So last night we had our first trip to the hospital, complete with all the hospital bags!
On Saturday night, around about 6pm I developed an absolutely thumping headache. I rarely take painkillers but it was bad enough for me to pop a couple of paracetamol. By 8pm it was still there, and so I went to bed to try and sleep it off – I missed X Factor so that shows how rubbish I felt! When I woke up on yesterday, it was still lingering, but by the time we were up and I’d had a coffee it had eased and I felt fine.
We had a lovely chilled out morning, and the kids were having a nap after lunch when my feet suddenly started feeling funny and tingly. I took my slippers off and was shocked – my feet had ballooned. They were really, really swollen. They had been fine ten minutes previously so I was concerned. I had odema (swelling) with Harrison from about 25 weeks onwards. Although it was quite bad, it gradually happened, and as it was I was induced at 37 weeks and 3 days with him because of high blood pressure and suspected pre-eclampsia – yesterday I was 37+3 weeks!
I left it for an hour or so and sat with my feet up above heart level to see if the swelling went down, and when it didn’t, I phoned the hospital. They asked if I had a headache, and when I explained I’d had one the previous night that wasn’t helped with painkillers they said I needed to go in. They then asked if I had black ‘floaters’ in front of my eyes, which I did. I have to admit I had never heard of this before but apparently it is a sign of pre eclampsia. They asked me to go to the assessment ward at 5pm. It was about 1.30 at this point, so we phoned my mum who said she would come over and watch the boys.
Immediately I went and put the last few bits and pieces in my hospital bag – phone charger, dressing gown, hairbrush etc. I had to get Graham to hunt for my flip flops because there’s no way I would get anything else on my feet!! I had a quick shower, knowing that if it was anything serious and I needed inducing it could be a couple of days before I got another one. When I got out of the shower I was really sick and my head was starting to ache again – although that could have just been down to worry.
I made sure Harrison’s uniform was ready just in case my mum or Graham needed to take Harrison in, by which point my mum and brother turned up. We loaded the bags into my brothers car just in case they needed to keep me in and set off to Heartlands Hospital.
Luckily we were saw quite quickly, by a lovely midwife with the most amazing Jamaican accent – she made me feel at ease straight away. I did a urine sample and then was hooked up to the monitor for twenty minutes. My blood pressure was taken, which was normal (a good sign). I lay on the bed strapped up listening to Benjamin’s heartbeat. We were looked after, with both of us given a hot drink and sandwich.
The doctor came over and explained that my urine sample was showing +1 protein, which is a sign of pre-eclampsia, but because my blood pressure was ok they were happy to send me home. They did take some blood samples for urgent testing to rule pre-eclampsia out, and if anything showed up in those, they would phone me last night/this morning to call me back in – but no news would be good news.
My feet are still really puffy and feel really tight so as I wrote this I had my feet up to try and reduce it. Graham has had today off work in case I get a phone call to go in (he can have to drive two hours or so to a job!) and to give my feet a chance to de-puff! I’m a bit worried that they will stay swollen (common at this point in pregnancy) because even flip flops are tight on my feet, so I’m not sure what I will wear on the school run!
If you do have those symptoms – visual disturbances, headaches, swelling in hands and feet – especially in third trimester, go and get them checked. They may be nothing but they can be an indicator of pre-eclampsia which can be dangerous.
UPDATE – It’s now 9.30 and not had a phone call. No news is good news! My feet are still really really swollen but I have a midwife appointment on Wednesday so everything will be checked out again.