First, I’d like to say that everything was absolutely fine. It was a really scary pregnancy moment but it’s all okay.
Secondly, I’m saying this is one of my scariest pregnancy moments – so far. I know that the last few weeks of pregnancy could serve up all kinds of trouble for me. I hope they don’t, but I don’t want to tempt fate! So I’m adding “so far” onto the end of everything I say here.
I was 16 weeks pregnant, it was a Monday, and I’d just dropped my husband off at the train station. I was on my way to work, baby wasn’t moving yet but hey, only 16 weeks. Not expecting movement for quite a while yet. (Goodness, to think of not feeling movement now…)
It’s about 10 miles to my office from the train station and I was driving along as normal when suddenly a bus pulled out from its stop without indicating, right in front of me. Obviously I slammed on my brakes like mad. Managed not to hit anything. But I had that long moment where you are so certain you will hit the vehicle in front of you, you’re imagining what you’re going to say to them, you just know it’s going to happen. It didn’t. Wonderful.
A bit shaky, I should just drive on, right?
Except, the seatbelt had tightened across my belly like anything, and it hurt.
Shaky, very shaky.
I checked the clock and my husband’s train wouldn’t have left yet, so I decided to give him a call to help me calm down. I really did think that he’d just laugh it off and everything would be okay. But he took it very seriously and convinced me to go home at the very least. Go to the hospital, preferably.
So I called my boss, explained the situation (he also took it very seriously), and drove home. I’d have gone straight to the hospital if it hadn’t been for the fact that my pregnancy notes were at home – it was still early enough that I wasn’t carrying them everywhere. So, pro-tip for the pregnant ladies: take your notes everywhere with you, even if it feels early. Even if you have to buy an extra big handbag to fit them in!
I got home and called the 24-hour midwife line as it was still really early. They were very reassuring – “No bleeding? No leaking? Is your belly tender to the touch?” But they still told me to come in and get checked out.
So I drove to the hospital. Slowly. A bit paranoid about driving now. I could have walked – the hospital is only five minutes away – but by this point I was incredibly shaky. Everyone is treating this as a really serious thing, and I’m now terrified.
Walking up the stairs in the maternity department, I sort of imagined this might be where my life has a line drawn – before and after. Before this horrible day and after, when nothing is quite the same again.
I thought that again ten minutes later when the midwife had been listening for a few minutes and couldn’t find a heartbeat. She was trying so hard to stay upbeat, but it didn’t feel good when she went down the hall to find a colleague and suddenly I’m being ushered in for a scan and there are three people other than me in the room.
They were throwing all kinds of acronyms and whispers around, and standing in front of the screen so I couldn’t see what was there. And I was shaking, just willing that baby to still be there.
And it was. Just chilling, whacking itself happily in the face. Apparently hiding from the doppler, not wanting to show off a heartbeat but definitely still alive.
The atmosphere in the room changed immediately. From scary pregnancy nightmare to suddenly it’s all quite nice, really. There was more laughter than I was expecting – despite their reassurances earlier, I think they were prepared for the worst.
Shaking again, but happily this time.
Belly still a bit sore, but cleared to go back to work.
As a bonus, we got a free scan picture! At our hospital you usually pay £5 for a picture. It turns out that when you turn up in an absolute panic, you get a free one. And it’s so incredibly cute!
I did most of my processing of the stress that night, when my husband was a little late home from work. I was a crying crazy mess by the time he got home. But everything was okay. Look at that little face!
I can’t be the only one who’s had a horrible scary pregnancy experience like this – what was yours?