That dreaded 20 week ultrasound tick tick tick tick……

by Emma

Laid in bed this morning thinking back over the last few weeks. My little girl keeps kicking me ‘mama, time to get up, come on mama get used to it, I will be here soon’

It puts a smile on my face and I lay here enjoying these personal and special moments that’s just the two of us.

Flashback to January 15th when the morning started the same. The excitement bubbling up as that day we were going to see her wriggling around, the sonographer telling us that she was growing and maybe catch a yawn or a tiny wave.

That’s what you expect eh. You never think that it will be you whom they go quiet on, their faces portraying concern at having to deliver bad news.

As a mental health nurse, this perplexed me, as this role is so important in a woman’s pregnancy. Mental health and positive emotional coping is just as imperative as eating healthy and taking those god awful multivitamins they constantly promote (on reflection and to confirm, I did take, and still do take those horse tablets). Another pregnancy ‘perk’.

As I lay on the bed, my own instinct to read situations and people began to kick in, and I sensed a feeling of uneasiness. You can feel it can’t you, like a wave of insight flowing from another into your every fibre. She dithered with her hands and stumbled on her words as she told us she needed to leave the room to seek support and a second opinion.

Looking back, Jesus, it was dramatic. I could almost hear the rain drums thumping in the background as they began to hit their crescendo…

Honestly? My heart began to sink and my usual brave demeanour began to slip past my false smile and now beating heart.

I don’t really remember the full conversation but I remember the words, Down syndrome, dwarfism, dysplasia…

These words went through my head for almost a week as we waited to see the consultant on 22nd for a further scan.

Mental health I mentioned earlier? In my shoes. Looking back, I ask again, why is this not considered at this crucial moment? This is horrifying for a couple, anxiety provoking and plain scary. Watching paint dry, as the hours and the days tick tick by.

I value the NHS. The support we have received since is amazing, but at this moment, and for almost a week later, we were stuck in our own hell. Just a waiting game.

I found support through social media, through my friends and family, however i am proactive. That’s my personality. What about the people who aren’t?

There is a prominent gap in support services. This grey area which can be absolutely amazing but on reverse can bring you to your knees.

At the scans, we are already mothers. My baby was already kicking and making her presence known. Every time I threw up, I rolled my eyes and told myself she was worth it. Being a mummy outweighed it all. Yet I spent a week almost, unable to sleep, not knowing the fate of my unborn child, and had no health professional advising or reassuring us. Unfortunately we are simply one couple. I hate to think of the worry people are facing every day. As a mental health nurse it perplexed me. As a mother it breaks me.

Since this I have researched on social media and the internet, and the amount of women who have tried to conceive for years. Their miracle baby. Don’t the health professionals understand that in that one moment, their happy ever after may be ripped apart. Why isn’t this considered from a crisis perspective?

They need a voice. We all need a voice. Changes only happen through education, awareness and willingness to stand up.

Now I will get off my soapbox….. for today…..

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