….is the German word for ‘cervix’. I learned this in a Frankfurt hospital last night, whilst waiting for a doctor to check if my ‘Gebärmutterhals’ was still ‘abgeschlossen’ (closed).
Yes, it has been another eventful 24 hours in pregnancy-land. Probably my own fault this time. TMI alert but I’ve been having rather a lot of watery discharge for the last few days. Nothing to worry about, I thought. Perhaps I’ll just email our obstetrician to let him know, I thought. So I did just that – on a train en-route from Zurich to Frankfurt
Anyway I didn’t quite get the reaction I was hoping for. Mr K (our obstetrician) requested that I come to see him immediately. Eh? I told him I was in Germany. He requested that I go to a ObGyn clinic, in Germany, immediately. WTF? He was concerned that I might be leaking amniotic fluid. No messing.
Well, obviously I started to panic. This hadn’t even occurred to me and it had actually been going on for a few days. I thought I was doing a little ‘FYI’ email when in actual fact I probably should have got this checked out much earlier….and in London, not blimming Frankfurt. I panicked even more when a quick Google search revealed:
- Most Frankfurt ObGyn clinics are only open in the morning (WHY? WHO KNOWS).
- Leaking amniotic fluid is very bad.
- My rudimentary German does not include gynecological terminology
Big shout out to Felix at the Frankfurt Hilton check in desk. By the time I arrived at the hotel I was in a massive flap. This lovely 18 year old work experience kid made a few calls and managed to get hold of a gynecologist, who advised me (via him) to go to the hospital. It was somewhat awkward explaining to Felix what was going on (using words like discharge, vagina, examination, cervix and so on) but I didn’t care at that point.
Anyway fast forward 30 minutes and there I was at the hospital using my mediocre German (and Google translate tool) to explain to a nurse what was going on. Basically I needed a doctor to check if my ‘gebärmutterhals’ is’abgeschlossen’ ASAP. It wasn’t a great experience but we got there in the end. She was lovely, she stroked my hand throughout the ridiculous translation experience.
I had to lie down on a bed with my legs in the air whilst waiting for a doctor. Luckily – he spoke pretty good English (apart from calling my tights ‘trousers’ which I thought was quite cute, like ‘please take off your trousers’ when I wasn’t wearing any). He did a swab test, an examination and a quick ultrasound. Big relief – everything is fine. Totally, utterly, fine. Both babies swimming around in plenty of amniotic fluid. Nothing to worry about. Just good old, umm, ‘regular’ discharge then. He did say that my doctor was right to tell me to come to the hospital straight away.
So, the moral of this story is – please call or email your doctor straight away if you’d like to inform them of something. Don’t leave it three days. Don’t do it from a train in Germany. And never leave home without a crib sheet of gynecological terms in various languages, just in case.