Wednesday, May 06, 2015

Pregnancy after stillbirth: 20 week scan and consultant appointment

We had our 20 week anomaly scan.  I think writing it up here would be good, so others can see what these appointments are like.  And it will help me get my head clear.  I'm finding these meetings quite traumatic and I tend to not think about them much after we've left,

The scan itself was fine, all is normal and developing as expected.  The meeting was with a registrar, not our appointed consultant.  I shall henceforth refer to her as the underling.

I asked about what vitamins I need to take - folic acid is no longer needed as the baby is fully formed.  I am also taking zinc and vitamin D and I can keep taking those.  Bloods will be taken at 28 weeks to assess my iron levels and confirm if I need any tablets.
I asked about having CTG scanning in the last week of pregnancy, this was agreed to although it wasn't formally booked in. It will be booked in once we have decided on a delivery date.
When can I be induced? - I said I wanted to be induced bang on 37 weeks. If I can't be induced then I want to be admitted.  The underling said they would normally induce between 37-38 weeks and we would decide this at the 32 or 35 week scan. This makes me feel uneasy but I'll accept it and keep pushing for a 37 week + 0 date at future meetings.

What do I do if I decide inbetween appointments that I want more regular scans? The underling said that I could ring the consultant’s secretary but they are unlikely to see me more often than my current plan suggests, as they won’t be able to tell much so it’s not a good use of time/money.  However I can come in for emergency checks whenever I want.

Note - this is at odds with what was discussed at the 12 week appointment as we were told by the other underling there that the maximum amount of regular scans offered could be every 2 weeks, as any more often than that don’t show enough growth to come to any conclusions. So I'll bring this up again at the next appointment.

I've been having a fitting feeling in my belly, at a guess it lasts between 20 seconds to a minute. It just feels like really high intensity movement, more definite than just vibrations. There is no hardening of my uterus and it's not hiccups. The underling suggested this is down to intestinal/bowel gas. It's not gas, I know what gas feels like. My midwife suggested it was the baby moving really really fast. I'm not convinced by that either, but these two separate opinions show me that it's probably not a problem.

I've been getting pain across a small part of my abdomen. It's a tightness, and a pain, and lasts for up to twenty minutes before it eases. The underling said this is nothing to worry about and is just normal pregnancy pains. I'm guessing it could be ligaments. I think I had this with C, but back then I wasn't worried.

I next asked about delivery options if there are problems after 24 weeks. The underling said if the baby is measuring small but there is enough amniotic fluid and the placenta is doing it’s job they would induce me.  If the baby is small but fluid is low and blood flow looks bad, they would do a c-section.  I am still happy to be induced but I was assured that they would be quicker to give me a c-section (when compared to other women) if there were any problems, given my history.
I asked about my discharge as it's changed colour, it;s kinda gone creamy. She said don’t worry about the colour, only worry if it is itching, smelly or causing pain when I pee. I had a swab done pre-12 weeks and that came back clear so there is nothing to worry about. I disagree with this as infections can turn up at any time.

I also asked about taking antihistamines as I have a dust mite allergy and take piriton near daily. The underling went and checked with the pharmacist.  Piriton is prescribed up to 34/35 weeks so is perfectly safe.  After that they advise loratidine.  Both are sedating antihistamines so can cause drowsiness and tremors, but if the baby comes out pre-34 weeks it will have bigger problems for them to deal with.

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