The Womb Dweller

Monday, 10 February 2014

It doesn't matter how many children you have, each pregnancy is just as terrifying and exciting as the next and likewise that first scan.

Finally last week, came the time for our first scan of our final pregnancy.  Other than the original positive pregnancy test (okay, 5 tests) there's this incredibly long wait with no proof that everything is okay.  Regardless of whether you have children and/or have suffered pregnancy loss, the worry and the possibility is still there.  You need this.  To make it real.

For shits and giggles due to time constraints we were booked in at a different hospital to that which will be providing my once again 'consultant led care' (I'll never have that water birth) so, bundled in with the terror of the unknown was the anxiety of going somewhere new, somewhere strange.  Granted if you want to be terribly technical about it I was born at this hospital but that was 33.5 years ago, I didn't really concentrate on navigating around it then though.  Besides, I'm somewhat convinced it's changed a fair bit since then.

The appointment letter very helpfully informed us that we need to go to the blue zone, however, nowhere in the outer hospital grounds did they deign to notify us as to the whereabouts of any zones let alone a blue one.  Balls. How utterly absurd to have maps that neglect to utilise the hospitals own colour coded key.  Naturally it was beginning to piss it down so in a mild attempt to avoid becoming further disgruntled we headed towards the nearest door and voila! The signage begins.  Blue Zone this way! ...this way!  this way! this way! I was beginning to suspect they were taking the proverbial piss, talking off piss my bladder was wanting to do the same, take a piss.  Preferably a long one.  Alas, one needs a full bladder for the first scan.  Bollocks.  I could feel a hormonal rage simmering within me, being not the worlds biggest fan of wild goose chases at the best of times until hallelujah, Antenatal clinic was sign posted.  Naturally, it was another long walk following these teasing signs, at least on motorways when you see a place name they have the decency to tell you how many miles away it is.

At last, we'd arrived.  The waiting area looked empty.  Empty I tell you!  Another cruel joke as once we'd booked in at reception we were immediately directed to the real waiting room, the one full of people, with the last minute mention of 'scans are running on time but the clinic afterwards is running about 60-90 minutes late'  Give me strength.  Give me Valium.

Called into the scan room, the Sonographer was the most none-reassuring person I've ever met as she opened with 'Now this is the first scheduled pregnancy scan to determine if there's actually anything in there  and if it's alive'  don't sugar coat it love.  It's not like any of these terrified and vulnerable hormonal woman need some compassion.  Apparently my bladder was 'too full' fancy that.  Yet rather then suggest I go for a wee, she preferred the bang, wobble and poke the scan probe hard across my stomach whilst muttering attack instead.    Thankfully as soon as the probe touched my flabby flesh, I saw it.  A baby! an actual baby! Well fuck me sideways there's really a baby in there!.  I released half of the breath that I hadn't realised i'd been holding, the other half reserved until I saw that magical flutter of it's heartbeat.  I was memsmerised.  Transfixed.  I couldn't have torn my eyes away from the screen even if my life had depended on it.  I was drinking in the sight, knowing it would be a long 8 weeks until I saw it again.

We were told to buy a token for a picture and return with it.  Five pounds! Five pounds for a digital printout! Absolutely preposterous.  Blatant exploitation of patients.  I'd hazard a guess the actual cost is mere pence to print it.    Actually we got a freebie picture as well as the one we paid for seeing as she was so impressed with how perfectly The Preschooler sat.

At last, I could wee. Then came the waiting.  The radio competed with the advertising loop infomercial that was on the tv, within 5 minutes I wanted to smash my foot through the screen.  Add to this the rather disturbing sound directly above us which sounded terribly like someone wee'ing...every 5 minutes and you can guess that patience wasn't a virtue possessed by many in this waiting room.  The 60-90 minute wait in reality was nearly three hours.  Yes three hours.  We were all beyond starving.  I'd have eaten the furniture had I not seen some Haribo buzzed child snot upon it earlier.

Just when you gain a glimmer of hope that this is it, you're called in merely for the preliminary blood taking, blood pressure and wee checking.  I'll admit to finding it a tad ridiculous that they took this opportunity to weigh me.  At 12 weeks pregnant.  Having been eating obsessively to try and sate some never ending hunger for the past 8 weeks and then being weighed whilst wearing doc marten boots it's no surprised my weight had jumped up by a stone.  The Preschooler once again sat perfectly upon The Husband's knee.  Sporting his new shorter hair, a dinosaur top, brown dinosaur shoes, jeans and a Bob The Builder coat the Nurse still referred to him as a lovely little girl.  You can't win.  I give up!

Tasting freedom, imagine my utter dismay when we were informed we were to return to the waiting room, to await the midwife.

Finally after explaining what they should have already been told and rearranging all future appointments to the correct hospital we were free.  they can take out wee, they can take our blood but they will never take our freeeeeeedom!

Bloody good job too, we had a starving Preschooler, two buses to get home and not long until Things One & Two needed collecting from school.  Oh and I still had a headache that I'd had all day.

Other than the scan the day was a bit of a shitter.  My headache refuses to go, The Preschooler turned into a monster at home screaming and hitting, Things One and Two were being complete toads and The Husband conveniently decided he had to be somewhere.

At the hospital we showed The Preschooler the screen with the baby on, and the photo's.  We explained to him that there is a baby in Mummy's tummy.  He wasn't in the slightest bit interested.  Not even a little.  Not even at all.

The plan was to tell Things One and Two at tea time when we were all together, having kept the news from them for eight weeks.

So what happened?  Whilst The Husband was out The Preschooler casually announced to them 'Mum has a baby in her tummy' then continued what he was playing.  Outed by a three year old.  Terrific.  The Husband missed out on that moment of sheer squealing ecstatic excitement from Things One & Two, thanks to the terribly uninterested Preschooler.  Brilliant!


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