When pregnancy doesn’t go to plan

I’ve never been a fan of hospitals. As a child I didn’t have any hospital experiences – my sister was the clumsy one, breaking her arm or biting a hole through her tongue (yes, really). My first overnight stay in a hospital didn’t happen until I was 26, after giving birth to my new baby.

When I had my pregnancy dating scan and then my anomaly scan a few weeks ago, my husband was with me. I was nervous – partly because I don’t really like hospitals and partly because I was worried about the results of both scans.

But on Friday night, at around 10.30pm, I had to go to hospital on my own. As I sat in the back of the taxi, trying ever so hard not to vomit all over the leather interior or sob too loudly, things shifted sharply into focus. 

Around half an hour earlier, just before going to bed, I had experienced a bleed. It wasn’t a huge bleed, but it was there. And kept being there every time I checked. I was then sick (probably because I was scared) and felt short of breath, as I panicked. I genuinely thought I was losing my baby.

As the dark fields rolled past through the taxi window the driver asked if everything was OK. “I don’t know yet,” I replied, stifling a sob. I looked out of the window and thought of all the stupid things I’ve worried about during this pregnancy so far: weight gain, puffy feet, trendy maternity wear, the colour of the nursery. Inconsequential things that don’t matter. And I hated myself.

I had to wait in a delivery room on the labour ward until someone was free to come and see me. Tiredness enveloped me, in between bouts of nervous nausea. The (self-proclaimed) Northern Love Machine had rung my parents and I knew my mum was on her way. With a sleeping three year old upstairs at home it wasn’t an option for the NLM to come to the hospital with me – another thing you don’t think about when you’re pregnant with a second (or third) child.

And so I waited. And while I waited I heard the cries of a brand new baby in the delivery room next door. The new mum was having a shower in the bathroom in between the two rooms. I could hear their conversations and the soft cooing over the tiny new life. It took me back to those precious few hours after the birth of Frog and reminded me how much I wanted to meet this new baby in the autumn.

My mum arrived a little later. Followed soon after by a midwife. I nearly vomited again when there was nothing but a blank, static, fuzz as the midwife checked for the baby’s heartbeat. And then it came. Thudding loud and clear. A strong, healthy heartbeat. Of course I cried.

I’ll never forget the kind, calm and reassuring manner of that midwife. She held my hand as the doctor arrived to do an uncomfortable examination and try to find why the bleed had happened in the first place. I still felt nervous as I looked to the ceiling. But I held onto that healthy heartbeat and made a silent promise to start properly looking after myself and this tiny life growing inside me.

I was not going into early labour, the doctor confirmed. She could find a couple of possibilities for the bleed, but it had settled and she was happy to send me home. She told me she couldn’t promise everything would be OK, because pregnancy can be unpredictable, but that she thought it unlikely she would see me again before my baby was ready to be born in a few months’ time.

I was sent away with instructions to try to take things a bit easier, not to worry and (by the midwife) to give myself a break.

And so here I am. Yesterday passed by in a bit of a blur. I didn’t get to bed until gone 2am on Saturday morning, but I slept and our plans for the day were scaled back. But I don’t mind admitting that today has been tough. I’m not a natural sitter. I see things that need doing – washing that needs putting on, work deadlines that need to be met, a child who needs entertaining. I’m a do-er. I like being busy. It takes conscious effort to slow down and step off the treadmill of daily life.

But I’m determined to do it. The next few months will be calmer. Less frantic. More focussed on the important things. I’m pledging right now not to keep pushing myself. I’ve made some big work decisions – or rather, the decisions have been made for me – and I’m trying to remind myself that I don’t always need to be set on GO GO GO at every second of the day. As much as it frustrates me, I know I need to slow down.

I never want to experience another night like Friday. I’m trying to be relaxed about it all and not let my over-active mind fret over what I can’t control. But I can, at least, be a little kinder to myself and to this baby my body is working hard to grow.

Any tips you have for slowing down and forcing a usually busy person to take a step back are much appreciated.



  1. says

    No tips on slowing down I’m afraid as I am just as and but wanted to send love anyway. Friday just have been very scary and I hope you do take hers of your midwife. All the things you’ve been worrying about so far are normal and totally allowed and you are not a terrible person for caring about the small things too. Take it easy
    X x x

    • says

      Thank you! It brought things into perspective. Am fine and trying to remind myself that I’m not a failure if I can’t do a million and one things in one day. Difficult though!

  2. says

    I’m so sorry you had to go through this, it sounds like it was so scary. Really glad that you n bubba are ok. I’ve had to slow down – or rather I’m on the project of trying to slow down, since my ME diagnosis over a year ago now. My main advice is around how much you book in, if you’re like me then to be strict with yourself perhaps set an allowance of busyness, and when you’ve done it your not allowed anymore?

  3. says

    Hey Molly! Gosh lady – scary stuff hope you’re ok my sweet.

    I’m exactly the same and although I had no scares during my pregnancies, after a big op I didn’t rest enough and well, I learned how to make myself listen to my body.

    It’s not easy but I’d put two slots into the day for rest.

    Difficult at the time with a 18 month old and 6 month old but rest I did.

    I rewarded my rest with doing stuff – that sounds ridiculous but it worked.

    If you’re a doer, which I think many parents are, resting is near impossible, but you have to make the time.

    I also made sure I was having at least 8 hours sleep a night by going to bed early.

