Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Well, better late than never!

I had every intention of documenting this pregnancy with regular 'belly pictures'... but that's as far as I got!
So here's one of me just now at 39w3d.
And no, I don't normally look quite so smart, but we just had our photos taken for the newspaper, so I thought I'd capitalise on the fact that I've actually brushed my hair and put on a pair of heels by getting Pete to take a pic for me. It's a bit over-exposed, but you get the idea!

Anyway - you might be wondering why are we having pictures taken for the paper.
Primarily because we're helping my consultant, Bryan Beattie, publicise a new screening campaign to check blood oxygen levels in newborns.
We were very fortunate that Charlie's HLHS was picked up on ultrasound scan, because only about 50 percent of congenital heart defects are found via antenatal scanning.
And of the 50 percent that are undiagnosed before birth, many babies with major, life-threatening cardiac problems initially seem well and are discharged from hospital - only to become very ill, very quickly.
For many families, by the time they get their babies back to hospital, it can be too late.
But even though these babies initially seem well, the oxygen levels in their blood are often much lower than normal - a key warning to doctors that further investigation is needed.
A simple and non-invasive test can pick up the low oxygen levels before they even leave the hospital.
They just need to be attached to a pulse oximetry or sats machine, which will tell doctors the vital percentage of oxygen in their blood.
That's it.
Easy and painless - and already part of routine post-natal screening in the US, but not here.
So, Mr Beattie has started offering the screening at his private clinic - but we - and he - really want the NHS to pick up the baton here and make sure every newborn is screened before leaving hospital.
It really is a lifesaver.
Even though LO has been repeatedly scanned, and has had in-depth cardiac scans, we will definitely be having her sats checked before we set foot out of the hospital.

So... back to the newspaper.
I wrote a press release for Mr Beattie last week, (for those of you who don't know, I was a journalist before I had the kids, so it was quite nice to pick up my reporter's notebook again!) and was interviewed by a reporter the other day. A photographer came this afternoon to take some pics.
So, hopefully I should have some really nice pics to show you before too long. I'll post the link to the piece in the paper as well if I can find it when it comes out.

No other news really - all was well when I went to the midwife last week. LO was still head down and growing nicely.
It's hard to believe she is due in four days (although I am still adamant that she's going to be late!)
We go back to the hospital at the end of next week for another checkup, by which time I'll be about five days overdue.
I want to avoid being induced if I possibly can, and Mr Beattie is happy for me to go about 12days late, so we'll just have to wait and see what happens!
Watch this space!!

1 comment:

  1. it must feel great to be able to give other parents knowledge to save their babies!
    Did you have both boys naturally or by C section?
    i know how excited Jo was to know that Quinton was head down!
    Praying for safe delivery!