After yesterdays entry I busied myself, mowing the grass, going to the garden centre, all the time waiting for the phone call to say that daughter had exchanged on her house and also pondering my caseload. I don’t know why I was mentally reviewing my pregnant ladies, something must have triggered my musing. Perhaps it was the fact that daughter is 33 weeks on Wednesday, has a scan and has asked me to go with her as it was at this gestation that the harbinger of doom she had met told her that, on scan, one of her twins had died. My thought processes were along the lines of how fortunate I was that a huge percentage, probably about 98%, of my caseload have quite uneventful pregnancies and that it is extremely rare that I have a family who experience a stillbirth, the explained loss of a baby, or a baby with a congenital problem. I eventually rounded up my mental meanderings by deciding that it is down to the area I practice in, on the whole quite affluent but not so ‘well-heeled’ that couples delay having a family until they are in their 40’s. Most women have the nuchal scan and there are rarely ‘non-attenders’ at antenatal clinic.
I returned from the garden centre and shouted through the window to Hubby, ‘ Any news?’ He came outside. Jack and Izzy’s Mummy had phoned to say that there was another hiccup in her sister’s moving saga and would I go round to see pregnant daughter and have a listen to the twins as someone had ‘rear ended’ her car and she had bumped her lump on the steering wheel ( not difficult really as it rests there anyway as she is now so huge.) By this time I was in the middle of making myself a coffee, down went the kettle, up came the phone and I was phoning daughter to tell her to get herself to the hospital NOW. Fortunately she was only 5 minutes from the hospital, unfortunately she had Amy with her. Daughter demurred, ‘I’m fine’ but I was not taking any chances. There is a nasty little complication that can occur in any pregnancy, but there are two known risk factors, one is a multiple pregnancy and the other, abdominal trauma, it’s called placental abruption. At this point I was 15 miles away from the hospital, her partner was uncontactable, golfing, and Amy was being a normal 2 year old, there was no way the hospital would be able to monitor the twins with Miss Into Everything in the room, so off I shot, still in gardening clothes. Cutting a long story short, daughter and babies were monitored and all is fine.
I returned home and job-share phoned to update me on three of our ladies who I will be seeing on Monday. At 34 weeks one lady had not felt any movements all morning, so had gone to the G.P, who could not hear the baby’s heartbeat and asked her to go to the hospital where a scan revealed that baby had died. The labour was induced, they could see no reason for baby’s death but there was a minor limb deformity so they are questioning if there is a syndrome involved, obviously the family are devastated. Then more sad news, another one of our pregnant women had been for her 20 week scan and was told that baby had a heart defect incompatible with life, they using this weekend to say goodbye to baby before going to the hospital on Sunday to have the labour induced. The final information was that, due to complications during the birth, another of our women had undergone an hysterectomy, baby is well but she is now having to come to terms with the fact that this little one will be one and only baby. I now feel almost guilty. You know, one of those ‘counting your chickens’ moments. There I was pottering around in the garden, confident that my caseload experienced very few dire problems, whilst a couple of miles away 3 of them were having to cope with tremendous grief.