From the get-go, pregnancy as with probably all medical 'conditions', is surrounded by lots of panic-inducing symptoms. Google anything that's bugging you and your symptoms will inevitably lead to your untimely demise, especially if you read anything on Yahoo answers.
Every hot flash, weird smell and strange pimple is deadly and is never anything as simple as hormones or a cold or just a weird body intricacy. However when the midwife runs out of the routine check-up at the antenatal clinic and in hushed by hurried tones speaks to the doctor next door, alarm bells start ringing in my head.
My fundal height (the length of the bump to the pubic bone) is measuring 28 inches, which in other words, is very small for 33 weeks pregnant. For the time the midwife falls out of her usual complacency, enough to freak me out. So far in this pregnancy I've been awash with comments such as, "You're very tall, the baby is tucked in well" and "Tall women never get big bumps" when I've questioned my small belly.
Within the space of 30 minutes (lightning speed for this particularly slow clinic) I'm sent for an ultrasound and then a Doppler scan to check on baby V – and the words Intrauterine growth restriction (IUGR for short) are bandied around for the first time.
It would appear that the baby hasn't progressed very well for a few weeks – in fact the measurements of the femur, head and abdomen alone, have only changed a small amount since my 4D scan at 26 weeks. This indicates that there may be something slightly amiss with my placenta and umbilical cord.
Despite giving me a fright and instilling deep worry for my unborn baby, apparently there's nothing that can be done except to keep me monitored over the next few weeks. It's too early to deliver her, and thankfully there's nothing to indicate that she's in distress. Yet.
I can't help but go home and Google... which is not helpful for the soul.