The Palace Park

The Palace Park

Monday, 15 February 2010

A sucker for packaging

Dear Fanglet

The theme for this week has been 'in the community.'  Wednesday, I crawled back to the GP with yet another Urinary Tract Infection.  I hobbled up the stairs (amazing now how quickly these infections go from 'Ouch,' to 'Oh, my freaking god, I think am dying') to yet another a duty GP (as it appears my own GP is on the lam) who spend a good 40 minutes chewing her lip and asking me a slew of inane questions, all of which she could answer herself by READING THE FILE I had given her.  She grilled me as to why I'd been given such a range of antibiotics (you know, because in addition to being a trained archivist, I'm also a pharmacologist) and as to why the infections keep coming back.  The sample she took was. . . unpleasant. Full of icky things that could lead to another stint in the Ante-Natal unit.  She then hemmed and hawed over whether she should call the Registrar at North Middlesex.  'I mean, I just don't know if we can treat you in the community.  I don't know what medication to give you and well, you really don't belong in the community with this kind of infection.  You should be treated at Hospital.'

I was tempted to ask if being treated in the community involved an animal sacrifice or a prayer circle. Because, to be honest, I'll try pretty much anything once.  Except Class A drugs. You know, being pregnant and all.  So we went back to Hospital, they took another sample, and the nice midwife gave me this great painkiller that left me feeling incredibly generous towards my fellow man. We were released a few hours later on our own recognizance.

On Friday we schlepped over to Great Ormond Street Hospital to see our favourite team of Cardiologists, which led us back to UCLH to have some fluid removed.

We went to Great Ormond Street on Friday and Dr Sullivan was not very happy. And I was not very happy -- having expanded even more and my stomach having gotten incredibly tense-- and Fang, well, Fang was most certainly not happy and was having to work much too hard to breathe. So, after our scan, he told us that he wanted to send us back to UCLH in the next hour and have them get some of the fluid off, especially as the baby had developed hydrops (which can be caused by many things) and the hydrops looked as though it was getting worse.

So, we grabbed some lunch and went over to UCLH where my new OB said she wanted me to meet with their head of Obstetrics and the head of Paediatrics, so they could explain what we were looking at. I won't go into that right now because I'm not ready to think about it, but I get my own paediatric team of 5 people when I go into labor AND the OB staff. Who knew I'd be having a party?

We have a new book we have to carry around (in conjunction with our other book) and some slick new packaging on 'Our Pregnancy Journey.' All very smooth and well presented. 

The 'amniotic drainage' was very exciting. They send you back to the bed where they do the scan, sterilize your stomach with icy fluid, then one Dr starts monitoring with the ultrasound gadget whilst the other looks for the best place to 'tap.' I was 'lucky' because the placenta and you were quite high, numb the belly so they had lots options. They stick a 6 inch needle -- very fine -- with a thin hose being guided in, and then they remove the needle and start draining into very nice glass bottles.  The fluid -- which is essentially baby pee -- is a light blonde colour, like a wheat beer.  It takes between 20 and 30 minutes and is more strange than painful.  I immediately began to feel better. After that, they strap you to table in the Maternity Day Unit and do a trace on the baby's heart beat for an hour, hour and half and monitor you for contractions.  We had a few contractions but they were mild and you seemed much happier.  And me, well, I can now kind of see my feet.

On Saturday, you're Auntie L arranged a baby shower for us. It was fun.  People brought cake and food and we played a few games and then I got to open presents that were all for you. Well, most of them were for you. A couple of them were for me, including GUESS HOW MUCH I LOVE YOU, which makes me cry almost as much as the CWDC commericals that are currently airing.  You know the ones. 'Its not just a cup of tea. Its a tool we use. . . ' We waddled to the shower, where we gossiped and chatted and ate until I couldn't move, then came home to dig into season 4 of The Wire.

It was a good day.

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