Supraventricular Tachycardia

It’s been an eventful few days for me, the kind of eventful days that I could just do without right now. Tuesday started off as such a normal day; the man had it off so work so we had a morning of bacon sandwiches, a midwife appointment where we got to hear the baby and then we took the boy across to soft play. Now I would understand what happened if at soft play I was as crazy as what Oli was and was running around like a total loon. I would even understand if I pigged out on McDonald’s as the boys did once we had finished at soft play (it was a morning of treats for the toddler!)

What was crazy was when we got home and decided to spend the afternoon chilling on the sofa together watching a film, Horton Hears A Who in case you were curious. I had spent the morning feeling quite achy, and my back was hurting as it does when you’re 28 weeks pregnant, so the man had got me the hot water bottle to snuggle up with. What happened next was so unexpected, my heart just suddenly felt like it wanted to jump out of my body. I was having these crazy palpitations that I could feel, the man caught a glimpse of me, and I remember I was crying. He felt my heart and could see I was struggling with both the pain and my breathing. I said I was going to go upstairs and have a lie-down, soon changed my mind when I saw I had to walk up some stairs.

Bless the man, I think he was in just as much shock as me, and we both didn’t quite know what to do. The first reaction was to try my midwife who he couldn’t get through too so then we kinda 999 was the next option. I know it should have probably been the first option, but it’s always scary having to do that. I was sat at the bottom of the stairs when the paramedics arrived; we knew they had arrived as Oli was jumping up and down excitedly shouting nee-naw. My memory seems rather sketchy about even though it was just a few days ago, guess that’s a mixture of baby brain and not wanting to remember.

They confirmed the whole heart being crazy scenario and put me into the ambulance to take me to the hospital. At the same time as being scared and wanting to panic, I stayed calm and concentrated on my breathing. It’s amazing how knowing that you carry your son makes you not think of anything but him, I was also staying calm for Oli as it was probably scary enough seeing me like that. Though I think he loved the little tour he had got around the ambulance before they took me away actually really to notice what was going on with me. I was so sad to be going to the hospital; I had seen enough of them last year to last a lifetime. Plus we no longer live around the corner from a hospital anymore, it was a few towns away now. We went to the same hospital where I had my gall bladder out, so it was already familiar to me, it’s also the hospital I’m down for if the home birth doesn’t go as planned, which now has a big question mark over it.

I was taken to A&E where the usual stuff happened, nurses, wires, heart monitors, doctors, bloods and one of the worst things, blood gases. Thankfully the man had arrived for the second blood gas and then was there for the next couple, these are so painful, and I was so happy to have his hand to squeeze. I kept mentally trying to tell myself that I’m going to be going through labour so this is nothing, but obviously that doesn’t help at the time. I knew they had to be done as they were telling the doctors that my oxygen was low so they kept up with giving me the oxygen. By a few hours in I was even more tired, feeling so unwell and very sorry for myself. This wasn’t how my afternoon was meant to go.

They thought it could have been a blood clot on the lung because of some of the symptoms, so I was injected with a blood thinner into my tummy, which still feels quite tender now. And then I was sent for a chest x-ray. Everything which was given to me, everything that was going on my first question was that if it was safe for baby. I knew that their priority was to me, so I wanted to speak up for my baby, they were quite nice at answering all my questions and explaining everything. I was reassured that I would have a lead skirt put around my tummy to protect baby from the x-rays. The x-ray came back showing that I had no clot, but they wanted to confirm this with a scan of my chest. They also said they wanted me to stay in for the night, by now I just felt like giving up. I have has enough of hospitals, I knew they were the right place to be when something isn’t right with you. But even still I had just had enough. I don’t think the man wanted to leave me that night, that may be because of the pleas to take me home with him and some tears I was giving him.

I knew they were unsure where to put me that night because of the pregnancy; they decided on the antenatal ward in the end which I was happy about because I knew then that baby would be looked after. Of course, I was wishing I was on the medical ward when it came to wanting to go to sleep, and those newborn cries just didn’t seem quite as cute anymore. You just can’t sleep in hospitals, what with having stats checked every hour and the general noise hospitals have.

The next morning I had the medical doctors come round and chatted to me about what was going on, I had been given a beta blocker the day before and was given another one to slow my heart down. I was sent for the scan, which turned out to be a CT type scan. I didn’t realise this the day before and now realised why the man was so eager to get to the hospital to see me before they did it. I was terrified; again I have explained that it was ok for baby, but I was in hysterics. I guess everything was getting to me; I had some dye injected into me which made me feel very hot and made it feel like I was wetting myself. Didn’t realise I was going to be in the room by myself, I was sobbing like a baby. The me that used to have no fear had long disappeared.

Results came back clear for that; I guess they wanted to rule out a possible clot on my lungs. The doctors then put everything down to SVT which is what they were already treating me for; they explained what it was and how it can quite commonly happen during pregnancy. After a midwife taking my blood pressure and major freaking about how low it was the docs decided to take me off the beta blockers. This is what they wanted to send me home with so instead I was shown how I’m to cope with any attacks I get in future at home; you just can’t help but laugh when you’re told to pretend you’re having a poo and squeeze down to help it. Bad enough that I’m already walking/waddling like I’ve already pooed myself. I was also told that drinking cold water or sticking my face into cold water can help. The man has been on top making sure the filta in the fridge is always filled up, bless him. It did scare him what happened. It scared me too; I don’t want to be home alone with Oli when my heart suddenly decides it wants to skip around and play me up.

I’m left now feeling so fed up with myself, wondering what else is going to go wrong in this pregnancy. It’s such a bad time when you realise it’s better to pack a hospital bag for yourself in case you get rushed in again for whatever reason. It’s not the way it should be; I should be packing a hospital bag for baby in a few weeks time.