Firstperson: Marion Currie, 39; I Was Living Someone Else's Nightmare. I Knew Deep Down That My Baby Would Not Survive

Daily Record (Glasgow, Scotland), October 9, 2002 | Go to article overview

Firstperson: Marion Currie, 39; I Was Living Someone Else's Nightmare. I Knew Deep Down That My Baby Would Not Survive


Byline: Linda Watson-Brown

MARION'S STORY

AT the end of January this year, my husband Iain and I discovered I was pregnant with our second child.

We were delighted. Although it had been seven years since the birth of our son, David, we had always wanted another child and I was so happy to know another was on the way.

The baby was due tomorrow, October 10, but there were some problems to iron out. I work in the chemistry labs at Strathclyde University, so I immediately told my employers of my condition.

They were worried. It's quite a sexist, unsupportive environment. On top of that, a colleague had suffered two miscarriages within a year, and a student had been working on the labs without telling anyone she was pregnant. They panicked, and hauled me out of the labs and into an office.

The first trimester went well. I was sick only four times, and although tired, I knew it was all normal. I had a scan at 13 weeks, and saw the baby with a strong heartbeat. Most of my worries had flown away by that point, because you do feel 13 weeks is such a big stepping- stone in pregnancy. After all, only one per cent of women miscarry after the first trimester.

By 17 weeks, however, I had some bleeding. It turned out I had a cervical polyp which had to be removed.

This is a bit like having a skin tag. With all the extra blood pumping around the cervix during pregnancy, the polyps can grow faster and bigger.

It was taken out on the Friday and I felt fine. But by the Sunday, I was bleeding again.

I was admitted to Simpsons Hospital in Edinburgh on the Monday as no- one seemed to know where the bleeding was coming from.

My membranes ruptured later that day, but there was no staff member to scan me so I had to wait until Tuesday to be told there were difficulties.

When the membranes rupture, you usually go into labour within 48 hours, so I knew it wasn't looking good.

I was put on oral antibiotics in case of infection and another scan showed there was no fluid around the baby. There was still a heartbeat, though, and the cord flow was fine. Despite this, I was told there was an incredibly slim chance of the baby's survival.

I was living someone else's nightmare. I was given bed rest and told to stay lying down. It wasn't going to help. The same consultant who had removed the polyp told me that had nothing to do with it, nor did working in the lab. It was just all a coincidence.

On the Saturday, we were told to think about inducing the baby as the chances of infection were increasing. I always knew I'd lose the baby, but if I had only myself to think about, I would have hung on just in case. But I had Iain and David to think of, so I decided that would be the best option.

I was induced by pessary and the whole birth only took 90 minutes. Iain was there throughout, but there was no consistency of staff as it was during shift changeover, which takes precedence over all other things.

Lesley was born on May 18, 2002, at 7.30pm. She weighed 170g and was 22cm long. The midwife pottered about, taking pictures and preparing paperwork. Iain held Lesley, who was wrapped in a sheet then a towel.

She looked more normal than I had expected. I thought she would be like an X- Files alien with a head too big for her body, but she was just a baby.

You can't be prepared for anything, because this sort of thing should never happen. Of course, I wanted to see her, but apart from that I had no idea. On top of everything, the placenta wouldn't come out, so I was rushed to theatre for a general anaesthetic.

When I came back, I spent the night on the delivery couch as there was no bed in the room - all of this is wrong and needs to be looked at.

Why in a new hospital like the Royal Infirmary at Little France have all the options not been taken into account? …

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