About this Blog

This blog started as an online diary and place for me to rant about annoyances in my family.

However since July it has become a place for me to catalogue and express my views and opinions on the treatment I have recieved following the diagnosis of a potentially cancerous tumor in my bowel.

On 3rd August 2011 I was told that it was cancerous. In April 2012 I was given the all clear.

October 15th 2013 I was diagnosed with peritoneal disease and liver metastases. The cancer was back and this time it is inoperable.

It is a little bit out of date as the NHS doesn't tend to have a WiFi connection in hospital and I can only post when I get home and posts take a while to write.

It is NOT about individuals or the nursing profession. It is about some of the inadequacies in the system and the way the NHS is failing some people.

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Tuesday, 7 May 2013

Hoping for a miracle

Ok, I'm sorry there are lots of puns out there using my new daughters names and I can't help but want to use them.

I thought that I would tell you a bit about her arrival into the world. 

If I am honest, I can't remember much about Isaac's birth other than the pain caused by the ventouse tearing me and the fact that the epidural was not overly successful.

I remember a lot more about Imogen's birth but still cannot remember pushing at all (& I only had Gas and Air and Pethidine for her birth).

Although being induced into labour is not fun and is very time consuming I felt a lot more in control with Hope's birth and hope (ha ha) that by writing it down it will help me appreciate just what I have been through.

When the induction was booked on the Monday I was told I needed to phone the antenatal ward on Thursday to check that I was able to go in. So at 7am I was on the phone and desperate to go in. 

Yep, no problem, come in for 9am. 

So children dressed & breakfasted and bags in the car, off we went. The family dropped me off at the hospital and Tony took the children over to Horsham while I made my way up to the antenatal ward via the new WHSmiths (a newspaper is an essential purchase).

Then began the show. All my observations were done and I was placed on the monitor to check that the baby was ok and I was ok. 

Monitoring done, I was examined and the pessary put in place. 

Then the waiting began. 

When Tony got back to the hospital after dropping the children off we wandered around and tried to get things moving. Then we went back to the ward and had a sleep, then we wandered around the hospital some more (at this point I wondered whether antenatal wards should have treadmills in them to make this slightly easier). By now Tony was bored. I don't blame him I was bored and looking for anything that might be a sign that the baby was on its way. But there was nothing, so I sent him home. Honestly I love my husband, but I know he hates hospitals and sitting doing nothing so him being there was just pointless. It must have been about 5pm by now and I was getting frustrated with a lack of progress. 
I know that this has been less than 24 hours but labour with Isaac was under 12 hours and labour with Imogen was less than 5 hours so having been in hospital for 12 hours and having no visible or even invisible progress was really frustrating me. 

I spent the evening wandering about the hospital and bouncing on a birthing ball trying to get things moving. I wanted to try and get some sleep but my back was not cooperating on that front, although I had been able to have some much stronger cocodamol while admitted so every cloud has a silver lining etc etc.

Later that evening the midwife who was on duty over night hooked me up to the monitor again and we could see baby moving but nothing appeared to be happening with me. 

As the night wore on and the night time wanderings and bouncings continued things started to happen. I was definitely starting to have some contractions, but they were not showing on the monitor. In hindsight I think that there was probably a problem with the monitor not picking up my contractions as once I moved into the delivery suite the contractions were being picked up. 

Around 5.30am I asked to be examined and was over the moon to hear that I had got to 4cm dilated and would be able to be moved across to the delivery suite. 

I phoned Tony and told him to come back in, probably to the delivery suite as things were starting to move. If I had known it would still be another 12 hours I don't think I would have been so chipper!!

I moved across into the delivery suite and was allocated the room with the pool. I was really happy about this as I was keen to try water as a pain relief option. The midwives were just in the process of changing shifts and so I had a midwife for about 20 minutes and then my 'new' midwife came in. 

I had honestly never been so happy to see someone familiar. I had spoken to this midwife previously about my concerns about coming into hospital and about being in control during labour and here she was, my angel - Jennie Hatton, supervisor of midwives. 

I asked Jennie if I could get in the pool yet as the previous Midwife had said I had to wait until I was 5cm, she told me to get in and make the most of it. 

The pool was lovely, once the temperature and depth was right it did feel really relaxing and did help with my back ache and pain control. However as time went on I found that I needed the gas and air as well.

I stayed in the pool until 09.30ish but by this point I was starting to get annoyed that it wasn't quite long enough for me to stretch out and move where I wanted and I also wanted to be examined.With both my other labours by this point I was already 8 or 9 cm. 

I got out of the pool and Jennie examined me. To my disappointment I was only 6cm and things were tailing off. There were 2 options now to get things moving onwards, both of them were going to involve more intervention and not being able to get back in the pool, but I really wasn't bothered. 

It was decided to break my waters and see if that had any effect on the baby making an appearance. If that was unsuccessful then I would have to have the syntocin drip which would ramp up the contractions. 

I moved into another room in the delivery suite and settled down for another nap, while Tony napped in the chair and on a bean bag I seem to recall. 

After lunch Jennie decided that we needed to focus on getting the baby out and so set about organising the drip.

This was definitely the most stressful part of the whole experience. Pre chemo I had good veins and was quite easy to cannulate and take blood from.You may remember that when I had my bowel surgery the anaesthetist could not get a cannula into my arm for the General Anaesthetic and had to put a central line in while I was still concious. We had a similar dilemma while trying to cannulate me this time. After 4 attempts in my hands and wrists the anaesthetist admitted defeat and cannulated me in my foot.

Looking at the trace while this was all going on was pretty interesting and if I hadn't had Gas and Air I don't think I would have coped very well. 

These are some of the bruises that I incurred as a result of crappy veins and the final cannula in my foot.

It took just over an hour to finally get the cannula in and the I was connected to the drip and again waited for things to happen.

The drip was increased every 30 minutes and things really started to get going as it got higher and higher. 

Prior to being in labour I had been quite keen not to have an epidural as I had had bad experiences with them both times I had had them previously. But I am also not an idiot (this might come as a surprise to some of you). I had read about induced labours and knew that it would be more painful and that I was more likely to need interventions and an epidural. 

I had chatted about my epidural worries with Alan (the lovely anaesthetist who cannulated me) and he had allayed a lot of my fears so when it was obvious to Jennie & Tony that I wasn't going to be able to cope for much longer we made the decision to get one in. 

I would like to tell you all about how long this took, but to be honest I don't know. 

When I had been in the pool earlier I had been obsessing with the clock and to prevent the same thing happening again Tony & Jennie had taken the clock out of my eye line so I had no idea of timings of anything. 

Back to the epidural, it was wonderful. It dulled the pain enough that I was able to relax and concentrate on getting to the final stages of labour. 

The epidural seemed to wear off and I remember that I needed to push. 4 pushes later and Hope Kathryn Hayllar arrived into the world at 17:12pm on 12/04/2013

This was a long, drawn out experience which is very different from both my other birth experiences. 

However I cannot fault the excellent care I received from both Jennie & Alan (?) the anaesthetist. I really felt in control with them both and that I was making informed decisions rather than being railroaded. 

& here is another beautiful photo of Hope at minutes old.