- Age at interview:
- Age at diagnosis:
- Alex is a solicitor, married with two children. White British.
I don’t know how much of that’s just coincidence or your sub conscious but I’d done all of that, and then I was 26 weeks 26 + 2 I was, on that Saturday and my husband had gone to Spain on a stag weekend [laughs] and I was walking my daughter in the buggy in town coming up that big hill you came up today [laughs] and I could feel blood running down my leg.
And so I got… oh and [first daughter] said to me, “Mummy why are walking so fast? And why are you crying?” And I was like, “No, I’m fine, I’m fine. Mummy’s just a bit scared.” “Why are you scared.” And then she sort of followed me into the bathroom and I was like, “No, no, no. Mummy needs to go on her own.” And so I called the hospital, and they said, you know, to come in now. So I had to try… I couldn’t get hold of anyone. My husband was away and your mind goes a bit blank.
So I thought I’ll ring my Mother-in-law and she was in London which was, you know, instead of ringing friends locally. I couldn’t get hold of her, I couldn’t hold of my Father-in-law. Couldn’t get hold of my brother-in-law and ended up leaving [first daughter] with a neighbour across the road and just driving myself to hospital and then the hospital called me on the way and said, you know, “Are you on your way?” I said, “Yes, I’m just trying to find money for the parking meter.” And they said, “Well can’t the driver sort that out? You need to come up here.” And I was like, “Well no, I drove myself in” [laughs]. “You should have got an ambulance.” “Oh well you didn’t tell me that” [laughs].
And by which time, I managed to get hold of my Mother-in-law, so she arranged to come down to be with me. My Father-in-law came back to pick up [first daughter] and take her back to London with him. And sort of went into hospital. They strapped up to all the monitors, the midwife said, “You know, calm down, your heart rate’s nearly as fast as your baby’s” [laughs]. And so they checked the extent of the bleeding and all the rest of it, and then sent me down for a scan. And then diagnosed it as a grade four, placenta praevia then.
Sent the paediatrician in, and I, even then, had absolutely no comprehension at that time that the baby might come that day, and so, “What are you…” And by that time, my Mother-in-law thankfully got there, so there was someone with me. I still hadn’t even got hold of my husband at that point.
So he got back in the wee hours of the morning and got home just in time to see the consultant the next day, who was absolutely brilliant at explaining things. He was, both times, he came in much later in the piece because my consultant was off sick when the decision was made to do the procedure and explained everything again and his explanations were brilliant.
And I mean, so he came in, I got transferred to a private room and that was sort of it. They said, “Make yourself at home. Why don’t you bring your own duvet in?” So we you know, started putting pic…, you know, my daughter’s drawings on the wall, and I had my own pillows and duvets and trying to, to make it as homely as you could. And then it was just sort of getting through it.
And then I didn’t have any more bleeding for another four weeks, so you sort of start thinking oh this is a bit of a, a bit melodramatic and a bit of a joke and I think, you know, when I got too complacent, then they began to sort of say, you know, you mustn’t do this, you must do this. And I think the words that stuck in m
- Age at interview:
- Age at diagnosis:
- Sarah is a photographic processor. She lives with her husband and three daughters. White British.
I sort of subsequently found out that from that that, I wouldn’t be going home until the baby was born. I was given two lots of steroid injections, on that day, the day I was admitted into hospital to strengthen the baby’s lungs, just in case they had to deliver early. At the time I must have been… 32 weeks pregnant I think I was. And so, they said… so I had the injections then we were shown round NICU unit to show where the baby would be coming if she was born early.
And then literally I was just on bed rest then, until… it’s a hard, it is a hard, hard few weeks. I was in… I didn’t have her delivered… the date planned for delivery was the 23rd January, but between the 9th December and the 23rd January, it was a long time. It had massive implications for us a family, because my husband couldn’t work. We had two little girls at home that were only, well [eldest daughter] yes, she was under three. She would have been three at the Christmas. [Second daughter] was only seventeen, eighteen, seventeen eighteen months old.
And there literally my husband doing everything. Financially even from a small point of view, like how much the telly costs you per day in the hospital, and parking, and you know, it’s all those kind of things was just you know, sort of really, really built up, and then…
It was really difficult because I felt really ill. I was very anaemic, because I’d had these bleeds and then I literally would do nothing, and then suddenly I’d have a bleed. They’d then take me down to the delivery suite. I was then given like IV lines and things. I’d then have to go and sit on delivery until the bleed either progressed or stopped. So if the bleed progressed more than they’d take me down for emergency section. If the bleed stopped then, stopped for five hours, then I could go back up on the ward. That just went on and off, on and off, like the whole time, until I finally had her.
So every two days or…?
Yes, literally every couple of days, I would literally I’d literally. It was literally every couple of days I’d have a bleed and then a small bleed, sometimes larger bleeds, and then it would literally stop again, and then I’d be allowed back up. So it was as well as up and down, I’d had so many cannulas put in because every time I had a bleed, I had to have one of the large, like operation cannulas. Just in case, because they need to keep the vein open, so you can’t have like the small ones. So I had that, and luckily our house was literally just round from the hospital.
And sort of like a couple of weeks had gone on. And I was like, I would say to them like, “Oh I haven’t had a bleed now, for like eight hours. Can I pop home for two hours and then come back?” And they would let me do that, but I… its only because I could almost see our house from the hospital. Ordinarily they wouldn’t have been able to do that, but when I had like two other little, little girls at home as well. And it had really, really, you know, tough on them, because I was a stay at home Mum. I never worked while they were little. So my husband went out to work and I stayed at home. So they’d never ever spent any time away from me at all. So it was really, really tough.
You were in hospital for six, seven weeks?
In total, in total from start to finish, I was in hospital for two months. I went in on the 9th December and I was discharged on the 8th February. So yes, so the actual… I mean I did, nobody seemed to really know a lot about what was going to happen and for me th