Week 34: Scans And Steroids

14/01/2014 14:07 | Updated 22 May 2015

Week 34: Scans and steroidsPA

Dumped when pregnant and facing motherhood alone, follow mum-to-be Farah Ishaq's bumpy journey to motherhood. This week she prepares for a premature baby

Some women barely see the inside of an antenatal clinic the whole way through their pregnancy; there are the 12 and 20 week scans plus one or two sets of glucose and blood tests. I really thought I'd be one of those women.However it's the dead of winter, snow has brought most of the UK to an utter standstill and I'm trudging over ice to get to the hospital three times a week to make sure baby V is holding on inside.

As I said last week, it's possible that the baby's growth is being restricted (IUGR) so I need to see the specialist for frequent Doppler measurements – to measure the blood flow to the brain, kidneys and other organs through the umbilical cord.

The scans are a bit like normal ultrasounds except you can see patches of blue and red flashing blobs on the screen, highlighting blood and areas for the measurements to be taken. We find out that one of the three arteries from the placenta has very limited flow and another is restricted too. This means that oxygen and waste going to and from the baby is not as efficient as it's supposed to be, but the key thing is that there is still SOME flow.

It's explained to me that vents in her brain have opened up (I ask about brain damage but am told to keep away from the internet!) to compensate for the lack of blood supply, but that she will be fine for a little while longer. It not recommended to deliver before 36 weeks.

The likelihood of V being premature remains high, in fact 38 weeks will be the upper limit, so I'm sent for steroid injections to help develop her lungs. No one tells you that you have to have TWO of them 12 hours apart, so the second one falls in the dead of the night. No one also tells you that they are the most painful - long, drawn out, can't sit down for hours after - injections you will ever have in your life.

But of course I know it's best to be prepared. I'm more than a little worried now. I want her out now. I don't trust my insides.

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