I was looking this morning at the survey carried out by AIMS Ireland on consent during pregnancy and what percentage of women felt that they had been asked for consent and had been briefed on the benefits/risks and potential outcomes of treatments during pregnancy.
Usually I make very clear decisions on my health, I make sure I am informed, I decide what treatment option best suits me. I don’t always take prescribed medications if I don’t feel I need them. I don’t always take the doctors word as gospel.
During my pregnancies however the fear of harming my baby by not doing the right thing led me to lean more on doctors opinion’s than I would normally do. Whatever they said was best for my baby I did. When I was in labour I handed most of my care decisions over to the medical staff, because they were the experts and because all I wanted was my baby to arrive safely. I didn’t care about the cost to my own body.
After my last labour the doctor recommended a drug to help shrink down my womb. After four attempts to place an IV, I refused to have them keep trying. The midwives checking my stomach felt everything was ok, I felt ok and the drug was just a precaution, recommended by a doctor who saw me for 5 minutes after the birth. I was happy to refuse. I am also 100% certain that if the baby had still been in my belly I would have allowed them to puncture both my arms over and over in an attempt to place an IV.
There is a huge responsibility on doctors and nurses who care for pregnant women to make sure that the women they are working with are aware of and happy with decisions that are being made. I think women are at their most vulnerable in that way when they are pregnant, they are least likely to take chances with the health of their unborn babies. Do we really take the time to make sure we are informed or do we just nod and agree with everything the doctors and nurses say our babies need?
It’s been over a month now since I started bleeding five and half weeks into my pregnancy. On Tuesday it will be a month since I looked at a pregnancy test announcing that my baby was no longer with us. Today despite drinking nothing stronger than a decaff coffee last night I feel hungover. Massively hungover.
My stomach is nauseous, my head is sore. My bones ache.
On my last three pregnancies this is exactly how I felt. This is when I knew I was pregnant. This would be the point where I would go out and buy another Clearblue pack of tests.
Only this time I am scared. The doctor told us to wait at least one cycle before trying. Have at least one period in case, “there is any residue left in the womb”. Residue, from my baby.
I might be wrong. It may be the start of my period.
And I am terrified that it isn’t, that it is another baby. And I might not get to keep it.
I am also so hopeful. In the bottom of my tummy, underneath all the nausea, underneath all the nerves, underneath all the worries, there is a tiny little spark left, of hope.
I can’t voice it out loud. I can’t say the words, even to my husband, for fear that I am wrong. For fear that by saying it I will somehow make it not happen.
And so it remains here, with the evidence of my last pregnancy, on my blog, unknown to the rest of my world.
The official line is now that my pregnancy was a biochemical pregnancy. According to the early pregnancy unit this is where the egg was fertilised but didn’t implant in the lining of the womb. Last week I started to bleed at five and a half weeks pregnant. The doctor said that in the absence of heavy bleeding or pain I was to wait and test again a week later at which stage if the result was positive I would go for an ultrasound.
I tested this week and the test was negative. No further action required. Baby has been and gone. And so we are grieving the idea of our baby. The one that was due on the 8th of July. The one we were going to surprise the grandparents with at Christmas. The little secret myself and my husband have smiled about and planned for. The little lentil that we will never get to know.
And the world keeps turning.
At the moment it is being called a threatened miscarraige. I started bleeding on Tuesday. I’m only five weeks. Next week we are to take another pregnancy test to see if baby has somehow, miraculously, managed to stay with me and then get a scan to see whats going on inside. I haven’t stopped crying.
I know that this is a tiny baby. I know that we only knew for a few weeks but I had already fitted this baby into our family. I had envisioned the crib back beside my bed. I had gotten excited about telling everyone at Christmas time. I had imagined a brother or sister for my girls, imagined them all growing up together.
We haven’t told anyone about the baby so I can’t talk to anyone about this either. I want to tell my Mum but don’t really know if it is fair to upset someone else over this. I know she would worry and next week seems like a long way away before we really know what is going on. And so you, cyperspace, will know about it. So at least I can say, yes there was a baby. A teeny tiny lentil baby.
So little Lentil has announced its arrival in my womb.. Our test reads 1-2 weeks pregnant which makes Lentil a month old.
So far Lentil is fond of:
Making Mammy feel queasy.
Giving Mammy headaches.
Making Mammy want to lay on the couch for most of the day.
Next week we’ll take a trip to the doctor to confirm Lentil’s existence and get signed up with the hospital.
You blog readers will be the only people to know about Lentil until I inevitably give the game away to family before the crucial 12 weeks…