In the third instalment of her weekly column, Up The Duff Without A Paddle, surprise pregnantee Sarah Powell makes like a cat and looks for a small, dark, quiet place to give birth in. Even though there's the small issue of the three-month scan and another 27 weeks of pregnancy still to go. By the way, it's not true that she's a total control freak and likes everything planned to the last detail way in advance.
Trips to the hospital seem to be like internet dates; none come along for ages and then three of them arrive at the same time. After hearing nothing from the medical profession since a photocopied letter from my local midwives six weeks ago, this week it's been an early antenatal open evening at Kings College Hospital, and an NCT Introduction to Home birthing session. Plus, it's the three month scan on Thursday.
It's been great to be almost treated like a properly pregnant person, and both sessions have been very helpful, especially the home birthing one. My chap came with me, which was great given that I am indeed the pregnant banshee from hell still.When I'd first mentioned homebirth to him, he'd looked panic-stricken and said "but don't they just leave us on our own when you've had the baby?" To which I reassured him that they'd probably stop to make us a cup of tea, and inwardly thought: "Well, yep, we won't have 24-hour hands-on parental support for the rest of our lives, if that's what you were hoping for. It's you and me Daddio."
And you know what, many midwives do stop to make a cup of tea after the birth, apparently. I even learned at the session that it has been known for a midwife to make some marmite on toast and pop on fresh bed linen after the heave-ho'ing is over. Pretty good huh?
There are other benefits to home births too. For low risk pregnancies research shows they are as safe as hospital births, labour can often be shorter as mums are more relaxed (like cats, we like small, dark, quiet and familiar spaces to give birth in, not under the glare of surgical lights), there's less intervention with forceps and the like and you'll probably see the same midwife all the way through your pregnancy and labour too. We've not definitely made our mind up, as it's way too early for that (did I mention we haven't had the three month scan yet?), but it does look like a tempting option.
In other news this week, I've bought a support bra which is so comfortable I wish I'd been wearing one for years, and I've noticed a slight levelling out of my hideously awful crankiness. There's absolutely no morning sickness now too.
There's still one heck of a huge amount of stress about the scan though (I mentioned it didn't I?). It's on Thursday. I'm 37, this pregnancy was a total surprise after disappointing fertility tests, and I can't believe it's actually happening. I think all of this is making me worry more that there will be something wrong at the scan. I'll do my best to report back whatever the outcome, though you might have to give me a little room if it's bad news. Fingers crossed!