The wait goes on

After last weeks fiasco of an appointment and five days of waiting and worrying we had hoped that our appointment on Wednesday would give us some explanation and reassurance.

Not at all.

Firstly, I had a chat with my midwife the day before about my previous appointment shambles. Apparently she had gone into work that morning to five complaints, all, she thinks, referring to the same sonographer.

“You could write a letter but you haven’t got time.” she said to me. I told her it was nothing to do with time and I could write a letter in minutes if I thought it would do anything but I didn’t think it would. I was just unhappy, I told her, at the continuously poor treatment and attitide I was receiving from the hospital and it sadly seemed to be purely because of the number of children I have.

Their attitudes and opinions, I continued to tell her, had nothing to do with the care I was supposed to be getting from them, from the gynaecologist who refused to investigate the reasons for our recurrent miscarriages, to the registrar who was more concerned with convincing me to agree to be sterilised, to the sonographer last week. Their opinions are their own. They should keep them to themselves.

She said that she agreed and would telephone the managers so that someone would come and find me when I went for my appointment on Wednesday so that I could tell them about it.

On the day of the appointment we sat in the waiting room for ages. First, half an hour passed from the original appointment time. Every time someone’s name was called you’d think “We must be next!”. We were finally called in over an hour and a half after our appointment time. We were then left to wait while the sonographer and his colleague looked over my notes and tried working out how many weeks I now was given that at my last appointment five days ago I was 22+2. The sonographer stated I was now 28 weeks.

Wow, if only pregnancies went that fast!

I interrupted them to say that I was actually 23 weeks that day. They continued looking at my notes and I asked when they would be doing my blood tests as we had already been there almost two hours and we desperately needed to collect one of our children (Ben) who had to stay behind after school until we could pick him up.

“You’ve already had your blood tests” they stated.

“No, I haven’t.”

“Yes, you have. They wrote they did the tests already.”

“No, they didn’t. They told me to come back on Monday. But the person I spoke to on Monday said they’d do the blood tests today.”


“So when will you be doing them?”

“We don’t know how busy the nurses are. You’ll have to wait.”

Obviously waiting for almost two hours isn’t enough for them.

The sonographer then told me to lie down so that he could have a look at the baby. He took some more of the baby’s measurements, and finally checked the bowel. Yes, the previous sonographer was right.

Then he said he’d go and get the consultant.

We waited another fifteen minutes.

By the time the consultant finally came in it was over 2 hours since my original appointment time. He quickly scanned me, then had a conversation with the other two members of staff before telling me that, yes, the baby does have a hyperechogenic bowel. He asked me what had been explained to me and I told him that nothing had. “Nothing?!” he smiled as if I may be wrong and had a temporary loss of hearing while a great explanation was being made on Friday.

“Nothing except that it could be where it swallowed blood or it could be serious.”

“Oh, well…” and then he continued to say how yes, it could be swallowed blood, or infection, or something chromosomal, or Cystic Fibrosis or Downs… and that he confirms that the baby does indeed have it.

He confirms it? Is that it?

We’ve waited over two hours thinking we’d get answers or something more solid from him for him to say that he’s done his job and confirms it. We now have to wait to have our blood taken. I told him that we really, really couldn’t wait any longer. It was now about 5pm and Ben had finished school at 3.20pm!

I was then told by the consultant at how he had squeezed me into todays and how he had come from Blah Blah hospital in London (I think I was supposed to be impressed by that) and that I was lucky because they could make me travel to London to the wonderful Blah Blah hospital for these blood tests but because they were helping me they agreed to see me today.

So why didn’t they give me an appointment at the end instead of forty minutes from the start of the afternoon session?

But no, I ought to be grateful to him because he’s from Blah Blah hospital.

Anyway, he carried on. We needed to get these tests done so we’d know more about what was going on. We can’t rule out any chromosomal of life threatening issues to the baby without them so of course, we have to have them so that we can decide what to do. What to do if…

After another twenty odd minutes we are finally ready to leave. The sonographers colleague brought us the report of today’s findings with the consultant’s confirmation, and she informed us that I will have to return for growth scans every four weeks in case the placenta fails. She added that they hope to have the blood test results back by then.

