Wednesday, 18 May 2016

18 Weeks - Pressure

The last week began on a high as I had my first appointment with Mandy. It was so good to see her. I immediately felt at ease again. She gave me a huge hug and was so great with the girls.

We heard the baby's heartbeat.
She mentioned that Sharon hadn't put up much of a fight when she'd asked if she could take over my care. Apparently Sharon was terrified of me and my unwillingness to go to any consultant appointments! 

So, it's comforting to know I'm now being cared for by someone who has confidence in my ability to make decisions on my own care. 

We heard the baby's heartbeat. Wonderfully exciting. Just like the anxiety between the pregnancy test and the first scan, I get that worry between scan and first hearing of the heartbeat. Not having felt any movement by then, it was massively reassuring to know baby is in there, happily moving around and doing what he or she should be doing.

The girls were less excited about baby's heartbeat than they were about using Mandy's stethoscope. Kids!

stethoscopeB was thrilled at being allowed to have a try with the Sonic Aid. She's now adamant that she is going to be a midwife when she grows up.

Everything was fine - urine, blood pressure, etc. Mandy asked me to test my fasting blood sugars a few times a week, which wasn't something I'd been doing already. I wasn't told to do that during my previous pregnancies. So I've been doing that, and again, so far so good. 

When she left, I felt really good. Positive. And supported, which is just so wonderful. It makes a world of difference to know that my midwife believes in me. 

But, as always seems to be the case, I get lifted up and then something comes along to knock me back again. 

I got a letter in the post from the consultant I would have been seeing if I hadn't declined the appointments. 

It was in regard to my refusing to be weighed, which means they can't make a personalised growth chart; to my continuing to take metformin against their advice; and to my declining consultant led care. 

The letter was full of mistakes, both grammatically and factually. In it he states that I have declined to have further appointments at the hospital, though I am still booked in for the anomaly scan at 21 weeks. He refers to "should dystocia" rather than shoulder. And he seemingly forgets that guidelines are just that, and should not be used to override consent. He also seems to be under the impression that I have refused all care, not just hospital appointments.

It contained the following threat:
"It is my duty to inform you that if you fail to compromise with this we at B****** Hospital cannot be held responsible for any adverse outcome and indeed this may be a safeguarding issue with reference to your unborn child which may have to be addressed further."

Artist's representation of my angry face
When I first read that sentence, I thought perhaps I was overreacting, but after a little research and talking to others, I realised that that threat was utterly unacceptable. 

In the words of the Birthrights website:
"The threat of referral to social services should never be used to intimidate, bully or coerce you into accepting a particular medical intervention for you or your child. Consent that is given on the basis of such a threat is not given freely and the healthcare professional may be legally liable for battery and violation of Article 8 of the European Convention if they perform the intervention and they know, or should know, that consent has not been freely given." (Birthrights Factsheet - Facing Criticism: Child Protection and Maternity Care)

I am currently penning a serious letter of complaint. If I was a first timer, I would be absolutely terrified. As it is, I am incredibly angry that this consultant thinks it acceptable to treat anybody in this way. 

I shall keep you updated as this progresses. 

However, I don't like to end on a sour note. 

I have felt the baby move. 
figure doing handstand
Some definite movement going on in there

A completely different feeling again to the first two. 

When I first felt B it felt like I was one of those water machines that bubbles up after you've finished filling your cup. 

M felt like butterflies inside. 

And this little one has felt more like pressure on my internal organs. 

They're all so different, even in the womb. Truly amazing. And awesomely exciting. 
Croissant 18 weeks pregnant
Baby is currently the size of a croissant

Weekly Statistics 
Average after meal sugars: 5mmol/L
Average fasting sugars: 4.4mmol/L
Weight: -2lbs

Catch Up: 17 Weeks
Next: 20 Weeks


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