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Positive vibes, corridors, gastroschisis and art!

Updated: Dec 18, 2021

Another Bay Cole update! Gastroschisis is a condition that means my daughter has part of her intestine on the outside whiles she’s still in the womb, we are now 33 weeks and 2 days pregnant! We are getting very close…You can read my last post 'What to expect, when expecting the unexpected' here. Which is mostly just about a corridor and me feeling overwhelmed. This is a follow on from that post, I didn’t know anything about Gastroschisis before I found out that my daughter had the condition, so I’m sharing our story!

Today I have another scan and consultation. I have heartburn already, I’m back in the corridor of doom, sitting waiting. Today should be a quicker day, I arrived on time, of course. And they were on time also, which is unusual! So my blood pressure and all the checks I need before my scan etc. have been done already! WOW…now I’m sitting in the usual spot, headphones on, phone in hand. Today I was smart, I have water with me. It’s a little quieter here there are empty chairs, and no one is crying.

As today is a quicker appointment with less specialist I’m not going to write a play by play of every event, however I still need to stay busy, because that’s just how my head works. So my plan, is to write down the important updates, my feelings, and read over my phone notes or as some people would call it “my diary” because sitting in a corridor on my own filled with anxiety is the perfect place to process my emotions and thoughts from the last few weeks right?

There have been days since my last big appointment were getting out of bed has been hard work, I’m exhausted and I got a little overwhelmed a few times I guess, and perhaps I’m now in the habit of overreacting. Growing a person is hard! The normal every day tasks are also hard! I enjoy my job and I like working, I’m grateful for this because if I didn’t I honestly don’t think I would be able to drag myself around as I’m doing now. It’s still hard though, even with a job you enjoy when your feeling down and tired everything is heavy, simple tasks feel like more pressure than usual. Of course they still get done, like everything in life you just have to carry on. I’m also starving, all the time! But everything gives me heartburn and seems like effort, but my baby needs as much nutrients as possible. I can’t wait to not have heartburn!

As I sit here waiting my music is loud, I know other people can hear it, so nothing to heavy and controversial. At the moment it’s playing my Spotify 2021Wrapped playlist, which I will add is a excellent playlist of my most listened to songs throughout the year. Right now as I type it’s playing ‘Smells Like Teen Spirit’ which as Gen-Z would say, it's a banger… it’s been a rollercoaster of emotions over the last few weeks, well months really. ECGs and monitoring every other day are completely draining, we have a scan every week now. It’s a lot. So yeah my music is loud while I wait, read and wright. I'm blocking out what I can.

Today I should get more of an idea of how i'll be giving birth, and when. I’m extremely nervous, I feel sick and could probably cry however know one is crying here today and I’m not being the one to kick it off, the corridor has also started to fill up and there’s already not enough chairs.

We ended up in the Grange a week or so ago, I can’t remember when now my memory has got really bad the past few weeks! We had to go there from our Neville hall appointment as I didn’t hit ‘criteria’. Baby Cole was sleepy so I needed more monitoring, we had never been there before, it’s fancy AF! It’s like a hospital, hotel and a gallery all in one. Large white walls, lot's of modern art, the corridors there are massive and tall, it’s also a university hospital and quite new. Still hated being there though, also we had no idea were we where meant to go, Neville Hall sent us, told us there would be expecting us (which they were) however it was still really intimidating, I had to have monitoring and another ECG for Baby Cole my husband Tom wasn’t allowed in with me which I wasn’t a fan of! You kind of need your most important people around you at stressful times. But Baby Cole woke up a bit more while we were there so we didn’t have to stay overnight! As I sit here today in Cardiff university hospital, in the fetal medicine unit waiting in this very different looking corridor I think about all the staff working in the hospitals, with large corridors, small corridors, new buildings and old buildings they are all just trying to do their jobs and bring babies into the world safely. I appreciate their hard work, the NHS is also feeling like more of a safer place to me right now even in the pandemic (smug face, if you know me well enough, you know why. However this isn’t the blog to go into that!)

Looking back over my phone notes from the last few weeks I’ve been a little on edge some might say… Oh and my name just got called!

…Scan done! It was a long one! Lots of touching and with new people, I’ve been lucky the sonographers, midwifes and docs have been really consistent, but today I had new people. It through me off a little at first I was probably ridiculously tense laying down on the bed, but they were great and chatty and I relaxed a little. Then they called the doc in, he also did his usual checks, they are happy so I go back outside to wait and read over my thoughts again. Today seems to be quicker! But now i'm back into the corridor! Music back on!

As I wait and process my thoughts I try and make more sense of my phone notes, sometimes they are just a few words of whatever emotion I’m feeling, then other times they are paragraphs spilling my feelings into my phone as if it cares. But my phone is the only therapy I seam to have for the time being, my councillor is ill. Everyone gets ill, she’s not available for a while so i'm making a reel effort to be 'normal'. I did try to find a new one at 4am a few weeks back, it’s harder than it sounds! So I’ll wait for now, until Baby Cole is here and reassess my feelings. So for now it’s phone notes and over sharing, I’m actually feeling ok though, mostly. Just so very tired and stressed.

A few thoughts I seem to keep coming back to is there’s not enough support out there for fathers. I keep getting asked how I am which is ‘fine’, why isn’t my husband getting the same treatment? The stress these conditions also cause the fathers is very heavy, and they are expected to just carry on. I feel guilty, and then I feel guilty for feeling guilty, I feel guilty when I’m sad, I feel guilty when I’m happy. I seam to accidentally cause a mess, at least I’m good at cleaning them up though! Slowly. All the travelling back and