Ok, so, here’s the coup. It turns out there is a problem with my umbilical cord. Apparently (I say this as if things will suddenly change), I have a 2 vessel cord, instead of an ordinary 3 vessel cord. What? Well, when I had one of my random scans a few weeks back, my Doctor turns around and explains that I’m “missing a vein in my umbilical cord”.
What did I do? I shit my pants. Telling me this was possibly the worst thing this man ever did, despite him being legally obliged (I should know being an ex-defendant litigation lawyer) to do so. I went home, googled this whole lacking “2 vessel umbilical cord” business and then I started to cry (more than I have been) thanks to friggin hormones.
The umbilical cord usually contains three blood vessels; a single vein and 2 arteries (a 3 vessel cord) . The vein carries blood and nutrients from the placenta to the fetus. The arteries carry oxygen poor blood and waste products from the fetus to the placenta. Occasionally, one artery wastes away or fails to develop leaving only a single umbilical artery. A single umbilical artery (SUA) is seen in approximately 0.3% to 1% of pregnancies. SUA is reported to be more common in twin pregnancies and in placentas where the umbilical cord is at the edge of the placenta. What’s happening with my cord? It is a SUA but that’s all I know so far.
The Captain (Mr It will all be “ok”) annoyed me so much by being reassuring that I slept on the couch the first night. What the hell does this missing vein mean? Did my drinking do some damage? Seriously, I had to ask as (a) I didn’t know I was pregnant and, (b) I may as well be trapped in a grown-up body when really, I feel like I’ve fucked up a situation. I had NO IDEA I was pregnant when I then learnt almost 9 weeks later I was. But, the guilt is killing me. As it turns out, this has nothing to do with anything I had been doing …. I ran every scenario past the Doctor (he was mortified, kinda like he was watching “Teen Moms USA”, but for someone like me, who doesn’t give a shit normally about anything but falling pregnant, I felt like I’d let this baby down. The Doctor reassured me, it wasn’t my fault. My going on with life as normal did not affect this baby.
“What is single umbilical artery? About 1 percent of singleton and about 5 percent of multiple pregnancies (twins, triplets or more) have an umbilical cord that contains only two blood vessels, instead of the normal three. In these cases, one artery is missing (2). The cause of this abnormality, called single umbilical artery, is unknown. Studies suggest that babies with single umbilical artery have an increased risk for birth defects, including heart, central nervous system and urinary-tract defects and chromosomal abnormalities (2, 3). A woman whose baby is diagnosed with single umbilical artery during a routine ultrasound may be offered certain prenatal tests to diagnose or rule out birth defects. These tests may include a detailed ultrasound, amniocentesis (to check for chromosomal abnormalities) and in some cases, echocardiography (a special type of ultrasound to evaluate the fetal heart). The provider also may recommend that the baby have an ultrasound after birth.” (Quoted from – http://www.marchofdimes.com/complications_umbilical.html).
So…. then I began to wonder…why is this baby having issues? Turns out, The Captain and I have no issues, aside from stress, as this baby has come into our lives when I’ve been chilled and not expecting anything. When I was trying to fall pregnant, EVERYONE told me “take it easy, stop worrying” but how can you when you’re checking a fucking monitor daily for ovulation and all the shit that comes with it? Those people, the ones that say “don’t worry”, they have no idea how soul-destroying it is. For a woman, and even as a couple, you are trying to pull your shit together, without blame. Why isn’t it happening?? That’s the first thing that you think? You hate everyone around you for moving on and falling pregnant in a breath. It’s not their fault you’re that bitter either but you DO feel this way. If you don’t? Well, you’re a bigger person than me.
I was looking at adoption manuals when we finally fell pregnant (karma…probably). People you know, who are afraid to tell you they are expecting, well, that’s when you should become ashamed. They probably fell pregnant in a cloak room one random night. I keep thinking I’ve fucked up, somehow. Yes, I love to be an animal and drink and party until the cows come home (English expression), BUT, when it comes to kids (no matter how annoying) I’m ultra protective, and I’m actually a brilliant, funny & artistic Mum – I doubt I ever mentioned I was asked to paint a “real life portrait” (& accepted despite being asked by my parents “why??”) at the age of 10 years old at the National History Museum in Knightsbridge. I love Art but I hate to wander around looking at it (ask the Captain). I took my then boyfriend (Captain) who to this day will mention a particular French Connection Green dress I wore to an Edward Hopper show at The Tate. Ed Hopper is one of my favourite. You know what his shit actually means. Now, I have to admit that (a) I HATE anything that involves sitting/walking around/discussing/listening to the arts of any kind. I blame Shakespere & The Barbican Theatre. I love English Literature (I do LOVE) BUT, it turns out, when I am forced to do anything (Captain please take note as this is a very important piece of my personal puzzle), I will back off and disappear. If you tell me, “sit through this crap for 2 hours”, I guarantee I will have been to the shitty theatre bar at least 4 times and when I discover I am not drunk enough, I insist we leave. Don’t EVER take me to a show, of ANY kind. If you manage to drag me to a musical (my Father-in-law circa 2009), I will NEVER EVER forgive you. I’d rather staple my clitoris to a wall covered in honey near a beehive. No musicals, no shows, no “art gallery” bullshit (Captain, in all my years of dating, this was the only time. I was clearly deranged & “in love” like a blind spastic fool), no “lets go watch a film” at the cinema. It’s dead time to me. I could be sat on my bed, reading, writing or watching porn (joke? I think not in this climate). Don’t bore me. I hate this shit. Don’t EVER take me to a show. E V E R.
If I can be honest, this is who I really am –
- No shows/theatre. Boring, full of bullshit and I doubt half the audience would be there if they hadn’t got their tickets half price. The oNLY shows I like are at The Camden Roundhouse. Visual/Physical, real shit. Stuff I am sure you normal people like.
- I hate the phone. Stop calling me for a long discussion (The Captain, et famille, love this). I HATE the phone. I can’t express enough how I’m feeling over a 2 minute call. I can’t stand phone conversations as I’m clearly too deep. People stop calling (you prob will after this post anyhow).
- I hate going out. FACT. Why can’t I stay in?? In London, all my friends knew they could turn up and there would be booze, drugs and food on tap (yes, I would fucking love me too). Here, in HK, well….I don’t LOVE everyone. I’ve realised that in the last few weeks being back. Why force myself to be friends with people? I’m lazy enough as it is, and to be honest, if there is one thing I DO live by, its “be true to thyself”.