Yasmina had a nasty surprise today, finding out mid afternoon that she had been bleeding. She leaves work early on a Friday so luckily was already preparing to leave for home. She called me while I was still at work, and I really didn’t know what to do. Should she go to hospital in Paris, or risk taking the train? In the end I decided that it would be quickest for her to go for the tube + train journey home, and I left work early to meet her at the station. I turned over in my mind thoughts about her fainting in public transport, but thankfully nothing bad happened. I could not have got to her work quickly because it’s in the middle of Paris. After twenty minutes wait at the station which lasted for ages – I got there before her – it was half four and we went straight to the local hospital. Vaginal bleeding is never a good thing for a pregnant woman, and often an emergency.

After a very short wait we were looked after. Having spent time in NHS hospitals in England, I was very pleased with the service we got in this French state hospital. Since I’ve never had a bleeding (thankfully not hemorrhaging) mother with me before, I cannot really draw a comparison. I can however confer the fact that the staff were very good.

First thing to be established was a scan to make sure the placenta wasn’t too low. We thought that it was high in the results from previous scans, and therefore unlikely to have become a placenta praevia. Of course medical staff like to be certain especially since I didn’t have the previous scan reports with me, having not had time to go home and prepare all that. Without this scan any internal exam would have been too high a risk to take. Once the scan confirmed our recollections that the placenta was indeed well placed, the initial theory was that she might have a problem with bleeding on the outside of the cervix. However the midwife checked and after some initial difficulty with visibility because of the blood, got a second opinion which declared it to be OK. After the midwife, the on call doctor came in and checked via another scan (a vaginal scan with the same sort of machine as they use for the regular abdomen scans) and concluded it’s most likely to have been early contractions which must have caused some bleeding.

So tonight Yasmina is hospitalised, with a drip (perfusion) of a drug which will help reduce or stop the contractions. Her bleeding has stopped, but she’ll remain in hospital for at least 48 hours for observation and to have the full dose of the anti-contraction drug. I ran home in the car to collect a list of about 30 items that she wanted or needed from home: changes of clothes, a snack or two, items for her toilette and some stuff to keep her occupied.

In all, she was seen by 4 different medical staff in the space of a couple of hours, each with a good maternity background. We were seen immediately in the emergency room, and at no point were we waiting unattended for more than ten minutes. I’m worried of course, because any event like this increases risks of complications in the pregancy, but that kind of medical support makes me feel a lot better because I know Yasmina is in safe hands. It just remains to be seen what the final conclusion is.

I’m happy to be in France for the birth of my son.

Yasmina is…
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