Another false alarm – Monday 2 April – 26 weeks and 2 days

At 5am, I make my way back to Jay’s room.  Em is still fast asleep on the floor.  I pull up a chair next to Jay’s bed, rest my head back and fall into a light sleep.  I am conscious of people coming and going, but am also tired so am able to doze.

Eventually, Jay wakes up when they come to do the obs on her.  Her pain has settled right down.

“We are going to just wait a couple more hours and then transfer you back to the ward,” the midwife says.

I am tired and feel dirty, so dive into the shower on offer in the room.  Jay is worried that I am going to get into trouble, but I figure it is worth the risk.  The warm shower feels really good.

The midwife comes into the room to hand over to the new midwife on this morning.  “This is Jay X.  She is 19, 26 weeks pregnant, came into the birthing suite last night with threatened premature labour, but all is settled down now, isn’t it Jay?”  Jay nods.  “We are just monitoring her for a couple of hours and then sending her back to the post natal ward.”

I excuse myself and go downstairs to get myself a coffee and something to eat.  By the time I get back upstairs, Jay has been moved to the post natal ward.  She is in a room by herself.  She is due to go to the ward next door, which is meant for the young pregnant women, but the ward she is on insists on having her back.  I feel that they really like her which is why they have given her a room by herself.  That’s my girl!

The room has a double bed in it with three couches.  We feel like we are in heaven.  Em jumps on the bed next to Jay and Tee, Emma and I make ourselves comfortable on the couches on offer.

Another doctor from the NICU arrives.  “Hi, I’m Tammy.  I believe that you may have some questions from what my colleague told you last night.”  I grunt in a way that I hope conveys that I thought the man was an idiot.

“Well, he just made us feel that there was no hope really.  That if the baby came now, we would be forced to make a decision of whether he lives or dies.” I say.

She looks at Jay.  “Let me tell you that at 26 weeks we would seriously question a decision of not resuscitating a baby and that many many 26 week old premmie babies are perfectly fine.  The problem with those statistics is that they don’t tell you how they are made up.  A large percentage of the 30% that don’t make it, may have been born in rural areas with no access to specialist units, or perhaps the mother has been ill, or perhaps the baby is below a good weight.   None of these apply to you.  Yes, things can go wrong, but honestly, you have as good a chance as anyone to having a good outcome.  You are in a fantastic hospital that has an award winning NICU.  I can’t make any guarantees, but can reassure you that all will be done for your baby.”

After a bit more of a discussion, Tammy leaves and we are relieved to have had such an encouraging discussion.  Jay’s face is reflecting hope for the first time since she was admitted on Friday.

My sister-in-law and niece arrive for a visit.  It is a bona fide party in this room.  We are all laughing and joking.  It feels like such a good relief after the pressure of the night before.

Suddenly, Jay starts to feel quite strong tightenings again and we call the midwife.  She performs a couple of timings.  Before we know it, Jay is in a wheel chair and being wheeled back to the birthing suite.  I cannot believe that this is happening again.  We all pile into the birthing suite – no point in stopping the party now, right?

Two obstetricians arrive at the bed, almost immediately after Jay has gotten in it.  They looked disgruntled.  “Can we have everyone leave the room please.”  Fair enough.  Everyone leaves except Em and I, Jay’s official birth partners.  “Why exactly have the PN ward sent you to us?” one of them says to Jay.  Jay looks at me as if to say How the hell should I know – Um, I’m having a baby?  I don’t like this obstetrician.  She is condescending and treating Jay like she has overreacted.  It is annoying me.

Jay responds.  “I have had some tightenings and the midwives are worried I am going into labour.”

“Yes, they tend to worry that premature labour mothers need to be here.”  I am liking this woman less and less.

The other obstetrician speaks. “Have you decided on a mode of delivery?”

“A c-section.”

“I would question this,” he says.  “A c-section now would mean you wouldn’t be able to have a vaginal delivery again.  Also it means that next time your placenta may not adhere to the uterine wall, and also it doubles the risk, which admittedly is small, of the fetus dying.”

“I just want what is best for the baby.  I don’t want any stress on the baby.” She is worried and looking at me.  I am confused.  Everyone (who I admit is not an obstetrician) I have spoken to have said to insist on a c-section, that it is less stress on the baby.

“You will not be in labour for long because it is premature and we would monitor the baby and any risk whatsoever to the baby would mean that we would do a c-section.  But it is best to try for a vaginal delivery.”

Jay agrees.  It is so hard to know what to do.

The doctors leave.  “I really don’t like her,” I say.  Everyone nods in agreement.  Tee and Emma return to the room.  We all agree that perhaps the PN ward was being a bit overly cautious.

The staff at the birthing suite decides to keep Jay overnight.  Em spends the night with Jay and I decide to go home to get some much-needed sleep.  I shower before bed, just in case I get the dreaded call.

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