I can’t believe it’s been ten weeks since my 23 week appointment at the Tommy’s Rainbow Clinic; this was my second ever appointment with them, and since then I’ve had another four appointments.
Looking back to my first ever appointment with Dr Alex Heazell at 17 weeks, we were so nervous to see whether the treatment plan they has chosen for me was working. I guess I always had doubts in my own body and had a niggling dark voice telling me that my dream of having a huge family wasn’t ever going to happen so prepare for the worst news – those thoughts are long gone! Now at 33 weeks and after positive scan after positive scan I can honestly say that the clinic’s plan for me was spot on and is helping me to grow the most beautiful healthy baby. I look forward to my scans now, without any nerves.
I’ve decided to bulk my past four appointments into one post as they’re always quite similar, as they know exactly what they need to be looking at.
I always arrive to the clinic to be seen within 5-10 minutes and greeted with a huge smile by Vicky my bereavement/ rainbow midwife or Louise who is a rainbow clinic midwife; both exceptional women who genuinely care about mine, Stevens and baby’s welfare. I love our little pre-scan chats, they always remember what we talked about last time and want to know how I’ve been getting on. A lot of the time I’ll explain how I’ve had a bit of a wobble recently or a reduced movement scare, to which I am always reassured that I am being a great mother by acting on my concerns.
My scans have been with either Prof Alex Heazell or Dr Nicole Graham who is another rainbow clinic consultant – I love both to be honest, their knowledge and expertise is inspiring. They scan EVERYTHING, starting with his heartbeat to let me know he is fine to all his vital parts, water volume, all his measurements for a growth update and then finally the blow flood in the umbilical cord and both my left and right uterine arteries are checked. This is the part that always concerns me a little as this is where the issues arised with Avery. I’ve clued myself up that much now that as soon as they read out the flow number I instantly know whether the flow has gone up or down.
There’s a funny story behind how I know this (and a huge learning to ask questions!!) … At my 23 week scan I noticed that the blood flow number had reduced quite a lot and it instantly worried me, but stupidly because Dr Heazell told me everything was fine I kept quiet and left the clinic with the worries in my mind. Let’s just say I spent that night giving myself so much grief by googling, researching and reading papers on obstetrics pretending I had a clue what I was reading. I ended up scaring myself even more and I realised I needed answers. I called Vicky the next morning and left her a voicemail asking why my blood flow decreasing hadn’t concerned anyone …
Within ten minutes Vicky called me back and instantly made me see that I should never read my notes and presume I know what they are saying. She explained that the numbers I was looking at were not my blood flow as I thought, but pressure in my blood flow – meaning a decrease is a great thing and that’s what they are looking for; because the less pressure, the better the flow! Ahh what a fool I felt, but it was a great learning because not only was it a great relief to know that things were improving between scans, at every scan now I understand what they are looking into.
Vicky explained to me that sometimes the pressure can rise a little, this can be due to a number of circumstances including time of day and whether I’ve just had a big cup of coffee for example, so I love how at every scan if the number has risen slightly, she instantly speaks up to remind me of this and that everything is still well within the scale of normality, before I can even start to worry!
The other great thing about the rainbow clinic is that on a weekday, they have been a mini triage to me and Steven. If I’m ever worried or nervous I can ring either Vicky or Louise for a chat, and they always invite me down for a reassurance scan if I want one as they know how much seeing your baby move on a screen during pregnancy after loss can just wipe away any concerns that start to fester.
My favourite part of the scans is seeing how much he is growing! Can you believe he is on the 98th percentile – seeing him grow perfectly putting on another lb every two weeks makes me and Steven so proud of him and my placenta. Vicky/ Louise always say ‘Amazing growth there, that means a strong healthy placenta’ – it’s those little comments they make that just enable us both to beam and believe that he is going to make it just fine!
Over the past ten weeks, every scan has gotten a little more exciting and with every scan we start to talk more about baby arriving. At my 27 week scan, we booked in my induction for 38 weeks – what a high we left that appointment on. Dr Nicole knew I had been having a wobble so I think she booked it in to give me something positive to focus on – how amazing is that?
The big day is approaching
9am on Monday 19th February is the big day and at this moment in time I can’t quite believe that it’s only FIVE weeks away!
I have two more scans between then as they gave me the option to be seen either every 2 or 3 weeks (obviously I chose 2) so I have 34 weeks and then 36 weeks and then my next time with them will be starting off labour to bring this little rainbow into the world.
Words can’t quite describe what Alex, Vicky, Louise and Nicole at the clinic have done for me these past ten weeks. Nothing can prepare you for the anxiety and worries that come with pregnancy after loss – they’ve made it so much more bearable, they’ve been our lifeline.
One day at a time .. XO Nicole