the UK within the last 5 years (only just) and thus were able to use the NHS services, I was discharged from hospital.

Anne-Marie and Aurora stayed on with us at the hotel at LHR and we all went to the airport together yesterday morning. I cried my eyes out leaving them, really needing that family support during the next few months and knowing I won't be seeing her til she comes over in August. It breaks my heart. I miss Boo kicking for Aurora and her singing for me. I slept maybe 30mins on Saturday night pre-flight, my mind was going crazy with all the caffeine from lucozade although I've never actually had a night like it in my life. I was a terrible wreck and didn't know how I would get through the 11hr flight. We couldn't upgrade to business because the plane was full of Oscars-bound folk in business and 1st so travelled premium economy which after business wasn't so good. I was very sick all the way through the flight, the nightmare passenger to be close to with a sick bag strapped to me. That truly ranks as a #1 horrible experience, being sick on a plane.

The cabin crew were amazing though and tried to find a bed in First for me but none was available. They kept me hydrated, turned the air conditioning on incredibly low no doubt to everyone's discomfort as I kept feeling feverish.

I was met with a wheel chair off the plane and Sanjay and Claire drove us back home where I was in bed at 4pm USA time. I'm up now at 6am, oblivious to what's gone on outside in LA LA land and having missed the Oscars for the 1st time ever. Uncanny. We'd timed the return to back in time to watch it last night.

It all feels surreal. Please don't blame me for travelling. I had morning sickness again the weekend before flying and that bad bout of food poisoning before the Christmas flight back to LA and the kind gesture of a 4 week cold from the Scots. I just seem to be open to catching everything's that going. As Steph says, pregnancy plays a big part in immune suppression.

Waking up in LA LA Land. I can see where it all happened last night during my 12hr sleep in the Hollywood Hills in the distance. Very happy for Helen Mirren winning Best Actress for The Queen. Everyone here no doubt has a hangover. I have an undefined illness to get over, a Mamas and Papas crib to put together and a huge inherited bag of clothes for Boo to wash...

Yep, what a ride I continue to have. Let's be honest, it was a 6yr battle to conceive and my body's reluctance to be pregnant seems to continue to his day. Have been extremely emotional these last few days, what with leaving Anne-Marie and Aurora, being ill, leaving the City I yearn for, but I hope it will pass soon as I get back on my feet. Need to meet some mums here in the absence of NCT classes or anything similar.

On one of our preciously well days in London, we bought some lovely things from the M&P Fable range and I'm looking at them now as they represent the other beautiful side of pregnancy that I must keep hold of. Miss having little 8yr old Aurora sing to Boo, waiting for the kicks. The sentimental thing about children is that when you say goodbye to them, you know you'll be with them again one day soon, but they'll have changed in their maturity, their voices grown. That's what it will no doubt feel like when we have our little ones with us. We'll want them to stay just as they are forever.

Boo’s length 26cm, weight 1.15k (2lb 8oz)

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