    Once I was recovered my old habits came back and as much as I try not to overdo things – life is busy.

    Look after yourself sweety xx

    • says

      I’m definitely going to get the early nights in. I’ve slipped back into working quite late in the evenings to get stuff done but I’m going to be strict and make sure I’m all logged off by 8pm from now on (where possible!). I love the idea of two rest slots too. It is hard during afternoons when I’m on my own with F but maybe I need to be a bit more relaxed about letting her watch a film or some TV in the afternoons so I can get a bit of rest – and use that time to rest rather than dashing about cooking, shoving laundry into the machine or answering emails! x

      • says

        Oh for sure – it’s great for little ones to have rest time too if they’re past afternoon nap age. My two are 3&4 and always have an afternoon movie or favourite TV show. It’s good for little ones to recharge just as much as it is for adults. Also stops them becoming overtired!

  4. says

    Was thinking about you this morning and wanted to send you a big hug. It’s not easy but you need to look after yourself more and listen to the rest up speech they have given you. You do not need to be superwoman just mummy.

    As for tips, well you know I’ve found rest difficult but

    Netflix is your friend
    IPlayer to download onto the iPad
    Keep a journal for the baby
    Make lists and sort out what you have left to do
    Do simple crafts with pre-schooler
    Make things that you can do simply with your hands – I’ve made jewellery for friends
    Don’t google anything
    Talk to people – a friend of ours has now started to send me videos
    Ask people around for play dates – I have two friend that have come round and provides lunch. This has been a much ended for Fizz and some proper adult day time conversation
    Netflix is your friend 😉
    Leave the bathroom door unlocked so you can call help to get out 😉
    Take any offer of help you have
    Take care of yourself! It’s hard to not feel like you are twiddling your thumbs but believe me you can find other things it just takes practice to change your mindset

    • says

      Amazing tips, thanks Chelle! I’m definitely on the Netflix bandwagon. And I have some more party decs to make for F’s impending birthday party so maybe that will be a good, quiet thing to do too. Thanks for your lovely message yesterday too. xx

  5. says

    awww Molly i so hear you my lovely, 5 months of my pregnancy was like this and total bed rest to a controlled organiser is never ever pleasent and to top it off the stress it all brings .. i am sending you a big hug …

    I also coped by allocating my time ..

    9-10.30 work …… then log off
    Sleep 2.3.30 … you get my drift


  6. says

    Oh no Molly, that sounds so scary. I was actually pretty good at the not doing much part but wish I had done a bit more as I found giving birth after weeks of doing nothing really took it out of me. Just make the most of the time putting your feet up, I rarely get the chance these days! Glad everything was okay xx

  7. says

    Awww Molly, it must be so hard to slow down, but make sure you do, and take the time to enjoy the last few months with Frog before her little sibling arrives. xxx

  8. says

    oh Molly, you definitely need to take a step back & put those feet up – with my 2nd I took great pleasure in the fact that he loved the Wiggles – during the hot Pennsylvanian summer of 2002 I wore that DVD out playing it back to back whilst I lay on the sofa with the A/C on, needs must & all that.
    Take care now Molly!

  9. says

    Aw, so sorry to hear about this, a real scare for you. So glad to hear all seems OK now, but I do hope you manage to take it easy and relax – you know you deserve it anyway 🙂 Good luck with the next couple of months xx

  10. says

    I had an unexplained bleed in my second pregnancy. How on earth a mum to a toddler is expected to slow down I have no idea! The person who figures that out is going to be a millionaire.

    The worst bit about the bleed was the fact that the waiting room was on the main corridor between the delivery rooms and the ward, so during my agonising wait several mums with their brand new babies were wheeled past. I really wish they would think about this sort of thing when designing hospitals

  11. says

    Oh Molly, what a horrible experience and all the worse to have to go though it on your own.

    Take it easy, relax and rest, You have to, even though it is hard you don’t have an alternative.

    I have been there really I have and you will get through this.

  12. says

    Oh Molly, I really feel for you. I understand everything you have described – the fear, the panic…and the difficulty in slowing down even though you know it’s for the best.

    I’m really happy that everything is ok. As for tips for taking it easy…that’s a really hard one. I’m struggling with this one too! I have started knitting things for the baby – still doing something but sitting and relaxing too!

    Take it easy and I hope things go smoothly from now on x

  13. says

    Oh Molly! I had no idea, I’m so sorry. Scary stuff indeed. I was holding my breath just then. So glad all is ok. I’ve had scares with both my girls and now the placenta issues with this one. I take it a bit like you. As a sign to slow down, to appreciate, to realise that nothing is quite as important as this and everything else can wait. But I still don’t slow down on the things I love doing, just the stuff I don’t ;).

    Make sure you put your feet up when you can. With a good boxset. I actually hate it when people say that because you think ‘there’s no time.’ But there is and NOW is it. I’m so glad everything is looking ok. Oh. And yoga’s also been fab for slowing me down. I think you may be doing that anyway. ‘Namaste.’ X

  14. says

    What a scary experience for you bless you. It is so different the second time – you have another little person to look after, and you want to feel like you can do it all. I’ve been guilty of doing far too much this pregnancy but now I am realising that rest is necessary for our littlest ones and that there is nothing to feel guilty about for resting up and looking after them (and ourselves).

    I hope the doctor was right and the rest of your pregnancy goes smoothly x

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