Erm, hope to?!

Yes, they take about a month, maybe longer. Another month of not knowing. By the time we know anything, good or bad I’ll be almost three quarters of the way through my pregnancy. And they want a decision?

Mike and I left the hospital frustrated. Angry at the attitude again, at the wait which was far beyond reasonable, frustrated and disappointment that we were no closer to knowing whether anything was wrong with our little baby or not and well, just upset really.

We were hoping we’d know, one way or the other but the one thing that we are certain of is that this decision is neither here nor there.

Of course we hope for the best outcome and are trying to focus on the positives – baby is growing well to date, there are no other markers and everything else looks good, so while there is a chance that it may be bad news, there’s a higher chance that it isn’t.

And if it isn’t perfectly healthy, we’ll deal with it.

And if it’s the absolute worst, we’ll deal with it. We’ll have to. Grieving will be hard no matter what stage you’re at. But to end the pregnancy ourselves is not something we feel we have the right to do.

So although we have no more answers, we’re hopeful and praying that everything will be alright. And I have an amazing peace that as a family we will cope, no matter what.

This post can also be found at Lots of Kids and Pregnant Again.

6 thoughts on “The wait goes on

  1. Tania,
    I hate this for you, hate the frustrating rudeness and callow treatment! I hate that you have this scary thing, but I will pray for you. I go to adoration today and will pray specifically for peace and comfort and this sweet baby and you. God knows this child. And you. And I do believe you will be given the graces needed to persevere through alll of this, whatever may come. Hang in there. You are in my thoughts and prayers. love M

  2. Oh Tania. That treatment is so very awful.

    My gut feeling is that your baby is fine but I am concerned at the level of stress this is creating for you. Those incredibly rude and disorganised and unprofessional people at the hospital with their endless scanning and waiting and blood tests which take a month. And as for the suggestion of makign a decision – to abort a baby that by the time you get information will 27+ weeks, oh I feel sick. I feel sick that people get told this kind of so-called choice thing at any stage in a pregnancy but especially so late.

    Tania I want you to write a letter of complaint. I’m praying for you and thinking of you every day, throughout the day and I do think you must write it down and send the letter – you must know you have done what you can to notify the hospital of the problems with unprofessional behaviour and needless stress.

    Actually I think that unless there are specific things they can do in pregnancy to support this baby by all this testing and scanning (which it sounds like there isn’t given that it is quite possible that all s/he has done is swallowed some blood early on), they should leave you alone. They certainly haven’t achieved anything good so far.

  3. Dear Tania

    I’m so sorry for such a bad experience. These guys seem to have no clue!!! Well, they certainly didn’t get to their level of position by having people skills! As though it’s not enough to deal with the possibility of serious health issues for your much-loved little one.

    Praying for health for baby, and peace for you.


  4. Thank you all for your thoughts and prayers. They are very much appreciated. We’re trying to be positive, but I’m still soooo angry at the treatment.

    Sandra, if I thought a letter would do anything at all I would write it. Unfortunately I’m certain that it won’t.


  5. First of all, I would like to say I can’t believe the way these people are treating you, but I guess I have lived enough to know that most medical proffessionals simply don’t look at us as real people with feelings and hearts anymore. I get so mad thinking of the way they are behaving!
    It is a crying shame that someone involved here can’t just show a little compassion and try to make things as easy as possible for you and your family. Instead it almost seems as though they are going out of their way to make it more difficult!
    At any rate. You are in my prayers and I am sorry you have to wait in suspense about your baby’s health. Try not to worry too much. Put it in God’s hands since that is where the outcome really lies anyway, not in those callous health proffessionals.
    Take Care.

  6. Tania this is how they get away with it. Many people think they will write and complain and few do. So when someone finally makes a complaint and requires a response, they look to the paper trail (lets not even deal with letters which mysteriously go missing) and so ‘well there have been none or very few complaintds in the past’ and then they get to imply that the complainer is really just a hormonal twit, overworked by motherhood and not in any position to be listened to. It is their poor behaviour which gives the message that a letter is a waste of time. It may well be a waste of time but it also plays into their court not to write and complain.

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