Not much in the way of drama to report this week. No hospital visits or emergency procedures. I guess you could say that ‘all is quiet on the western front’
Then why do I still feel restless? It’s almost as if I’m waiting for the next issue to occur. To those none IC sufferers, this may seem as though I am being negative or asking for trouble. Honestly I’m not. I’m well aware that “positive thoughts create positive outcomes” I don’t need constantly reminding of this. . . .
Those ladies in my position are the only ones who will truly understand. I am focused, positive and come hell or high water, I’m keeping this baby In! I am also a realist. I know the signs. I’m on edge. I’m second guessing myself, and to be quite honest, on 2 occasions during this pregnancy alone, it was this uncertainty and fear of the unknown that saved our baby.
Here’s a few things I’ve learnt along the way. . . (Apologies in advance to those chaps reading or those particularly squeamish)
Discharge- Pregnancy discharge differs from normal discharge. During pregnancy our discharge changes CONSTANTLY! This is no issue to those none IC sufferers. For us it instantly causes horror and the feeling of impending doom. Relax those ladies on knicker watch. . . . It’s ok. Discharge is your friend. You only really need to panic if said discharge is. . .
- Thicker than normal
- Contains blood
- Becomes watery all of a sudden
Any or all of the above GET CHECKED OUT! Who cares if your ward or early pregnancy unit think your insane or are sick of the sight of you. You take yourself there and you demand they look at you! YOU’RE THE BOSS!!
The FF test – There will be at least one occasion during your IC pregnancy that you feel the “Damp knickers” feeling. (Que feeling of impending doom) Is it discharge? Has my ever weakening bladder let me down? Am I leaking water???? My advice. . . . GO GET CHECKED! There’s a simple swab test that can tell if you are at increased risk of preterm labour. 3 times I took my little self to the ward for this test. It came back negative. I was sent on my way by a very “grumpy” doctor. . . .The 4th time I felt damp in the same way I nearly didn’t go for the test. This was due to said doctors attitude that I was wasting his time. . . . Low and behold The 4th time the test was positive. My preventative stitch was failing and if I hadn’t gone I may have lost my baby. Again. . . Moral of the story? Ignore the huffs and puffs. Ignore the impatient, and sometimes a little out of hand professionals. If something feels off you just take your little self down for a check up. You know what’s best. That’s right. YOU.
I have also learnt the following along the way. . . .
- Blood is never ok. Any bleeding – Go and get checked.
- An upset tummy feels like labour pains. Going for a poo is terrifying. You feel that pain you go to the loo, check the time, do your business and then relax. Take a drink of cold water and wait and see. If it is a contraction, you can bet your bottom dollar you’ll have another. Stay calm and monitor. Imperative you keep an eye on the time/frequency. If it comes back call the ward. GO GET CHECKED.
- Take your notes Everywhere. You never know when drama will occur and your notes are your bible. You need them with you at all times.
- Be organised. Have a bag packed “just in case” preterm labour is often preventable but trust me every minute counts. Have something small in a safe place that you can grab and go. Make sure your back up plan is in place. Do you have emergency childcare? Do the kids have a little overnight bag on standby in a safe place? Are school aware of your condition? These may all seem a little far fetched but trust Me, if you’re caught off guard it really will make all the difference.
- Go with your gut. You may wake up one day with the feeling the something just isn’t right. Now I know that for us IC sufferers most days feel this way at some point, but, if you really feel like something’s off the chance is that you may be right. There may not be any pain or symptoms but you must listen to your body. We are intuitive creatures. Trust your instincts. It’s what they are there for.
- Finally (and most importantly) You have a right to feel safe in your pregnancy. . . .you’ll often hear me grumble about some doctors or health care professionals. I don’t mean this to sound awful. It’s just that some midwives/consultants/ doctors just don’t understand the emotional stress that an ‘at risk pregnancy’ causes. Don’t be afraid to explain yourself. Don’t be afraid to cry. Don’t be afraid to ask for help. Your mental health is equally as important as the health of your baby. A little bit of reassurance goes a very long way. There really are doctors out there that can help. Don’t be afraid to ask for a second opinion or to seek advice. You are the boss. You are in charge. If you don’t ask, you don’t get. Remember that.
Sorry for waffling a bit tonight. To those people who don’t suffer from an incompetent cervix I probably sound completely insane. . . For those that do I really hope some of the above helps.
Keep going guys. We are doing a great job. Huge love as always!