Well after all of the hassle the other week it was a relief to get back to normal and actually spend a day or two at home eating dinner when we should and doing what normal families do without sitting in a hospital car park at ungodly hours waiting for checks and scans. We had a lovely week and on Friday night had a few friends over for a take away and a film. The only time we ever watch vaguely frightening films seems to be in the company of others, as I think if it was just Luca and I on the sofa at night we’d scream like little girls and refuse to turn off the light and get off of the sofa incase ghosts or murderers were to get us!
So with the best intentions of playing it cool we all settled down to watch “The Woman In Black” while we ate a curry from our favourite local takeaway, and Gabriele was going crazy! It was possibly a combination of the spicy food and me jumping and screaming every time something scary came on that made him so mobile that evening, but he didn’t stop kicking once and it was lovely. Times like that mean so much to us, to unwind and enjoy a cosy evening in with good company and a happy baby, knowing Millie is tucked up in bed sound asleep and the cat and dog are laid in front of the fire.
As the evening drew to a close I felt my eyes getting heavier and more and more yawns creeping in during conversation and just after 11pm decided it was time to call it a night. These days by 6pm I feel like somebody’s taken my batteries out and I can hardly stay awake so I gave myself a pat on the back to have lasted so long, but I suspect it was the scary film that kept me conscious!
As everybody left and we tidied away the plates and glasses I went upstairs to get ready for bed. I followed my usual routine of getting changed, taking off my makeup, checking on Millie to turn out the night light and then going for a wee before bed. Nothing seemed any different or out of the ordinary, if anything I’d had more energy than usual to have still been awake at that time. But when I went to wipe the tissue was covered in bright red blood, and when I looked down the toilet it looked like something out of the film we’d just watched there was so much blood. I couldn’t even speak; I just stared numbly in disbelief down the toilet and back at the tissue questioning where it had come from. I didn’t feel anything, no sudden rush, no pain, no cramps, nor hear anything. And when I wiped again the tissue was clear.
I called for Luca to come and see and immediately he panicked and made me call the out of hours doctors and the call handler advised a doctor would call back within the next half an hour. We both had work in the morning, Millie was fast asleep in bed, Gabriele had quietened down from his bout of kicking earlier on and I’d spent the last ten minutes taking off my makeup and covering my spots in night cream. We waited for the call lying on the bed in the darkness struggling to stay awake and it seemed to take forever, and when it rang they told us to come to the hospital immediately. So in the middle of the night we got Millie into her dressing gown and slippers and took her and her kitty teddy over to Luca’s parents house. She was so sleepy and disorientated bless her, she kept asking what was going on and reminding us it was still dark and not yet morning time. The poor little thing, I just wanted to hug her and tell her everything would be ok and not to worry but we had no idea ourselves. There was the possibility that Gabriele would have to come early as I’d been having Braxton Hicks for the last few days and at one point was crippled on the stairs leaning over unable to move. We just wanted him to be safe and well and it seems the more normal things are the worse it all gets.
After dropping Millie off we headed to the hospital at the ungodly hour of 1am and were greeted by the nightshift staff, with the dull lights that burn your eyes and the usual drunks and crazy people that frequent the A&E corridors. Fortunately we were seen quite quickly by the nurse on duty, who after taking my blood pressure and checking us in, was able to refer us to the labour ward. It made it all so real to walk through those doors, with a heavy hand on our hearts hoping that we wouldn’t be walking back out alone. Seeing the machines and the white beds, hearing the screaming of women giving birth, the smell of disinfectant and the endless ticking of the clocks in every room made it seem like time was standing still. We were both grey with tiredness and worry, and again we were placed on the heart monitor numbly awaiting every beep of the machine to know that our little angel was ok.
Gabriele must have had his little nap on the way over and was again ready to kick as the bands of the machine dug into my stomach. At one point the nurse had to turn down the sound on the machine because he was so loud hitting away at the monitors. She confirmed that he was head down but his heartbeat was strong and there were no signs of me having contractions, which was a relief. And then the head midwife came to fill out her paperwork and to check me over. When they asked where I had bled from I felt so clueless and explained that I hadn’t felt anything or realised until the toilet was already filled with strong bright red blood. It was a relief that Luca was there and had seen what had happened because at that time I was so drained I didn’t know when or how it had all come about. I asked if it could have been piles, which caused a bleed although I didn’t have any at the time and they said it wasn’t. They wanted to check if it was down to blood in my urine but after giving a urine sample it was only yellow. And after the ward was sent into a frenzy when a lady was delivering her twins we waited until the midwives could give an internal inspection.
It’s never the most humane or flattering positions to be put in; especially as Luca had never witnessed what us ladies go through until now! But when it comes to babies I think dignity goes out of the window completely. Thankfully they were able to tell that the bleed had come from the opening of my womb, but the cervix was closed and Gabriele wasn’t under distress so they were confident that nothing bad was still happening. They took some tests and advised it would be sent off and we could collect the results from the doctors at the start of the week, and that was all that they could do.
Several hours after we went in, we walked out of the doors to the stark morning sunlight, merging into the works traffic we squinted through exhaustion and the unsettledness of the night as we made our way back to Millie with the small comfort of that the blood had stopped and our little angel was ok. We got Millie home and settled her in bed and hours later Luca was back at work for the afternoon, but Millie didn’t sleep for long before she was up and it was back to normal. With not even an hours sleep I began my day, calling in sick to work and carrying on with the house and food and usual weekend routine. I couldn’t wait for Luca to come home so that I could close my eyes, I was too scared to lay on the sofa incase I fell asleep and left Millie by herself fearing she’d walk out of the front door or something might set on fire. So as the day dragged on I became evermore like a zombie, my mind going over what had happened and everything making less and less sense.
That night I slept beautifully, I don’t even remember getting up for the toilet once, let alone the six or seven times a night normally. And eleven hours later I felt recharged and reborn, and I’ve been fine eversince! I called for my results at the doctors on Monday morning first thing but they advised they were not yet in so I should call back the following day. So Tuesday lunchtime I called again and again they told me they weren’t in; but this time they said to wait until Friday. On Friday I was unexpectedly at a wake and with one thing and another I forgot to call in for my results and the doctors were closed over this weekend. So tomorrow I am hoping to find out the cause of the bleed. In a way I want them to tell me something is wrong so that they can fix it and I know that it won’t happen again, but at the same time I don’t want anything to harm Gabriele or jeopardise the time he has left to grow bigger and stronger. Because I had no warning signs, no pains, no dizziness, nothing out of the normal it makes it all the more worrying that something like this could have happened at anytime. I punished myself for days thinking it was something I’d done, something heavy I’d unconsciously lifted without thinking, stretched too far to pick something up, holding Millie too close or sleeping on my front without knowing; something so trivial that had put our sweet baby in danger. But not having a cause or reason or answer just made it all the more stressful to deal with, it feels like a ticking timebomb and I’m waiting for it to explode and take away our happiness just like before. Life is so fragile and uncertain, I so badly want to know everything will be ok and I’ll be holding our little boy in my arms in however many days, watching him grow, watching play with all of his toys and wear all of the tiny outfits that wait patiently for him in our baby cave. But I know that nobody has the right to expect all of these things to happen, because it isn’t down to us, all we can do is wait.
Tomorrow morning can’t come soon enough. I can already see myself dialling the number and waiting holding my breath to hear the voice at the other end of the phone, my mind has played it all out to me a million times over in my dreams for the last week everynight already. Please just let our baby be ok. His mummy and daddy need him so badly, let him sleep tight and stay strong until he’s in our arms. x x x x x x